Fall is my favorite season because the weather is in perfect temperature and there are so many family friendly activities to do around town. We normally stick closer to home during Fall. Plus now that both kids are in school, it’s harder to plan a vacation trip.
One of fun family activity that we love to do and wish we can do more often is camping. Family camping is an easy, affordable and fun that anyone can enjoy. I would like to put a disclaimer here that I’m not a camping expert. But I love to share our experience from the newbie’s point of view.
Camping in Fall, I think, is the best time to camp, especially for first time camper. I always think it’s easy to warm yourself up in the cold climate than cool yourself down in the heat. Yes, you might pack a little bit more but it’s doable especially if you are not planning a backpacking camping trip.
Here are our list of Essentials on our Fall Camping Trip with Kids
We purchased the biggest tent we can afford. For our family of 4 we bought 8 person tent. I think it’s the best thing to do when you have kids. It gives them more space to move around and plenty of space to put all our stuff inside the tent. We didn’t buy the best tent but just cheap version at Walmart. If it’s your first time camping and you are not planning to go camping in extreme weather, I would suggest to buy cheap tent or rent one from REI to try it out.
You will need a sleeping bag per person in your family. Make sure you choose sleeping bag that is appropriate to your camping style. Again, we are not talking about extreme weather camping in the Q Family so I pick the one that is not too warm for our area. I figure if it gets too cold, we can always bundle up with more clothes.
A must for your camping trip. This is one item that I think worth investing in because a good night sleep will make your camping experience so much better. We used to bring inflatable mattress. One word of advice – DON’T! It’s not as good as sleeping pad and much harder to setup and pack.
Flashlight or Lantern:
It’s not only a source of lighting at night time for you but a great toy for kids to entertain themselves at night time. Kids can play with their shadow and explore nearby campsite with their flashlight.
Footprint or Tarp:
In order to protect and prolong the life of your tent, footprint or tarp is highly recommended. It will help keep your tent from rock or branch. We bought a tarp that is a bit larger than our tent and use it as a mat so kids have place to take off their shoes before entering our tent as well.
Cooking at the camp can be easy or complicated depends on your style. We have been camping with a friend who didn’t even bring any stove or any cooking items and we have also been camping with a family that brought everything except the kitchen sink with them. For us, the Coleman Two Burner Stove is a perfect middle ground. It is small and compact enough to bring with us and provide us with enough space to make a quick meal like bacon in the morning or boil water for noodle at lunch.
During fall camping, the weather at night can drop to as low as 30-40 degree. So make sure that you bring enough blanket or extra jacket. I found that one of those snuggi blanket that you saw on TV is really great. It helps keep the blanket on the kids throughout the night.
At camp, you will be doing a lot of sitting around and enjoy the company of each other and nature. So a camp chair is a must.
There are many items that you can bring with you to camp especially if you just do normal camping that you don’t have to carry all your stuff to the camp sites. These are just essential items that we know we will need on our trip.
What are your essential camping items?