Camping With Kids: What to Bring on Fall Family Camping Trip

Fall Family Camping
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

Camping With Kids Family Tent

Family Tent:

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.

Sleeping Bag:

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.

Sleeping Pad:

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.

Camping Stove:

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.

Extra Blanket:

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.

Outdoor Chairs:

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?

About Amy Querido

Amy is the owner & author of The Q Family Adventures Travel blog, family blog chronicles her family trips, tips and tricks. She hopes to inspire family to travel with kids one adventure at a time. Connect with Amy on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I’ve never been camping with the kids, but I’d love to try it. Thanks for this great list!

  2. We’ve just bought a caravan, camping in the UK is just too cold and wet:(

    • I bet! We have never done camping in bad weather before. It’s also hard to convince my husband that camping is fun so we eased in with perfect weather. Hope you can get good weather in the UK to camp soon.

  3. Some great, basic, camping tips here. Got to say I haven’t been camping in a while, but just reading this made me want to get back out there.

  4. I’ve never been camping with our kids either! I’m so scared of mosquitoes! LOL! Anyway, we are awaiting the birth of baby no.3 (due in Jan.), so no camping for me!

  5. Great article. Too cold here right now. How many months until Summer?

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  1. […] October, we had our first fall family camping trip with a group of our friends at Redtop Mountain Park. It was beautiful even though a bit too […]

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