Family Camping Checklist

Before you head out with the family for that epic camping trip, make sure you have these items on your packing list.
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family, camping, tent, lake

Photo by: Gary John Norman/Taxi/Getty Images

Gary John Norman/Taxi/Getty Images

Before you head out with the family for that epic camping trip, make sure you have these items on your packing list.

1. Sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hats. Kids’ skin is very sensitive to the sun, and keeping them covered constantly is the best plan.

2. A warm winter hat for chilly mornings and evenings.

3. Headlamps are useful on any trip, and kids love to have their own.

4. Snacks. When children are exerting themselves outdoors, they’ll need more than breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks packed for each day. We create a daily snack bag for our boys and allow them to choose something from it every hour.

5. Wind and rain layers. Always carry them, no matter what the climate.

6. Pedometers. They’re a great way to encourage walking. Both our boys recorded the steps they took on our multiday treks. Just make sure to attach a tiny string as a tether from the pedometers to their belts, as they slip off young kids easily.

Once you’re all packed and on the road, keep these important tips in mind.

- Always be ready to alter plans based on weather and health. Don’t get tied to the schedule you set from the comfort of home. If things are going well, press on. If the kids need a break, stop.

- Work downtime into every day. Adults can hike from breakfast to dinner, but not kids. They need big chunks of time to explore beaches, play with pine needles and watch ants crawling across blades of grass. Throwing rocks into water is also crucial. Plan that time into each day. Avoid turning the journey into a sufferfest!

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