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50 Family Camping Hacks & Tips to Make Your Next Trip More Enjoyable

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

Camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. It can also be a lot of fun for the whole family. However, if you're not prepared, camping can also be quite challenging. That's why we've put together this list of 50 family camping hacks & tips. These tips will help make your next camping trip more enjoyable for everyone!

Because camping as a family may be both amusing and time-consuming, it's important to prepare beforehand. These 50 family camping hacks will assist you in making camping easier and more enjoyable. Using these camping ideas will allow you to have more fun while tent camping, vehicle camping, and general family camping. Please let us know what you think about this list:

1. Use glow sticks as nightlights


One of our camping kid hacks is to use glow sticks. Glow sticks are an excellent method to provide minimal light in your tent without being too bright. Hang just one or two of them in your tent and you'll have enough illumination to check if you need to get up at night.

2. Arrive before dark



If you're going to be camping in Yosemite, arrive at your site before dark. When attempting to set up a tent and other items in the dark, it becomes increasingly difficult. It's a good idea to schedule and arrive at least two hours before sunset. That should give you enough time to assemble your gear and get situated before nightfall.

3. Place dry firewood under your car or bring a tarp


It's a good idea to put dry firewood beneath your automobile so it won't get wet if it rains. There is nothing worse than waking up on a chilly morning and not having any dry firewood available to start a fire. Wood placed underneath your vehicle will ensure that it is always prepared to use for your next fire, even if you don't have a car bring a tarp with you that folds down nicely and minimizes packing space.

4. Use fans inside your tent

Heat can be a major issue when camping in the summer. A fantastic idea is to utilize a couple of tent fans. Using these fans might make a huge difference and make sleeping much more pleasurable. On Amazon, you'll discover lots of great tent fan options for reasonable prices.

5. For cold weather use a heater

When camping in cold weather, a small heater inside your tent before going to sleep and getting up is really beneficial. It makes it much easier to get children changed and into or out of their sleeping bags. Mr. Heater is probably the most popular choice, but there are several alternatives available on Amazon.

If you have access to electricity, a tiny space heater is very simple to operate. If you don't have access to electricity, a propane header like Mr. Heater Buddy may be used as a substitute. I avoid sleeping with the heater on since propane heaters produce carbon monoxide, but I do turn it on before we go to sleep and turn it off when we wake up in the morning.

6. Freeze gallons of water to use in your ice chest

Instead of buying a bag of ice to put in your cooler, make a gallon or two of water and place it in there. It will keep longer than a normal bag of ice, won't fill up your cooler with water when it melts, and after it has melted you'll have a gallon of drinking water. My wife always makes fun of me for this hack, but bags of ice can cost up to $5 a bag now... Kaching...

7. Use swimming noodles on the guy lines of your tent

No one wants to trip over the guy lines of the tent. Cut two swimming pool noodles into small pieces and put them over the guy lines. It will make it much simpler to see, less likely to fall over, and a very simple camping idea. You have no idea how many times I run into a tent rope on each camping trip this is a must do!!!

13. Lots of bug repellent

Mosquitoes and other insects can be a real pain to deal with. Make sure you bring enough bug and insect repellent for the duration of your journey. It's also not a bad idea to bring a few insect traps with you if you're going camping. The Thermacella Patio Shield is one excellent campsite alternative. This mosquito repellent lantern will keep your family safe from pesky mosquitoes while you enjoy the outdoors.

14. Bring a small mat or carpet for inside your tent

A little bit of comfort can go a long way when camping. If you bring along a tiny area rug or mat, it'll make sleeping in your tent much more comfortable. It also makes it easier to keep your tent clean.

15. Don't forget the first-aid kit

You should never go camping without a first-aid kit. It's always better to be safe than sorry, and you never know when someone might need it. Make sure your first-aid kit is fully stocked with all the essentials before heading out on your camping trip.

16. Do a trial run in your backyard

If you're new to camping or if you're trying out a new piece of gear, it's always a good idea to do a trial run in your backyard first. That way, if something goes wrong, you're not too far from home. Plus, it'll help you get a feel for what camping is really like.

17. Bring along some snacks

Even if you're planning on cooking all your meals while camping, it's always a good idea to bring along some snacks. Snacks are great for when you're feeling hungry but don't want to stop and cook a meal. Plus, they can come in handy if you're ever in a situation where you can't cook.

18. Bring along some entertainment

When you're camping, there's not always a lot to do. That's why it's important to bring along some entertainment. Books, games, and other forms of entertainment can help make the time pass by more quickly.

19. Bring sunscreen and use it

There's nothing worse than treating a sunburn in children. While on vacation, the kids will be out in the sun for most of the day. Sunblock should be used throughout the day to prevent sunburns and minimize the complaining that comes with them when you have one. It's very simple to use spray-on sunblock, and it will make your family happy campers.

20. Don't forget the camera

A camping trip is a great time to take lots of pictures. Whether you're taking pictures of the scenery or of your family, make sure you bring along a camera so you can capture all the memories.

21. Use a screened-in canopy as a play area

A screened-in canopy is ideal for toddlers, younger children, and infants as a play area. It will also keep the bugs at bay. When the kids aren't playing in them, it's a wonderful bug-free eating space. You may locate a lot of alternatives on Amazon, but our favorite is this one from Coleman.

22. Ensure you have extra blankets

Extra blankets are often useful. Whether it's cold and the kids need an extra layer to stay warm or you want to set out a picnic blanket, we always find a use for additional blankets. This camping tip may not seem like much of a big deal, but you'll be surprised at how often the added blankets come in handy.

23. Bring sidewalk chalk

If you'll be spending the night in a designated campground with sidewalks, chalk is an excellent thing to have on hand. Kids love to draw and color, so this is a fantastic toy to bring along when camping. It's better than just letting them sit there and do nothing while they draw on the ground with chalk, since it allows them to be creative and have fun.

24. Make sure you have a flashlight

A flashlight is an absolute must-have when camping. Whether you're going to be using it for walking around at night or for reading in your tent, you'll need a good flashlight. We recommend this one from Black Diamond because it's lightweight and has a long battery life.

25. Pre-cook as much food as you can

Camping cooking from scratch might be tough. Pre-cook as much food as possible before your trip and cook it over the campfire. There are several amazing recipes that make camping food preparation considerably easier. Try a few of them out and discover a few eateries that work for you, saving you time in the kitchen while camping.

26. DIY Camp shower

This is one of my favorite family camping hacks. You may build your own camp shower/washing station with this method. Use a 2-gallon sprayer with a kitchen sprayer connected for extra pressure. It's also possible to paint it flat black to capture solar heat and make it more energy-efficient. Rather than purchasing a real camping shower, this family camping hack is a more cost-effective solution that will do the job just as well.

27. Use a tarp to make a sunshade

If you don't have an umbrella or any other type of sunshade, you can easily make one using a tarp. Just stake the corners of the tarp into the ground and you've got instant shade. This is a great way to keep cool when it's hot outside.

28. Solar-powered string lights

A solar-powered string of lights is an excellent method to light up your campsite or tent at night. You won't have to worry about how you'll get electricity or additional batteries. There are several choices on Amazon, and they come in various lengths depending on the region you want to illuminate. This set of lights has worked well for us personally.

29. Use a laundry line

A family camping hack that we love is using a laundry line to dry our wet clothes. It's much more efficient than hanging them all over the campsite or in the trees. You can also use it to hang up your towels and bathing suits to dry in the sun.

30. Plan games and activities

Having a variety of games to play as a family is a fantastic approach to change up your routine and add some excitement to your camping trip. When the sun goes down and activities become more limited, a couple of board games or card games that your children enjoy playing are an excellent alternative. If it's going to rain, this is one of the greatest family camping hacks because it will help prevent cabin fever.

31. Keep your food in an ice chest

An ice chest is a must when camping to keep your food fresh. It's also great for storing drinks so that they stay cold. Even if you're only going to be gone for a day or two, an ice chest is always worth bringing along.

32. Bring a first-aid kit

You never know when someone might get hurt, so it's always a good idea to have a first-aid kit with you when camping. Make sure to pack Band-Aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and anything else you might need in case of an emergency.

33. Portable potty for really young kids

A kids portable potty is a wonderful item to have if you have little children who are still potty training or if they need to go to the toilet frequently. The greatest use for it will be in the evening right before going to sleep or in the middle of the night when your child just can't hold it any longer.

Having a tiny portable toilet for #1 needs is an excellent way to prevent your child from trekking through the woods in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I would strongly advise that this toilet be used just for #1 requirements. With #2 demands, you're out of luck; you'll have to go outdoors to the restroom. Also my wife would use this potty when the kids where young and she didn't want to take the trek outside at 2:30 in the morning to go to the bathroom.

34. Pack socks and underwear in Ziploc bags

When it comes to dampness, having dry socks and underwear will go a long way towards making everyone more comfortable. You'll be glad you have some dry socks and underwear if it rains heavily and your gear gets wet. If something goes wrong and the weather turns inclement, packing essential things like as socks and underclothes in Ziploc bags.

35. Suspend a tarp over the top of your tent

Adding a tarp over the top of your tent might help you in a variety of ways. If you're camping in hot weather, adding some shade directly above your tent will significantly decrease the temperature inside.

Another layer of protection against the elements is a must-have for every outdoor enthusiast. Additionally, if it does start to rain, having that extra layer of protection will keep all of your camping equipment dry. On Amazon, you'll find a variety of different sizes, so you can get the best fit for your needs. In addition, our post with the top family camping tents will give you some great options to consider.

Link here ............................ family tent post

36. Keep a rolling checklist

Make a list of everything you'll need for your next camping trip and save it. It's much simpler to begin with what you had on your previous trip and build or delete from it. It will aid in the prevention of omissions by keeping you aware that you need to pack a specific item. You'll find that this is one of the family camping hacks that will save you both time and money. I personally love to keep lists in my phone so that i never lost it. I have a google list that links to google so I will always have access to this runnning list.

37. Have an air horn on hand

An air horn is an excellent way to get everyone's attention when you need it. Whether someone is wandering off too far or you're just trying to gather everyone for dinner, an air horn is a great way to get the job done.

38. Get a headlamp for each family member

A headlamp is one of those things that you never realize how useful it is until you have one. From reading in your tent at night to going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, a headlamp is an essential piece of camping gear.

39. Pack binoculars and or a telescope

If you're looking for family camping hacks that will make your trip more enjoyable, packing binoculars is a great idea. Binoculars are perfect for wildlife watching and can also be used for stargazing at night.

40. Dryer lint inside used toilet paper rolls

Prepare some free firestarters from things you normally throw away to start a fire quickly. Fill used toilet paper rolls with dryer lint to make DIY firestarters that are easy to light and produce a great burn.

41. Bring solar stake lights

Taking children to the restroom in the middle of the night is never simple, but solar-powered stake lights can help. Use these stake lights to create a route to the bathroom so you don't have to worry about finding a flashlight in the middle of the night.

These stake lights are also a wonderful method to light your camping site at night. It's a fantastic way to create a perimeter around your campsite and tell your children they aren't allowed to go past the lights when it's dark.

42. Manage dirt with a handheld broom with dustpan

You will always wind up with a lot of dirt in your tent when camping with the family. Bring a tiny hand-held broom and dustpan to quickly clean up any dirt that may have been tracked in. You'll be shocked at how much grime finds its way into the tent on a daily basis.

43. Bring medicine for common ailments

Exacerbating the situation, our kids inevitably get sick at the most inconvenient of moments. Being prepared for a variety of illnesses will come in handy. We always have extra medicines on hand for the kids because colds, headaches, coughs, diarrhea, and upset tummies are the most frequent reasons for needing them.

44. Plastic storage bin bathtub

All kids get dirty but young children tend to get the dirtiest. They end up rolling around in the dirt and in some cases even trying to eat it. Keeping them reasonably clean can be a challenge. An easy solution for bathing is to simply bring along a plastic storage bin as a makeshift bathtub. It is portable, light, and inexpensive.


45. Pack snacks and drinks for the car

One of the family camping hacks that will save you both time and money is to pack snacks and drinks for the car. This will keep everyone from getting hangry on the drive to your campsite. It's also a great way to keep everyone hydrated during the hot summer months.

46. Invest in a family camping tent

When it comes to family camping, you need a tent that is big enough to accommodate everyone. You'll also want a tent that is comfortable and has all the features you need. If you're planning on doing any family camping, investing in a good quality tent is a must.

47. Bring along an inflatable mattress

Sleeping on the ground is not comfortable, no matter how much you try to convince yourself it is. An inflatable mattress is a must for family camping trips. It will make sleeping in your tent much more comfortable and can even be used as a couch during the day.


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