Free Printable ★ What to Pack when Camping with Children (UPDATED)

March 17, 2014 by flyingdrunkenmonkey

Camping packing list - The Flying Drunken Monkey

We’ve been camping three times as a family now.

The first year we went to a caravan and camping park with a powered site, amenities and a playground. Lily was almost 2 years old.

The second year we went as a family to Green Patch Camping Grounds, with an unpowered site, basic amenities and close to the beach. Lily had just turned 3 years old.

This year we went back to Green Patch Camping Grounds with Mr Monkey’s family. Again we had an unpowered site, basic amenities and close to the beach. This time we had extra babysitters and entertainment! Lily had just turned 4 years old and we also had Chloe who was 9 months old.

I’ve updated our camping packing list again as there were a few things we had forgotten last year. The packing list was especially helpful this year – Mr Monkey was working right up until the day we left so I had to pack everything myself. My parents took Lily for me for a few days before and I only had Chloe. However, Chloe is not a very good packer and thought it was a great game to pull out everything as I packed it. Plus, with my recent anxiety disorder issues I very easily felt overwhelmed by it all. Having the packing list printed and on our kitchen bench helped me to stay on track and meant I didn’t forget anything.

This year it rained a few days and nights while we were away, including as we were setting up and packing up the camp site. Having extra shelter made it all much more bearable, as well as ensuring we had activities and toys for the girls.

There were a few things we were very grateful we packed this year:

Extra shelter – We had a tarp, with poles that we set up in the middle of our camp site. We then set up our camp kitchen and table and chairs underneath it. This was great for the times it rained as we were able to stay dry but weren’t contained to the tent. Once the rain stopped and the ground had dried we put down a alphabet mat with Chloe’s toys as well.

Camp kitchen – Mr Monkey was gifted a camp kitchen from his parents last Christmas. It is a basic set up with a small pantry, a small preparation section and a section to put our gas BBQ with wind protection around the sides. This was great as it left our table free for eating from and we were able to store the dishes in the pantry.

Extra towels – Last year we only took one beach towel and one bath towel each. We ran in to issues when they were left out in the rain one night and when they got dirty. This time I made sure we each had 2 beach towels and 2 bath towels. This meant we had no issues and it was also super helpful when we were packing up as it had rained and everything was wet.

Toys & Activities – I packed up one of our big toy tubs from home with toys for Chloe – plastic ones that would entertain her but I wouldn’t mind if they got dirty or broken. Lily had a “book bag” which had colouring books and her LeapReader and books. She also had a wagon full of beach toys, a skateboard and her bike. We took along some bubbles, a water pistol and Uncle Steve found a frisbee. She also had a lot of fun by herself, playing with sticks and jumping between logs.

Trailer – This probably made the biggest difference to our trip this year. Last year we struggled to fit everything in the car and this year we had Chloe as well so we knew we’d have to find a different solution this year. My parents had a trailer that they were trying to sell. Thankfully, for us, they hadn’t sold it before our trip. It was a box trailer with two lockable doors and gave us more than enough storage. We were able to take some things for others and we were able to comfortably store all of our things. When we arrived and set everything up we were able to have the trailer to the side of the tarp area and had the esky at one door and the food storage at the other. Super helpful!

We didn’t forget a lot of things this year, we seem to have almost gotten it down pat!

Our lamp broke sometime before our trip so we need to replace that. Our hard egg holder was accidently left at home and that would have been helpful. I also forgot to pack a bag to carry things to the beach and it would’ve been nice to have a bag to carry our clothes to the showers.

Next year we are talking about going back to a caravan park for our trip. It was nice to go more “bush” but while the girls are young I think we need to go somewhere with a playground and perhaps even a kids club for Lily.

The spreadsheet is available to download for free below (you’ll need Microsoft Excel) and I’d love to hear what you think of it if you download it. It’s a very general list and might not be entirely suitable for your needs but there is room to add things and you are also able to delete things. Let me know if there is anything important missing!

Camping Packing List - The Flying Drunken Monkey

Click HERE or the image above to download my updated Camping Packing List Printable

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