Most families have been camping together at one time or another. For some it was a first and last time. Not everyone enjoys the outdoors. But for those families that do take to the natural world of camping they tend to find every opportunity to get outdoors again. Holiday seasons are particularly popular times for family camping trips. The ease of making arrangements while school is out and the range of activities on offer from Park Rangers is inviting. The key to any family camping adventure is to make sure you have all the necessary equipment to enjoy all weather conditions and to be comfortable away from home.
Of course the most essential part of any camping equipment inventory is a tent. There are tents to suit every family, as well as single person or twin hiking domes. Depending on the size of your family and your tent you could find a tent that one person could carry while hiking. Alternatively you could find a secure structure that you could leave up while you spend the day exploring the trails. Large family tents commonly have two rooms that both open onto a corridor down the center. This in turn has two openings at either side. The advantages of corridor tents is that they avoid letting dirt and sand into the sleeping quarters. There are other, slightly smaller tents, with only one room that have an entry ‘foyer’ where you can come in and take off your shoes comfortably before going into the main sleeping areas.
Apart from a tent you’ll also need some warm sleeping bags that are going to stay dry in any weather. Because of the advances in technology most sleeping bags easily fit the bill. Unless you are planning a snow camping expedition a standard sleeping bag should be sufficient. Also, make sure you have good quality packs for hiking, a quality cooking stove and utensils, a tarpaulin to create shade and possibly a fold-out table and chairs. It is also advisable to invest in a fully stocked first aid kit. Because you are going to be away from emergency services it’s essential to make sure you can respond to any injuries with first aid. Finally, it’s advisable to have some old towels, fuel, ropes, torches and a radio.
Unfortunately, camping equipment can be an expensive investment, particularly for families on a tight budget. In my experience if you want to build up a good supply of quality equipment (it’s always best to buy something that will stand the test of time rather than save money and run into maintenance or replacement problems later on) you should discuss as a family the idea of each member of the family devoting their gift giving and receiving to building up a camping inventory for 24 months. Everyone can buy some things and contribute this way and with Sear’s coupons and several stock-take sales during this time you’ll have a great supply of equipment in no time.Share This