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Our Family Camping Things Checklist

Its all about finding the right camping gear for the job, at a price that’s affordable.

We love wild camping, and we believe that we’ve built up a Family Camping Things Checklist for accompanying you on your jaunts into the wilderness of the UK, USA and beyond.

Heading off on a wild camping trip means you’ll be roughing it a bit more than you would be at a standard, regulated campsite. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to give up all of your gadgets and outdoor essentials. The best things are just there to make your outdoor experience that little bit more comfortable, that little bit safer and more enjoyable.

Here are our family camping things checklist we’ve picked the right camping gear to help make your wild camping and trekking trips more enjoyable, more safe and more memorable.

Burners and stoves for family camping

The Leave No Trace initiative means that you should do all you can to minimise the impact your stay has on the surrounding environment. That means absolutely not burning the ground you’re staying on by lighting fires there, and taking all rubbish with you when you leave.

When it comes to cooking and heating, there’s no better option in our opinion, than a quality biomass burner. We love the BioLite range of burners, because they burn natural fuel cleanly, and come with an energy cell on the side, which turns wood energy into electricity for charging phones and lights.

Check out our full review of the Top 5 BioLite Camping Stoves and Burners.

family camping things checklist best BioLite CampStove top 5 cooker

The Original BioLite CampStove

Weighing in at just under a kilo, the BioLite CampStove is the most portable, powerful bio-burner around, and it comes with an attached energy cell for turning wood energy into electricity.

Simply drop wood leaves and other biofuels into the stove and use the heat to cook with, while the energy produced charges the USB-connected cell on the side. Great for charging phones and lights. Definitely recommended for wild camping.

Lixada Mini Ultra-Light Portable Spirit Burner Stove

If you’re in the market for a portable alcohol burning stove, the Lixada isn’t only one of the best, most affordable options, it’s also one of the most attractive. The elegant stacking design keeps everything sturdy and compact. This stove runs on alcohol fuel, and if you don’t use it all at once, simply cover with the included screw-top sealing cover. Durable, attractive, super packable and available in four different colours, for the fashion-forward camping chef.

Top rated camping gear: Best bike tents

It should also go without saying that a decent tent is essential when it comes to wild camping. We’ve reviewed some of our favourite extreme tents here, but let’s just recap what you’re looking for an extreme tent for wild camping:

  • Windproof — Wild camping doesn’t offer the same protection as a regulated campsite when it comes to the elements, so make sure your tent is windproof.
  • Ground sheet — You might be pitching on wet or uneven ground, so make sure your tent comes with a groundsheet. An attached one is better because it seals out the elements better.
  • Low-slung — Most extreme tents are low and pointed, this helps them to cut through the wind better and avoids them and you being blown away atop a mountain.
  • Discreet — Safety is one thing, and if you’re way up high in the mountains or somewhere dangerous, then a brightly coloured tent is a good idea. If you’re just roughing it on a known trail, however, something less distracting is probably your best bet.
family camping things checklist Top 5 Best BIKE tents camping things for mountain biking Tucuman Adventure Bike and Motorcycle Tent for cycle holidays

Our Family Camping Things Checklist recommends: Tucuman Adventure Bike and Motorcycle Tent

Thermo-sealed seams and double mosquito net interior to help keep pesky critters out. High-grade ventilation and extremely wind and waterproof.  We’re pretty sure this baby has been wind tunnel tested, and it’s no joke. Probably not the best for way up Everest, but for wild camping, the Tucuman is perfect.

Check out our full article on choosing the right tent: Family Camping Things Checklist Bike Tent Guide

Lights and lanterns for family camping

You don’t need a lot of space to carry around a decent lantern. Most of our picks at Family Camping Things Checklist are LED lights, and many are solar powered, making them perfect for carrying with you during the day, for lighting the campsite at night.

family camping things checklist taotronics camping light for hiking light for trekking best lantern for 2 man tent lighting top 5 flashlights for campsite

Our favourite tent and solar-powered lights: TaoTronics Collapsible LED Lantern

The Lumena really is the real deal when it comes to hanging tent lights. Tried and tested for use in extreme conditions, the LG LED lights are up to 10 times more efficient and up to 100 times more long-lasting than standard LEDs. Made from a lightweight and strong zinc alloy, the Lumena is also screwless, making it less prone to coming apart on long journeys (shock and vibration-proof.)

A moveable handle on the Lumena allows it to be positioned at any angle, and the light it gives off is crisp and even. Supplied with a hanging hook, and features a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery.

BioLite Nanogrid Lighting and Charger

For wild camping, there’s nothing better than the BioLite Nanogrid. Connect multiple devices, charge and power phones and other lights, all from solar energy. Burns no fuel, and is safe and light enough to carry around all day long.

The BioLite’s SiteLight system has a 20 ft cable reach, so it’s perfect for arranging and lighting a small campsite.

Pathfinder Headlamp: The Pathfinder is a great and simple piece of kit, with three different modes (full power, power saver or strobe) which makes it perfect for navigation, and for attracting attention if you get into trouble.

It’s cheap, reliable (bright until 15% battery) and we highly recommend it. Read our complete guide on choosing the right Hiking and Trekking lights

One more thing…

If you’re heading out on a wild camping trip, you don’t want to be without the ultimate multi-tool, for fishing, preparing food and fixing stuff. We think we’ve found the best there is, and here it is.

family campig things checklist Leatherman Multi Tool knife with Leather Pouch best camping knife for trekking equipment to pack for hiking knives

If you’re in the market for a solid multi-tool that won’t let you down (and you should be if you’re wild camping) then the Leatherman CS is the only way forward.

Leatherman CS Multi-Tool: The Leatherman comes with a 25 year guarantee. How much more do you really need to know? What is it? It’s a multi-tool, including:

– Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
– 420HC Knife
– Tweezers
– Carabiner/Bottle Opener
– Nail File
– Spring-action scissors

Read our review on the best multi tools and knives for hiking and trekking

There’s plenty more you could take on your first trip in the real outdoors, but that’s a good start. Don’t forget to check out our family camping things checklist review of the best rucksacks and tents to find the camping gear that’s right for you. And have fun out there.

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