Our Top Ten Family Camping Essentials

Whether you’re family camping experts, or you’re camping with kids for the first time this season, camping can be a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family. But like any outdoor activity, it’s important to be prepared for all conditions – after all, summer doesn’t always behave, 

Your gear list will vary depending on where you’re going, who you’re going with and how long for – but we’ve got your essentials covered with this list of our best family camping gear. We’ve been taking our families camping for decades, so we’ve done the hard work, trial and error and gear testing for you – so you can focus on planning the fun stuff – after all, that’s what family camping is all about!

Our Family Camping Top Ten Essentials:

  1. Good Quality Camping Tent
  2. Cosy Synthetic or Down Sleeping Bags
  3. Comfy Sleeping Mats
  4. Kids Pepe Fleece Pullovers
  5. Adults Tui Fleece
  6. Rain Jackets – just in case!
  7. Head Torches or Lamps
  8. Versatile Base Layers
  9. Mini Lantern
  10. Camping Cook Set

1. Good Quality Camping Tent

Your tent is the most important piece of gear that you’ve just go to get right before you head off for your family camping adventures. Look for quality materials, weather resistance and a sturdy construction – your tent is your home away from home, so it needs to withstand whatever the elements throw at you. We stock a range of tents engineered specifically for camping in New Zealand and Australia’s changeable climates. For a summer camping tent, the Wanaka is an excellent choice. The Wanaka is highly stable and has ample height and dividable floor space. This freestanding tent is also easy to put up with its SwiftPitch™ feature meaning it can be pitched with or without the fly.

Alternatives:

2. Cosy Synthetic or Down Sleeping Bags

When you’re camping with small children, never underestimate the importance of a sleeping bag they’ll be excited to snuggle into. It’s worth investing in comfortable, quality sleeping bags – not only will they last you a long time, but they’ll also ensure your little adventurers are well rested for another day of exploring. We make sleeping bags for family camping in every season using premium synthetic insulation, as well as nature’s most efficient insulator – down. Our Escapade range is available in several weights – ranging from lightweight to extra warm. Our Roam range includes options for both adults and kids and is filled with polyester insulation to keep you comfy throughout the night. If you can, head into store to see our friendly team, and they’ll help you select the right sleeping bags for your family’s adventures.

Alternatives:

3. Comfy Sleeping Mats

Sleeping in a tent without a mat underneath can be cold and uncomfortable – solve both of these issues instantly with an Insulated Air Core Mat. This inflatable mat is filled with PrimaLoft Eco Insulation and utilises infrared reflective technology to reduce body heat loss through surface contact. Each mat comes with its own repair kit and stuff sac for easy storage.

Our Picks:

  • Standard Lite Mat 3.8 – mummy shaped foam sleeping mat with anti-fungal treatment and anodised aluminium valve.
  • Foam EVA Mat – lightweight, durable and comfy foam mat to keep cold and dampness away from your body.

4. Kids Pepe Fleece Pullovers

The Pepe Fleece Pullover is a must-have item for on-the-go little adventurers year-round. Made from lightweight Polartec® Micro Fleece, the Pepe Fleece makes a cosy mid-layer or lightweight outer layer, delivering the versatility you need when you’re packing light. From exploring the playground, to family camping, the Pepe Fleece will quickly become a favourite due to its lightweight and soft feel. It features an adjustable hem to regulate temperature and is available in hoody and pullover styles.

Alternatives:

5. Adults Tui Fleeces

While the smaller members of the family are zooming around the campsite in their Pepe Fleece’s, the Tui Fleece will keep the more experienced campers comfy throughout the day. Made from Polartec® Micro Fleece using recycled bottle content, the Tui is incredibly versatile, delivering comfort and function wherever your family camping adventures may take you. Available in a range of colours and styles.

Our Picks:

6. Rain Jackets – just in case!

We all know how good summer can be – but we also know that this season is prone to changeable conditions. But don’t let the rain hold you back from venturing out of your tent – it’s all part of the fun when you’re taking the family camping! Tents can quickly become crowded, though – so the last thing you want is bulky rain jackets everywhere. Consider a packable option – our Pack-It-Jackets offer good protection from the rain on shorter adventures, and fold away into their own pockets until you need them. Plus, they’re available in kids and adults sizes in a range of colours and designs. Another lightweight and versatile option is the Dispatch Jacket. Made from Reflex™ 100% Nylon Diamond Ripstop fabric with a waterproof PU membrane, the Dispatch will have no trouble keeping the rain out on short family day trips.
The Pack-It range now also includes Pack-It-Pants for those kids that love playing in the local streams or rockpools.

Our Picks:

7. Head Torches

When the kids just aren’t done exploring but the sun is starting to set, make sure you’ve got either a head torch or a flashlight handy so the family camping adventures can continue! Not only will a head torch help them get around without falling over any obstacles, but they’re also a fun way to explore the environment in a different light.

Our Recommendations:

  • Optic Torch is a water resistant, impact resistant torch made with aircraft aluminium.
  • Flame Headtorch – adjustable and durable, our most popular headtorch.

8. Versatile Base Layers

Geothermals: Available in both adults and kids styles, Geothermal tops and pants are perfect for keeping even the smallest of adventurers warm and comfy! Excellent as base layers, they feel soft on skin and effectively and efficiently manage moisture to regulate temperature in a range of environments – perfect for family camping trips. Their construction means they are also lightweight, durable, and easy to care for.

Merino: As an alternative, try out merino base layers – they’re super soft and merino’s natural temperature regulating properties will keep the whole family comfy in a range of temperatures. Plus, merino is naturally anti odour, meaning you can wear them for longer – perfect for family camping trips over a few days.

Our Picks:

9. Mini Lantern

This Mini Lantern is great for family camping – or for use at home. It relies on a high-power LED as its light source, and features three brightness settings that can be adjusted to suit light levels. It’s easy to charge, with a Micro USB 5V charging port and micro USB charging cable – if you have a USB port in your car, you can even charge it while you’re driving to the campsite!

It also features several handy accessories, including a lamp shade, tilt feature, magnet attachment, and hanging hook. Once darkness falls on your campsite, just whip this out of your bag and you’re ready to continue with some quality family time during the evening.

10. Camping Cook Set

Just like your real home, your home away from home can be equipped for all you need to prepare quality food on family camping trips. This seven piece Camping Cook Set contains a range of pots and pans made from quality anodized aluminium and comfortable silicone coated handles. All you need is a stove and utensils – and we can help with those too!

Also useful:

  • 6 Piece Cutlery Set –  The crockery set is made with lightweight polycarbonate for rough and tumble dinners.

Most importantly – have fun this summer! It’s the best time of year for family camping adventures. For more gear ideas, check out our website.