Save your sanity by using this camping checklist & planner

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Bringing the family camping can be such a fun and rewarding adventure.  But, more times than not, just the idea of all this planning and organizing, the time it takes to pack, can be enough to keep too many families from even trying.

Take away some of the hassle and stress of family camping by grabbing this camping checklist you can refer back to during the planning, packing, and organizing of your trip.

images of printable camping checklists and planners


Why is packing so hard?

Just for once, you want to finish your family camping packing feeling excited and eager for the trip… not resentful and full of worry that you’ve forgotten too many things!

Just for once, you want to spend less days packing than you’ll actually spend at the campground!

Just for once, you want the whole family to help you organize and pack and be assured that everyone has what they need without you having to double check everything!


Using a camping checklist:

The single most helpful thing you can do to make family camping a little easier is to start using a camping packing checklist.

Whether you grab this one or make one up yourself, make sure it has all the camping essentials listed.  Then, use it!  Don’t just leave it on the counter as a suggestion or something to casually refer to.

If you want to actually feel in control of your planning your trip, get out a pen and start writing on that list…. and make more lists as you go.


So for example, you might have your packing list which includes all your gear.  Then, as you go along and start packing, you might realize you need to pick up items at the store or borrow them from your neighbor.  Now, you have 2 lists going:  your ‘packing list’ and your ‘need to pick up list’.

But, don’t stop there.  You also need to think of food.

using bags and tubs to pack for a family camping trip


The easiest way to plan and organize food is to create a meal plan for each day.  You don’t have to stick to this while you’re camping.  But you’ll have a better chance of packing the right amount of food if you have a general idea of what you’ll eat and when you’ll eat it.

Therefor, before you start packing food you’ll want to have a completed meal plan with a detailed list of foods, drinks, and snacks for each day.  Now, go through each item and either pack those foods or if you need to pick them up at the store, add them to your ‘need to pick up list’.


a camping meal plan penciled on a ruled sheet of paper
A camping meal plan I used to help plan and pack our camping foods


Sure, this can get a little overwhelming.  But, believe me, after years of planning (and being overly-stressed) over too many camping trips, this is system I use and it is a tremendous help!

Are you ready to skip the overwhelm of planning and packing for your family camping trips?

Download this family camping checklist and start getting some control over the whole process!


image of printable camping checklist and planner pages


Want to hear a little more about these camping checklists?

These checklists have been made with simple camping in mind.  These lists are the ones we use.  They are complete with the camping essentials, and don’t go overboard with all the camping extras.

Why not?  Because simpler camping means less planning, quicker packing, less gear, and more fun (since you asked).  Kids will enjoy camping just as much if you leave all the extra toys and clothes at home.  They don’t care about fancy campfire meals or uber trendy camping gadgets.

Do make sure you’re bringing all the items you’ll need to keep yourself happy and comfortable (you don’t need to deprive yourself), but you also can likely manage the weekend of camping without your sandwich maker and inflatable couch!  Remember, the less you pack, the easier the planning and packing will be.

Here’s a whole post if you want to read more about simple family camping and packing?

On these printable lists you’ll find all the camping essentials for sleeping, shelter, cooking, safety, and personal stuff.

As a bonus you’ll also get some meal planning sheets, some camping shopping lists, and the Happy Camper Packing Lists for your little campers to take responsibility of their own items.  Sure, you might want to do a quick double-check, but for the most part you can let them pack their own stuff and feel a little more confident with delegating that task.

a kids camping checklist to help them pack their own clothes and items
A laminated copy of the kids camping checklist to reuse with whiteboard markers


What should you do now?

  1. Subscribe to the Take Them Outside Newsletter and get access to all the goodies in the Printables Resource Library including the fantastic camping checklists discussed above.
  2. Print them out and use them to plan and pack for your next camping trip!


Other camping posts you’ll want to read:

image of printable camping checklist and planners

images of printable camping packing list and meal planner


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