Organising a family camp trip

by Andy Youings June 10, 2017

Organising a family camp trip

As we enter the last half of the school summer term, many of us are starting to fill our summer diaries with family trips such as camping. And like many family outings, preparing for a camping trip can be a hectic business. And because the UK climate isn’t always predictable, there’s a chance you’ll encounter several seasons of weather, too!

As with all things in life, good planning is the key to making things stress-free. So with some organisation you can ensure that you don’t need to take the entire house with you. Here’s our top tips for using a journal or notebook to plan your next family adventure under canvas.

Make a list!

Firstly, use a section of your journal to prioritise what you really need to take (like the tent). Once you’ve listed all the essentials that you can fit in the car, add additional items to fill any remaining space. To get started, here’s our list of camping essentials not to forget:

  • Spare loo roll (because let’s be honest, we can’t always rely on campsite loos to be well-stocked!)
  • The tent – always go for a larger option than the number of people it can sleep.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Tent pegs (lots of them) and a mallet.
  • Tent repair kit.
  • More than one torch and spare batteries.
  • Sleeping mats or airbeds (don’t forget a pump).
  • Bin bags.
  • Camping chairs or extra blankets to sit on (tents can be stuffy when the weather is warm so you’ll want somewhere to socialise outside).
  • Entertainment for the children - you don’t need to take the whole toy boy, perhaps pick the most played with toys or arts and crafts activities that won’t take up too much room but will keep them occupied.
  • Clothing - you will want to take spare clothes but think about what takes up the most room.
  • Water and food supplies – we’ll come back to this in a moment.

It’s also a good idea to create a list of things you mustn’t forget before you leave, such as tickets, directions and something to keep the children busy on the journey.


Food and drink

It may also be useful to use a section of your journal to plan meals, when are you going to eat out and create the shopping list of food you need to take with you. If you are heading to a family campsite you may have a bit more flexibility, but food and drink at standard campsites isn’t always available so it pays to plan ahead. You could also research local pubs and other places to eat before you leave home and make a note of venue names and addresses.


Prevent camping chaos

If it’s your first camping trip of the year, it’s likely that everything is still stored at the back of the garage. We advise getting everything out before you leave and check it’s in working order and ready to go when you arrive at the site. It’s also worth putting the tent up before you set off to check it’s free from holes, doesn’t have any missing pegs and let the air circulate after a long winter packed away. It’s also wise to do the same with any blow-up beds you take; no one likes waking up in the morning on solid floor! Check for punctures before you arrive.


Consider a family festival

For the best of entertainment and camping why not consider a family festival? Many offer all kind of activities you and the kids can take part in. From classics like face-painting and fancy dress to talent shows and live performances from kids TV favourites. Why not use the calendar section of your journal to make note of times and days, and which children are taking part in what activity!

If you haven’t yet booked your family summer adventure, here's great round-up of the best family festivals to look out for across the UK this summer (via The Guardian). 


With a little bit of organisation, camping can be a wonderful experience for the young ones as well as the chance to take a bit of a break yourself. We hope you all have fantastic travels this summer, wherever you choose to go. Oh, and don’t forget the children!

Andy Youings
Andy Youings


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