Easter Family Camping Guide
Easter is a perfect time to spend time with the family and where better to do it than camping under the stars in the great outdoors? If you’re thinking about getting your family together for an Easter camping trip, we’ve put together a handy guide that covers everything you need to consider before you head out into the wild. From the ultimate camping checklist to delicious recipes that you can cook from your very own camping kitchen, it’s time to give little explorers the adventure of a lifetime as you get back to nature.
Family Camping Checklist
There’s nothing worse than getting out to your pitch and realising that you’ve forgotten to pack one of your camping essentials, which is why we’ve included a checklist to make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you hit the road.
- ❏ Tent – plus poles, stakes and ground sheet.
- ❏ Sleeping bag – per camper
- ❏ Sleeping mat – per camper
- ❏ Repair kit
- ❏ Pillows
- ❏ Blankets
- ❏ Camping chairs
- ❏ Torch/Headlamp – plus batteries!
- ❏ Lantern
- ❏ Stove + Fuel
- ❏ Matches/Lighter
- ❏ Firewood
- ❏ Pots and pans
- ❏ Corkscrew
- ❏ Can opener
- ❏ Wooden skewers (perfect for toasting marshmallows!)
- ❏ Storage containers
- ❏ Bin bags
- ❏ Cooler
- ❏ Water bottles/carriers
- ❏ Plastic crockery
- ❏ Cutlery
- ❏ Cups
- ❏ Plastic glasses
- ❏ Cooking utensils
- ❏ Chopping board
- ❏ Foil
- ❏ Paper towels
- ❏ Suncream
- ❏ Insect repellant
- ❏ First-aid kit
- ❏ Prescription medications
- ❏ Soap
- ❏ Washroom toiletries
- ❏ Daytime clothes
- ❏ Pyjamas
- ❏ Swimwear
- ❏ Waterproofs
- ❏ Extra warm layers
- ❏ Gloves
- ❏ Hat
- ❏ Walking shoes
- ❏ Trainers
- ❏ Flip Flops
What tent will I need?
If you don’t already have a tent, or you’re planning on upgrading yours before your Easter trip, make sure you find one that’s suitable for all the family. Tent sizes (2 man, 3 man etc) relate to how many people you can fit into the tent without any luggage, so unless you’re planning to travel very light – it’s best to go for more than you need! For family camping we advise dividing the stated number of occupants by two, this should give you a realistic idea of how many people will comfortably fit in your tent alongside your required in-tent luggage. So for a family of four, you should look at getting at least a 6 man tent. Camping is definitely a ‘close quarters’ holiday so you don’t want to add any further stress by having your family cramped into a small space.
The Big Agnes 6 man deluxe tent is a great choice for families, with plenty of inner storage compartments to help you organise your belongings.
You might be tempted to go for an extra large tent to house your family during your trip. Although this is a good idea if you’re planning on camping for longer than just a weekend, there are downsides to choosing these larger structures. Firstly, some campsites (especially busier ones or festival sites) will limit the size of tents by capacity, this is to ensure there’s fair allocation across the campsite. Large tents can also be very heavy to carry, something to consider if you’re having to transport the tent to and from your car.
If your little ones are a bit older, separate tents are a great idea. A smaller tent pitched next to the adult tent will give them that extra responsibility and you that extra bit of privacy during your break! Speak to your children about tent security and not wandering off alone and let them enjoy having their very own tent to look after.
What type of sleeping bag will I need?
Once you’ve picked the right tent, the next thing to consider is the type of sleeping bag you will need to ensure your family gets a cosy nights sleep. Choosing a sleeping bag isn’t as easy as just picking one off the shelf, you need to ensure that it’s suitable for the time of year that you’re travelling and for the person sleeping in it!
The two most popular types of sleeping bag are the square and the mummy shape, a square sleeping bag allows room at the bottom if you don’t like your feet to be constricted whereas a mummy sleeping bag tapers at the bottom to help keep warm air inside. You can also double up in a double size sleeping bag.
Weight is another considering for family campers, if you’re hoping to travel light you should look for lightweight sleeping bags that are easy to transport. This doesn’t matter as much if you’re simply transporting equipment from the car however if you’re walking with sleeping bags attached to rucksacks – every gram counts!
Sleeping bag ratings
The time of year you’re camping impacts the type of sleeping bag that you will need. At World Backpacker we’ve given our sleeping bags appropriate ratings depending on the temperatures that they’re best suited for. When searching for your sleeping bag you can filter by the following;
Comfort Limit: Above 5+
Comfort Limit: +5C to 0C
Comfort Limit: 0C to -5C
Comfort Limit: -5C to -10C
Comfort Limit:-10C to -20C
Comfort Limit: Below -20C
Types of filler
There are two main types of sleeping bag fillers, down and synthetic material.
Just like down jackets, sleeping bags are often filled with down, a very effective insulation that will keep you warm even in extreme temperatures. As down sleeping bags can be very warm, they’re not always needed for summer camping trips unless you’re very sensitive to the cold.
Sleeping bags filled with synthetic material are more common and often cheaper than their down counterparts. Using synthetic insulation to keep cold air from reaching the body, these bags retain temperature even when damp and can be used in varying conditions depending on the rating of the sleeping bag.
Another great addition to any camping kit is a sleeping mat. These mats are placed underneath the sleeping bag for that extra barrier between your body and the ground below. There are several types of mats available depending on what you need as a family. The most common is the basic roll-mat, a roll of foam that will make all the difference under your sleeping bag. If you prefer a little more elevation from the ground, a self-inflating mat is a great choice. Brands such as Thermarest create sturdy self-inflating mats that take minimal effort to set up, a great choice for that added layer of comfort. If you’re looking to mimic the feel of your own bed while camping, airbeds are a fantastic family choice. Available in single or double sizes, these beds need to be inflated either by hand or with an electric pump. If you’re looking to travel light, these can be quite bulky so consider this when creating your packing list.
What are the best things to cook when camping?
The trick to a great camping menu is preparation! If you prepare your meals early, you can simply enjoy the ease of heaving to cook your meal when the time comes. We advise writing a list of all the meals you will need to cater for during your camping trip, taking into account any meals where you will be eating out and the inevitable snacks and treats for the little ones during your stay.
Here are some of our favourite camping recipes to give you a little extra inspiration for your Easter break. Chop the veg and any grains you need and place in storage containers before you set off, meat and also be marinated in advance ready to cook when needed.
Along with the usual cooler box filled with burgers, sausages and other BBQ goodies, no camping menu is complete without plenty of roasted marshmallows, get those skewers at the ready!
How do we keep the kids occupied?
There comes a time on any camping trip when you hear those dreaded words…
If your kids are used to having their devices at hand or computer games to play on with their friends, getting back to nature can be a shock. Of course, you can always pack the iPads and portable DVD players, but there are other ways to ensure they love their time away in the tent. We recommend packing a selection of board games, card games and activity sets that they don’t know about – that way you can break out a new activity each time they complain that they’re bored and there’s no risk of them already having played it!
Outdoor activities such as swingball, rounders and football are great for tiring out little ones before they retire to the tent, or why not join the world’s largest treasure hunt with a Geocaching adventure?
Help! It’s raining!
Let’s face it, any holiday in the UK comes with a chance of rain. If it does start to pour down you have two choices, either head back to the tent and wait for it to pass, or throw on the waterproofs and make the most of the outdoors. With the right waterproof jacket and down jackets you can still enjoy everything that your surroundings have to offer and it’s a great way to really get stuck into your outdoor adventure.
Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothing!
If you haven’t decided where to spend your Easter break, why not take a look at the National Trust: Top Places in the UK to Camp list?