25 Do’s and Don’ts to Family Camping

  1. 25 Do's and Don'ts of Family CampingDo prepare ahead of time
  2. Do entertain thy children
  3. Do reserve your site in advance
  4. Don’t forget extra batteries
  5. Do leave a clean campsite
  6. Do prepare for rain
  7. Don’t bring firewood from different locations
  8. Don’t bring video games for the kids (or any other electronics)
  9. Don’t leave your garbage out at night
  10. Don’t set your car alarm
  11. Don’t ignore campground rules
  12. Do continue your kids’ bedtime routines
  13. Do respect your neighbors
  14. Don’t set your tent up in the dark
  15. Do bring a firestarter
  16. Do pack extra clothes for chilly nights
  17. Don’t pack using cardboard boxes
  18. Do pack using rubber bins (think rubbermaid)
  19. Do explore the surrounding areas
  20. Don’t forget the first aid kit
  21. Don’t let your kids run around other sites
  22. Don’t leave your campfire unattended
  23. Do eat lots of s’mores
  24. Do take lots of pictures
  25. Don’t forget to relax and have a great time

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41 Responses to 25 Do’s and Don’ts to Family Camping

  1. Debi
    Twitter:
    says:

    My favorite item has to be #8 — the hubby & I seem to be a couple of the final holdouts when it comes to NOT using electronics as a crutch when we travel. Great list!

  2. John Soares
    Twitter:
    says:

    Eric, this is a great list. Can you please explain number 7? Is it a concern with bringing tree/plant pests from other regions?

  3. Shirley Leonard says:

    My son, daughter-in-law and I are planning a trip, and your tips come perfectly timed for it. I won’t bring my laptop, but I know I’ll miss it a lot.

  4. Awesome list! I have to say I’ve had to do #14 before and it was MISERABLE. Plus it was so foggy that we could hardly see.
    Melissa (@adventuroo) recently posted..Guest Post- Kids and Gardening

  5. Eric says:

    Hi John, that’s a good question and you’re exactly right. We in the Northeast are having a big problem with firewood. Here’s a good site to reference http://www.dontmovefirewood.org

  6. Eric says:

    Debi
    Yeah. I have a hard time with that #8 myself if you include cell phones though I don’t count them as they are very useful in emergencies.

  7. Andy says:

    Hi Eric,
    Really good list, from experience I tend to emphasise not forgetting batteries a lot (and if you have a spare battery for your mobile make sure its charged, sealed in a waterproof bag and with you at all time (just as the mobile should be) – you can never predict when an emergency may occur.

  8. Mel
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’d add:
    Do be flexible
    Do what works

    We let our kids stay up late since it is so much more enjoyable than trying to get them to sleep together in a tent when it is light out. Plus, we get to sleep in a little (you know, until 7:30 or so!).

  9. Eric says:

    Melissa,
    Yep, we have pretty much all have done that at least once. It is pretty much the worst, especially if you haven’t set the tent up before.

  10. This is a great list. Wish when we used to do campgrounds that friends of mine listened to #11. We wouldnt’ be banned from half the campgrounds in the tri-state area.

  11. Guest says:

    I can handle #23 :) Excellent list!

  12. Guest says:

    Nice tips… The last tip makes complete sense :)

  13. Joseph says:

    Great list! Not a huge camper, but can see myself getting into it at some point soon.

  14. Love this list. It sure helps when you have children along to make sure you are prepared. I really like the idea of not having any electronic devices on the camping trip. Cell phone excluded for emergencies. Kids these days really need to have the time to explore and enjoy this beautiful planet!

  15. Jane says:

    This is a GREAT list – we let the kids bring their hand held game systems for the drive as it cuts way down on the “are we there yet” conversations…. but the rule is then they get turned off the entire time we are at our destination.

    Oh – and the S’mores item should be #1 on the list!! That is always practically the first item on my grocery list for preparation.

    Jane
    Jane recently posted..Nostalgic Candy Baskets updated Thu Jul 15 2010 4-19 pm CDT

  16. Kris says:

    Solid top 25 list. I only camp once per year so its good to have a check list.
    Kris recently posted..Wooden Folding Chairs

  17. Jackson says:

    Good tips for kids and adults, 25 points that everybody need to be aware of. Usually people gain experience when they face the problem, but it is always better to be prepared.
    Jackson recently posted..What are people saying about DRY-N-CLEAN

  18. Ivo Stoichev says:

    I have to say I’ve had biggest problems with #6 in my entire camping experience :) But anyway, good list, those are all things people should follow if they want a nice trip.

  19. Guest says:

    It’s also important to bring an ice cooler when you go camping; keeps the drinks and perishable snacks nice and cool. Flashlights and magazines are handy too. Personally I would also bring either my blackberry or a laptop since I cannot live without the net.

  20. Funkf00t says:

    11 sums it all up. If you don’t like the rules, stay out.

  21. Thank you for sharing this post… It would be a big help for me… I’m planning a surprise family camping this week end… Hope it will work… Thanks… Great Day…

  22. Tracy B says:

    This is a great list with many helpful ideas. It is apparent you are very respectful of others and the environment. Living in an extremely dry area (Northern California), I would ask if you *need* firewood. Families may still have wonderful camping experiences without campfires. I would add that if you do have a fire, always make sure it is extinguished entirely before leaving. As an idea for another source of entertainment and education: consider bringing a star chart and laser pointer.

  23. Eric says:

    Hi Tracy,
    Very good point. Fire safety is an absolute must everywhere and everyday, particularly during dry seasons.

  24. Guest says:

    Thanks for this post Eric! I really like the last don’t, the number 25: “don’t forget to relax and have a great time”, this one really reminds me to enjoy and have fun in our family camping.This is the time to unwind and get closer connection with your family.

  25. Wow, Obviously good post with impressive list. There are some points in list which are more important. Like: 01, 02, 06, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 25.

  26. Guest says:

    Hey, nice list! My favorites are #19 and #24. I do really love to explore new surroundings, that brings lots of adventures and excitement. Plus, I love to take pictures of the beautiful sights as my souvenir.

  27. Well..I really hope that our camp life experience will be easier by learning these tricks. I will definitely prefer all of these tips, so that I could relax doing what we like and resting our mind and body.

  28. Guest
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for the tips Eric. My family is planning to go out next month and these tips would be very helpful for our preparation. I will remember these and share to my family for them to be informed too. Hope we could enjoy our trip by following your tips.
    Guest recently posted..If you register your site for free at

  29. spiel says:

    The tips are very nice. Thank you for that. Before I go on holidays, I often try to make something like a “To-Do”List or a “Important things” list, but I never did it.
    So the next time I´ll take a look at your list :)

  30. Guest says:

    That is a long list, but a pretty useful one for me. I have been on so many outdoor trips bu always forget this or that thing. But I must confess, I prefer to stay in comfortable chalets whenever possible :D

  31. Guest says:

    Thanks Eric for the valuable post.It reminds me my vacation with my family.It was really a great vacation.Your list certainly matched my one however i haven’t written it but my wife forced me to follow them in the tour(Haha).SO i hope this will help others to have a great family tour.

  32. Michalska says:

    I live in a very hot place, so thanks for your list, but this year I’ll go camping in an air conditioned room!
    Michalska recently posted..Top 10 Charcoal Grills For Sale updated Thu Jul 29 2010 6-18 am CDT

  33. Dan says:

    If I am camping with my kids, Camping without Smores is not camping. It is our own way to enjoy the campfire. And It is the moment where I get my kids talking.

  34. jay says:

    #26 respect the enviroment. another great list. love camping in alberta
    jay recently posted..The Gun Shop About the gun shop

  35. If I am camping with my kids, Camping without Smores is not camping. It is our own way to enjoy the campfire. Hope we could enjoy our trip by following your tips.

  36. Dorothy @ Family Vacation Ideas says:

    Very useful tips. If you will not follow all these do’s and don’t
    you are not a certified camper. Happy camping! :)

  37. Probate says:

    11 is my favourite, you have the freedom to walk – away.
    Probate recently posted..Finding out if there was a will

  38. Bulk Powder
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very useful tips. My family use to camp every summer and we will surely need these tips so that we will surely enjoy our camp and make the most out of it. Anyway, as i go over with the list I don’t find it difficult to follow because in the first place we’re practicing some of it already. Thanks a lot for sharing this great list. Keep going!

  39. Guest says:

    why not use cardboard boxes?

  40. Eric says:

    The problem with cardboard is that it will fall apart once it gets wet. Considering you’re in the outdoors you should plan to be weather resistant whenever possible.

  41. Alberto says:

    This is a great list. i wanted to pick the best ones to highlight but I couldn’t. All of them are important to keep in mind and follow. Be prepared and be safe all the time.