First Family Camping Experience

Are you planning your first family camping trip? Does the idea of being stuck in a rural woodland with no electricity, a tent for a home, a campfire for a kitchen AND with the kids terrify you? That’s ok, we’ve got you covered with our handy tips and hints for family camping!

Read our most popular blog on Camping Tips and Advice

Choose the right tent for your family camping trip

You can read a hundred different reviews and articles about which tent is the best but what it really comes down to is personal choice. Some people want a number of rooms whereas others are happy with one. Some like tents with room to stand and walk around, others prefer a bivvy bag. The most important things to look for are durability and waterproofing, the rest you’ll figure out as you go.

If you really are lost, here’s The Telegraph’s list of best family tents 

Family on first camping trip

Keep it clean!

Keeping your tent clean can be a difficult task, particularly with wild kids in tow. We suggest leaving shoes outside at ALL times. It’s also worth bringing a dustpan and brush with you, this way you can quickly clean up any mess in your tent.

For wet and dirty clothes. think about bringing some spare rope. You can tie this between two trees to hang clothes or towels over. Just make sure to remember the extra bag for dirty clothes too!

Another great addition to the camping equipment is a flexi bucket. These are great for carrying things around, including dirty dishes to the washing up area. They can also double up as a baby bath when needed.

Arrive at the campsite in the daylight

There really is nothing worse than putting up a tent in the dark. Particularly if you’re new to this camping lark and are camping with children. Arrive with good time and get the tent set up right away. Once you’re done, get the campfire going as soon as possible, as it always takes longer than you think to be ready for cooking. Tick these things off and then you can open that bottle of wine and relax watching Fire Tv with the kids.

Click here for tips on how to light a campfire

Lighting around the campsite

When first choosing lighting for your family camping trip do try to think about the other campers in the area. We escape the light pollution of cities to come to the countryside so blasting out batman style searchlights is not ideal. Opt for some solar fairy lights to hang around your tent. Don’t forget a lantern or head torch either for midnight dashes to the toilet.

If you are in need of a brighter light, attach you head torch to a bottle of water and hey presto – your own home made lantern. The kids will be super impressed with your skills too.

Extra layers and clothing tips

Even in the middle of summer, it can get chilly at night, particularly if the weather hasn’t been kind. Bring extra layers and jumpers for the kids and don’t forget about yourselves too! A winter hat can be worn in sleeping bags on chilly nights and thick socks are a must for those with cold extremities. Alternatively if you are a family camping with younger children, hoodies for the kids to sleep in often works well – less likely than a woollen hat to come off at night. Remember to take a number of plastic bags to use for wet or dirty clothes. If your family is camping at a campsite with open fires (the best way to camp) it also pays to separate out the clothes that inevitably will end smelling of woodsmoke. 

First family camping trip

Importantly – if it has been raining, don’t forget the wellies!

Bring appropriate footwear – hiking boots if you going walking. It also pays to bring a waterproof jacket!

Games for the kids when camping

There’s so much for the kids to do when you’re out in the middle of nowhere but sometimes they want to relax with the things they know. Bring along some of their favourite games and toys for these moments. But do try to get them to enjoy the outdoors, plan a scavenger hunt or go on a search for bugs.

Family Camping Games for Kids

Food for your first family camping trip

Campfire food is one of the most rewarding things to make. It can be as easy as a bbq over the campfire, who doesn’t love a chargrilled burger or hot dog? But there’s plenty of ways to diversify your meals and keep things simple.

Cooking on first family camping trip

Think about what you could prepare in advance if you have time before your trip. Foil packed veggies with chicken. Campfire Nachos. Stuffed potatoes. The list is endless. For breakfast, try pre-making a pancake batter and popping it in an old ketchup bottle. You can squeeze this straight out onto the frying pan and make some delicious campfire pancakes to keep the kids happy.

Our favourite family campfire recipes

Our final tip for your first family camping trip, if you really want to make your trip as stress free as possible – try ‘wild glamping‘! All the benefits of camping but without having to pack the car up and put up your own tent. We provide spacious five metre bell tents in secluded woodland locations, set up and ready for your arrival. The bell tents come with camping equipment for your trip, so no need to bring all your cooking utensils, plates, cutlery or cups. The easiest, wild glamping experience.

Wild glamping bell tent at Beech Estate Campsite

Book your family camping or family glamping stay here


(ready to escape)

book now

try our other campsite for a different escape