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Family Camping Guides

Car camping is great for families because it gets everyone outdoors into nature, while still keeping you close to civilization...
Car camping is great for families because it gets everyone outdoors into nature, while still keeping you close to civilization and without a fifteen-mile hike into the...
Love to camp but short on time? Like nature but not too much nature? Backyard camping provides a low stress option for...
Love to camp but short on time? Like nature but not too much nature? Backyard camping provides a low stress option for guaranteed good times with family―minus...
By: Debbie Brooks Wolfe|Walmart Tips & Ideas Editors

Go camping in style with gear to keep you comfortable and warm

Camping is something that friends and family enjoy together, especially when the proper preparations are made beforehand. A good camping trip is perfected, and disappointment is kept at bay, when campers are prepared for the conditions they might face once they reach their campsite and important pieces of equipment are included in the camping gear. This way, everyone can enjoy the pristine surroundings and camaraderie that's the essence of camping. Make sure you have all the gear you need for your next camping trip by making a stop first at Walmart, where you can save money on the necessary supplies because of our Every Day Low Prices.

tents and accessories

Probably the most important piece of camping gear is the tent. Having the right size is just the beginning. It should also be designed to suit your needs. Most tents are dome style and suitable for one to four people, although they can hold up to 12 or more. Most tents don't have much headroom, but the ones on the larger end are big enough to stand up in. For a more communal effect, some tents can be connected, making them ideal for families camping together, but still affording some privacy. For easy setup and takedown of your tent, accessories that are good to have on hand include tent pegs, a rubber mallet or hammer and a stake puller. To keep the tent tidy, have a small broom and dustpan handy. A tent pole replacement kit may be necessary, especially if you have an older tent, and a battery-powered fan can keep everyone in the tent cool on warm nights.

Sleeping gear

A sleeping bag is the most versatile sleeping item you can bring with you on a camping trip. They keep you warm when it's cold, can zip up almost completely if you're being bothered by pests and some even have liners that are removable to allow you to keep warm or stay cooler, depending on the temperature. sleeping bags are chosen based on length, so someone who's 5-feet tall or less can feel comfortable sleeping in a properly sized bag and someone who's more than 6-feet tall can use a sleeping bag that's the ideal size as well. Sleeping bags are also rated by temperature, with many specifically designed to be comfortable in temperatures of between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, while others keep you warm even if the temperature drops to 0 degrees F.

If sleeping on the ground isn't what you had in mind, you can also choose to sleep on a cot, hammock, sleeping pad, mat or even an air bed. Air beds range between bed sizes of twin and king and have varying levels of thickness. Bring along an air pump, and you can save your breath by pumping with your feet or an air compressor instead. When camping, you can even combine sleeping items, such as sleeping on a pad in your sleeping bag.

Cooking equipment

While camping, you're sure to get hungry, and few things are better when camping than hot grub. Whether you're eating what you caught or items that you brought with you, such as in a cooler, having a portable grill or stove and the right cookware and utensils can make all the difference in the world. Portable grills can be small and work close to the ground or be on a waist-level stand, making them easier to use. You have the choice of liquid propane gas or charcoal as the heat source for your grill, so having extra canisters of propane or a couple bags of charcoal, lighter fluid, matches or lighters and even some wood chips makes for a terrific plan.

You'll also want to have some cookware. Cast iron, such as a skillet and a Dutch oven, allows you to cook many things, even if you're only using a campfire. A spatula, tongs, long grill fork, grill brush and some skewers cover most of the cooking you'll be doing. Having some camping plates and utensils, or disposable if you prefer, ensures everyone gets a chance to eat.

Other camping gear

Although these are the basic supplies you need when camping, there are some other essentials you should have handy. You'll need some additional light for when the sun sets, so flashlights or lanterns are a necessity. Lanterns can run on kerosene, citronella or battery power. If you're going to be walking in the dark, such as when nature calls, a battery powered headlamp lights the way for you.

For added comfort, portable chairs and chaise lounges are ideal for sitting around the fire or relaxing alongside the lake or river. There are even folding tables that you can use for meals or playing games. it's a good idea to have a knife, so that you can cut things like rope or fillet fish, or a multitool in case you need to make emergency repairs. Other accessories you may want to consider to ensure a fun trip include a folding shovel, extra water jugs, tarp, weather radio and even a portable toilet or shower.

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