Let’s face it: Getting your kids outside for a few hours is easy, but planning a full-blown weekend or a week-long camping adventure takes a little more work.
Cue: one self-proclaimed Mountain Mama and rad Adventure Dad, two crazy cattle dogs, and an everything-outside-loving two-year-old.
After countless nights spent in red rock deserts, the Colorado high country, and rambling along meandering rivers, our team of five dialed in ten pieces of gear to consider for your next family camping trip!
Big Agnes Titan 4 mtnGLO Tent
Why we love it: Roomy, multi-purpose option for 3-season outings.
Family is family — whether four-legged critter or wild child — and a family adventure isn’t complete without a cozy place to lay your head for your night under the stars. The latest basecamp series tent from Big Agnes is built for 4, but it gave our party of five (three humans, two dogs) more than enough room to stretch out. It also provided plenty of headroom for sitting and playing games/reading books without being too tall, helping to conserve warm air on chilly spring nights. And best of all — the inner tent body can detach from the fly to use as a sun shelter!
Why we love it: Two words: Snuggle. Fest.
Klymit’s innovative double bag/pad is our new go-to. Cozy enough for couples, yet big enough for a toddler to slip into. This bag is sure to keep you warm and cozy. The KSB Double Down is rated to 30 degrees, making it the perfect option for 3-season camping, and the integrated pad sleeve (coupled with the Double V’s pad rails) makes sure your burrito doesn’t fall off the plate (i.e., your pad and bag stay together all night, even if your partner likes to flip, flop and roll at two o’clock in the morning).
GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station
Why we love it: It has everything — even the kitchen sink!
Your basecamp kitchen dreams have been answered. The Master Cook Station is the ultimate option for multi-day family camping trips. This durable table folds flat to fit in a rooftop basket or trunk and features a soft shell sink (with drain), three fold-out table sections and a storage rack, and a telescoping lantern pole. The best part? Kids can safely access snacks stored on different parts of the table, while staying clear of any sharp utensils in the sink and the old school Coleman lantern you love to use. Say goodbye to the busted, spider and ant-infested campground table and hello to the ultimate basecamp table!
Why we love it: Everything wrapped up in one perfect, non-stick, little package.
This cook set isn’t your granddad’s mess kit. The heavy duty nesting set features everything your family of four needs for a dinner done right including a cutting board, utensils, plates and stainless steel frying pan, pot and lid. Best of all, even after cooking bacon and eggs over the camp stove, the interior pan and pot washed quickly — no more scrubbing burnt food bitties off your cook set.
AeroPress Coffee Maker
Why we love it: Because coffee = life.
Does your kid wake up raring to go at 5 a.m.? Ours does. And a family camping trip would not be complete without a hot cup of coffee to level out your head after your little one bounced on it for 15 minutes trying to wake you up. For the coffee lovers of the world, the AeroPress will prove itself time and time again. Grind up your favorite beans at home so when you wake up in camp the next morning, you’ll be ready to go. The AeroPress offers up the most aromatic, delicious cup of camp coffee we have found and has staple in our family for years.
Yeti Hooper Backflip 24
Why we love it: From the kids’ juice boxes to mom and dad’s favorite IPA, the Backflip has your back.
It’s time to replace mom’s wicker picnic basket with a cooler option. The Backflip has so many applications: storing breakfast and dinner for quick overnight trips, filling it up with daily picnic lunch fixings on multi-day adventures and even storing lunches, snacks and beverages for the whole family on float trips or for afternoons on the lake. This cooler is leakproof, waterproof and features backpack straps for the go-anywhere family.
Why we love it: Cozy, compact and perfectly sized for kids and adults.
Camp chairs should be comfortable; a place you and your kids want to settle into to roast marshmallows over the fire or share stories about the great day you had on the water. So why settle for anything less? The Helinox Mini is the perfect size for kids while the One is every adult’s camp chair dream come true. These chairs are lightweight, strong and ready for your next adventure.
Why we love it: Take your favorite puffy jacket and multiply it by 1000!
Rumpl is doing it right and our family is loving it. These one and two-person blankets feature water, dirt, odor and dog hair resistant fabrics in a variety of colors. They are insulated (down to 40 degrees), lightweight, packable and perfect for an extra layer in the tent at night or for snuggling with your little one near the campfire.
Why we love it: Accidents happen. Be prepared!
On our camping trips, we encounter mixed terrain, a variety of insects and all kinds of weather conditions that can cause slips, trips and boo-boos for us, our little one, or the dogs. The Adventure Medical Kits keep our family prepared for unplanned accidents or injuries. Ranging in supplies and options, these kits have everything for solo to family-sized river or land-based adventure kits to pet kits featuring bandages and tick removal tools.
Osprey Poco Series Child Carrier Backpack (Poco AG Plus)
Why we love it: The Poco series let’s your family continue to explore even when little legs are ready to rest.
Osprey features a full lineup of child carrier backpacks to carry your little one and some gear! The Poco AG Plus pack has the perfect amount of padding and support for the wearer while also ensuring your cargo is safe and comfortable with a packable sunshine, fully padded and adjustable cockpit, leg loops and removable stirrups. Supporting loads up to 48 pounds, it’s a great option for day hiking from camp when your little one’s legs (finally) get tired from running, romping and chasing critters.