What to pack: Family camping checklist

The IndysChild.com Insider team is a talented bunch from photographers to teachers to general goodwill-enthusiasts.

Shelly Bergman though knocks our organizational socks off not only as avid home blogger DIYMama, but also as a talented home organizer and guru of all things ‘what to pack/do/categorize.’ This month she tackles the fun subject of family camping – perfect since so many of you are tenting up this summer! – from the angle that only a dedicated organizer can: 

What to pack: The family camping checklist.

And we love her for it. Plus you’ll find a wonderfully-organized printable below, perfect for planning.

I was lucky enough to start my camping career while I was in diapers. I then went on to be a Girl Scout until I was a junior in high school. Needless to say, I’ve been tent camping almost every year for the past 31 years. {And if you’re looking for camping tips, we published this piece last year thanks to our partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience.}

If you’ve ever been camping, you’ll agree with me that the hardest part about going on a trip is packing and unpacking. It’s stressful to remember what to pack each time you go and unless you have a set camping tote, a list is the best way to make sure you don’t forget anything. After a recent camping trip with my toddler and our friends, the real question became: What should I pack for a family camping trip now that our needs have changed from being the adventurous couple to a full-fledged family? It was time to edit my list to include necessities as a family.

And if you’re anything like me and enjoy physical lists to keep yourself organized, we have a little treat for you: A printable version of the What To Pack: Family Camping Checklist!

What to pack family camping checklist _ Indy's Child Magazine

I will add a caveat, this list is what I and our IC Insiders think are the necessities for camping. Some people may believe an RV to be a necessity while others may think this list is extensive. I am somewhere right in the middle where I prefer there to be running water, electricity for my boom box and restrooms nearby. Don’t forget to download the printable!


BONUS FUN: I again polled the Indy’s Child Insiders on their favorite spots for camping. Here is our list of top 5 Indiana campsites:
  1. ‘My favorite so far is Timber Lake in Huntington. Great area not far from home. Beautiful lake and Zip Lines!’ – Luis
  2. McCormick’s Creek SP. It’s the oldest state park in the system, gorgeous landscape for hiking, fishing and riding, and there are accommodations for anyone’s preference: An inn, cabins, electric campgrounds and rustic camping. It is probably the most understated camping spot in Indiana.’ – Jeanine
  3. Turkey Run– I love that there is electricity, a pool, free concerts and the hiking trails are amazing. You’ve got to try the Ladder Trail!’ – Shelly {okay, so that’s me.}
  4. ‘So I’ve only been twice but Shades State Park for sure.’ – Pete
  5. ‘My family loves Brown County and Turkey Run! Brown County makes it easy to camp, or stay in the spacious family cabins. I love the trails, the horseback riding, evening hayrides, the cute campground store, the outdoor pool and the water park inside the Abe Martin Lodge, and we love to climb up the high lookout tower and take in the beautiful view. Turkey Run is awesome if you love outdoor hiking. The trails and rock formations are just beautiful!’ – Trisha

Let me know what you bring along on your camping trips and where you will be camping this summer!


Related Articles



From our Sponsors