Many of us will have fond memories of camping as a child on family camping trips and want to recreate that with our own families. Children are curious little explorers and nurturing that excitement and sense of adventure can also bring out the playful side in adults too. Family time spent together outside in nature and away from home, unplugged and away from the day-to-day distractions is an opportunity not to be missed. Tentsile is a family-run company and spending time with those who are close to us runs through the heart of what we do, and where better to do it than in the trees!

In this article we will explore how to plan for a family camping trip including what essentials you will need to pack to make sure everyone is fed, watered, comfortable and safe and importantly, how to set up your Tree Tent.

In this guide:

  1. Planning a family camping trip
  2. Packing for a family camping trip
  3. Keeping your family safe on your camping trip
  4. Setting up your Tree Tent

Planning a family camping trip

Depending on where you live you might choose to go to a campsite where there are amenities like showers, toilets, shops and BBQs available which might make camping with very young children a little easier. If you are a seasoned camper and prefer to get away from the crowds and off the beaten track then wild camping might take some additional planning but will add some extra excitement to your trip and give you more privacy.

To set up your tree tent you will need three strong trees or anchor points. We advise that you check out the set-up guide for your particular Tentsile model before you go and do some research into the area you are travelling to if you have not been before so you know where you’re going and you are prepared for the weather conditions. If you are travelling in peak season and during school holidays make sure you have booked a spot at the campsite to avoid disappointment.

In preparation for your family camping trip, have a think about what you need from your accommodation, particularly how much space you’ll need and how many people you will need to sleep. The Stingray tree tent is Tentsile’s flagship model and makes the perfect family tent for a young family of four. If you need more space and you have a growing family then one of the stack options will give you storage, sleeping bays and floor space over several levels while taking up the same footprint. If you are taking the extended family and the numbers are really climbing, then consider the ultimate stack or even the Trilogy for an epic adventure. Bear in mind the space this will occupy so if you are on a campsite or at a festival then you will be taking up a fair amount of room.

Packing for a family camping trip

It’s unlikely you’ll get bored if the weather is fine and you have a new area to explore but if the weather isn’t so good or everyone needs time out of the sun and as it gets dark, it’s good to have some games and activities planned to keep the children entertained. It’s also important to make sure everyone is comfortable and this might mean packing sleeping bags, pillows and air mattresses, possibly extra blankets and appropriate clothing and footwear. There are also some Tentsile accessories which will make your trip more comfortable. The hatch cover for 3-person tree tents and hammocks will block out any drafts from the centre of the tent floor, this can be removed during the day or swapped for the drinks holder or webbing ladder. The ladder will help you get in and out of the tent and from one floor to the next if you opt for a stack. The Sky-Pad inflatable mattress adds extra cushioning and insulation and can even be clipped to eachother for extra stability.

For general safety on any trip, always pack a first aid kit, sun protection and insect repellent and lights and extra batteries for your torches. If you are off grid then take a map as back up to your phone GPS and of course if you’re not at a campsite, tell someone where you are going.

Keeping your family safe on your camping trip

There are some things that you can do that will put your mind at rest before and during a camping trip with your family. It can often feel like there is a lot to remember so don’t get overwhelmed but follow some of these simple suggestions to prepare for your trip.

Check your gear and test pitch your tent before you set off. Make sure you have all the equipment needed and get some practice in so that you can set up quicker in-situ and get down to the business of relaxing and spending time with the family.

Plan your route. If you are driving to your destination then check the traffic so you can travel at a quieter time or avoid busy routes. If you are travelling by other means or hiking/cycling then make sure you have GPS and a map as back up.

When you have reached your camping location then we advise always to abide by the Leave no trace principles including properly disposing of litter and keeping food off the ground to deter animals and be wary and respectful of wildlife in the area. Follow the rules of the campsite if that is where you are staying and if you are wild camping then make sure you know what is in the vicinity and that you have the right to camp there.

Setting up your Tree Tent

To set up your tree tent you will need three strong trees or anchor points. To help you look for suitable trees watch our video and used our visual tree assessment guide.

We advise setting up your tree tent no higher than 1.2m/4ft from the ground to make sure you and your family can easily get in and out and if anyone does take a tumble they are not too far from the floor. For this same reason, it’s best to pitch over soft grassy ground.

Enjoy your quality family time. Tree tents are a memorable way to camp and will create new experiences for the whole family and nurture a love the trees and the great outdoors.

Hannah Hughes