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Family Camping Checklist

Fresh air spawns big appetites, so pack plenty of food. If your main meals will involve branding steak over open fires, you'll need a supply of firewood and kindling. If you opt for a camping stove, be sure to bring an extra supply of fuel. And, even an RV oven will require the use of oven mitts. Matches and other fire-starting aids are a must; it's simply better to be over-prepared. Whether you'll be dishing dinner from an RV's stovetop or spooning fare from an old-fashioned campfire, here are a few other things you're sure to need:

  • Serving plates and bowls
  • Pots and pans for cooking, including a coffee pot
  • Water/juice pitcher
  • Plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and cooking utensils
  • Cutting board, can opener and aluminum foil
  • No-drip sippy cups, especially if your child drinks ant-attracting juice
  • Dishtowels, tablecloth with clips, dish soap and scrubber, disinfectant for cleaning food preparation surfaces

You'll also need the ingredients for your meals, and these can range from simple fire-roasted hotdogs to more complex breakfast casseroles. Be sure to pack a few standbys, in case weather won't allow you to cook outside or your RV stove malfunctions. Peanut butter and honey, as well as fruit, cheese and crackers, are all good choices. If you're willing to tote along milk, cereal is a quick fix. And don't forget to pack a few condiments, like salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard and sugar. Here are a few more must-pack items:

  • beverages, such as coffee, hot chocolate or tea
  • bottled water for cooking and drinking, or a water filter
  • non-perishable snacks, such as dried fruit, granola bars or crackers