National Park Family Camping Tips

When summer arrives, the idea of making the most of it with a camping trip as a fun, and affordable, way to bond with our family can come to mind. Preparing for a National Park family camping trip can feel daunting, particularly for first-timers, but our tips and suggestions will help.

Safety First

Be cautious and respectful of the park and its flora and fauna. Speak with the ranger if you’re unfamiliar with the wildlife or unsure how to deal with predators. Also be prepared for changing weather and emergencies

Make a reservation

If you can, book your camping spot in advance so you can be sure of a place to sleep for the night.


Travel light

Predators are attracted by food and drink, insect repellents, lotions, toothpaste, rubbish, cooking pots and utensils and fuel for stoves and lanterns. Some parks require you to store these items in special lockers that may be small, so packing light is not only practical, it is essential.
As parents, you will be carrying the bulk of the items you take with you. Be sure you have a good backpack, and make sure the children can comfortably carry their own water.

On arrival

Have the whole family help unload all the camping equipment. This allows everyone to understand where everything is. Do not try to do too much other than getting yourselves settled in your first day so you’re refreshed for your plans the next day.


You may have a list of all the things you want to do, and you may have each day mapped out, but be open to new ideas. There may be options for young families at the National Park that did not show up on your research. Incorporate some flexibility to take advantage of what you find.


Visitor centres

Visitor centres may have classes, talks and events that appeal to you. A lot of National Parks cater to younger visitors, for example activity books where they can mark the flora and fauna they have seen on a trail.

Early rising

The majority of people camping make an early start to take advantage of cooler morning weather. This works well since hiking in the heat isn’t enjoyable at any age. Also, after a good breakfast, energy is high and moods are usually good.


Take time to stop and enjoy the little things, your children may be witnessing a lot of things for the first time, as may you, so enjoy the adventure.

When you stop for lunch, check the energy levels within the family. You may decide to return to the camp-site earlier than planned if temperatures are high or energy levels are low, but it will end the day on a good note and make starting the next day much easier.


Make a note of what you wished you had brought with you and what you wish you had left at home. This will help you when planning your next trip.