space saving family camping gear

Best Space Saving Family Camping Gear

When you are going on a camping trip as a family, especially if you are a larger family, one of the big things to consider is space saving family camping gear.  You have to fit all of your stuff into your car and you still need to fit the kids in!!

But.... you also want to be comfortable and have everything that you need on your family camping trip.  So what do you do?  Well you find space saving camping gear and that is where we come in.

space saving family camping gear

As a family of 6 we know all about needing to take a lot of stuff camping, but having limited space and so we have done lots of research into space saving family camping gear and we are going to share everything we have found with you here.

How can you save space camping?

It isn't all about space saving family camping gear it is also about being intentional about your packing.

Think about what you need to take and what bags would suit your needs best.  When you are trying to squeeze all your camping gear into your car a hard shell suitcase probably isn't what you need!

Think about what you can leave at home...  Sure you need to take spare clothes just in case, but do you need 3 sets?  We have the Ultimate Family Camping Checklist to help you with this planning so you know what you need and what you can leave behind.

If you are new to camping don't forget to check out this post or pin it for later:

first time camping tips

Check the weather before you pack; if it is going to be really warm you can leave behind the extra blankets and thick onesies for example or if there is no chance of rain you can leave behind those bulky wellies.

The weather also impacts how many toys and games you need to take.  If the sun will be shining all weekend you won't be likely to be sitting round at the tent very much so you can take minimal indoor style kids activities.

Roll those clothes...  when you are packing being conscious of how you are putting your clothes into bags can make a huge difference to the amount of bags that you need.

Pack each bag with space in mind - so look at the items you need to put in that bag and think about the best way to place them so that they fit in the smallest area possible.  Think of it like packing jenga.

Think about what you are going to be doing on your trip.  So for example if you are going on a group camping trip where you are all cooking together you may not need to take all your kitchen stuff.  Equally if the site you are going to has a coffee shop right there you can leave behind the kettle maybe...

10 Best Family Tents 2020

The best space saving family camping gear

We have tried out so much camping gear and our 6 best space saving camping gear items that we would say are must haves are:

Roll up Table

There are so many different camping tables on the market.  Loads of the fold up ones are very sturdy and often come with chairs included like this one:

However, if space is at a premium then you can't go wrong with a roll up camping table.  They take up so little space when rolled up that we actually take two with us.  One to put the cooking stove on and one for us to actually sit and eat around.  This one that I have selected as our favourite is at the more expensive end, but is very strong and durable and I have had great experiences with this brand so I wanted to share it with you.

However, if that is not friendly for your budget then these are some other great options.  We use one of these for the cooker table, but they are also strong enough to use as a dinner table as it was previously our only table for the 6 of us to eat around.

Collapsible Washing up Bowl

These are so useful and not just for the washing up!  They are great for transporting the washing up to and from sinks and make a fantastic ice bucket for chilling the wine!!

Microfibre towels

If you are still packing beach towels in your bags for any type of travel then stop now!  Microfibre towels are 100% the answer.  Not only do they fold down really small, but they also super absorbent so you can get dry more effectively and they dry more quickly than normal towels which is a big bonus when you are in a camping field without a towel radiator!

Collapsible Storage

If there is one thing that I find irritating about going family camping it is the amount of stuff that ends up everywhere; the kids clothes, toys, snacks - everything that has a place at home doesn't have a place when camping and so I take these collapsible storage boxes.  

I use the first one for snacks and then another for kids toys and drawing stuff

The second type is perfect for putting clean clothes in especially for the kids as I can sort the items into different sections so I don't spend entire camping trips answering to - 'where are my pants/ socks/ shorts? etc...'

If you don't have space to bring stuff like a camping cupboard or you simply think they are too expensive then these collapsible boxes could also be used for all your kitchen set up.  Pop one on a roll up table and there you have it - kitchen storage!

Cooking Utensils Set

These are a new discovery for me.  Before this I had standard utensils from home and it took up so much space to pack everything and it was annoying to have to set everything up each time.  Now I have one of these sets and I know exactly where everything is when I need it.  

The best thing about this one that I bought is that the bag is well sized so I can also fit in marshmallow forks, an additional veggie knife and two sets of this so everything to do with the kitchen is all in the same place and that makes life loads easier when setting up the camping kitchen.

Nesting Camping Cookware

Choosing camping cookware sets is a whole other story so make sure to check out our post which gives you the best camping cookware sets for families.  This post compares iron, aluminium and stainless steel cookware sets and has everything you need to know to make a sensible decision for your family.  If you are planning to camp more than once I recommend not just buying the first set you see...

We are a family of 6 so if it cooks enough food for us you know that it is likely to work for most families.  My main recommendation here is just to think about the size of the pots and the weight of them (especially if you do need to carry them anywhere).  We need to have quite a large pot so that we can do enough pasta for our family, but are limited on packing space and so a nesting camping cookware set is ideal.  This is the one we have chosen:

‎Your thoughts on space saving camping gear

Now over to you...  What space saving camping gear do you have or would you recommend?  I am always on the look out for new ideas.  


Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API