Our backpacking adventure: backpacking kit

Do you know how difficult it is to pack the right stuff for a week or backpacking during a typical English summer with two small children and no car?

Just imagine how tricky it must be.

Now let me tell you – it’s harder than that.

Here is our entire backpacking kit list for 6 nights camping for a family of four:


  • enough clean underwear for a change every day. There are some things that are simply non-negotiable.
  • 2 pairs of trousers (thick and thin)
  • 2 t-shirts
  • one hoodie
  • 6 pairs of socks each
  • waterproof, lightweight trousers for over clothes
  • waterproof and windproof jacket
  • walking boots
  • aqua shoes

The boys carried quite a bit of stuff themselves. They took small, very lightweight day packs and I tried to fill them while not overloading the weight. In addition to their underwear, the boys carried:

  • small towel
  • plastic tumbler
  • cutlery
  • mess tin
  • slanket
  • foldable water pouch
  • torch
  • teddy bear
  • toothbrush
  • sunglasses
  • hat

kids kit bag


Well, the kids carried their little bags all week like superstars but ultimately they are still small children and so the bulk of our kit was left for us to carry.

We camped for most of the week so we obviously needed a tent and all the stuff that goes along with it, and that took up most of the space in our 70L backpacks. Our backpacking kit was packed into plastic bags and then into the rucksacks, then the rucksacks had waterproof covers. Nowt worse than having soggy socks!

For camping, we packed:

  • tent (we took a small, lightweight 4 man from Tesco)
  • 4 sleeping bags
  • 2 self-inflating mattresses
  • 2 roll mats
  • electric hook up cable (bulky but would’ve been lost without it)

For cooking:

  • mess tins
  • small foldable camping stove
  • cutlery (knife, fork & spoon combo)
  • one sharp knife (sheathed and packed right at the bottom of Ted’s rucksack)
  • waterproof matches

Clothing (me):

  • underwear for each day
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • leggings & 2 long tops
  • walking trousers & 2 breathable tops
  • walking boots
  • waterproof and windproof coat
  • flip flops


  • small first aid kit
  • phones and chargers
  • toiletries (hairbrush, hair bobbles, small shampoo, soap, toothbrush & paste)
  • small towel
  • notebook and pens

Also, because I was petrified of anything going disastrously wrong I also carried a printout of our itinerary and an envelope for each day which contained directions, tickets and cash for where we would be going/staying each day. Though driven purely by the fear of something going wrong, I’ve never been so organised!

There may have been other small things we took with us but these are the basics. If there was any more it can’t have been large or heavy!

Have you been backpacking with little ones? What was in your backpacking kit?



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