What NOT to forget on your next camping trip! True Story ;)


 We have been on our first camping trip and unfortunately did not go as planned! I have come up with a list of What NOT to forget when you go camping! This list is a true story of what we went through. Some seem weird but trust me we wished we had remembered or glad that we did have some of these things.

Camping with 5 kids is definitely an experience. My 4 oldest had been camping before but our 2 year toddler has never been. He’s your typical 2-year-old and then some, we call him curious George because he is into everything lol.


 Here is my list of what NOT to forget to bring and why I put them on my list. Now there is tons of things people shouldn’t forget but this is made up by our recent trip.

  1. Can Opener– We had packed two different meals for supper and of course one of them was hot dogs on the campfire and pork and beans. Well, no beans were eaten that time thanks to me forgetting the can opener lol.
  2. AAA– Now I have never purchased AAA and am so thankful that a very dear friend of mine got me a membership for my birthday years ago but has continued getting me the membership ever since. It’s definitely a great service to get. We had one of those Coleman coolers that can be run off battery without having to use ice, well you get the picture it was left plugged in all night! Woke up to a dead battery! Couldn’t get in as well because my keys were locked inside and my husbands set only has the outer part (the key inside hasn’t been cut yet) so it only opens doors with the push of the button but since it was dead, it didn’t work so not only did we need a boost but also have the door unlocked for us.
  3. Warm Clothing– Always remember warm clothing! Don’t assume because it’s warm during the day and that it is summer time that the nights are warm as well. Needless to say I shivered all night and did not get any sleep, funny thing is everyone else slept like a baby.
  4. Sneakers– If you plan on going hiking or walking around near your campsite, you don’t want to just have flip-flops on you. I knew I had packed my sneakers but couldn’t remember putting them in the van. After tearing through everything I found them which made me feel ten times better because there would be no way I was hiking in flip-flops!
  5. Cooking Spray/Butter– This goes back to forgetting the can opener and cooking. We had also brought eggs to have for breakfast but I hadn’t packed any type of cooking spray or butter to cook them with, so cereal it was lol.
  6. EXACT check in time for campground– We had paid for 2 nights a couple of weeks ago and I like hitting the road as soon as possible in the morning instead of waiting until later in the day. My husband called the campground THAT morning and asked if our spot was ready and that we would be there in 2 hours, the gentlemen on the phone said yep it was all ready see you soon! Well we got there at 10:30 and was told that check in wasn’t until 1 pm! Someone was currently on the site and they still had to clean it afterwards. So then it was time to try to keep 5 kids occupied in a packed van for 2 1/2 hours! Luckily we were around where my husband grew up so we found some play grounds and the kiddos ate their lunch on a picnic blanket while we waiting for 1 pm to roll around.
  7. Ear Plugs!- You may wonder why this is on my list, and no it’s not because of the kiddos lol. Not only did I lose sleep because of being cold but because of campers that showed up to set up right across from our site at 8pm and didn’t shut up until 3 am! There’s a strict rule of quite between 10pm and 7am being a family friendly campground.

I was so not impressed with our night there that we packed up early that next morning and told the owners we would never be back and we were leaving a day early. They have a policy of no refunds but they said that usually it’s quiet there and we ended up getting a full refund and a rain check to go back again (if we chose to).


I was so frustrated and exhausted I just wanted to go home but my hubby talked me into staying in that area for the day. We visited a lot of old forts, the beach, and went on a hike; so not all was lost. It turned out to be okay and we had a great time.

What items have you forgotten when camping that you wished you had brought or a stay at camp that just didn’t seem to go right?

Thanks for visiting WEMAKE7! =)


  • eliz frank

    I’m a zero camper and always admire those who venture into the woods to camp… Your list is a handy tool for both new and seasoned campers.

  • Grace | Life in an Island Paradise

    Awww…. camping is supposed to be fun.. Better luck next time.. Hope that the next time will be a fun-filled one! 🙂

  • paulina

    Great thing to post. I always forget tiny little things all the time.

  • Paula – Buenos Aires

    Glad to know it turned out ok in the end. My father in law gave me a can opener when I got married as he said he was sure I wouldn´t have one. Lol. At first I thought #2 were batteries. 😀

  • Ann BAcciaglia

    Very interesting list! I never would have thought about bringing ear plugs on a camping trip. I am sorry that you had noisy neighbours.

  • Marielle Altenor

    Hope to be able to go camping one day soon. When I do, will be sure to remember this list. I would have been annoyed too with the loud noises and would have left first thing in the am. Glad that you were able to get a refund!

  • Melissa Smith

    I haven’t been camping for years, but when we went with my hubs family, it wasn’t exactly roughing it. They had a huge camper with all the amenities, an extra pop-up camper & a huge fire pit that we cooked every meal on. But I never ever forgot my bug spray!

  • Marielle Altenor

    Never been camping before but when I do, will be sure I don’t forget this list! I would have been annoyed too with the loud noises! I would have done the same thing in left first thing in the am. Glad you were able to get a full refund!

  • Andrea Kruse

    We are avid campers but usually pack in or hike in to camp. I am not a fan of trying to find a specified camping spot. I do prefer the peace and quiet.

  • jane

    my must should be a can opener and AAA plus batteries or maybe powerbanks hahaha its a must to bring these days even not on camping. its been a long time since i had that camping time too!

  • @ogilvieronda

    We go camping all the time and always forget butter! Always! One of our last trips we had to drive into the nearest town because one of my kids hopped in the car and forgot shoes! We visited a nearby walmart so he would have something on his feet…Oiy…

  • Sharon

    Hahaha. I’ve soooo been there with ya and once I forgot TP. It was right on the counter where I left it when we got honme

  • Jamela

    Some of my co workers and I are planning a couples camping trip later this month. I havent been camping since girl scout camp…

  • Rebecca Swenor

    Even though you didn’t enjoy the camping overnight, you still enjoy yourselves the next day in the end. I barely remember the last time we went camping. My youngest son fell in the fire and he was like 3 years old but he didn’t get burnt, Thanks God. Thanks for sharing.

  • FamiGami

    My wife hates camping but I love it! Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!

  • Patranila

    Camping seems exhausting even if you manage to remember to bring everything you need.

  • Nolie

    People think I am crazy when I pack warm clothing to go camping in the summer. Nights can get darn cool and sweaters can help protect from the annoying mosquitos.

  • Rosey

    We have Triple A insurance and they still make us pay for the emergency service separately each year. I hate that. When I spun out across the highway on black ice last year and ended up in a ditch against a snowbank on my side, I LOVED having the membership (enough to negate my being mad at them for charging extra). 😉 Good tips you’ve got here for camping!

  • Mrs. Mashed Up

    I have never been camping (I know, can you believe it?!?!) But I want to take Baby Mash. This list is very helpful for a 1st time camper!

  • Ben @ Cheap is the New Classy

    That is both hilarious and horrible. I feel so bad for you on that night. I remember I went camping once and forgot the tent!

  • Erica Brooks

    Wow! Sounds like you had an adventure. I like the list as I have always wanted to go camping and will find it useful. The only camping I’ve done is in my backyard for the Great American Campout. I think it’s great they gave your money back.

  • activitieschildren

    I love to camp! I just can’t been seen at a camp site without some kind of bugoff cream. Mosquitoes love to bite me. 🙁

  • XmasDolly

    Well, that’s truly a project with such a big family. We never really went camping. I was always working because being a single mom of four you don’t get much spare time between work, chores at home, and trying to spend what little time you have with your kids and what was that… time for me? Explain that to me!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Gabby O’Brien

    Toilet Paper and flashlights are two things I make sure to never forget! And my phone, it’s always good to have gps access when in the woods.

  • Elizabeth Copeland

    Sounds as though it was a good experience overall. We forgot tarps on our first family camping trip – and there was a deluge.

  • Jess Scull

    haha been there! Great list!!

  • Catherine S

    I am glad you were able to have a little fun even though things didn’t go as planned. This is a very helpful list.

  • Liz Mays

    Yikes, forgetting all those things could really make it tricky to have a good time. I’m glad you ended up your stay with happy memories though.

  • Michelle de Guzman

    I remember one time getting to the campground and we were there the wrong week. Had to turn around and go home. Camping with the kids is fun and your list is great.

  • Yvonne Roga

    I always bring ear plugs on any trip just for the reason you needed them. Sometimes people don’t realize how loud they are.

  • Samantha Angell

    These are all great tips. For me, the only thing I would add is a bottle of wine- I can’t stand camping, yet my husband loves it!

  • Misty Battle

    I am loving this list. I have done the no can opened thing a few times. I am stuck there holding a can in one hand, looking all confused. This is wonderful for people going to brave the wild outdoors!

  • Myrah – Coupon Mamacita

    I’ve been through this!!!

  • Nicole

    I’ve not a huge fan of camping so I’m out of practice on what to bring and I could totally see myself making these mistakes!! Good tips!!

  • Theresa

    Hi, Bonnie! New follower here. Thank you so much for this post, do I ever know how you feel! Matter of fact, I have copied and pasted your List and printed it out so as not to fall into this again. Great Blog! I’m definitely Pinning, too!! (Just to be safe! 🙂 )

  • salty blonde

    I am soooo not a camper so I admire your camping spirit! I do however know about how handy AAA can be when something goes awry. If I ever do go camping, I will be sure to include your list! Have a great weekend!

  • Jacqueline

    Love your list 🙂

    As someone who has camped many times for over 2 weeks at a time with my dog, let me add to that list:

    Never, ever forget a fire starter and an emergency box of canned goods in case your supplies are ruined in the rain or eaten by animals. One night hungry is no big deal, but I’m sure your kiddos would say otherwise 😉

    Always have 2 pairs of dry socks per person in plastic bags and even if just going to a family campground always leave a detailed record for a friend of where you will be. If you do not arrive home (and this happens!) someone will be ready with details to help locate you.

  • Lalia @ Found Frolicking

    Hahaha… oh my. I cannot even fathom how camping would be with a large family, we have not even been camping since our son was born, and we only have the one! Camping just as a couple was plenty to do and think of in and of itself! We didn’t need a can opener because we stuck with soups in cartons, it just made things easier. But we definitely had butter with us… I DO wish we had ear plugs! I have the funniest memories from my first night camping. My only concern with ear plugs is maybe not being able to be sensitive enough to hear more subtle sounds in the case of an emergency. Thanks for sharing your experience, gave me a giggle :)! I am pretty sure camping disasters account for half of the fun, because they make such great stories for later!

  • Alisha Hodges

    I’m pretty sure I’d at least forget something on that list. I always seem to do so. I wouldn’t have even though of cooking spray, but that’s a great one!

  • Jeanne Melanson

    Camping for the first time with 5 children? Ugh. Silly woman! lol I admire your courage. Well, hopefully, if you go again, you will be better prepared. I’m sure you had fun anyway. Thanks for sharing your story and your new camping wisdom. 🙂

  • Scott

    I’ve been considering AAA also, but having made the splurge. I’m sure it will bite me if I don’t soon!

  • Amber @ Apples to Applique

    We camped a lot growing up, and I can definitely relate to all of these! It’s just so easy to forget things like can openers.
    And YES to the warm clothes! It seems like it always gets chilly at some point, even if you go camping in the middle of July. Especially if it starts to rain at any point, it’s nice to have a hoodie or jacket to put on.

Subscribe to WEMAKE7