Minimalist Family Camping


The key to fast family camping is compact, light and really useful equipment, which can be packed up neatly in small boxes in your grab’n’go camping kit, always ready for adventure.

Here are some of our favourite tiny but mighty camping essentials, plus reviews on other compact kit we think would be perfect for family micro adventures. All of it is high quality, small, useful and occasionally beautiful. There are some affiliate links we may receive commission on but we only include products we genuinely like.

Camping in a Campervan and Top 5 Essential Campervan Kit

Campervans are in high demand, but what’s all the fuss about? We decided to find out. After years of perfecting the art of micro camping, packing light for simple escapes in our tiny tent, during the pandemic last year we bought a campervan. Why buy a campervan? I admit, as a firm camping minimalist, I had quietly tutted at the idea of campervans and mobile homes being a suggested as a solution for a better camping experience. Big, heavy, slow and full of stuff… the opposite of what I wanted for my carefree wild adventures. However, with foreign travel off the cards due to the pandemic in 2021, I was wondering how on earth to make the best of a

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Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 Review by a single-handed mum

This large, light and airy summer tent by Coleman looks fantastic and a lot more interesting than other tents. But with a reasonably large pack size and hefty 20kg weight could I handle it on my own? As the UK was in the midst of a heatwave I realised our usual little 6kg blackout dome tent may be too hot for this weather. My 8-year old son, who had recently declared he didn’t like camping, was really excited about this tent and I had to agree it looked cool, so ordered online from Ibex Camping using a 10% discount code for £189.00. Arriving promptly and well packaged, my first problem was getting it upstairs. It felt heavier than I had

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Camping saucepans review: Outdoor Gear 4-person cook set

Do you need enough pans to cook for a family when you are camping, but don’t have space to pack them? This handy set is the perfect solution. It consists of a 3 litre pan, 2 litre pan, 1 litre frying pan and 1 litre kettle which all nest inside each other in a neat little drawstring bag. Inside the kettle you will find a cloth and pot grip handle. This set takes up less space than the single pan I used to take and is so much more useful. We tested it out on a campsite in France, cooking a simple meal for seven people. We fried merguez sausages and leeks in the frying pan and did pasta and

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Best cutlery for camping with children

However minimalist you are, eating outdoors requires some basic tools, and some sort of cutlery is essential for preparing and eating food. While fingers are fine for some foods, milky cereal, hot pasta and other messy dishes will definately require some eating utensils. Toddlers to teenagers and adults too will all need some sort of cutlery. We have tried out a few different options to find the most compact, useful and handy sets for our family. IKEA KALAS 18-piece cutlery set When we first started camping with our children we just took IKEA children’s plastic knives and forks for the whole family, as they are incredibly cheap and light and not at remotely precious. I’ve found it fine for us

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Book Review: The Hungry Camper

This small but mighty cook book is packed with 200 recipes to cook and eat outdoors. Not only does the food look absolutely delicious, it is also simple to prepare and many recipes only require a handful of ingredients. It’s full of great ideas to glamp-up your camp food and try something yummy and new. My favourite feature is the preparation and cooking time for every recipe, making it easy to identify the quickest and easiest meals. This book is nicely designed and clearly laid out with easy-to-follow instructions (that’s the book designer in me talking! – my day job). As a minimalist camper I like to do things simply, so the ‘Quick and Easy’ and ‘One Pot’ sections really

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Thermarest NeoAir Venture Sleeping Mat

I am a mum on a mission to reduce the size and amount of my family’s camping equipment and needed to replace our old airbeds with smaller, lighter and, above all, warmer mattresses. While my kids are fine on their new 2.5cm basic self-inflating mattresses, I wanted just a little bit more luxury! Thermarest are the experts in compact mattresses, and over the years have perfected their range of insulated air-filled mattresses. While prices for Thermarests range from £50 to £150, this is at the lower end, only £58.50 from Go Outdoors. I chose it for its tiny pack size (23 x 11cm) and it really is impressively small and light, ideal for back packers, but also a perfect addition

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