Beyond The Tent’s 

Guide To Family Camping

Are you ready to get your family out into nature and start making memories? Learn everything you need to get started with Beyond The Tent’s Guide To Family Camping. We’ve spent an entire year putting together this intro guide to camping in order to get families excited about camping and teach them the basics of what they need to know in order to have a great time.

About The Book

Planning Your First Trip

We’ve included everything you need to know about planning your first trip. From what parks to stay at, when to reserve your camping spot and how long you should go for.

What Gear You’ll Need

Knowing what to bring and what not to bring is a confusing mess. Don’t invest any more than what you’ll absolutely need to bring. We’ll tell you what’s important and what’s not.

How To Set Up Your Campsite

Where should you set up your tent? How far away should your tent be from your food and fire? These and more are all answered to help you avoid any problems with your campsite.

Family Safety

Safety is always #1 with our family and we want your family to be safe as well. What does poison ivy look like, how to avoid bears, water safety and more are all covered.

Having Fun

Don’t allow yourself or your kids to get bored while out camping. We’ve included fun games and activities to keep everyone having a great time.

Leave No Trace

Leaving No Trace is a simple concept that all campers should follow to help ensure the beauty for all future campers and to preserve the parks and forests we camp in.

Plus Much More

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Read Samples From The Book

Intro: Why We Love Family Camping

Children today have many activities pulling them away from their family. Sports, dance, school, friends and electronics just to name a few. While these are not all necessarily bad for your kids, they can make it hard to spend quality time with your kids that both you and your children will enjoy.

Family camping has always been a great way to break away from the stress and business of your daily life, leave the distractions behind and reconnect with yourself, your spouse, your children and nature.

When out camping, you quickly find that ev- erything slows down. No more watching the clock, checking email and worrying about deadlines, but rather enjoying one another’s company.

A campfire cooked meal suddenly becomes a family activity rather than mom or dad in the kitchen. Afternoons become family ad-

ventures filled with exploration, games and adventure. Evenings become filled with talk, stories and emotion around a roaring camp- fire and bedtime is filled with giggles and laughter.

I am convinced that with a little guidance and planning, any family can reconnect and not only enjoy, but fall in love with the idea of family camping.

Chapter 1: Your First Time Camping

Whether you went camping as a family growing up or not, your first time camping with your family will be an interesting experience to say the least. The stories we hear from different families about their first times camping usually involve things going crazy, from over packing to under packing, to storms, bugs, rodents and more. One thing we almost always hear though is each family usually said that at the very least, they created a life lasting memory.

But don’t let me scare you, with a little bit of planning, you’ll be able to make your first family camping trip a great experience and a memory that you will cherish for a lifetime.

It is always a good idea to call and check in with the office at your campground, whether it is a private, state or national park, they will have an office of some type. There you can ask about fires, any special campground rules, certain animals and plants to be aware of at that site and more.

Chapter 2: All About Tents

Your tent is one of the most essential pieces of gear on your camping trip. A tent will keep you protected from the rain and wind, keep out bugs and mosquitoes, keep you cool on a hot afternoon and be your home on your camping trip.

A quality tent should be able to keep you dry, withstand kids and rugged use, hold up against strong winds and last for many years. But how do you know what features you need or whether should you spend $75 or $750 and how big of a tent should you buy?

Buying a tent can be a very confusing experience. If you do a Google search for a “family tent” chances are that you will come up with hundreds of tents in many different shapes, sizes and with prices from $50 – $1,500. If you visit your local outdoor store, sadly you can’t always trust the in store camping “expert” either, you have to remember, they are a salesman and want you to buy a specific product.

So where do you begin?

Just as in home shopping, car shopping or making any other important purchase, you need to start by doing some research. Learn everything you can about tents, what makes one tent better than the other, what do you need in a tent, what makes some tents last a lifetime while others can barely last one camping season. Once you are armed with the proper knowledge, you will be able to make a great tent purchase.

After submitting your email you should receive a confirmation email. Confirm that you have indeed subscribed to Beyond The Tent’s email newsletter and you will receive a welcome email with a link to download the guide!


About Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham Paddling in a Wenonah Canoe

My name is Ryan Cunningham and I was born in the small town of Madelia, Minnesota and grew up outside of town on a grain farm. From a young age my favorite activity was exploring the woods and river close by my home This love for exploring is what developed into a love for camping, especially with my family.

Today I am lucky enough to be able to say that I am a full time camper and run the website where I am able to talk about my camping trips, share my experiences and hopefully help others find a love for camping as well.

This family camping guide has been a year long project for me and it is my hope that it inspires you to get your family out of the house and start making memories that last a lifetime.  -Ryan Cunningham


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