Our Bongo packing checklist for family camping

  • July 21, 2020

As a family we love camping, whether it’s a France road trip, on our Africa overland adventures, or even in our back garden. And now we have our Mazda Bongo 4×4 camper! We love being outdoors, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, and waking up to the sounds of nature around us. Plus camping it’s a great option for budget travel.

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What I don’t like? The packing. There is always so much stuff to take and seemingly never enough boot space!

But over the years, I’ve honed it down to a fine art to minimise faffing. Organisation is key when it comes to packing for a family camping trip and a camping checklist is paramount!

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Bongo checklist

Gas and water

Tents and awnings

If you’re staying somewhere for a couple of nights of more, it’s nice to have an awning to give you that little bit more space. We have one that came with our Bongo when we bought it off eBay, but I do love this OLPRO Cocoon Breeze that Tinbox Traveller uses.

If you’re wild camping or staying somewhere with no toilet facilities, then a pop up toilet tent is an excellent idea. Add in a collapsible toilet seat, bin bags, saw dust and of course toilet roll, and you’re sorted!

Dining and lounging

Sleeping gear

In our Mazda Bongo, the boys sleep up in the AFT (Auto Free Top) and us parents sleep in the pull out rock and roll bed.

Cooking gear

Thankfully our Mazda Bongo comes with a sink, two hobs and a fridge, as well as an onboard water tank! So the cooking gear we need is:

  • Slow cooker – even though we have the hobs, the slow cooker is used so much. Often we put a veggie bolognese in there first thing in the morning, put it on a low setting, and then dinner is waiting for us when we get back from our hike!
  • Frying pan and saucepan
  • Kettle (I love this collapsible one)
  • Plates, bowls and cutlery (including spatula)
  • Mugs and plastic cups
  • Collapsible dish drainer
  • Collapsible washing up bowl (I still pack this as it’s handy to use at campsites with facilities)
  • Washing up liquid and scrubber
  • Bottle opener and wine / beer
  • Table cloth
  • Picnic blanket
  • Cooking oil, ketchup, salt and pepper, marshmallows, and any other food items

Electrical items

Personal items

Additional items

For the kids

Don’t try and take any more than the below – they have the great outdoors to explore!

  • Card games
  • Reading books
  • LEGO
  • Paper, pens, scissors, sellotape, glue (add in sticks, leaves and grass and they can craft away for a while!)
  • Tablets and headphones
Packing Bongo
All packed and ready to hit the road!

You may also like to read:
France road trip itinerary for a summer camping with kids
Overlanding Africa with kids
Iceland road trip with kids

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