We have a down loadable packing list over by the Kinus applications. The packing list has been honed to perfection by years of experience. You do not need expensive outdoor stuff. Most of us do quite well with Target for almost all of our camping gear. They have everything you'll need and at reasonable prices. I may not shop at Target if I were going to scale K2, but we're talking about a weekend camping trip.
We do highly recommend that you buy true outdoor gear, and not the sleeping bags you might use for sleep overs. This also applies to tents too. The backyard play tents with cartoon pictures are just too lightweight for sleeping in the outdoors.
Oh, a helpful hint about tents: When a tent says it can sleep "X" number of people, it is talking about people being packed like sardines. We recommend that you buy a tent that advertises itself as twice the size that you need. For example, if you are two people, buy a four man tent. If you are three people, buy a six man tent. Also, if your kids are old enough to sleep on their own, you might want to consider getting two separate tents: One for the kids and one for the adults. Remember that you'll be storing your gear in your tent too.
Follow our packing list, and you shall not go wrong. We do offer the following hints:
- Pack bottles for water. It is summer, and you'll get thirsty. We mention this in our packing list, but we do want to emphasize this.
- If you plan to go on a hike, get a good sized canteen for hikes and not just a 16 ounce bottle of spring water. Some people use Camelbaks which are backpack/waterbottle combination. They can carry more fluid than a waterbottle and they leave your hands free. Target has some clones for under 25 dollars or get a Nalgene water bottle.
- Remember that you need to fit your stuff in a tent. You can get duffle bags, but I find the large plastic storage containers very nice. You can stack them up on each other, use them as tables inside your tent, and they'll keep the contents dry and protected. You can even store them outside your tent to make a bit more room inside the tent.
- For your kids, we recommend that you get the large 2 gallon ziplock bags and put a set of clothes for them to wear into each bag. This way, they can grab a ziplock bag, and have everything they need. They don't have to search through their duffle or container and spill out the entire contents.
- Again from our packing list: Get a flashlight for everyone. But, make sure all the flashlights use the same size batteries. Then get fresh batteries for each flashlight. For Shabbat, get some glowsticks and put one on your tent. It makes it much easier to find your tent in the dark.