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Family Camping Tent Accessories Must Haves

5 min read 0 Comments

Set off on your family camping trip with everything you need and then some! Discover convenient and must-have accessories for family camping tents to make a more memorable adventure and keep campers of every type comfortable while appreciating the beauty of nature.

Must-Have Family Camping Tent Accessories

bell tent with rain fly and ground sheet

Groundsheet or Tarp Footprint

A family camping tent is an investment and one you want to last. So whatever style of family camping tent you choose, it’s imperative to add a groundsheet or tarp footprint. Something protective beneath your tent can:

  • Protect the base and preventing water and rain from seeping under
  • Add an extra insulative barrier for warmth and a soft footing
  • Reduce cleaning time when it’s time to pack up your tent

Many traditional nylon camping tents come with a groundsheet or offer one you can buy separately from the brand. Bell tents should always be pitched with tarp footprints, especially when camping on grass, sand, or soil. Find protective bell tent footprints to fit your size family camping tent.

Learn more ways to protect your tent’s floor.

Tent Fly Cover

A rain fly cover is also a must-have accessory for family camping tents. Just like you should have a groundsheet or tarp to protect your tent’s base, so should you have a protective cover. Tent fly covers can:

  • Provide UV protection and shed rain and snow
  • Provide an air pocket for an extra insulative layer
  • Limit the condensation that accumulates inside the tent to prevent mold and dampness
  • Reduce maintenance to canvas material style bell tents and shelter tents

Some rain fly tent covers and protectors can be used without the tent itself, offering a nice sun shelter shade or dry space to lounge at the campground or beach.

Sidewall Poles

This accessory for family camping tents is specifically made for canvas bell tents. Metal sidewall poles are designed to be added to a bell tent’s exterior walls to offer extra stability. You simply slide the poles into the grommets along the outer edge of the overhang, stretching out the roof to add a nice, taught surface.

Providing both form and function, a sidewall pole set helps to shed rain and make the bell tent stand tall, proud and beautiful.

Brooms and Rakes

A rake is a nice accessory to keep around for any camping trip. Before setting up, a rake can remove rocks, sticks, and other items from the ground that could potentially puncture the base of your family camping tent. Look for a small rake or a collapsible rake with a telescopic handle that doesn’t take up too much space in your camp gear.

A broom and dustpan make it easy to sweep out dust and debris from your tent before you pack it in. It could also be useful during the camping trip too, should kids or pets track in sand or dirt.

Extra Stakes & A Rubber Mallet

Bring alone extra stakes, just in case. In fact, if your family camping tent comes with plastic stakes, swap them out for more durable aluminum or steel stakes, a much stronger material to take on hard or rocky ground. And a rubber mallet to help drive those stakes home.

Repair Kit

Always bring a repair kit for your family camping tent! A tear or faulty zipper can lead to a leaky or cold tent, which is simply no fun for anybody. Here are some repair kits to check out:

Furniture & Lighting Accessories

camp chairs and lantern inside family camping tent

Aside from the essential accessories you need to protect your family camping tent, there’s always room for creature comforts like furniture and lighting to make your stay more enjoyable.

Camping Furniture

Camping furniture will upgrade your family camping tent without a doubt. And whether you choose to keep it cool and casual or glamp your tent up to the nines, there’s a budget for every camper’s tastes. Consider the following furniture pieces for your family camping tent:


Cots are a nice accessory to have that makes for a great night’s sleep. They keep you above the ground, adding extra storage space beneath, and can double as a sofa. Raised camp cots are great for taller family camping tents. The best camping cot is one that prioritizes comfort, ease of setup and portability.


Camp chairs come in all sorts of style and comfort options, from folding rocking chairs to full-on classic Adirondack chairs. There are also glider chairs, butterfly canvas chairs, hammock chairs, and even camp chairs with ottomans that let you kick back for a nap or stargazing.


Camp tables are an extremely versatile and practical accessory for family camping tents. Pop up a table for game night or bring a picnic table to host the whole family. Not to mention, they make for a more comfortable dining experience.

Lanterns and Lighting

Anytime you go camping, you should carry at least one headlamp for each person. However, consider creating a broader glow with more ambient lighting accessories. Bring a lantern or two, along with string lights you can leave on for the kiddos.

Camp lanterns are a must-have accessory for family camping tents. And sure, you can use a classic Coleman lantern handed down from your grandpa, but you could also modernize your family camping tent accessories with a vintage-inspired retro camping lantern that offers functions like a rechargeable battery, three-color dimming, and a built-in USB port.

Air, Heat, and Water

Geyser Systems portable camping shower washing dishes

Give your family camping tent some extra accessories to make it feel more like home. Accessories that bring a certain level of comfort from the elements that we often take for granted.

Tent Fans and Air Conditioners

For hotter climates and humid days, a portable tent camping fan can keep the breezes going. Hang a tent fan from the ceiling of your tent to help keep adults and kids alike cool during warm nights. We especially love this vintage style rechargeable aroma diffuser fan that doesn’t require a power source. Simply charge it at home and bring it along!

Portable Tent Heater and Wood Stove

Portable tent heaters are another smart electronic accessory to carry along for colder camping trips. Keeping the family camping tent warm inside will ensure everyone stays cozy and safe. Of course, for canvas family camping tents, a wood-burning stove offers both warmth and ambiance. Just be mindful of little ones and learn wood stove safety tips.

Portable Bathrooms and Outdoor Showers

A portable bathroom and outdoor shower will ensure proper hygiene around your family camping tent setup and site. Portable compostable toilets are a must-have for more remote campsites away from public restroom facilities.

Besides the obvious advantage of taking hot showers at a campsite, portable showers like the Geyser Systems portable shower offer lots of convenience. Portable showers allow you to wash up dishes, pots, and pans, making cleanup easy. They can also be brought along on other camping trip excursions like the beach, allowing you to rinse off sand and saltwater from kids' feet and pets' coats.

More Tips and Tricks for Family Camping

kids inside a canvas family camping tent

All of these essential and creature comfort accessories for family camping tents will make a strip more enjoyable for everyone. Be honest about what kind of campers are in your family unit, and just how close to nature and roughing it they’re willing to get. Bring the accessories that you absolutely must have, and then consider what will simply keep everyone happy and content.

Need inspiration for your family camping adventures? We’ve got you covered!

Brette DeVore
Brette DeVore

As a former hospitality interior designer with an adventurous spirit and love for travel, I now help interior designers and tourism-related businesses in creating online content and media.

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