The Choc-A-Block Easter Blog: Tips for Fun Family Camping

With the smell of hot cross buns wafting wherever we go, and the temptation of chocolate-shaped-everything in every supermarket – it’s apparent that the four-day Easter weekend is once again on our (bunny) tails.

Every year, we promise ourselves we’ll be super organised; there’s nothing worse than taking off on an adventure and realising you’ve left something at home. You know, like a child.


More often than not though, it’s ultimately a mad rush to stock up on groceries and grab those extra bits and bobs before heading off.

Buckle up for our choc-a-block guide to a fun, family-friendly, four-day Easter camping weekend. We address the planning process, suggestions for the packlist, campsite cooking, and how to keep the keep the kids under wraps (when the chocolate no longer is)!

A twilight party scene with green grass, trees and foliage. There's a camp table set up and cookers, plus colourful bunting a lantern and fairy lights.

A whole four days away is just what everyone needs. Image: Coleman


Plan in Advance and Shop Early

Cleaning out the swags, the mini barbecue, the Esky, the car… some of these jobs can be done a couple of weeks in advance, while some must be done either the day of departure or just prior.

For example, checking the car should be done just ahead of leaving. What’s involved? Just the basic stuff: oil, water, tyres, belts, and spares. For more on how to prepare you 4WD ahead of a road trip, read this!

Remember too, it’s going to be madness at the shops – so there’s no harm in ticking off your shopping list early. If you’re taking meat, this also allows time to freeze it properly before packing into your Esky or fridge. To preserve your ice, pack some frozen food – and for more on that, check out the ‘8 Tips for Keeping Ice Longer in Your Icebox’.

Know the Route

If you know where you’re going, you probably won’t bother… but if you’re going somewhere new, remember to pack a map or road atlas. That said, even if you do know where you’re going, it’s a good idea to have one in the case of last-minute, unforeseen detours.

A 4WD travelling through a shallow body of water at sunset.

It’s a good idea to have a map on hand in the case of unexpected detours. Credit: Darche

Spring Clean Your Repair Kit – and Your Gear!

An Easter camping trip is a great time to go through your repair and toolkit, and give it a spring clean. While you’re at it, check if you’ve used the last of your cable ties, or if your spare poles are the right size for your new tent.

This way, if something crucial is missing, you’ve got plenty of time to source spares or replacements in advance, which takes the pressure off the day before your trip. Remember to check your first aid kit too!

Then there’s your gear. No one wants to crawl into their sleeping bag after a long day only to find it smells a little funky… or filled with mysterious, crunchy bits. Even worse, maybe you didn’t wipe the inside of your icebox or 12V fridge after your last trip, so are greeted with the stench of decay and some gnarly-looking mould?!

It’s important to clean everything both before and after a trip. This will ensure your gear remains in good condition for many more uses and makes for easy preparation ahead of your next trip. For more on gear storage between getaways, Ben and Lauren discussed the topic on the Snowys Camping Show:

Cleaning an Icebox outside with a cloth

Dirty gear is not a great way to start a trip, so give it a wipe down before you go. Image: Erin Wescombe

Switch Up Your Camping Menu

Instead of your standard menu, attempt some fun Easter-themed recipes. Damper is a classic camping treat, but in the spirit of the season simply add cocoa powder and chocolate chips – or, if you’re overflowing with Easter eggs, break them up and throw them in for fun too. Take it to the next level, and make hot cross buns in your camp oven too!

Don’t forget to stock up your fridge or Esky with some fresh or pre-cooked seafood too. If you’re camping by the coast, support local by purchasing there – or even catch the fish of the day yourself!

For more quick and easy camp meal suggestions, keep reading…

Hot cross buns in a camp oven

Homemade hot cross buns in the camp oven. Image: Mick the Camp Oven Cook

A woman cooks over a campfire with her friends chatting and laughing in camp chairs.

Instead of your standard menu, attempt some fun Easter-themed recipes. Image: OZtrail

Take Care with New Purchases

Or Head Instore for Last-Minute Essentials

Buying a big-ticket item such as a tent, swag, or gazebo at the last minute can often have you rushing your normal methodical, decision-making process. If it’s time for an upgrade, research thoroughly before buying. If you’re unsure of anything, give us a call or send us an email for advice. Check out this year’s Best Family Camping Tents or even our Guide to Choosing the Right Gazebo if you’re curious as to which styles and models others are buying.

Considering an air tent? Here are 5 reasons why we support that decision.

Also, if ordering online, be aware of delivery delays. Easter is the busiest camping weekend of the year, so you might find you need to allow extra time.

Family walking near Oztent Tent outdoors

Delivery times on family tents are longer due to their size and weight. Image: Oztent

Prepare Your Sleeping Mat

If you forgot to unroll your self-inflating mat before storing after your last trip away, or you typically don’t have the space – don’t forget to open it up at least a couple of days before your trip (depending on how long it’s been rolled up). Check your mat for any leaks and repair damaged areas ahead of time. This guide shows just how to do the job!

The best way to store your self-inflating mat is to keep it inflated with the valves open, before deflating and rolling up when it’s time to hit the road. Shopping around for a new mat? Check out last year’s best-sellers for camping here, or lighter-weight versions here.

Self Inflating Mat in tent

Your self-inflating mat should come out of hibernation to ensure it’s ready to go for your trip. Image: Sea to Summit


Eggs-tra Pegs and Guy Ropes

If the forecast is windy, extra guy ropes and pegs are always an excellent idea. Not sure what pegs you’ll need? Here’s a helpful article – but remember, if the breeze picks up, it is key to further stabilise your poles by adding guy ropes on either side to counteract any movement.

Ben and Lauren also talk tent pegs on the Snowys Camping Show:

Explore Planet Earth Extra Guy Ropes

It is wise to bring along extra pegs and guy ropes. Image: Explore Planet Earth

Sea to Summit Cookware

The Sea to Summit Delta Insulated Mug won’t only serve you well at the campsite, it’s ideal for everyday use for the coffee-loving commuter. It’ll keep your beverage warmer for longer, too!

(On that note, check out the top 10 best-selling coffee makers for the campsite here.)

Then there’s the Delta Cutlery Set. It’s like ten-thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife. You’ve driven all day to the perfect camp spot. You’ve set up the tent, inflated the sleeping mat, unfurled the sleeping bags. All you want is a beer and to enjoy a meal. But WHERE ARE THE FORKS?!

It’s with the spoon and knife, silly. A durable fork, spoon, and knife clipped together on a handy carabiner, which can then be attached to your pack. Genius.

Check out the full Sea to Summit cookware range here, including their new line of Detour, Passage, and Frontier. Boasting sleek, non-stick, abrasion resistant constructions that are as robust as they are lightweight, this collection consists of the ultimate cooking components to keep in the kitchen kit this camping trip.

The Sea to Summit Detour kettle pouring hot water into a cup at sunrise.

Sea to Summit cookware are perfect lightweight options for outdoor escapes. Credit: Sea to Summit

Collapsible too, the Sea to Summit Frontier cookware range are the ultimate kitchen components to pack with the kit. Image: Sea to Summit


The Victorinox’s Deluxe Tinker is probably one of the most useful in their range. It boasts everything from a large and small blade, to scissors, pliers, a toothpick, and tweezers. With stacks of other uses, and possibly even life-saving tools and features in between – look and feel the part of a well-equipped camper.

Zippo also offer a multi-tool, as well as many compact and lightweight means to efficiently light a campfire – including flints, tinder, a mag strike, and a fire torch.

Lights and Lanterns

Lanterns have come a long way since the traditional miner’s style lamp you can imagine hooked to the side of a dusty mine. Smell that kerosine?

New to the Snowys shelves are the Darche Mini Multi LED Camp Light 3 Pack. Boasting a rechargeable 1200mAh lithium battery, benefit from four light modes to accommodate whatever illumination you require. A magnetic stand allows for convenient mounting, while an IPX5 rating resists the wetter weather . Packed compactly with a USB C charging cable into a convenient carry case too, the included carbiners also keep your lit bit of camp kit tidy and together! The better beacons worth packing with the camp kit. Watch the review below!

Then there are the Hardkorr U-Lite Dual Colour LED Lanterns – one of our best-selling lighting options, boasting impressive versatility. From the toolshed to the tent, enjoy more brightness and an inbuilt rechargeable lithium battery for convenience. Packing a blinding punch with an output of 155 lumens, light up the site for up to 6 hours on high and over 90 hours on low! Alternate effortlessly between high, medium, and low white light, while the orange hue option keeps the bugs at bay. 

Fairy lights are another way of adding a sense of magic and ambiance to the campsite – like the Luci Solar String Lights by MPOWERD.

A woman in a beanie sits on a step outside her van, strung with lights.

Smaller string lights can add a sense of magic to your camp setup. Image: Earthwell

Easy-to-Cook Camp Meals

Some people out there take camp cooking seriously. If you don’t, but still want fast, tasty, and nutritious food – Go Native, Back Country Cuisine, The Outdoor Gourmet Company and Radix Nutrition make super simple and tasty freeze-dried meals.

Plus, we’d like to invite a new guest to our outdoor Easter degustation: Offgrid Provisions. From tangy tomato, zingy ginger, and smack of spice in a curry, to the modest side meal of Aussie-grown rice for more bulk in your grub – Offgrid offer that smack of savoury beyond the big smoke.

Best of all, each of these options are made from quality ingredients – and taste a lot better than you may expect from packaged camp meals!

…OK, OK – so you’re better than a packet meal? We commend you – and these days, cooking simple but delicious family-friendly camp meals is only becoming easier. Check out these tips for meal planning ahead of your next 4WD or camping trip, or some of our favourites on our YouTube seriesCamp Cooking with Cam’.

A woman in a beanie sits rugged up on a sleeping mat holding a mug, with a hiking stove to her right, looking out to the sunrise.

It’s still possible to enjoy fast, tasty, and nutritious food without taking camp cooking too seriously! Credit: Sea to Summit

Buttermilk pancakes with stewed apples and a dollop of cream

Cam’s Buttermilk Pancakes with Stewed Apples are the perfect camp breakfast option for the whole family on holiday.

‘But Honey… we’ll have the kids with us too…’

Camping with kids is great fun too, and steering your children away from computers and electronic devices and into the great outdoors can be very rewarding. Planning ahead in general is recommended, but even more so when camping with the kids.

Maybe you have a campsite in mind, and the kids are already excited. Have you thought about what to take, whether you need to book ahead and secure your site, what kid-friendly activities are on offer, will they enjoy it, and what camp food you’ll pack?

Choose a Site with Suitable Amenities

Selecting a campsite that has facilities like toilets and a shower block will help children especially transition into going outdoors. This will make it easier for you too, in packing less gear. Choose a destination with your kids, and make sure you book ahead.

Other things to consider with your campsite, is how far it is away from home. You want to be able to enjoy time and space from your daily routine, but at the same time, you might not want to sit through a 4 hour car ride.

A 4WD from a birds' eye view driving along a track surrounded by forest trees.

Steering your children away from electronic devices and into the great outdoors is very rewarding. Credit: Darche

Set Up a Trial Camp in the Backyard

If it’s their first trip camping, familiarise your kids with sleeping in the family tent and make note of anything you’ll do differently while away. This is a great way to test whether the sleeping gear is warm, if your mats are comfortable, and whether there’s suitable lighting in the tent.

Be your tent old or new – setting it up the week leading into your trip will also allow time for identifying any issues, damage, or missing parts, and subsequently sourcing anything needed. No one wants to drive for hours on end only to discover a broken tent pole at base camp!

If your shelter is brand new, pitching it before your trip provides an opportunity to understand how the components are assembled, or check out a how-to video if required. By the time your trip rolls around, you’ll be good to go! Just ensure everything is packed back into the bag as it was…not tucked beneath the couch, or swallowed by the dog!

A father and his children are sitting on a picnic rug overlooking the sunset on the ocean, from the top of a cliff. The tent is standing nearby.

You want to be able to enjoy time and space from your daily routine.

Include Them in the Planning and Packing

Develop a checklist that you can use each time you go camping. This can be refined when you return to ensure you don’t forget anything next time. Encourage the kids to pack their bags with a list you have put together, and make sure you take extra clothes for them too (no doubt they’ll get theirs dirty)!

Plus, pack a few favourite toys and other items from home to create a more familiar environment for them.

Bring Appropriate Shelter to Accommodate Activities

Have some portable shade on hand, such as a gazebo or shelter, to set up an activity station.  This will keep your kids occupied and out of any harsh weather.

Setting up a tent in the backyard with the family

Pitching your tent at home allows the chance to identify any damage or parts missing. Image: The O’Hara Family

Consider Safety

Establish camp boundaries. Collect brochures and maps from information centres, and attend guided ranger talks (if they are available) to learn as much as you can.

Plan an Easter Egg Hunt (Leaving No Trace…)

Go prepared with items for a hunt, such as wrapped treats, fruit, or toys. If your kids are old enough too, you could create an orienteering game with a hand-drawn map and compass.

All the same, with the increased popularity of camping over the past few years, there’s concern over the environmental impact of campers not doing the right thing out in the bush or at the beach. On this year’s Easter camping trip, remember the key principals of Leave No Trace.

Still can’t find all the choccy eggs you planted in your own backyard last year? Easter egg hunts are an aspect of Easter that the kids look forward to, but there’s always a couple of stray choccies that go missing. Whilst this isn’t such a big deal when you’re at home, the foil (let alone the chocolate contents) can be hazardous to native wildlife if consumed. This can create negative long-term habits for them too.

Close up of a wombat in dappled sunshine and the trunks of trees in the background

Consider the native flora and fauna when preparing your Easter egg hunt. Image: Coleman

If you’re going to have an Easter egg hunt, keep note of the number of eggs you plan to hide and snap a picture of where they’re hidden. Maybe you only hide them around your tent and camp kitchen area to limit the number that go astray. There’s also the option of placing them inside smaller plastic containers to help prevent animals from getting to them before the kids!

When the hunt is over, the chocolate eggs have been gobbled, and the very last hot cross bun has been toasted – pack up camp and leave the site better than you found it. The next camper will thank you. One day, that next camper will be you!

For more on leaving no trace, tune in to Ben and Lauren on the Snowys Camping Show:

Other Activities for the Kids

  • Bush crafts

Pack an outdoor survival book and learn how to make a shelter, or look into other bush crafts.

  • Mountain Biking

Bring the bikes for the family, and explore the trails together.

  • Short Day Hikes

Be prepared with backpackswater bottles and snacks for a family hike. Consider going with another family, so the kids have friends to play with.

  • Exploring

Teach the kids about wildlife and outdoor ethics, like the leave no trace principles mentioned earlier. Attempt to spot any interesting trees, rocks, and bugs that are native to the area.

A man stands outside his tent at sunrise, drinking from a mug.

Take the time to be present, without aiming to achieve too much in a day.

Don’t Aim to Achieve Too Much

It will be far less stressful if you pick a destination that is not too far away. Don’t expect to hike all the way to the top of the hill, or jam too many activities into your day. Involve your kids in the small things such as pitching the tent, setting up the camp kitchen and packing up.

Make Time for Naps or Breaks

You and your kids will probably be knackered from all the activities you do – so make time to rest so everyone is ready to get up the next day and do it all again!

For more on this topic, Ben and Lauren unpack the considerations on the Snowys Camping Show – as well as how they can differ when camping with teenagers:

Happy Camping Everyone!

Be it chilling out at home in your own backyard, heading to the river, or going camping in the bush – we hope you have a fun and safe trip over Easter this year.

To unwrap something that lasts a little longer than chocolate this Easter, check out our Epic Easter Deals!

A kettle on a portable camp stove beneath a 4WD awning, letting out steam as the sun rises.

We hope you have a safe and fun Easter this year!

Do you have a trip planned for Easter this year, or will you be relaxing at home?