If you’re planning a camping trip with your little one, you know that packing can be a challenge. But fear not! We’ve got you covered with our essential guide on “What To Bring Camping With Toddler.” From must-have gear to practical tips, this article is your go-to resource for making your outdoor adventure with your toddler stress-free and fun. Say goodbye to last-minute worries and hello to a memorable camping experience for the whole family!
Shelter and Sleeping
When camping with a toddler, it is essential to have a family-sized tent. This provides enough space for you, your toddler, and possibly other family members. Look for a tent that is easy to set up and has a waterproof design to protect your little one from unexpected rain showers.
Sleeping bags or blankets
Bring along sleeping bags or blankets specifically designed for toddlers. These will keep them cozy and warm throughout the night. Opt for lightweight options that are easy to pack and carry.
Air mattress or sleeping pad
For added comfort, consider bringing an air mattress or sleeping pad. This will provide a cushioned surface for both you and your toddler to sleep on. Just make sure to inflate it properly and secure it before letting your little one on it.
Don’t forget to pack pillows for you and your toddler. These will ensure a good night’s sleep and keep everyone comfortable. Choose pillows that are suited for your toddler’s age and size.
It’s always a good idea to bring extra blankets, especially if you’re camping in colder weather. These can be used to layer on top of sleeping bags or as additional bedding to keep your toddler warm and cozy.
Camping crib or travel bassinet
If your toddler is not used to sleeping in a regular bed, consider bringing a camping crib or travel bassinet. These portable sleeping options provide a familiar and secure sleeping space for your little one.
Clothing and Accessories
Appropriate clothing for the weather
Pack clothing suitable for the weather conditions during your camping trip. Ensure you have enough outfits for your toddler, including long-sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, and a variety of layers for both warm and cool weather.
Camping can often mean unpredictable weather, so it’s important to pack extra layers for your toddler. This includes lightweight jackets, sweaters, and hats to protect them from the cold.
Hats and sunglasses
Don’t forget to bring hats and sunglasses to protect your toddler from the sun’s rays. Opt for styles that provide good coverage and have a secure fit to avoid them falling off during outdoor activities.
Pack sturdy footwear for both you and your toddler. Closed-toe shoes are essential to protect their feet from potential hazards like rocks or thorns. Consider bringing extra pairs in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Swimwear and towels
If you plan on spending time near water, bring swimwear and towels for your toddler. Whether it’s a dip in a lake or a splash in a kiddie pool, your little one will need appropriate swimwear and a towel to dry off afterwards.
Be prepared for rainy weather by bringing waterproof jackets and pants for your toddler. This will keep them dry and comfortable during unexpected showers. Don’t forget a pair of rain boots to complete their rainy day outfit.
Pack comfortable and lightweight pajamas for your toddler to sleep in. Choose breathable materials that are suitable for the temperature of your camping destination.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Protect your toddler’s delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays by packing sunscreen with a high SPF. Additionally, bring insect repellent to ward off pesky mosquitoes and other bugs that can disrupt your camping experience.
First aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have when camping with a toddler. Include essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any necessary medications.
Feeding and Hygiene
Baby food and snacks
Pack plenty of baby food and snacks that your toddler enjoys. Opt for non-perishable options that are easy to store and prepare while camping.
Bottles and formula
If your toddler still relies on bottles and formula, remember to pack enough for the duration of your camping trip. Bring extra bottles and the necessary supplies for cleaning and sterilizing them.
Breast pump and supplies (if necessary)
For breastfeeding mothers, consider bringing a manual or portable electric breast pump along with all the necessary supplies. This will allow you to continue providing breast milk for your toddler even while camping.
Utensils, plates, and bowls
Don’t forget to pack toddler-sized utensils, plates, and bowls. Lightweight and durable options are ideal for camping. Look for designs that are easy to clean and won’t break easily.
Reusable water bottles
Staying hydrated during camping trips is crucial, so don’t forget to pack reusable water bottles for both you and your toddler. Encourage your little one to drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
Hooded towels are handy for bath time and can also provide some extra warmth after swimming. Pack a couple of hooded towels for your toddler to keep them dry and cozy.
Bring along the necessary bath essentials, such as baby shampoo, soap, and a washcloth. Look for travel-sized options to save space in your camping gear.
Baby wipes are a versatile essential when camping with a toddler. They can be used for quick clean-ups, wiping hands and faces, and even as a substitute for toilet paper.
Diapers and diaper rash cream
Ensure you have an ample supply of diapers and diaper rash cream for your toddler. Pack enough for the duration of your camping trip, including extra in case of unexpected circumstances.
Maintaining proper hygiene is essential, especially when camping. Pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer to keep your toddler’s hands clean when access to soap and water is limited.
Bring some small trash bags for disposing of dirty diapers, wipes, and any other waste generated during your camping trip. Properly disposing of trash helps keep the campsite clean and ensures a pleasant environment for everyone.
Portable high chair or booster seat
If your toddler requires a high chair or booster seat during mealtimes, consider investing in a portable option. These can be easily folded and transported, providing your little one with a safe and comfortable place to sit while eating.
Entertainment and Safety
Toys and games
Pack a variety of toys and games to keep your toddler entertained during downtime at the campsite. Choose options that are suitable for outdoor play and will engage their curiosity and creativity.
Bring a selection of your toddler’s favorite books to read together during quiet moments. Reading to your little one not only provides entertainment but also supports their language development.
Crayons and coloring books
Encourage your toddler’s creativity by bringing along crayons and coloring books. This simple activity can keep them engaged for hours and is perfect for quiet indoor or shaded outdoor time.
Outdoor play equipment
Consider bringing outdoor play equipment such as balls, bubbles, or a small sandbox. These activities will keep your toddler active and engaged while enjoying the great outdoors.
A baby monitor can provide peace of mind when camping with a toddler. Some models have long-range capabilities, allowing you to keep an ear out for your little one even when you’re exploring the campsite or enjoying a campfire.
While camping, it’s important to ensure the campsite is a safe environment for your toddler. Bring childproofing supplies such as outlet covers, corner protectors, and cabinet locks to minimize potential hazards.
Travel baby gate or playpen
If your toddler is prone to wandering off, consider bringing a travel baby gate or playpen to create a safe space for them within the campsite. This will give them the freedom to explore while still keeping them within sight.
A night-light can be a comforting addition to your toddler’s sleeping area. It provides a soft and gentle glow during the night, making them feel secure in unfamiliar surroundings.
Flashlights and lanterns
Pack flashlights or lanterns to illuminate the campsite during nighttime activities. Consider bringing kid-friendly versions for your toddler to use, ensuring they can safely navigate their surroundings after dark.
Portable radio or Bluetooth speaker
Having a portable radio or Bluetooth speaker allows you to enjoy music or listen to your toddler’s favorite bedtime stories while camping. It can also serve as a source of entertainment during quiet moments at the campsite.
Meal Preparation and Cooking
Cooler or ice chest
Invest in a good-quality cooler or ice chest to keep perishable items fresh during your camping trip. This is especially important if you plan on bringing items like milk, yogurt, or fresh fruits and vegetables.
Camp stove or portable grill
If you prefer to cook meals at the campsite, bring a camp stove or portable grill. This allows you to prepare warm and delicious meals for your family. Make sure to follow safety guidelines and place the stove or grill in a safe, well-ventilated area.
Cooking utensils and pots/pans
Don’t forget to pack cooking utensils, pots, and pans suitable for camping. Look for lightweight and durable options that are easy to clean and won’t take up too much space in your camping gear.
Plates, cups, and utensils
Bring lightweight and unbreakable plates, cups, and utensils for mealtime. Opt for kid-friendly designs to make dining more enjoyable for your toddler.
Water jugs or bottles
Ensure you have an ample supply of drinking water by bringing water jugs or bottles. This is particularly important if you’re camping in an area where freshwater sources are limited.
Dish soap and sponge
To clean your cooking utensils and dishes, pack biodegradable dish soap and a sponge. This will make washing up easier and allow you to maintain good hygiene during your camping trip.
Bring larger trash bags for collecting and disposing of food waste and any other garbage generated while camping. This helps keep the campsite clean and free from unwanted critters.
Snacks and non-perishable food
Pack a variety of snacks and non-perishable food items that your toddler enjoys. Granola bars, dried fruit, and pre-packaged snack packs are convenient options that provide energy throughout the day.
Campfire cooking tools
If you plan on cooking over a campfire, don’t forget to bring essential campfire cooking tools such as skewers, grill grates, and campfire forks. These tools will allow you to cook meals and roast marshmallows for a fun camping tradition.
Transportation and Outdoor Gear
Stroller or baby carrier
When exploring the campground or embarking on hikes, a stroller or baby carrier is essential for transporting your toddler. Choose a stroller that is suitable for outdoor terrain or opt for a baby carrier that allows for more flexibility.
Child carrier backpack
If you plan on hiking or spending long periods outdoors, a child carrier backpack is a great investment. It allows you to carry your toddler securely and comfortably while keeping your hands free.
Bicycle trailer or tow-behind stroller
If you enjoy cycling, consider bringing a bicycle trailer or tow-behind stroller. These allow you to bring your toddler along for bike rides, providing a fun and interactive experience for the whole family.
Hiking gear (appropriate shoes, backpack, etc.)
If you’re planning on hiking with your toddler, make sure to pack appropriate hiking gear. This includes sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes, a backpack with essentials, and appropriate clothing for the hiking conditions.
Sunshade or umbrella
To protect your toddler from the sun’s rays while spending time outdoors, bring a sunshade or umbrella. This will provide shade and help prevent sunburns during extended periods of outdoor play.
Portable baby swing
A portable baby swing can provide entertainment and relaxation for your toddler. Look for a lightweight and compact option that can be easily set up and taken down for use at the campsite.
Cooler or backpack for carrying supplies
Invest in a cooler or backpack specifically designed for carrying supplies. This will help you stay organized and ensure your essential items are easily accessible during hikes or outdoor activities.
A picnic blanket is a simple yet essential item when camping with a toddler. It provides a clean and comfortable surface for picnics, playtime, or just relaxing at the campsite.
Camping chairs for adults and children
Bring camping chairs for both adults and children. These lightweight and foldable chairs provide comfortable seating around the campsite or during outdoor meals.
First Aid and Medical Supplies
If your toddler requires any prescription medications, make sure you pack enough for the duration of your camping trip. Keep them in a secure and easily accessible location.
Children’s pain reliever
Include children’s pain reliever in your first aid kit to alleviate your toddler’s discomfort in case of headaches, fevers, or other mild pains. Make sure the medication is suitable for your child’s age and follow the recommended dosage.
If your toddler has known allergies, be sure to bring the necessary allergy medication. This will help manage any allergy symptoms that may arise during your camping trip.
A reliable thermometer is a must-have item in your first aid kit. It allows you to monitor your toddler’s temperature and detect any signs of fever or illness.
Tweezers are useful for removing splinters, ticks, or other small objects that may become lodged in your toddler’s skin. Include a pair of tweezers in your first aid kit for quick and safe removal.
Band-aids and adhesive tape
Pack a variety of band-aids and adhesive tape in different sizes to cover any minor cuts, scrapes, or blisters that may occur during your camping adventures.
Gauze pads and rolls
Gauze pads and rolls are essential for dressing larger wounds or providing extra padding for injuries. Include these in your first aid kit for more serious situations.
Antiseptic wipes help clean and disinfect wounds to prevent infection. Pack a few individually wrapped wipes to ensure proper wound care while camping.
A cold pack can provide instant relief for bumps, bruises, or minor injuries. Store one in your first aid kit to manage any small emergencies that may occur.
Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
Don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the special moments spent with your toddler during your camping trip. These memories will last a lifetime and can be cherished for years to come.
Extra batteries and charging cables
Ensure you have extra batteries and charging cables for your electronic devices. This will keep your camera, smartphone, or any other essential gadgets powered throughout your camping adventure.
Garbage bags and ziplock bags
Bring along some extra garbage bags and ziplock bags for various purposes. They can be used for storing dirty laundry, organizing smaller items, or keeping important documents and valuables dry.
Laundry detergent and clothesline
If you’re planning on doing laundry while camping, bring a small container of laundry detergent. Pack a portable clothesline as well, allowing you to hang clothes or towels to dry at the campsite.
Portable potty seat
If your toddler is in the process of potty training, consider bringing a portable potty seat. This will provide a familiar and hygienic option for your little one when nature calls.
Baby carrier for water activities
If you plan on engaging in water activities such as swimming or boating, bring a baby carrier specifically designed for water. These carriers are made from quick-drying materials and provide extra safety features for water-based adventures.
Waterproof pouches for storing valuables
To protect your valuables, such as phones, wallets, or keys, invest in waterproof pouches. These will keep your essentials dry and secure, even during water-based activities or unexpected rain showers.
Outdoor blankets are versatile items that can be used for picnics, as a playmat, or for added warmth during chilly evenings. Pack one or two outdoor blankets to enhance your camping experience.
Campfire roasting sticks
Roasting marshmallows or hot dogs over a campfire is a classic camping activity. Don’t forget to bring campfire roasting sticks to enjoy these delicious treats with your toddler.
Safety and Emergency Supplies
Emergency contact list
Create an emergency contact list that includes important phone numbers, such as local emergency services, doctors, and family members. Keep a printed copy of this list in your camping gear for easy access.
First aid manual
Include a first aid manual in your camping gear. This will provide guidance and instructions on how to handle common injuries or illnesses that may occur during your trip.
A whistle is a practical safety item to have on hand. Teach your toddler how to use a whistle in case they ever get separated from you. The sound can help locate them quickly in a crowded or unfamiliar area.
Emergency blankets are lightweight and compact, making them perfect for keeping warm during unexpected situations. Pack a couple of emergency blankets in your camping gear for added safety and security.
It’s important to have a fire extinguisher at your campsite for emergencies. Make sure it is suitable for extinguishing different types of fires and that you know how to use it properly.
Knife or multi-tool
A knife or multi-tool is a versatile tool that can come in handy during various camping situations. Use it for preparing food, cutting ropes, or handling other essential tasks.
Keep some emergency cash in your camping gear. This will provide a backup option in case you encounter any unexpected situations where electronic payment methods are unavailable.
Maps and compass
Even if you’re familiar with the camping area, it’s a good idea to bring maps and a compass. These tools will help you navigate your surroundings, especially if you plan on exploring different trails or areas.
In case of emergencies or unexpected weather changes, it’s important to have an emergency shelter in your camping gear. This can be a lightweight tent or tarp that provides quick protection and shelter when needed.
Tips and Recommendations
Plan activities and hikes suitable for toddlers
When camping with a toddler, it’s essential to plan activities and hikes that are suitable for their age and abilities. Choose shorter, easier trails and engage in activities that are safe and enjoyable for your little one.
Choose a family-friendly campground
Select a family-friendly campground that offers amenities and facilities suitable for toddlers. Look for campsites with playgrounds, safe swimming areas, and accessible bathroom facilities.
Bring familiar toys and comfort items
To help your toddler feel secure and comfortable in a new environment, bring along their favorite toys and comfort items. These familiar belongings will provide a sense of familiarity and help ease any anxiety they may have.
Establish a routine and stick to it
Maintaining a routine while camping can help your toddler feel secure and ensure they get enough rest, meals, and playtime. Try to stick as closely as possible to their regular schedule to minimize disruptions.
Pack extra clothes and bedding
Accidents happen, so it’s always a good idea to pack extra clothes and bedding for your toddler. This includes extra sets of pajamas, socks, underwear, and comfortable clothes suitable for different weather conditions.
Keep a close eye on your toddler at all times
Camping environments can present potential hazards for toddlers, so it’s crucial to keep a close eye on them at all times. Be aware of their surroundings, stay within sight and earshot, and ensure their safety throughout the camping trip.
Teach basic camping and outdoor safety
Take the opportunity to teach your toddler about basic camping and outdoor safety. This includes avoiding unfamiliar plants, staying away from the fire, and being cautious around water bodies. Instill a sense of responsibility and awareness.
Be prepared for unpredictable weather
Weather conditions can change rapidly while camping, so it’s important to be prepared for different scenarios. Pack appropriate clothing and gear for varying weather conditions, and be aware of weather forecasts for your camping destination.
Take regular breaks and rest when needed
Toddlers have limited energy and attention spans, so it’s important to take regular breaks and allow for rest when needed. This will help prevent exhaustion and crankiness, allowing everyone to enjoy the camping experience to the fullest.
Have fun and make lasting memories
Above all, remember to have fun and make lasting memories with your toddler while camping. Embrace the great outdoors, enjoy quality time together, and create treasured experiences that will be cherished for years to come.