I absolutely love camping. I grew up camping with my family, my friends, and Girl Guides. I have fond memories with my parents and sister of our family camping trips every summer, we would go on road trips, camp, and it was a great way to see the country. As an adult every summer I meet up with my friends and go to a local pagan festival called Kaleidoscope Gathering. We have a blast and it’s a great way to catch up with friends who live far away and I do not get to see as often as I would like. I have a good friend with a daughter about Bee’s age and one of my other close friends just had a daughter this winter who is two months younger than Po. This summer should be very interesting attempting to camp with two kids on my own for the first time. Luckily I have my “village” with me, three to four of my closest friends, plus my sister and her BFF so I am hoping it will be manageable.
Some of my tips for camping with little ones:
- Be as organized as possible before you go: Pack everything you think you may need, prep food and pre-cook meals if you can (I make chili, pasta sauce, soup, and other things in advance, freeze it in large ziplock bags), make extensive packing lists, bring whatever can make your life easier while camping.
- Try to go with the flow as much as you can. Snacks for lunch? No nap? Dirty kids and no showering? Late bedtime? Camping should be stress-free so embrace whatever comes.
- Be prepared for rain or shine, cold or hot weather, bugs, sun, whatever, extra packing may be necessary, but whatever the weather predicts, be prepared for everything.
- Try to get a campsite not on a busy area so you don’t have to worry about kids running in front of a car or loud passerby’s waking up the kids.
- Make sure your tent is in the shade, it feels like a sauna when the sun is overhead and no one will get any sleep.
- Look into the beach situation, kids can spend a long time playing at the beach, in the water, in the sand, it is a great way to spend a day.
- Bring comfortable sleeping arrangements even if it is bulky (and tons of pillows). Air mattress, play yard, etc. You want to be comfy when you sleep especially if you are camping for a long period of time. I discovered a play yard contained my toddler and made sleep more likely, if she could roam the tent she was not going to sleep!
- Bring your stroller and/or other portable chairs to sit and eat in. It will help during meal times and is also a good place to stash them in out of the way while you set up the tent or take it down. Plus on trips to the washroom it can contain a toddler so they aren’t touching things in the yucky campground bathroom.
- Take the easy route. Instant meals. Simple meals. Things with not a lot of prep. But make sure it is delicious! Camping is a time for good food!
- I bring a chair into the tent as part of my set-up. Sitting on an air mattress to breastfeed is acutely uncomfortable so even if it is bulky putting a chair in the tent makes bf’ing much easier.
- Bring a little inflatable pool. I am bringing two actually, one to use like a play pen for Po to sit in since he is sitting and trying to crawl, it is a little bit tidier for him than the ground and contains his toys. The other for water, we can use it to bathe them at night (stick water in early on so the sun can warm it up) and during the day they can play in it while baby is sleeping or we need them to stay at the campsite.
- Make sure you have good shade, whether a tarp, screened in tent, etc. so there is a safe place for the little’s to play in when the sun is really strong.
- Stay hydrated. Everyone of you! I introduced water to Po this week just so he can drink it while camping to keep him safe, Bee too, I pre-froze juice boxes, de-caffeinated unsweetened iced tea (which she likes) etc. so she has things to encourage her to drink while camping. I do not normally like to give her juice, but while camping I just want her to drink liquids I don’t really care how I get them into her.
There is so much I can say about camping that I honestly don’t even know what to focus on. If anyone wants to know more or has more questions comment away!
Wish me luck camping with both my two littles. Bee is already so excited to use her new sleeping bag and Po has never been camping so this will be his first time.
Do you go camping with you family? What are your go-to’s to make camping easier for you please comment below if you have any other ideas to make life easier with little’s. Thanks for reading and please share with your friends if you like what you read.