25 Must­ Have Baby Camping Gear and Tips for Parents with Young Children

Couples who have just had a baby will tell you that it is a wonderful experience.

Often, they find themselves staying at home instead of taking their baby out on an outdoor adventure.

There are just too many things you need to pack.

A simple camping trip with the baby becomes challenging and stressful. You have to prepare the right traveling gear as well as the right baby camping gear. Whether you like it or not, your bag of “necessities” continues to grow in size.

Do not feel overwhelmed because you can still enjoy the great outdoors and your little one at the same time. All it takes is good preparation and a lot of planning.

This list will help parents with what camping essential accessories or equipment they need to prepare for an outdoor adventure with their babies.

It’s Smart to Test Your Campsite

A car camping trip would be a great start. You can take your little one on a backpacking trip and hike into campsites. A good way to figure out what you need to bring would be based on how much weight you can carry. Since you have a baby with you, going lightweight is a good option. A travel bed will be useful because babies love to take naps and play on their tummies. This test drive will let you know what items you need to add later or what you need to change for your camping trip.

Choose a Destination not Far from Home

Children can be impatient especially when they are sitting in the car. Consider a location that is close to home. This would mean a shorter drive time for you and you will reach your destination way before it gets dark. You surely do not want tired and unhappy children arriving at your destination and realizing that it will be dark soon.

Is there a Grocery Store Near Your Campsite?

Grocery store shelves packe with foodYou will never know when you suddenly might run out of diapers or if you need more baby wipes. A grocery store near your campsite will be helpful. If there are none nearby, you can either choose another campsite or take lots of extra diapers.

Campgrounds with Amenities for Convenience

There are some campgrounds and national parks that have flush toilets and portable running water. You can even find small rooms or cabins within the campsite boundaries. There are others near motels.

Stock up on Washcloths and Towels

These are camping essentials that are useful for a variety of purposes. Take a lot of extra washcloths and towels with you, especially when camping with little children.

Make Sure You Have Extra Diapers

 

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Take a lot of extra diapers so you won’t run out and go home earlier than expected.

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Camping First Aid Kit

Make sure you have a first aid kit before going on a camping trip, hiking or an outdoor adventure. Most kits come with the basic first­aid items and will fit in your glove compartment as well as in your backpack. Although these kits already contain a lot of items, you may want to add alcohol­based cleansing products, sunscreen, sting relief wipes/spray as well as bug spray.
Sting relief and bug sprays are very handy whenever you have little children around.
The ”Always Prepared 100 Piece First Aid Kit” is small and lightweight, perfect for your outdoor adventures. All the emergency essentials you need come in a durable soft bag and can fit into any small space in your car or in your bag. It is compact, weighing only 1.1 pounds and is well packaged. You can easily sort through the items and can even add a few more inside. The kit also comes with a helpful eBook on emergency preparedness. Check Prices Here

Always Take Bug Spray

Bug spray is another essential item for both adults and babies. This helps protect you and your little one from insect bites and from itching throughout your camping trip. If you can’t find a bug spray that is suitable for babies, you can always choose insect repellent lotions.

An insect repellent moisturizing lotion that you can safely use for you and your babies is Avon’s Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus with SPF 30 sunscreen. The lotion comes in a gentle breeze scent that will keep bugs and mosquitoes away along with deer ticks, black flies, gnats, no-seeums and biting midges. It does not leave you with a greasy feeling and is waterproof. For baby’s protection, it is dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, DEET-free and PABA-free. However, if your baby has extra sensitive skin, it is best to observe first whether he/she responds well to this product before using it for a prolonged period. Check Prices Here

Toddler Backpack and/or Infant Front Carrier for Hiking

Baby Carrier an Essential Baby Camping Gear

Baby carriers are becoming more popular because they allow you to move freely while carrying your baby at the same time. They are used for walks, hikes, camping and doing just about any chore around the house. If you’re thinking about buying a carrier, one of the best you should consider is the Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier. This carrier is stylish and securely holds your baby. Its design provides maximum comfort, flexibility and shoulder support so you won’t get tired easily. You can put it on with ease and fold it away when not in use. It’s an ideal camping gear for babies.

Baby carriers are becoming more popular because they allow you to move freely while carrying your baby at the same time. They are used for walks, hikes, camping and doing just about any chore around the house. If you’re thinking about buying a carrier, one of the best you should consider is the Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier. This carrier is stylish and securely holds your baby. Its design provides maximum comfort, flexibility and shoulder support so you won’t get tired easily. You can put it on with ease and fold it away when not in use. It’s an ideal camping gear for babies. Check Prices Here

Toddler Backpack

Not only babies are carried around in carriers, toddlers can be too. Toddler backpacks have grown in popularity just like baby carriers and are used not only during hiking but also when going anywhere. An advantage of using toddler backpacks when going hiking or camping is that they get to see and explore the great outdoors from a safe and secure position. These backpacks are also designed to give you comfort and provide even distribution of weight. Having this gear also ensures that when your toddler becomes tired, you can just carry them on your back instead of in your arms the rest of the way.

Not only babies are carried around in carriers, toddlers can be too. Toddler backpacks have grown in popularity just like baby carriers and are used not only during hiking but also when going anywhere. An advantage of using toddler backpacks when going hiking or camping is that they get to see and explore the great outdoors from a safe and secure position. These backpacks are also designed to give you comfort and provide even distribution of weight. Having this gear also ensures that when your toddler becomes tired, you can just carry them on your back instead of in your arms the rest of the way.

When choosing a pack, pick one that has an effective and secure safety harness so your child won’t slide out. A good place to start is the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 Child Carrier. It has a 5-point harness that keeps your child in place. Your child can sit comfortably in the back with an adjustable child seat and a sun hood. Easy access compartments, under-seat storage, changing pad, hydration ready compartment, front storage and water bottle pockets as well as patented auto-deploy kickstands are some of the features you will find in this Kelty carrier. It’s easy-access adjustable suspension system also assures a perfect fit for moms and dads. Check Prices Here

A Hydration-Pack system is Necessary

Staying hydrated is important when you go on hiking or camping trips. A hydration-pack system like Camelbak is a good item to have around. Although it is a bit pricey compared to other brands, the Camelbak Hydrobak is a lightweight hydration pack that lets you store 1.5 liters of water. The pack also has a small front pocket where you can put other items in like your phone, keys or a small snack. The water stays cool for a long time and because it uses a hydration bladder as a reservoir, the pack becomes lighter as the liquid drains. The bladder shrinks, freeing you from carrying extra weight. Check Prices Here

Consider the Weather and the Temperature

Babies are sensitive to extreme temperatures. It is best to postpone any camping trip when the weather is too hot or too cold. This is because they easily get uncomfortable and may just end up crying the entire time. Extreme weather conditions also pose health risks for babies such as overheating, prickly heat and heat stroke during extremely hot weather. They can suffer from colds and flu, nosebleeds and hypothermia during extremely cold weather.

Start Light, Add Layers as Needed

If the weather is just right, let your baby wear light clothing at first and then add layers as you feel necessary. This way, you have extra clothing on hand for any changes in the weather.

When it is time to sleep, have your baby wear a sleep sack over his/her regular sleepwear. This will keep the baby warm and cozy while sleeping. Sleepwear with long sleeves is ideal for camping. Don’t forget to pack socks, mittens and a small hat so your baby can wear them if the temperature becomes cold.

Take Blankets Along

Because you are taking your baby to an unfamiliar environment, having something familiar to the baby will provide comfort and security. A blanket, a favorite toy or stuffed animal will help give them a feeling of security. This will also make them feel at ease and enjoy the camping experience.

A great naptime buddy for your baby is the Angel Dear line of blankets. It is just the right size and has different charming characters. It is easy to wash and has a cashmere soft texture, perfect for comforting your little one. This blanket is made from 100% Polyester Microfiber and comes in pastel colors. Make sure you purchase at least two so that you have an extra one on hand when the other one needs to be washed. Check Prices Here

Keep the Baby Warm with a Baby Down Jacket for Sleeping

Keeping your baby warm at night is important especially when camping. Since you will be outdoors, you can expect the temperature to decrease at night. Sleeping bags are typical camping gear that adults use. However, for some babies, they tend to move around a lot even while sleeping so a sleeping bag for a child may not be your best choice. You can opt for a down jacket instead. This gear will keep your baby snug and allow them to move comfortably. Similar to a sleep sack, you can use this over regular sleepwear. Just make sure that it is not too warm for your baby.

The Columbia Baby Tiny Bear Bunting is one alternative for the sleeping bag. Made from 100% polyester, it keeps your baby warm and cozy. The baby bear design also makes your baby look adorable. You can choose to keep the hands and feet parts open or fold them over in place of mittens and booties. Diaper changes are also a lot easier because of the asymmetrical zipper. Check Prices Here

Pack “Sleep Only” Clothes for the Baby

Babies can sweat a lot so make sure that you check your baby often to see if they need to change clothes. Unlike adults, they can’t regulate their temperatures very well. You have to change their clothes regularly to prevent them from getting heat rash or from feeling uncomfortable. Change your baby’s clothes in the evening as well so that they feel dry and refreshed before going to sleep.
Footies like the Gerber Unisex-Baby Sleep N Play Zip Front will surely not disappoint when you want comfort for your baby. These outfits are not only for bedtime but also for playtime. It is made from 100% cotton and has built-in feet to keep your baby snug as a bug in a rug. The zipper enclosure is one of the features that parents love about this outfit. It makes changing diapers a breeze since you do not have to struggle with snaps. You can unzip it all the way to the bottom and it has a safety tab at the top to protect your baby’s chin. Check Prices Here

A Baby Bed

Whether you have a 3 month old or a 2 year old, it is always best to take along their own bed. Some of you may have gotten used to co-sleeping with your baby but having them sleep on their own bed or crib is a lot safer. There are travel bassinets that also function as a diaper bag and a changing station. These are ideal for newborns and for babies who are not yet able to push up using their hands or knees. For toddlers, a child-sized inflatable bed is recommended.

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light definitely fits the bill. It can be used as a comfortable sleeping space for babies and children up to 3 years old. Made from 100% polyester, the sides and the soft mattress are breathable. It is simple to set up and fold away, easy to wash, has a sturdy base, is compact and lightweight. The sturdy, safe and airy design makes this crib a safe place for sleeping and playing. Check Prices Here

A Baby Chair

If you already have a baby chair at home, you can definitely bring it along. This keeps the baby relaxed and entertained while mom and dad are doing chores around the camp.

If you are still looking for a baby chair, we recommend the . This is a portable and collapsible toddler-sized camping chair that features a sippy cup holder, a harness so baby is safe and secure, a removable sun bonnet and a front tray. There is also a storage pouch at the bottom to store toys and other items.

For those babies who can’t sit still, the Go-Pod is nice baby gear to have around. This functions like a stationary walker plus activity seat for your little one. It is great for camping since it is compact, portable, adjustable in height and collapsible. It comes with a travel bag so you can bring it with you wherever you go. With the Go-Pod, your baby has a safe place to sit and play.

You can also consider a portable travel high chair for babies. It is great for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities. You can find products that are lightweight, portable and require no assembly. Whichever baby gear you choose, the important point is that your baby is comfortable and can enjoy the surroundings. Check Prices Here

Wagons are Useful and Fun

A wagon is useful gear to have around on a camping trip. Aside from using it to move your child from one place to another, it can also be used for transferring supplies from your car to your campsite and vice versa. There is the traditional Radio Flyer wagon and the modern collapsible wagon. One important aspect to consider is whether the wagon can handle bumpy trails that are typical on camping sites.

The Radio Flyer Full Size All-Terrain Steel and Wood Wagon is built to handle on and off road adventures. We recommend it because of its sturdy, all-steel construction with rugged air tires for a smooth ride even on a bumpy and rugged terrain. The wagon has an extra-long handle and has sides that are made from wooden stakes. It has a weight capacity of 200 pounds, making it a great helper around the campsite. Check Prices Here

Peace of Mind with a Portable Play Pen

Babies require supervision. It would be difficult to move around the camp and get anything done faster if all you do is carry your baby around or supervise them. This is where a portable play pen can be of help. You can put your baby in the portable play pen to play, nap or rest while you work around the camp. It’s a safe enclosure that feels just like a crib.

Among the best portable play pens is the Infant Pop and Play Pen. It is portable, easy to setup and has an ultra-lightweight frame. When not in use, you can simply fold it away by unclipping the floor buckles and storing it in its travel bag. The water resistant flooring also keeps baby dry, making it ideal for camping and picnic grounds, grassy areas, sand or your living room floor.

One disadvantage, however, is that there is no mattress or lining at the bottom. This matters when the surface is too hard or wet such as in the swimming pool area. You can purchase separate round foam to address this concern. If you won’t be using the play pen on hard surfaces, then this won’t be a problem.

The play pen has airy mesh sides that let the air flow freely. You can also place a net on top of the play pen to protect your babies from mosquitoes and other insects. This is definitely one camping gear that you will be glad you have. Check Prices Here

Foam Floor Tiles

If you’re concerned about a comfortable crawling surface for your baby, foam floor tiles will solve your problem. Unlike mats, these tiles are thicker and have a softer surface. These interlocking tiles are perfect for use in your tent or baby’s play pen. The downside, however, is that you need to piece them together one at a time.

We recommend HemingWeigh Kid’s Multicolored Puzzle Play Mat. It comes with 36 foam solid tiles and 26 border ends. The best part is that it doesn’t have any removable letters or numbers, making assembly and clean up easy. You also don’t have to worry if there’s a missing dot or a missing shape. It is guaranteed to be safe for babies because it is BPA and Phthalates free, soft, durable and very easy to clean. Check Prices Here

A Screen House is multipurpose

A screen house is another essential camping gear when you are bringing your baby along. It offers a dry place where you can store your things and keep them from getting wet. You can also use it as a diaper changing area, an eating area or simply for shade from the sun.

The Coleman screen house is ideal for your camping trip. You can set it up in less than 3 minutes for an easy and convenient shelter. The sun, rain and insects will no longer be a big concern because of the mesh wall and the heavy duty canopy. It’s a 10 feet x 10 feet shelter with a seven-foot center height. This screen house, however, does not come with flooring, but you can use a large mat or lay a tarp down to serve as the flooring. Check Prices Here

Easy Snack Food to keep the Mood up

Just like adults, babies have preferences when it comes to food. Breastfed babies are at the top of the list for the easiest to travel with since their food basically comes from their mother. For those who are already eating solid food, it is best to plan and prepare for their meals and snacks. You can feed your child simple, healthy and non-messy finger foods such as dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cereals, pretzels, trail mix, granola bars, instant oatmeal and cut veggies and fruits that you have washed and prepared at home. Check Prices Here

Remember, kids need to eat regularly and sleep on their schedule.

Kids have a lot of energy and they burn out quickly. This is why they often look for something to eat. Follow your kid’s usual eating schedule even when on a camping trip. Although there are a lot of activities to participate in, it is important that your kids take their regular naps and sleep at their usual bedtime.

Chat With Your Neighbors at the Camp

You are not the only campers in the area. Just like any neighborhood, you can have a quick chat with your camp neighbors and give them a heads up that your baby could cry later at night. This way, they’ll be able to anticipate it and not complain as much. A friendly chat will also be a good opportunity to find out more about the campsite.

Get an Early Start Going Back Home

Different babies have their own waking and feeding times. Some babies just sleep for a while, feed and then go back to sleep. You can start packing your things during this time and let the baby sleep in the tent. When it is time to take the tent down, you can do so quietly and then leave the campgrounds. You can stop by for breakfast and coffee on the way home.

Conclusion

If you are used to camping as a couple, you should definitely include your little one in this activity. The hard part will be attempting to make the camping trip. In the worst case, your baby will become too fussy and you end up going home early. But even if traveling with a baby proves to be challenging, it can be managed when you prepare, plan and think positively. You know what is best and what works for your baby so stick to those basics. They are generally easy to entertain, so don’t be intimidated and make sure you bring your camera, extra batteries and extra memory.

 

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