This post contains affiliate links.
One of our favorite things to do in the summer is camping. We try to go several times throughout the summer. Our kids love the outdoors and all of the activity does wonders for our mood. Camping with kids can be difficult, but we have been doing it since ours were babies. Here is a list of 10 items that you should have to make camping with kids much easier.
1. Portable Playard
This is especially important when the kids are babies and you need somewhere to lay them or when they start to move and you need somewhere safe for them while you prepare meals. This Summer Infant Portable Playard is perfect for taking on camping trips. It is roomy and sturdy for your wiggly baby and it folds up super compact. Not much larger than a camp chair.
2. Foam Tiles
These foam tiles are great for laying under the playard. They keep the dampness from the ground from reaching the baby and offer a nice layer of padding so they aren’t getting poked by rocks or sticks. Plus, they store almost anywhere nice and flat.
3. Travel play tent
This travel play tent is perfect for your baby to sleep in, though once your baby starts crawling, it may not contain them. We have taken this thing everywhere with us though when our daughter was a baby. It works great not only for camping, but also for the beach or any other vacation you have planned. It folds up like the pop open hampers and has a convenient storage bag. Very easy to throw in a suit case. Here’s my daughter enjoying it at the beach last year.
4. Hiking backpack
If you plan on doing any hiking or even lots of walking with your baby, you are going to want a hiking backpack. We have a Chicco brand one but it seems to be unavailable these days. I did purchase it 3 years ago. This one I found on Amazon is very similar in price and specs. My son always loved being carried and these are made to be very comfortable for both the user and the rider. He took a lot of naps in ours.
5. Portable fans
This one may not really be a necessity but it really makes for a happy baby when it is hot out. Even in the shade, it can still be pretty uncomfortable, so having a nice breeze blowing on the baby keeps them cool. These are similar to the ones we use.
6. Portable Baby Activity Station
This GoPod Portable Activity Station is great for when your baby starts to stand and/or feed themselves. We used this so many times to keep our kids entertained at camp while we were busy doing other things. Plus, it is another item that folds up to the size of a camp chair, so it’s definitely easy to pack.
7. Portable Baby Seat
This Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat is the best thing I have ever found for my kids! We have gotten so much use out of this thing. I literally took it everywhere when my kids were babies. The fabric part comes off so easy so it can be thrown in the washer. I would set it on the picnic table while preparing meals or when it was time for one of the kids to eat when they first started solids. This also folds flat so it is so easy to travel with. Here is my daughter waiting for her breakfast in it on one of our trips last year.
I never wanted to take our stroller to camp because I thought it would smell like camp smoke afterwards and I didn’t feel like dealing with that. Instead, we found this collapsible wagon with a sunshade. While this is not advertised for kids (probably because it doesn’t have seat belts) we used it anyways. The sunshade was perfect and there were also pockets to hold drinks. The small compartment on the back worked for when we walked to the camp store for ice or had to haul the kids and all there stuff to the swimming area. I’ve also taken it to the beach to haul all of the chairs and beach stuff down from our room.
9. and 10. Bubble machine and Slackline
These last 2 things are mostly for your sanity. You will certainly want something to keep your kids entertained and these both do the trick. Our 1 and a half year old loved chasing bubbles around at camp this summer and this bubble machine was super simple. Our 3 year old (as well as 13 and 16 year olds) love playing on the Slackline. It is great for teaching little ones balance.
Hopefully you find something on this list that makes your camping trips a little easier with little ones. I know they helped us tremendously. And don’t forget to share this post if you find it helpful.