19 BEST tips for camping with toddlers in 2023
19 tips to successfully take your toddler camping
The great outdoors is one of the best places to take your kids.
Parenting can be tough at times, but the peace and quiet that nature brings can make it easier in many ways.
Camping with toddlers can take things to a whole new level – just getting them away from their modern devices!
Although they may not enjoy stepping in mud for miles on end or getting uncomfortable in a sleeping bag for the night, there is something special about camping with toddlers.
19 best tips for camping with toddlers
1. Don’t underestimate how much stuff you will need
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you’re going away on a trip with your child. You have to prepare clothes and food just as if you were going to a hotel. Of course, you can rough it, but if you have a child with special needs or dietary requirements it might be necessary to bring food and drink that they are able to consume. You also have to think about what you will need on the trip; this means having more than one set of clothes for everyone involved, as well as any medication and toiletries you may require.
You can also purchase toddler sleeping bags that they wear to bed or when outside at night and the temperature drops.
2. Always check the weather forecast
Before setting out on your camping trip with toddlers, make sure to look at the weather forecast; if it’s not going to be sunny all weekend then you might want to stay home! Even though it can be nice, like any holiday, camping doesn’t always go to plan. If you’re camping in an area where it’s really rainy, then your toddler might get irritable more quickly than usual – if this is the case consider packing some of their favorite DVDs or games to keep them entertained.
3. Take food that they love
If toddlers are fussy eaters, then take food that they love. You might want to try an experiment and make them eat something new, but you’re likely going to have a hard time getting them to eat it if they don’t like the taste!
The Hersheys Smores Caddy is a fun way to entertain your toddler and is perfect for campfires.
4. Take plenty of things to entertain your kids
Even though there are chances that you could be out of signal for days at a time, it’s still a good idea to take plenty of things to entertain your kids. This could be anything from their favorite toys and games to books and music.
5. Camping with toddlers is not the same as camping without kids
Don’t expect camping with toddlers to be the same as going camping by yourself or with friends. There will be a lot more work involved in the preparations, and you might need to stay closer to home!
6. Let them explore the great outdoors
Kids love to explore, and allowing your toddler to spend a lot of time outside is a fun way for them to learn. Not only will they feel more comfortable around nature if they’re surrounded by it every day, but you can also teach them about things like the weather by watching the skies together.
7. Don’t be afraid to try something new
If you’re camping with toddlers, then this gives you a perfect opportunity to try new things. If they don’t like it at first, maybe you could give them another chance later on, or perhaps just tell them that they can have some chocolate as a treat if they endure it for 30 minutes!
8. Don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen
If you’re going out in the sun, then remember to pack plenty of sunscreen and apply it regularly. If your child isn’t enjoying themselves because they’re too hot, then they will probably show this through grumpiness and irritability.
9. Don’t forget to take a first aid kit
While we hope it won’t be needed, there’s always the chance that your child might cut their knee or bump their head. This is why it’s so important to pack a first aid kit and make sure that everyone knows which one it is!
The Swiss Safe First Aid Kit is designed for outdoors and camping and is lightweight and compact.
10. Take the child along with you when you go shopping
It’s important to remember that your baby or toddler can go stir crazy quickly, so taking them along when you go shopping is a good idea. This means that they’ll be happier and more comfortable if they’re allowed to explore the area while you’re out – however, make sure to take a buggy with you so that they can nap if necessary!
11. Bring a foldable playhouse
Foldable playhouses are a great idea, as they can be easily stored and transported. If your toddler is happy doing this for an hour or two, then it could provide them with the perfect escape from the sun – or you could even give them some puzzles and light toys to play with.
We really like the Cotzson Folding Playhouse or the Clubhouse Playhouse which is foldable and made of material instead of plastic so is light and compact.
12. Let your toddlers roam free
If they’re happy and there’s no danger, then let your toddlers roam around on their own a bit. If you do this, then they may be less irritable and happier as a result – however, make sure that their shoes are comfortable and that they’re not going to catch a cold if it’s chilly outside.
13. Take plenty of snacks
This will satisfy your toddler if they go hungry or feel peckish in-between meals. You could also take some simple recipes with you, such as pancakes or easy sandwiches!
14. Take plenty of toys
Toys are great for keeping your child entertained while you cook or set up camp. However, avoid taking too many toys – they might have forgotten about some by the time that you get to their favorite!
15. Take plenty of games
This is another great way to keep your child entertained while you set up camp or prepare dinner.
16. Make it into a learning experience
This is an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the world that they live in, so try to bring some books along with you on your camping trip. This will allow them to learn new things, while also enjoying the great outdoors!
17. Avoid TV and other distractions
While it might feel like a wise idea to take a TV with you for the sake of your kids, it’s important to avoid using it very much. If your child becomes too distracted by the modern world, then they probably won’t enjoy their camping trip!
18. Take a fan
Your child might get very hot in certain weather, so think about packing a cooling fan or similar device. Lightweight fans usually run on battery power, which means that you can take them wherever you go without worrying about an electric outlet.
We really like the Coleman Zephyr Fan that also features an LED light and can be hung from the top of your tent.
19. Enjoy it
Above all else, enjoy your camping trip with your toddler! If you can see them having fun and feeling happy, then you’ve done a good job. If your child is grumpy and irritable, then you might want to reconsider taking them next time – it’s important to make sure that everyone has a great time!
Parents often find it hard to decide what they should take on a camping trip with their toddlers.
However, as this article has shown, there are some useful things that they can bring along – such as snacks and foldable playhouses! Remember to be patient and stay calm!
Interested in more guides? Why not check out our article on 5 best tents for camping with toddlers.