Camping has always been a popular family activity. For some, it is not only leisure. It is a tradition! But even though you are an expert camper, things can get out of control sometimes, especially when you have a toddler!
To make sure you have a fun, safe and truly memorable camping experience with kids, here are some tips that you should consider:
Tips when Camping with Children
Make safety a priority
Anything could happen when you’re in the wild. And there are so many things to fear – from wild animals to mosquito bites – you must always observe camping precautions when you are with your kids. First of all, wear proper clothing. Take note that there’s no thermostat in the outdoors. It’s best to dress your kids in layers so they will feel warm when it’s cold and easily take off some layers when it’s getting hot. Don’t forget to pack your first aid kit and some medications just in case.
Observe proper hygiene
When you’re out there in the wild, you are exposed to every dirt and bacteria there is. Pack a hygiene kit for your toddler. It must contain soap, sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, sunscreen, dental care, etc. If you’re bringing your toddler’s favorite toy, make sure to sanitize it with wipes before and after she uses it to avoid possible exposure to disease-causing germs.
Bring multi-functional camping gear
Whether you’re camping alone or with your kids, there are some camping gears and must-haves you shouldn’t forget. One is a tarp. Waterproof tarps have many uses. You can use it as a hammock shelter or an A-frame tent, protect your tent in rain, cover your equipment, create a sleeping shelter, or block wind in your campsite. You also need a flashlight, portable wood-burning camp stove, cooler (which is essential in storing baby food or milk), compass, and multi-purpose tool or Swiss knife.
Organize fun activities
When it comes to children, it’s all about making the camping trip fun and engaging. Pack some cards or board games for your older kids, make s’mores, play flashlight tag, and storybooks. Bring some familiar toys for your toddler too. Also, choose a campsite that has many activities. Toddlers have a lot of energy and get bored easily.
Bring a lot of food
Yes. You read that well: A LOT. Toddlers are fussy when they are hungry. They also need to feed frequently to sustain their energy. You want to prepare healthy snacks for your little one. Bring some fruits like apples, bananas, and berries. Pack some breakfast sandwich, rolls, raisins, and snack bars. Don’t forget to pack some treats too! It’s okay to give them a few sweets and chocolate. Prepare individual containers for each of your children and have them carry their own backpack.
Bring familiar toys
While the outdoors are fun places for your little ones to explore, being in a strange environment can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for them. One way to keep them calm is to bring their favorite toy. Don’t bring too many toys though. Aside from being a hassle, it can distract your kids from exploring the outdoors.
Prepare for the unexpected
When you are traveling with kids, be prepared for the unexpected. You might find your two-year old screaming in the middle of her sleep or throwing tantrums. Worse, you might find yourself leaving the campsite earlier than expected. Prepare for the unexpected. You know your kid too well. Plan for mishaps. Have plan A, B, and C. Always model with a positive attitude. Always bring a bright face and happy aura. Children only copy what adults (especially their parents) do.
Ensure their comfort
In addition to their favorite toys, make your camping environment more comfortable for your kids by bringing their favorite blankie or bedding. You don’t need a fancy bedding but a safe and comfortable place for your toddler to sleep. Do pack extra pair of clothes, socks, baby wraps and hat. Consider bringing an umbrella stroller too which can be used as a campfire seat. If your toddler does not know how to walk yet, bring a comforter to lay on the ground where they can crawl on.
Be ready for naps
Toddlers need to sleep or else they will be fussy and irritable. When creating your camping schedule, don’t forget to insert naptime. Most kids need a nap every two hours. Some can bear longer waking hours. Bring comfortable travel beds where your toddler can sleep comfortably. Remember, a well-slept baby is a happy baby. You will also benefit from sorting a playlist of nursery rhymes and comforting music for sleeping.
Camping with toddlers can really be challenging and sometimes… frustrating especially if you are a first-time parent. Fortunately, there are ways to make your camping experience with your kids fun, exciting, and memorable.