Tips on Camping with a Toddler

Nothing beats getting the family outdoors camping but…………many families feel they cannot when they have a toddler.  They feel that camping at this age is too dangerous but this is not the case.  Taking a toddler camping is no more dangerous than any other activity.  Below are a few tips that will make camping with your little one more enjoyable for you and your toddler.


Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Preparing for the trip is the first step to a successful trip.  Plan your meals and snacks in advanced along with any preparation that will save time.  What this means, is to fix as many of the foods as you can in advance.  Do not depend on canned food to save time.  Instead, plan healthy meals with precut vegetables add.

Next, plan out your toddler’s wardrobe so that you utilize layers.  Using layers gives you the flexibility to mix things up.  As far as the clothes go, do not pack anything that you are really attached to.  Many clothes will get torn up and stained during camp outings.  This is not only true for clothes but also shoes.

Plan for Tired Toddlers

Toddlers get tired fast and this is very true when it comes to camping.  Keep to a napping schedule and make their bed as comfortable as possible.  This means purchasing a toddler cot or using a simple air mattress, which the latter will not last as long.  Also to make hiking and getting around camp less taxing, consider getting a toddler backpack.  This will allow you to carry your child while keeping your hands free. 

Prepare for Emergencies

While you should always have a first aid kit in your camp gear, this kit does not mean that you have what you need to treat a toddler.  The best approach is to have an adult and a pediatric first aid kit, which will cover everyone camping.

Another part of preparing for an emergency is teaching your toddler what to do in case they need help.  Yes, I know you are thinking that they will not understand.  Believe it or not, as soon as your kid is old enough to walk a trail, he or she is old enough to learn how to signal for help.  While you should never lose sight of your child, they still need to learn how to use an emergency whistle that is attached to their clothing. 

Allow them to Play but…….

While playing and putting your hands in hidden places is part of a toddlers life, it can be life threatening.   Teach your toddler to keep their hands out of areas that they cannot see.  Also, teach your toddler to stay on the trail.  Yes, this makes your life easier as the parent but it also reduces the chances of them getting in contact with poison ivy or poison oak.