Guide to Camping With a Baby

Guide to Camping With a Baby

For my #30DaysWild Challenge I am going to share with you some tips on going camping in the wild with a baby.  Ours is 11 months and so far he’s had 6 nights under the stars.  We are no experts but it might give you some hints and tips!


There are 3 different types of camping known to me:

Glamping – The campsite has the tent, yurt, cabin already made, often with beds in and stoves

Car Camping – Going camping with the car, stuffing it full to the brim with everything from your house, I don’t quite mean the kitchen sink, but it’s not far off.  Often a massive tent with separate rooms and a porch, all of which you can stand up in.

Basic Camping – I can’t think of a better name for this.  A tiny tent, minimal stuff and the ability to rock up anywhere and leave as quickly as you came!

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It is the basic camping that we’ve been practicing and you can read our adventures here:

Our 1st night in a tentOur 2nd night in a tent. Our 3rd & 6th night in a tent. Our 4th & 5th night in a tent.

We’ve been camping for years as a couple so we own all the camping gear already.  Everyone is different but here is a list of things we take.

Equipment

Tent – we have a 3 Man Vango tent with a porch. It’s light weight and packs small so we can take it on the bikes.

Sleeping bags – for the Robot he is using a grow bag & a blanket

Sleeping mats – Dave & I have Thermarests that blow up and pack small. Ideally the Robot will have one too but at £60+ for a decent one we bought a simple roll mat for £5 instead.

Picnic blanket/groundsheet – not something we’d have used normally but has been a life saver for a crawling Robot and keeping him dry on dewy grass*.

Clothing 

This is probably the most difficult to list as everyone is different.  It also depends on what you are doing, where and how long for.

If it’s an extended camp the thing to bare in mind is the camp site your going to is likely to have washing machines and dryers.  You can always chuck a load in half way through, aka don’t over pack.

Night time, the Robot sleeps in a vest and normal body suit, I like pyjamas but Dave is content in his boxers. Pack accordingly!

Nappies and wipes for baby.

Waterproofs. *We bought the Robot an all in one Regatta suit and a pair of water proof shoes.  It turned out to be our best purchase. He is eager to get out the tent in the morning. The grass is often wet with dew. With the waterproofs on he can crawl off and explore.

At the end of the day, you know yourselves and your baby. Pack clothes to suit.

Cooking 

A stove. We have a little petrol stove as it’s cheaper than gas

Cooking pots x 2, sometimes a frying pan.

A pan holder

Cups

Bottles for water

Cutlery

That’s it for cooking, we eat out the pans instead of plates.

Food

Firstly, the Robot is breastfed, this ultimately is best for camping. Not sure what we would have done if bottle fed. Feel free to leave suggestions in comments.

Meal options with 2 pans is generally pasta and sauce for tea and porridge for breakfast. With a frying pan in the mix we’ve recently had fry ups and lamb curry with rice.  Be inventive with one pot cooking!

Don’t forget tea bags and coffee.  Milk we tend to buy 1 pint bottles daily as we can’t keep stuff cool.   We’ve been known to leave a milk bottle in streams to keep them cool before.  This also works with beer!

As with the clothes, you don’t need to pack food for a full trip. The likely hood of shops for more supplies is high.  Although our recent trip in Scotland meant getting food delivered by boat because the shop wasn’t open!

Miscellaneous

Toys – we’ve found things like stacking cups, a shaker and a cloth book more than adequate at the moment.  Plus a cardboard box gave him hours of entertainment on our last trip.

Washing up liquid, pan scrub and a tea towel.   We always forget all three, we normally beg borrow and (steal) from fellow campers!

Biggest tip

Don’t expect them to go to sleep at their normal sleep time.  The late light nights and the new surroundings will confuse them.  Keep them up a little later out in the fresh air, feed them later.   Most of all relax and enjoy, try not think about routine!

Robot sat on the grass in his blue waterproof suit. He's playing in front of the tent with stacking cups

The Robot in the tent cuddle with Daddy

Green tent in foreground. Dave & the Robot stood at a bench cooking breakfast

Going camping is such a great experience for our little man, one of which I hope he’ll continue on into his adult life.  There is nothing like listening to the early morning bird song and being outside in the fresh air all the time.  Do you go camping with little ones?   Have I missed anything?  Where have you been camping?  Where should we go next!?

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41 Comments

  1. Great post – I am in awe of how little stuff you manage to take with you! I’ve took my two boys (3 and 2) camping last weekend for the 3rd time, and it was brilliant, they love being outdoors so it suits them perfectly. I am a “car camper”, although don’t take loads of stuff because I haven’t yet accumulated all that much camping gear! I do like my duvet though… 😉
    Am planning to do a camping blog post myself very soon…
    #triballove
    Beta Mummy recently posted…A Lovely Walk…AKA The Trudge of DoomMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      We have really thick minus temperature sleeping bags, so failed to mention this! Making me feel bad for having the little man in just a grow bag and blanket now!! He’s survived though!!

  2. Wow I’m so in awe of you – this is super impressive! Great tips, I totally agree about the extra fresh air – sometimes we take E to the seafront for a bit longer when we have visitors and can’t stick to her bedtime, it works a treat. Fab post, we haven’t gone camping yet but now she is only have 1 bottle of regular milk a day, it sounds like something fun we can all do together. Thank you for hosting #abrandnewday xxx #triballove too!
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…Being Step MumMy Profile

  3. I am so impressed you take your baby camping – we took ours to stay in a hotel for the night recently and took tons of stuff! Wouldn’t mind giving glamping a go. am sure our daughter will want to camp at some point, I always did as a child #ABrandNewDay

  4. We are going camping (in a trailer tent) in the summer. It will be our first time with a baby in tow, although my 5yo has been before. I think the all-in-one waterproof is essential! In my experience, campsites are wet places! I hadn’t thought about taking a cardboard box to play with though – great idea because it can be used for storing stuff in too! #ablogginggoodtime

  5. I’m so impressed that you braved camping with a baby! I can’t imagine the Popple sleeping on a mat in a tent – but then again, she doesn’t sleep very much even when she’s in her cot. She loves being outdoors, though, so maybe we could brave camping (or, let’s be honest, probably glamping) at some point. #ablogginggoodtime #triballove
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…The Mummy TagMy Profile

  6. I love this! I still haven’t taken my boys camping, and now I think I’ll wait until I’m not pregnant so I can face it with lots of energy! I’m going to book mark this page for when I do go as I’m so impressed with your minimal packing. The only thing I can’t quite get my head around is just using a mat for The Robot to sleep on, does he really sleep no problems on it?? xxx #abrandnewday
    Michelle recently posted…Do you have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal? Here’s why you should.My Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      It’s fairly soft, it’s not squishy mattress but the mats we adults are on are hardly comfy either! So yes he will sleep on it!

      Good idea waiting for baby to come. Unless you go glamping!

  7. I love this. We are going away in B’s parents motor home this summer – evidently not the same but I definitely think I’m going to invest in one of those big waterproof suit things as TM has just started crawling so will definitely want to be out and about even if it’s damp! I think you guys are amazing I’d be the one who takes a whole car full of stuff (which I already did BEFORE having a baby so god help us now!).

  8. I think it is amazing that you do basic camping with your little one – so brave! I think I would find this tough so will stick to car camping where I can load the car for every eventuality! A tip for if you are bottle feeding – you can either take a kettle or boil water on the stove to make formula and you can take a big tupperware and milton tablets for sterilising ☺ #ablogginggoodtime

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