Camping is one of our family’s favorite thing to. We wanted to squeeze in one more trip to the forest before the cold weather creeps in and we wont be back again until Spring. This is our first time taking our toddler with us and we picked up a ton of tips and tricks during our stay. If you are feeling hesitant about camping with your toddler then check out some of these ideas to make your trip even more enjoyable.
1. Pick A Secluded Camp Site
We found the perfect camp site tucked away from everyone else at the edge of the campground which gave us a little more privacy. While my toddler mostly behaved herself, (the great outdoors is fantastic entertainment!) there were a few meltdowns over our stay that made me really happy we were a bit further away from everyone else. No one wants to listen to toddlers moaning about how they like their oatmeal cooked or why they can’t touch the fire every 5 seconds.
2. Expect To Go Slow
We’ve taken my daughter on tons of hikes since she was a baby, but she is more and more reluctant to stay in our hiking backpack these days. While exploring with her is really fun, we don’t cover much ground. We hike a lot less further and stop a whole lot more, but the memories we make on the way are even better.
3. Be Flexible
Along with everything being a lot slower, we have learned to be much more flexible when traveling with a toddler in tow. Meltdowns happen, snacks need to be eaten and naps need to be taken. Throw that perfect schedule out of the window and just go with the flow. Yes, you can make plans but just know they may not happen exactly how you thought they would.
4. Find A Close Restroom
When we picked our campsite we tried to find one close to a restroom, not so much for our toddler because she’s mainly still in diapers, but for us too. However, if you have a potty trained child then being close to the restroom is a must. You don’t want to be running too far when your toddler suddenly decides they need to potty “right now.”
5. Pack Extra Clothes
If your toddler is anything like mine they can go through 2-3 outfits in a day depending on our activities. This couldn’t be more true when we’re in the great outdoors. While I don’t mind a little bit of dirt, it’s a whole different ball game when she’s rolling around on the forest floor and digging in the campfire. Overpacking in the clothes department is totally acceptable.
6. Don’t Forget Wipes
Wipes are the closest thing to a bath or shower while you are camping. You cannot have enough. They serve from everything from a hand washing to a quick body wipe down. They also come in handy for cleaning the tent, wiping down tables. Basically anything that needs cleaning, but if your a mom you already know that. 😉
7. Bring A Blanket or Lovie
Your going to be an unfamiliar environment and that can throw off even the best sleeper. We made sure to bring a favorite blanket and stuffed animal with us so my daughter would feel like she was tucked up at home in her own bed at home. It also really helped that we set the tent up at home before we left and she was already excited about sleeping in it.
8. Relax + Have Fun
Taking a toddler along with you can seem like a daunting task, and when they wake up crying in the middle of the night or don’t want to wear their hat even though its 50 degrees outside you might be starting to rethink you decision. Remember you are there to make memories as a family and to look past the hard moments and find joy in everything your are experiencing together! Once I told myself to relax and enjoy myself, the toddler shenanigans didn’t seem so hard after all.