If you've never taken your baby/toddler camping, do it! It's really fun. I was a little nervous to take Cohen out on his first tent camping trip. We had a practice round when we camped with my parents at their "campsite" but that was close to home and we were in a camper, so this was a little different. I have had a few people ask me for tips and since we've gone once now, we're experts :)
1. Pack a car bag:
Our trip was a 6 hour drive, which is a long time in a carseat. I packed Cohen a bag that I kept in the front seat with me so that it was easily accessible. The car bag had: diaper and wipes, hand wipes, snacks, sippy cup, toys I knew he liked, a disposable place mat and bib (in case we stopped at any restaurants along the way), a bottle with the water in it and formula nearby, squeeze food pouches (SUCH a lifesaver), and a change of clothes just because you never know.
2. Clothes: This will depend on where you live/where you are going, but around here you have to prepare for any kind of weather. Even if the forecast says sun, there could be rain/wind/hail you just don't know. This is probably obvious, but bring clothes you don't care about getting dirty. For a weekend of camping I packed:
Warm weather clothes (shorts, tank tops, t-shirts)
Cold weather clothes (sweats, footie pajamas, sleep sack for at night, socks,
Situation dependent (swimsuit, sun hat, sandals, shoes, sunscreen, UV shirt etc)
*While it was warm during the day, Cohen wore almost everything I had brought him at night. Since he is too little and moves around too much for a sleeping bag I just piled clothes on him and tried to put a blanket on him. I packed 2 of everything because I knew he would get dirty and I ended up putting double layers on him at night so it worked out well.
*Rags/washclothes/towels/wipes - babies are messy and even messier when they are
camping. We brought old rags that we could use to clean up toys, hands, etc and
just toss if needed. We also brought a thing of Lysol wipes and Wet Ones for cleaning
Cohen and his things
* Blankets - beach blanket, a blanket just for the crib, and one for outside (fire
sitting). I also used one of our larger blankets to put over the side of Cohen's crib so
he couldn't see us as well, he still could if he stood up, but if he woke up and looked
out he wouldn't see us and instantly start crying.
* Pack n play - I almost considered not bringing this but I'm so glad I did. Cohen needs comfort of his 4 walls and I need the sleep without him crawling on my face. Also, if your baby has a favorite blanket or sleep toy, bring them. It helps with
sleeping in a strange place.
* Carrier - If you have a carrier, bring it. We brought our Ergo and it was wonderful
for carrying Cohen down to the beach where his stroller couldn't go. It also worked
well to keep him out of the sand and mud when we didn't want him there
* Walker - this isn't absolutely necessary, but it sure was nice. Cohen is a mover and
doesn't appreciate being strapped in his carseat/stroller. This let him have a little
freedom without being on the ground eating bug. Our walker wasn't actually a
walker because it didn't have wheels which was an extra bonus.
* Bottled water - we brought bottled water to have for making bottles and for sippy
* A very large car to hold all of the above and understanding friends who tolerate
camping with a baby (thanks Richie and Rachael!)
Also, just be flexible. With a baby, things aren't going to go perfectly, just try to go with it and have fun!
And just as a side note, it's probably best not to work the day before leaving for camping and wait until very last to pack your own bag when the car is running out of room. You might decide you don't really need to pack shoes and you will definitely regret it.
Whew, I think that's it. More pictures coming soon. Would anyone add anything else?