How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips

Will you be camping with a toddler anytime soon? Read this list of helpful tips first!

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How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.

My husband and I have always had a great love for the outdoors. Yet, somehow, we never really got into camping. After multiple canceled camping trips we decided that this was finally going to be our year. It was time to camp or bust. Better late than never right!

I am not going to lie to you. I was extremely nervous about camping with our 2 year old. Thankfully, the trip went incredibly well! Multiple people have asked me to share about our experience. Here are 8 helpful tips that made this trip a success.

1. Choose the right camp ground

We camped at the the Crooked River Ranch in central Oregon. This location was perfect for kids! The tent camping is located in a large grassy area where the kids could safely play. There is also a community pool on the property. The pool was a life saver. It provided a place to cool off and endless fun for the adults and the kiddos. You want to make sure that where ever you choose to camp, there is a safe place for your little ones play and to have fun. 

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
Having a pool within walking distance was so much fun!

There were restrooms, showers and even a place to do laundry. To a hard core camper this would be considered glamping. In my opinion, glamping is definitely the way to go. Especially with little ones in tow. 

2. Make sure your tent is the right size

Multiple people told us, if your tent is too small it can be miserable! So we decided to go with a 5 person tent. This was definitely the best choice. We had enough room for a queen size air mattress, a sleeping cot for Genevieve and all of our bags. It was nice to have a little space and not feel like we were squished together.

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
This tent was the perfect size!

3. Bring clothes for all types of weather

We were staying in central Oregon, which tends to be hot and dry. However, it became rather chilly in the evenings. Make sure you bring layers so you are ready for any temperature changes. Especially for the little ones.

4. Pack all of your essentials

Always remember to bring your child’s medicines when traveling. You would hate to be in the middle of nowhere and suddenly have a need for them. Pack your sunscreen, aloe, lotions, tooth paste, first aid kit, the Bug Bite Thing, you get the idea. Bring lots of baby wipes! These were definitely good to have on hand because let’s be real, camping gets dirty.

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
These Hydro Flask Tumblers are essential for mom and dad.

5. Bring the potty seat

If your toddler is potty trained or potty training, I highly recommend bringing their potty seat from home. My daughter woke up during the night to go to the bathroom 2 out of the 3 nights we were camping. I am so glad we had her potty seat outside the tent so I didn’t have to run and carry her to the restrooms in the middle of the night. I had a toilet paper roll and a plastic bag for the used toilet paper. This was a total lifesaver!

6. Decide on a schedule

We chose to let our daughter stay up later than normal and play with the other kids in the evenings. When bedtime eventually did come around we tried to stick to a familiar routine. Including, using our cell phone for white noise since we use a white noise machine at home. You know your child best. If you think your kiddo will not be able to function the next day because they stayed up too late the night before, then it may be best to keep your normal bed time schedule. Do what works best for you and your family.

7. Plan your meals

One of the things I was most nervous about was our meals. But they were surprisingly easy. I planned out each meal ahead of time and stuck to a simple meal plan. We were able to borrow a large cooler and a cook stove from a friend. Most of our meals were things we could heat quickly or have cold.

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
The perfect little cook stove.

Here is an example of our menu.

Breakfast: Gluten free Overnight oats, eggs and sausage
Lunch: Gluten free sandwiches, chips, hummus and guacamole packs
Dinner: Gluten free Chili and rice
Snacks: Protein bars, carrot sticks, grapes, veggie straws, Cheerios and of course our gluten and dairy free Chocolate lovers rice crispy treats

8. Join another family

My final piece of advice would be, to join a seasoned camping family. Ask if they would be willing to show you the ropes, rather than going by yourself. This was a life saver for us. Because our friends are seasoned campers they had some of the larger camping items, saving us from having to purchase them. And best of all, it is very helpful to have other kiddos for your munchkin to play with. This makes both the kids and the parents happy.

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
Genevieve loved being able to play with her friends!

Before you go camping, remember these tips:

1. Choose the right camp ground
2. Make sure your tent is the right size
3. Bring clothes for all types of weather
4. Pack all of your essentials
5. Bring the potty seat
6. Decide on a schedule
7. Plan your meals
8. Consider joining another family

Overall, the main thing is to try and have fun. You will be outside, things will get dirty, there will be bugs. Roll with it. Enjoy this time as much as you can. Our little ones will not be little for long. Take time to smell the roses or in this case play in the dirt.

How to Enjoy Camping with a Toddler, 8 Helpful Tips. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Visit shortsweetmom.com to find out how.
Happy that we survived our first camping trip.

So there you have it. With a little extra planning and preparation camping with a toddler can be a very enjoyable experience. Do you enjoy camping with your family? What are your favorite tips? I would love to hear them!

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