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10 Top Tips for Camping with a Toddler

Mounts 10 Top Tips to Camping with a Toddler

Camping with a toddler can be a difficult affair at the best of times. Mounts top 10 tips for camping with a toddler will help prepare both the experienced camper and newbie camper.

Mounts Summer sleep sack tent image

  1. Bring lots of snacks/ quick to make backup food!
    • You need to have all the luck on your side for everything to go right while camping with young children. Situations un-expectantly come up, the weather can suddenly change, campsites can take longer to find or pitch, simply things can go wrong. If any of these problems get in the way of breakfast, lunch or dinner - hungry children will let you know about it.
  2. Don’t forget about the nap schedule!
    • Ensure to put lots of effort into ensuring your child’s nap schedule is followed. Overtired children add stress to the campsite and are prone to making mistakes. This could mean arriving at camp while they sleep on the car journey or finding a tent location that is shaded, dark or very well ventilated during the daytime. A tent in directly sunlight often feels like an oven. The higher the chance they have completed their sleep the more likely your camping experience will be a success.
  3. Put a lot of effort into your childs sleeping situation
    • Beyond food and water, shelter is your biggest priority! The importance of keeping your childs nap schedule needs to be restated. At home/ travel duvets, blankets, quilts and mattresses are designed for indoor use and are not rated warm enough for outdoor temperatures (see here for our slumber sack). Ensure you have correct ground insulation, clothing and warmth (see here for sleep temperature guide). Don’t compromise on safe sleep guidance and try to make it cosy.
  4. Lay out what your bringing and ensure it fits in your car/ backpack
    • Camping with a toddler is not like your old camping days with a lightweight tent, backpack, sleeping bag, mat and tin of beans. You will be hard pressed to fit all the essentials needed for camping with a toddler into your old backpack. There is almost no bigger item when family camping than a family sized tent they are bulky and heavy. The daily items needed for a young child diapers, wipes, bibs, etc add up. Ensure you can carry everything and it fits it into the car!
  5. Understand how you are going to get to the campsite
    • Do you drive to site? Have a 10min walk? Or a trek down the trail? Most child backpack carriers have almost no storage. Young children over even short distances are slow and difficult making transporting your gear + a child over any distance tricky. Beyond this campsites/ trails have many hazards and children require supervision making a brisk back and forth run of items very slow. Having to make many trips even down a 10 minuet trail can create logistical headaches.
  6. Backup clothes help
    • A campsite can be riddled with unexpected conditions. Water and dirt are your biggest enemies. Wet clothes from either the terrain, a spilled dinner or a change in weather are hard to dry and work towards reducing your child’s temperature. A dry set of clothes should be at the ready to keep your little one safe and warm.
  7. Bring the correct shoes
    • Not only is bringing the correct shoes a good idea to protect your child’s feet at campsite bringing a variety of shoes can be beneficial for different activities. For example, inside tent shoes vs outside shoes. Wet shoes vs dry shoes. It is very easy for a mat or sleeping bag to get trodden on ruining someone’s chance of a cosy night’s sleep.
  8. Don’t forget the medical bag.
    • A good campsite usually comes with some scrapes, bruises and cuts. At a minimum don’t forget a good box of plasters. Covering up the sight of scraps and cuts can help calm a situation. Antihistamine, antiseptic cream and fever/ pain medicine are the most common child ailments and may be the difference between getting back into the car or staying another night.
  9. Be serious about fire safety.
    • All good camping experiences involve a fire, a stove or some type of fuel source. Be sure your child receives the safety briefing. Get them to collect fire wood and congratulate them on getting the best pieces for making a ‘great’ fire. Creating boundaries without excluding them usually helps them not fighting to be involved and overstepping their safety.
  10. Get them a good camping tool
    • Getting kids excited about camping is a joyous experience. If they have their own headlamp, backpack, chair, etc they will feel as if they are part of the experience, stay entertained and are more likely to make happy memories!

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