How to Go Camping with a Baby

Hi, friends! I hope your weekend has you feeling refreshed. I'm feeling... Tired. But it's safe to say that tired is what I'll feel for the next few years so I better buck up and become best friends with coffee.

Let me start by saying we don't have it all figured out, but we did successfully go camping recently with an 8-week old for one night, 2.5 hours from home and actually enjoyed ourselves. To be fair, my mom also met us there, so we did have the luxury of an extra person to help take care of the little guy at times.

What to bring:

  • Something safe for your child to sleep in (the closer it is to their normal bassinet or crib, the better). Henry sleeps in a Fisher Price Rock 'n Play, so we brought that as it's lightweight and folds, but in the future we will likely bring our travel crib once he's sleeping in a crib at home. 

  • Plenty of clothes, including a hat and long sleeves and pants as it always gets colder at night than you expect. For example, it was at least 95F at the hottest part of the day, but got down to 59F overnight. I was very glad I had thrown in a hat and a long sleeve onesie and little pants for Henry. 

6 a.m. silly baby

  • Diapers, lots of them. Depending where you're at, you may be quite a ways from a store, so having plenty on hand is important. And although we're mostly doing cloth diapering now, I brought disposables for our camping trip because I just couldn't fathom dealing with the mess of cloth diapers while camping. 

During diaper changes especially, he was fascinated by the treetops.

  • Wrap, carrier or stroller. I brought all three and we ended up using the Solly Baby wrap for our little hike along the Metolius River and the stroller when we checked out the headwaters of the Metolius (the actual start of the river) when Henry was sleeping. Plus, if I had been planning on going on more walks, I would definitely have wanted the stroller. 

  • Camping chairs. At night, we put one in our four person tent so I could sit in it to nurse him in the middle of the night. This was key to not having an aching back from hunching over to nurse. 

  • Water and reusable water bottles. I know it seems obvious, but this is something I tend to forget about when going camping: bringing a big jug of drinking water. We stopped at the store in Sisters, OR just before heading to the campground for sandwiches and water. 

  • A good attitude. You're camping with a baby. They are needy and unpredictable at times. Give yourself (and the baby a break) and expect that things won't go perfectly. Baby may cry during the day or night and that's okay. I've been to plenty of campgrounds where my neighbors have been up late talking and laughing quite loud and they never seemed to give a hoot what others thought about it. 

And there you have it, a hopefully perfect recipe for "camping with baby" success!

Our little happy camping family


missris said…
Hooray for camping! My parents started taking me camping when I was 3 months old and I have such fond memories of it from my childhood :) Also, I FINALLY found the article I referenced to you in my Instagram comment--I've been meaning to send it to you for weeks! Here's a blurb, "Humans evolved living in places covered with microbes. Only in the last century or so have we come so completely indoors. Today, most Americans spend 90 percent of their time inside; for babies that number is even higher." and here's the link: Second paragraph from the bottom. Phew! :)
Amber said…
I love that you guys went camping with baby henry! I think that is so so awesome. Good for you! I really hope we have a little travel trailer by the time we have a baby but I still hope to go on many camping trips with him/her one day :) We are going camping with a baby-almost-toddler this weekend when we go camping with my friend Jen and her family. Last time we camped with them in May her daughter wasn't mobile yet and now she is so it should be fun/interesting for them. I of course just get to observe from afar (and help as best I can!) and learn a few things for when I'm in those shoes in the future :)
Taylor said…
Randie, Allison and I are going camping at the end of the month... Allison will be fully crawling and standing but not yet walking so I'm getting very nervous about how this will go! We have a GoPod that we will likely use a lot. I guess she'll probably need a pair of shoes by then, too! A lot to think about and to bring!

I'm so glad you guys went and even more glad that it was successful! You guys are awesome!
lisa valinsky said…
You are so brave! I love that you went camping with Henry. That's totally up our alley. I have a few questions for you...

1. Can you send me the link of the bassinet? Looking for something mobile that we can use in the beginning, and that can easily go in the car for visits to family.

2. What kind of cloth diapers are you using now, and are they for newborns?

3. Did you bring your dog with you? Another thing we'd have to think about...

Thanks lady!
Kudos to you guys for taking Henry out for an adventure! I think it is great that you are finding ways to continue to do the things you love to do with a baby in toe! I am glad that you guys had a great experience, too!

Also, Henry has changed so much! I think he looks a lot like Pete!
Leigh said…
Great tips! So glad it went well for you guys :)
Karen said…
Would love hear more about your cloth diaper experience and how that is going. Love that you were brave enough to try camping with a new baby!
Elizabeth said…
You are guys are amazing! Way to go....for real! I can imagine it was nice to be able to go out and do something you guys both love and the Metolious is amazing. :)

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