Ultimate Guide to Camping with Babies and Toddlers.

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First and foremost I want to make one thing clear.  

Camping with kids is not always a joyous activity.  So don’t be surprised if your family outing turns into a complete nightmare.

I know because I have experienced both sides of the spectrum.

This is why I put together “The Ultimate Guide to Camping with Babies and Toddlers.”

Our First Camping Trip With Our Baby…

Let me back up to pre-baby for a second.  Mine and my husband’s idea of camping was throwing a few things in the back of the truck and head out to the desert.  Blow up a mattress and sleep under the stars!

Not much camping equipment needed.

Let’s just say we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

Our daughter was about 9 or 10 months old when we decided to head out to an overnight stay in nature.

My husband(Forrest) had a grand idea of driving 2 hours to this really cool place he knew of way out in the middle of nowhere.

I don’t know why I listen to him sometimes.

Were we prepared?

Not sure but we were going to find out!

About an hour into the drive our daughter Lily starts puking all over the place.  We pull over to clean her up just to discover she puked out of both ends and was a complete mess.

She didn’t seem sick and was her cheerful self so we proceeded onward!

We made it to BFE…

Yes… Butt FU*#ing Egypt.  

I do have to admit this place was breathtaking.  

But who drives 2 hours away on their first camping trip with a baby??

Oh wait…we did.

DO NOT do this.

We set up camp, grilled some steaks and I put Lily to bed.

She woke up about an hour or so later crying so I went to go see what was wrong.

I picked her up and she unleashed her dinner  all over me.  

I was drenched.

That was the end of that short lived camping trip.  It was cold and I only brought 1 jacket.

We packed up and headed home.

We basically drove 4 hours to have a steak dinner in Butt FU*#ing Egypt!

And I almost got ourselves killed by just missing a deer in the middle of the road.

Our fIrst camping trip was a big fail, but a good learning experience as well.

I want to try and save you from some of the disasters that may occur.  Hopefully by  creating this Ultimate guide, I can make your camping trips much more enjoyable.  So here are my tips…


Tip #1 

Stay close to home for your first camping trip.  

You never know what disastrous situations you might have handed to you.

Get a feel for what works and what doesn’t work.

If camping for the first time with your little one throws you for a loop, you can just pack up and you will be close to home.

This will also give you an idea of what gear works and doesn’t work.

If you are nervous about how your little one will sleep in a tent,  I suggest setting up a tent in your backyard and trying it out that way first.

That way if things go sour your bed is a hop, skip, and a jump away!

After you have mastered your backyard, look into going for a one nighter close by.


Tip #2

Pick the Right Location…

Location, Location, Location…it’s all about location so they say.

Depending on your style of camping will determine what kind of campsite you are looking for.

My family likes the kind of camping where there are no neighbors, running water, or toilets.  Let’s just say we would rather poop in a hole then go into those nasty porta-potties.

If you have a toddler who is learning how to potty train.  No problem.  Just go buy a kid toilet seat, dig a hole, and they can do their business in the hole too!

potty trainingIMG_7419



This may not be cup of tee.  And that’s ok.

Many campgrounds offer more than just nature. You can pitch a tent (or cabin) at one with a playground or pool, or even one with organized activities. That way when the waves get a little rocky you have a backup if your child needs some entertainment.  Do your research and you’ll find a campground for your whole family. GoCampingAmerica.com has a great tool for searching for a park anywhere in the country.


You can always go the 5 Star route as well.  Glamping in the new trend for outdoor enthusiasts.  It’s pretty much glamourous camping.

I personally have never done this but it looks pretty fancy!

You get to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury!

You can find out more about GLAMPING HERE!


Tip #3 

Invest in Good Sleeping Gear.  There is nothing worse than not getting a good night sleep when camping.  Investing in good gear is critical for a successful camping trip.

If you have a baby and do not normally co-sleep with your child…Do NOT start when you go camping.

For babies I suggest to bring a pack-n-play to sleep in.

We have a toddler that loves her little cot.  It keeps her off the ground and comfortable.  You can pick one up HERE

Camping kids Cot


If you think its going to get cold, invest in a portable heater.  They are wildly effective and you can pick one up for less than 100$ HERE!






 You can set the heater next to them while they are sleeping.  

It also works great on cold mornings while eating breakfast.

Our dog really appreciates the heater as well!


 A Family size tent makes the whole experience a whole lot more comfortable.  We have the Coleman Weathermaster and love it.  Its called a weathermaster for a reason and we have tested it to the max.

Click HERE for the whole review.


Coleman Weathermaster Review.001


Tip #4

More is Better!

I used to think less was better, but when it comes to camping with kids…more is better.

I say overpack on everything.

Especially clothes.

I’m being serious.  Not having what you need is like being a wounded duck in the middle of the pond.

Camping with little ones can be like a ticking time-bomb…ya never know when you are going to get puked on, peed on, or covered in mud.

Be prepared and double up on everything!!!


Tip #5 

Bring Lots of Activities!

My daughter is a nature lover by heart.  She will play for hours with rocks and dirt.

But…you need to be prepared for bad weather and getting cooped up in the tent until the storm passes.

Coloring books, games, whatever might entertain them until they can get back outside!


Bonus Tip…

Most importantly…bring your patience.  Being a new parent in nature overnight does not always go as planned.  

You need to be aware of this and just go with the flow of things.  

Having patience with your little one will make all the difference.

Normal routines that may work at home may not work when camping.

Bedtimes may be postponed, naps may get missed, and meals might not be at normal times.

And it’s ok!

Let go of the reins and just be one with nature.

Be prepared for anything.  Especially to get woken up at the crack of dawn by your wild child!





About Somer Nelson

Hi my name is Somer Nelson. Adventurer-in-Chief at RockStarMama LLC I have a passion driven business and a passion for helping people. I am an internet marketer and I help home-based business owners build and monetize their business online! I'm always looking for the next adventure and I love my wine and coffee! I look forward to guiding you on your entrepreneurial journey!


  1. Interesting tent! Seems like it can stand all types of weather. Ours will have to be abandoned when it starts to rain, and we need to take shelter at a hall at the camp site or something.

    Great idea on the potty training kid, heehee. I don’t think my kid would sit, though. He’d be too busy spreading the dump around.

    • This is like a studio apartment tent! I love it! As far as the potty training…I just now got her potty trained. She is stubborn. Thanks for your feedback:)

  2. Hilarious!

    But how right you are.. Just in my case, I wonder why my wife still listen to me sometimes. ha ha.

    We actually left our baby with a sitter when we camped. We just brought our toddler, because she was really into it!

    • Hey Shad…thanks for stopping by:) Are you planning on brining the baby out this summer camping??!!

    • Thanks for checking out my post! We are all pros at camping now. My daughter sleeps through anything and absolutely loves it!!!

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