35 answers

First Camping Trip

My wife and I are planning our first camping trip with our daughter, Mia. She's 2.5yo, and i'm just wondering if anyone else has gone camping with a child that age. What did you bring? What didn't you bring and you wished you had? I'm not a big camping type person, so anything to make this easier would be great.

Thanks so much!

Here's to happy camping!

3 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Take along a BIG TALL bucket -- Big enough that the child can squat down in it. When she gets dirty, or hot, or bored, fill it with some water, and let her bathe, cool off, play, whatever she wants. My kids and grandkids would do this for a long time... Functional and entertaining -- we had fun just watching them play in it...

We have been camping with my son since he was 6 weeks old. He is now 4 and we usually take a toy tractor, a ball, and books for his entertainment. The rest of it he finds on site (bugs, rocks, dirt piles, etc.) A toy magnafying glass or bug jar may be neat to take as well. Bring extra snacks. She will most likely be more active than at home and will work up an appitite.

More Answers

I always took bubbles for blowing, a cloth bean bag tic tac toe game (so it washes easily), and until we lost part of it a plastic hoop and dart game that was a blast! bug spray is a must. We also have a solar shower for the really dirty times when using a washcloth just isnt gonna hack it. my son really liked it when i would rig up a private shower stall using a clothesline and some old sheets and he could stand in there and get nice and clean before bed. we had a piece of phony grass that we laid down on the ground so our feet didnt get dirty while we showered. make sure you bring band-aids and some type of cortisone cream for itchy situations and neosporin for boo-boos. I have a little sewing kit I bring also, and a pair of nail clippers. have fun!!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi, J..
We first took our daughter camping when she was about 4 months old and she's now 11yrs old. You've all ready recieved alot of good suggestions so I'll just add a few...

- tarp is a great idea and you may want two. One in front of the tent and one in a "play" area.
- lots of clothes are good but don't worry if they get dirty, because that's what camping it all about. They really don't need to be changed 5 times a day.
- bring plastic washable toys not stuffed toys unless they stay in the tent.
- bring some familiar things (pillow, blanket) from home so your daughter is comfortable.
- We always used one of the large rubbermaid storage tubs for our daughter to take a bath in. We filled it part way with water and then heated some water on the stove to heat up the water. I think my daughter used that until she was about 6yrs old and loved it!
- Glow sticks are really great, especially in the tent at night. Works like a night light. We used to use two every night.
- If you're going somewhere cool at night...bring a hot water bottle. I covered ours with heavy fleece fabric (made a pouch and then used velcro to close it). My daughter always loved going to bed with her hot water bottle and fell asleep fast. We'd usually removed it or put it at the end of her sleeping bag when we went to bed.

You can contact me if you have other questions. We have done and love camping. We just returned yesterday from a week and half long camping trip. Have fun!!!


2 moms found this helpful

We just got back from camping with our 2.5 year old.

Things to bring Lots of baby wipes these double as a bath for alll of you to knock the dust off of you before you go to sleep.

Toys that can be washed.

a ground cloth to play on with toys They will still get dirty but not as bad.

Bug spray and sun screen, first aid kit, lots of bandaids.

Something to carry water in as it may be a walk. easy to prep meals. bringing things that mean very little cooking makes it easier to do. I like to bring pre cooked meat if it is an ingrediant. Like costco chicken boned pit into pasta. We like to bring shelf stable milk. Juice and things like that are best if they are in individual containers. Make sure there is food your little one will eat. also stuff to wash dishes.

Sleeping bag and air matresses, folding chairs if you have them, a hammer or something to drive tent stakes, flash lights to include one for the little one to play with (I have an Ikea rechargable night light for this purpose) Camera, flip flops for running to the bathroom in, a jacket no matter how wam it is supposed to be, think late night bathroom runs. knit hat for nights if it gets cold and you dont have much hair.

Portable high chair if you have one already. if not dont stress ablout it.

Things not to bring: Power anything unless you know your campsite is equiped, or you can charge it with your car, large ammounts of toys (dirt and sticks are going to be more fun) Simple is better. Work, email, cell phone (use only for emergencies)

PS a great tip we have used is when you get your camp site walk your child around and show them it and land marks of where they can not pass (like do not go past this tree that has fallen) make them large and noticable remember from their perspective all trees are big, rough tall.

We also like to give our little guy jobs. hold these tent pegs, take this to the tent, help find...) keeps them near and busy and they feel great because they are helping.

Lastly, dont take yourself or camping to seriously. Have fun. If you forget something there is usually a campstore or town not to far away or you can do without. Dirt happens, it is part of the fun.

1 mom found this helpful

You will have so much fun. We have been taking 2 of our grandchildren camping (ages 2 & 3).

Major things to keep in mind:

1. Keep food easy and 'snackable' - easy for them to hold - hot dogs, string cheese, etc. Take their sippie cups for drinks.

2. Take a spray bottle for fun - they LOVE them - dollar store's the best place. Kids don't need fancy stuff - they really do love simple, we adults are the ones who think they need expensive toys.

3. Don't expect them to stay clean - it ain't gonna be that way:)

4. If you're around water, just put them in a lifejacket to keep you from having to worry at all.

5. Take your camera:)

6. Be sure to take your first aid kit as little scrapes do happen - mine includes lavender spray to take away pain and help healing (my lavender is found at http://aromascents.younglivingworld.com ), and Silver Shield Gel (my favorite is at http://www.mynsp.com/morethanherbs/products/guide.aspx?st... ) . And Bandaids!

Kids have so much fun out of doors, so just enjoy:) It will be a time of discovery and newness for them (and you:)


B. C.
Natural Health Coach
Certified Reflexologist
Certified Newborn Instructor
Certified Applied Aromatherapy Instructor
Herb Specialist

1 mom found this helpful

Good morning! What a wonderful time she will have! We started taking our son camping when he was 8 months old and he has loved every trip we have been on! At your daughters age I would be sure to bring extra clothes, ones that she can get all dirty. Extra pajamas and socks as they tend to want to run around in their socks if the ground is soft dirt. Be sure to bring pleanty of whipes for those dirty hands! We also take one of those big plastic round tubs with the rope handles, they are typically used for laundry or toy barrels. We bring this to use as a miniture bath tub and it works great! we simply heat some water on the stove pour it into the tub mix it with some cool water and give our son a quick bath before bed. It's a quick and wonderful way to get him cleaned up and a little relaxed before bed. We also take lots of activites color crayons, color books, blank paper, glue sticks (to make art projects out of the stuff we find outside like sticks and leaves, etc. Also bring toys that she likes and that u are not worried if she gets it dirty or not. Make sure to bring extra cups or sippy cups for her as they will get lost or dirty! I like to take extra blankets and a beanie for my sons head for when he goes to bed, it helps keep his ears and head warm. Toy cars like hot wheels are always great for boys and girls when camping as they love to make race tracks and ramps to jump off of in the dirt. I like to take my son his own child size camping chair and a flash light for him as it makes him feel more like a part of. Well I hope some of these ideas help you, camping is a wonderful family adventure and most kids love being outdoors. Oh ya, be sure to bring pleanty of sun screen and insect repellant for her too! Best of luck and have a great time!

1 mom found this helpful

I went camping with a 2 and a 3 year old. I brought a water hose (we had a spigot in our campsite) and a small blow-up pool from Walmart. The kids had a great time, the water warmed up in the sun, it was right in our camp site.

Hi J.,
I just read all the advice and you got some really good tips. Me and my family went camping in a tent when my girls were about 4yrs old and we loved it. I would agree with the tarp suggestion, we did that and it helps a lot! Keeping it simple is also a great idea they will find so much to do while they are there that they don't play with a lot of the things you bring from home, but if she needs something special to go to sleep make sure you don't forget it. She will be dirty...lol and that is part of the fun. Snacks and juice are a must. My kids would get to playing and loose tract of time and that helped keep them fueled up so that they didn't crash later. The most important thing is to remember is to have fun.

We camp with our kids every year. They have little blow up beds with attached sleeping bags that are great for that age. You can get them at WalMart or Target.

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