We took Scribble on his first camping trip last month. We had a fantastic time! Aside from some easily-solved sleep issues, the trip went really smoothly, and the experience was rewarding for all of us. Here are some items that made camping with a toddler so fun:
1) Sunscreen – Don’t forget the sunscreen, even in cold weather!
2) Pack n Play – We use this pack-and-play as a travel crib; it also did double-duty as a place to put Scribble when we couldn’t attend to him directly. Scribble learned how to pull up in this during the trip.
3) Waffle-Knit Tee - To keep Scribble snug at night, we put him in a one-sleeved onesie with one of these layered on top, then into his sleep sack.
4) Travel French Press – This travel french press is exactly what you need to quickly brew a cup of coffee after a long night with an awake baby!
5) Leggings – These leggings are perfect for layering under sweatpants. Super snuggly!
6) Sweatpants – We picked up two pairs of these Circo sweatpants on our way up to the campsite, and layered them over pajama pants to make sure Scribble was toasty.
7) Jeans – Jeans are ideal for getting outside with an infant who is crawling: they are tough enough to withstand gravel and protect baby knees. I love this Old Navy pair because they are fleece-lined for cool temperatures.
8) Tent – This teeny-tiny tent is only big enough for two people, so you may wonder why I’m including it on my list. The reason is, Scribble simply would not sleep in our tent with us! He is used to sleeping in a dark nursery with blackout shades and a noise machine. He really cannot co-sleep, because he thinks that being in the bed with us means playtime. The first night, we tried to keep him in our tent with us, and we accidentally woke him around 1 AM. He didn’t go back to sleep until 4 AM! So the next night we set up another tent and put him in the tent by himself. Even though the tent was right beside ours (so close I could listen to him breathing), the small barrier kept him from waking and he slept from sundown to sun up. We don’t have this tent, but it looks pretty cool since it offers lots of options for ventilation and shade.
9) Cloud B Travel Sleep Sheep – Scribble is a big fan of white noise, but our usual machine has a plug. Our sleep sheep came to the rescue! It was essential in allowing us to move around the campsite without disturbing Scribble’s sleep.
10) Cozy Coupe – We brought this along and had a blast pushing Scribble through the campsite. It definitely helped us to keep him occupied after he got bored with his toys.
11) Tarp – Consider stringing a tarp over your tent and rain-fly, to make your tent extra dark for daytime naps. And remember to situate the tent under trees or in the shade!
12) Float Canopy – I know it is too cold to swim these days, but this collapsible float is great for summer camping trips!
13) Portable High Chair – Ok this isn’t a must-have, but it is pretty cool. A portable, collapsible high chair! It is easy to clean and comes with its own bag. Scribble loved to sit here and watch us cook or tend the fire. It really helped keep him entertained!
14) Sleep Sack – If you are concerned about keeping baby warm, here’s a fleece sleep sack!
15) Carrier – We did a lot of babywearing on this trip. Scribble has a hard time napping in bright daylight, so we took walks with this and he caught a few quick naps.