My husband and I love camping in the summer. One of my most favourite feelings in the world is a cold nose in the morning breathing in the crisp area while snuggled up in the warmth of your sleeping bag in a tent. I love the simplicity of life, constant fresh air, campfire smell and outdoor downtime.
We’ve started a tradition of camping on our anniversary weekend. It’s the one weekend of the year we make sure we go. Summers get so busy, and it’s so easy for you to blink and realize you never made the time for it. That has certainly been what has happened to my winter snowboarding hobby. I haven’t been in three years!
My husband usually goes on a few more intense camping trips in the season with friends, while together we tend to enjoy car camping.
For those unfamiliar with the levels of camping, there is backpacking or portage camping that involve carrying everything to a campsite in the back country, with or without a canoe (portaging includes the canoe), car camping to drive in sites and then from there I classify all of the next levels as glamping (you, know glamorous camping ha). Anything involving power, a tent trailer, trailer, cabin, yurt, etc.
When planning for our anniversary trip this year, we discussed booking a yurt, which is what we did the previous year (since I was mega pregnant); but when a friend offered their tent trailer, we decided to go for it!
I had never been trailer camping, and it seemed like a fun and easier option with a baby in tow. It was kind of the best. My portaging back country camping husband went from wearily in agreement to searching the classifieds to buy our own trailer.
The benefit of the tent trailer allowed for us to hook into power and bring more stuff, while still enjoying everything we love about camping!
Here’s what we made sure to bring that made camping with a baby a breeze!
Stroller – One of my last minute adds was our BOB stroller, which ended up being my most used item. We went for quite a few walks around the campsite, would bring him to the public bathroom with us in it, and it just worked well for general baby containment.
Highchair – Our IKEA highchair was perfect for camping, it’s easy to tote around, and even easier to clean!
Backpack carrier – We have a MEC backpack carrier (similar), which is perfect for hiking. We went on a long hike on the Saturday of our trip, and at 21+ pounds now, a structured backpack carrier is really nice to have for hikes. The added bonus is the standing frame. W fell asleep not long into the hike, and when we stopped for a snack, we were able to set the carrier down, and he stayed sleeping in the carrier!
Video monitor – An added benefit of glamping is an electrical campsite. Whenever W was sleeping, I didn’t have to worry about staying inside the trailer to make sure he didn’t roll off the bed. I could watch him from the campfire or hammock!
Playpen – Baby containment for the win. We co-slept during our camping trip, but we used it as a play area with borders when cooking, building a fire, etc.
Outdoor blanket – An outdoor blanket is also really great to have for playing outside, even though he often crawled to the edge to play with sticks, dirt and pinecones.
White noise – Another comfort from home that I wouldn’t travel without. Other campers can be noisy and it helped drown out some background noises.
Books and toys – We brought a few small toys and books on the trip to help keep W entertained.
Layers – It got cold at night. I was a bit concerned about keeping W warm at bedtime, but we packed serious layers and it worked out great. He slept in a onesie, pyjamas, his Zipadeezip, and a hat, and when we went to bed (and the temperature started dropping more significantly) I slipped him into a thick larger sleep sack for added warmth. It worked out perfectly and we all stayed quite cozy co-sleeping.
The weekend was an absolute blast, and we wish we had planned to stay longer. We will definitely plan more glamping weekends next summer!
Have you been camping with a baby? What is on your must-bring list?