When my friend was little, the only consistent vacation she ever took was camping. She traveled all over Washington and Oregon to find the perfect spots and they started camping when she was an infant. I can’t imagine how her mom and dad managed to get all the gear together for them and three girls every year. If you’re a camping family, how do you get ready for camping with toddlers? Check out advice from camping savvy parents who have put together essential checklists for camping with young kids.

Planning
Camping might have been a spur of the moment trip once, but with toddlers and infants, those days are over. Now, you need to make sure you’re planning at least a few days ahead of time. Make a list. If you’re not sure what to bring for infants and toddlers, then look online. Here’s a basic list of things to get together before you pack the car:
•    Sleeping bags
•    Family sized tent
•    Play tent
•    Plastic bags of all sizes
•    Back packs and day packs
•    Containers
•    Sturdy toys
•    Lots of diapers
Obviously you’re going to need a lot more things, but this list is customized for toddlers and infants. Babies might need a smaller sleeping bag, but for toddlers, you should probably just buy a full sized bag and stuff it with blankets for warmth. This is because good sleeping bags are expensive and your toddler will quickly outgrow their smaller bag.

The reason why you need multiple tents is so that your infant and toddler will have a place to play and nap during the day. If you keep them in the family tent, then they will also have access to your things and some of them may not be baby or toddler friendly. By having an extra 2-3 person tent, you can customize a safe place so that your children will keep out of the dirt and have an undisturbed place to take a nap.

You will need lots of bags and extra contains to ensure that you can keep potentially dangerous items out of reach of your toddlers, and you’ll need bags to keep diapers in while you hike and explore.

Picking Your Location
You may like to camp far away, but now that you have young children, you may have to pick a closer location. It all depends on how long your children are able to sit in the car. Also, no matter how well you pack, you should always make sure that your campsite is next to a grocery store. In addition to this, you will want to start out early because setting up a camp site in the dark with sleepy or grumpy kids is not fun.

Creekmore, T. (n.d.). A guide to camping with infants and toddlers. Travel Channel.
Lutz, E. (n.d.). Camping with your toddler checklist. BabyZone.