We did it. Camping with a toddler, check!
Albeit car camping without limits on what we could pack “just in case,” I am pretty proud of myself for rolling with it even though I was crazy nervous about the insane weather we’ve been having in Colorado. Let’s just say, thank goodness one of us (Mike) kept their head on straight in the days and hours leading up to the adventure.
I searched the Internet like a crazy person leading up to the trip to make sure I was packing all the right things. Again, we got to pack in a station wagon with a pod on top…for 2 nights. We looked a bit neurotic I’m sure.
If your summer plans include a toddler and a campground, here are my car camping suggestions. If (and that’s a big IF) we get brave enough to do a backpack trek with Rylan I may need a Xanax before trying to pack. Just sayin’…
Toddler Car Camping Checklist
- Board the dog (if yours barks non stop and is scared of thunderstorms/would keep the entire tent awake)
- Load up the pack n’ play – just do it and thank me later
- Stash more diapers than you think you’ll need
- Bring (but hide) a special treat to keep him/her quiet at 6:45 a.m. when everyone else you are camping with is still asleep (i.e., charged iPad with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I dare you to judge)
- Tons of snacks
- Hand sanitizers – yes, plural
- A good natural bug spray or one you make at home. And of course, I had all of my essential oils with me, and mainly used Purification for a few bug bites, DiGize for post-s’mores stomach aches and Peace & Calming to help me fall asleep
- Only a few toys – which will get ignored for sticks and rocks
- Numerous blankets if there is any chance of it getting cold at night + a warm sleep sack if they still use one. We absolutely love the Baby Deedee Sleep Nest and bought it a size larger just so he could have it for this trip
- Tight layers for under warm PJs, gloves, warm boots and a warm hat – unless you are confident it will not get cold at night
- Wine – for mama
- A modified schedule – nap was a must but we were flexible on timing. Same for bedtime – he stretched much later than normal but had such a blast watching the fire
- Friends – but only if they have a sense of humor
Now, go forth a book a campground! Toddler squeals and grins (and yes, meltdowns) in the great outdoors await.