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Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.

Camping with Toddlers: Packing List

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Camping with Toddler Packing List

I had never really camped before I was married. I guess there was that one time with the student council in high school where we did trust exercises, canoed, and tent camped a night. I remember three things about that trip: 1.) I was completely mortified and disgusted that I had to pee outside, 2.) I was positive I would break my back carrying that darn canoe on my shoulders, 3.) I rolled down a hill with what felt like a 100 pound backpack on my back and the water bottle attached to that bag smacked me on the face upon landing. Meanwhile the people carrying the canoe nearly dropped it, because they were laughing so hard (Thanks guys, I’m fine).

Come to think of it, that trip is probably why I passed on camping until recently! What better time to start than with two one year olds, right?! We went camping as a family for the first time when our boys were about 14 months old. Most people thought we were crazy and admittedly, a few times during the camp-tastic weekend, I thought we were crazy too! BUT, overall it was awesome and definitely one of the highlights of our year!

We generally camp Friday to Sunday (2 nights, 3 days) in a pop-up camper, so that is what my “Packing List” is based on. If you are up to the challenge, I definitely recommend camping! It provided our family with rare quiet moments, enjoying the outdoors and each other. The best thing about camping is that there is nothing to do (no laundry, house projects, yard work, etc.). You just sit there and enjoy the sunshine. You take trip to the playground…go swimming…walk around and look at everyone’s camping set-up…participate in a campground activity…no pressure, no timelines…just enjoying family!

There are so many awesome ideas for camping food these days! Some day I’ll try them, but for now, the boys keep us busy, so we keep food simple. If you are camping with multiple families, you can assign each family a meal or two to bring and prepare.

Lastly, if I had to give a single piece of advice for camping with toddlers, it would be: go with the flow. Be prepared to be flexible with your normal schedule. The kids might not take great naps and they might go to bed much later than normal, but it’s just one weekend and you are creating amazing memories!

Camping with Toddlers: Packing List:

Needs specific to Kiddies:

  • Any special kid food (ours basically eat what we eat)
  • Lots of milk/water
  • Sippy Cups
  • Little people utensils
  • Stocked diaper bag (diapers, wipes, clothes, PJs)
  • Sun hat
  • Kids Tylenol/syringe
  • camping cribBaby gates/fence (we set-up gate around one of the pop-up beds, works great as a crib)
    Blankets
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Baby bug spray
  • Rainmaker
  • Stroller or wagon
  • Favorite toy/blankie (comfort item)
  • Swim suits/towels
  • Highchairs/boosters
  • Toys (washable)
  • Dog bed/Dog stuff (yes, he is one of the kiddies too)

Needs for Breakfast: We keep breakfasts simple and make eggs, toast or English muffins, and fruit with instant coffee or “real” coffee for the adults and milk for the boys.

  • Eggs
  • Bread/English muffins
  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Butter/jam
  • Instant coffee/“Real” coffee
  • Coffee pot/Coffee filters
  • Water for coffee
  • Toaster
  • Cereal

Needs for Lunch: For lunches, we do one day of sandwiches and one day of hot dogs and aluminum foil potato packs and beans.

  • Bread/Buns
  • Sandwich Meat
  • Cheese
  • Pickles
  • Veggies with Dip
  • Chips
  • Potatoes/Onions/Garlic
  • Hot dogs
  • Ketchup/mustard
  • Can beans

Needs for Dinner: For dinner we make foil packs with steak, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and seasonings. We usually have quite a few leftovers by the last night, so we do leftovers one night.  Other ideas: grilled cheeses with the pudgy pie makers, brat/hamburgers, corn on cob, desserts with pudgy pie maker (peanut butter, marshmallow, banana between two pieces of bread). Anything you can put on your grill, you can do over the fire.

  • SteakCamping high chairs
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Seasonings
  • Corn on the cob
  • Butter
  • Bread/Buns
  • Cheese
  • Hamburgers/brats

Needs for Snacks / Beverages:

  • Marshmallows, Chocolate, Graham Crackers
  • Granola Bars
  • Fruit
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chips/other snackies
  • Bottled water for drinking
  • Beer or adult beverages of choice
  • Milk

Kitchen-y Stuff:

  • Cooler with ice
  • Tupperware containers (for leftovers)
  • Can opener
  • Paper Towel
  • Paper Plates/Cups (our camper is stocked with “real” plates/cups, so we just wash as we go, but sometimes paper is easier)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Scissors
  • Grate for fire/Tools for grilling
  • Newspaper/kindling
  • Firewood (you can buy onsite)
  • Matches
  • Beer/Wine opener
  • Dish bins/dish soap/washcloth/towel
  • Pudgy pie maker/Marshmallow sticks
  • Garbage bags (for garbage and dirty clothes)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Plastic table cloth
  • Cooking pots
  • Cooking/eating utensils
  • Kettle/tea pot
  • Coffee cups
  • Sanitizing wipes

Other Adult Stuff:

  • Clothes (for warm and cold weather)
  • Toiletries
  • Shampoo/Conditioner, Soap
  • Walking Shoes, Shower flip flops
  • Swim suits
  • Towels, washcloths
  • Medicine (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Tums)
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Flash light
  • Rope/Clothes pins (hang clothes line for wet clothes)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sheets, Pillows
  • Phones/chargers
  • Bag/Lawn chairs
  • Toilet paper
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Tarp (to sit on if wet ground or to make shade protection)
  • Cash / Quarters for shower
  • Blanket for laying on ground
  • Fan
  • Radio
  • Lawn games/playing cards

Hope your family enjoys camping as much as we did! Put the smart phones away and just enjoy each other! Our rule is to bring the phones, but only use them for emergencies, to take photos, and as a flashlight at night!

Love,
Natasha

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12 thoughts on “Camping with Toddlers: Packing List

  1. Great post. I would love to take my one year old twins camping. I like how you set up the pop-up. Not sure we’d have a place to store one of those. Wonder if we could figure out some other way to do it. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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  2. Mombrain….I forgot to share the link to the post about the award… so here it is! 🙂 http://rboleyblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/the-liebster-award-whaaaat/

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  3. Hey, I wasn’t sure how else to notify you so I’m doing it here.. I nominated you for the Liebster award because you’re awesome! I hope you accept and pass on the love! 🙂

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  4. Natasha, your might school memories had me laughing….I remember the story….your lists for babies and adults is great. Anyone going camping will find these very helpful!

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  5. Except for picture taking of course!

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  6. This list sounds close to what I have in tow no matter where we’re going haha… Glad you got away and had fun with no phones or electronics! ☺

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