[The Adventures of Ellis || Camping with a baby]
Something we have LOVED doing that people have called us *crazy* for, has been camping with baby Ellis!
I wanted to start out by saying this first and foremost so please read ESPECIALLY if you don’t have babies yet/are on the fence:
I am a firm believer that life is just as rich, just as full, just as adventure filled once you add little ones into it. Does it look different? OH YES. But, that does not mean that the things you love doing you can never do again. So, with that being said, here is our experience with camping with a baby!
I tried to be as detailed here as possible, so I have linked all of our gear for you to see if you’re wondering any specifics. I also want to say, however, that we do try to keep it as simple as we can but also have the things we need while camping with a baby (which, yes, is far more than camping without, ha!)
If you know me and Clay, you know we are extremely outdoorsy people and absolutely love camping so much. But the first thing I wanted to say in encouragement to camping or doing ANYTHING new with a baby is:
— Try not to have expectations that every moment will be perfect. Give room for things NOT to go exactly as planned. Expect to offer grace to your little ones if they aren’t having it or if something is difficult for them. Be prepared to adapt as needed, and try not to let that stress you or steal your joy and fun.
I have found if I go into new experiences with a baby with that mindset, it doesn’t set me up for disappointment or feeling like a failure!
Anyways- now that we have that out of the way scroll for some key components we have found were important for a successful camping trip with baby Ellis.
1. Make sure to have the right tent
Okay, so this is important because Clay and I have used a lot of crappy tents in the past that would NOT have been kosher for camp life with a baby. Here is what I personally considered while purchasing a tent last summer knowing we’d have a baby with us this summer:
-Making sure it had a realistic amount of space.
-Having a solid rain fly
-It may sound weird, but I wanted to have a really good vestibule! (which is basically like the front porch of the tent?? Haha, you can definitely see the photos for what I’m talking about)
-Good quality that didn’t break the bank!
SO, I would recommend a field and stream tent. You can see the specs of ours here. (Dick’s often does 50% off on tents, so watch for those deals!)
We have a pack n play lite and this is a 4 person tent. If you plan to use a standard size pack n play, I would probably go with a bigger 6+ person tent.
*side note— we bought THIS foam floor to put on the ground of the tent since we don’t bring air mattresses and I wanted the ground really soft for Ellis to crawl around/be changed on and such. We had our pads and sleeping bags on top of this and it was comfy for us*
2. Check the weather + plan accordingly
This is pretty simple, but basically if it’s going to be hot, pack a fan for baby. If it’s going to be cold, pack a temperature regulated heater for baby. You can see in the photos, but we packed a heater because it was in the low 40s when we camped the second weekend of September!
3. Baby sleep system
This one is totally up to you, but just remember you want your baby to have a safe place to sleep all night AND naps. We chose to use this pack n play and it worked so well for Ellis both during the night and during his naps. He rocked it and has impressed me so much!
4. Baby nourishment
Depending on the age of your baby and what/how you feed them, just be really strategic in planning so you don’t catch yourself in a pickle! If you are bringing a pump and bottles, make sure you have a cleaning system. Formula, make sure to measure out what you need, etc.
For this trip, I breastfed him and brought him food I pureed in a cooler.
You can do this anyway you want, just be intentional to think through the details of what you + your little babe will need.
5. Finally, my baby packing list:
-diapers + wipes
-baby hiking backpack
-pack n play
I hope this was helpful if you're planning a camping trip in the near future! Please feel free to ask any questions!