Camping with kids in tow can be such a fantastic way to spend quality time together as a family. But camping with little ones isn’t always easy: From disrupted naps and bedtimes, to keeping them safe around campfires and campground roads, it can be exhausting! We’ve found a few gear items, though, that can make the camping trip go much smoother for everyone.
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1. The Peapod
We don’t use the Peapod anymore since our kiddos are older, but back when they were still crib-sleepers, the Peapod was our favorite kid gear item. It provided a safe but fun place for our babies and toddlers to sleep. We primarily used it in the pop-up camper, and it worked perfectly on either a bunk end or on the folded down dinette area. Initially we used a pack ‘n play that sat on the folded down dinette, but it was tiresome having to collapse the pack ‘n play every morning so we could use the dinette area. The Peapod could easily be tossed onto a bunk end, or quickly folded up into the carrying bag.
2. Booster seat
The Fisher-Price travel booster seat is a multi-purpose baby gear item. We not only took it camping and to Grandma’s house, but it worked great for day-to-day use at home. On our camping trips, we found it could be carefully and securely strapped to most picnic benches–Jarrett just had to get creative with how he wrapped and then snapped the straps. Since little ones have a hard time sitting on picnic benches and reaching the table, the removable tray allowed for our little ones to have their own table surface to eat or play.
3. Backpack child carrier
When our daughter was still a tiny tot I found a Kelty backpack child carrier at a garage sale. It turned out to be one of my best garage sale finds since it was cheap and we’ve used it a lot over the past seven years for hiking and touring with the three kiddos. The Kelty version is more expensive, but we also had another brand–an inexpensive one that I had also found at a garage sale–and our backs very quickly knew the difference. We quickly got rid of it after finding the Kelty.
4. Kids’ bike trailer
I had bought our bike trailer at the same garage sale I found the Kelty–it was an awesome garage sale!–but it doesn’t appear the company is making that version anymore. There are other versions available (like this one) that offer a collapsible design and the ability to convert to a stroller just like ours. The bike trailer isn’t something we took on every camping trip. It only came along when we were planning biking excursions, but on the few trips we had it with us it ended up serving many purposes. On one particularly soggy trip, it provided a dry spot for our toddler to play. Another time it worked great as a safe spot to let our two little guys watch the campfire. The downside to the bike trailer is its size and awkward shape; even when it’s collapsed it is a rather large piece of gear to tote around.
Wipes–need I say more! 🙂 From sticky fingers to quick “baths”, they are an absolute essential for families with little ones. We always take a package with us on our trips.
So what sorts of items do you like to take camping for your little ones?