Skip to Content

7 Tips for Camping with a Toddler

Here are a few tips you can use to help make camping with a toddler a success this summer.

Planning your camping trip with a toddler requires a lot of thought and experience. You need to be prepared for anything, which is why it’s so important to have the right supplies and snacks on hand. Here are a few tips you can use to help make camping with a toddler a success.


Bring a Backpack Carrier

If you want to do some hiking and exploring on your camping trick bring a backpack carrier with you. Your toddler will probably enjoy walking on some of the easier paths, but toddlers lack an adult’s stamina. Your toddler will quickly tire and a backpack carrier allows you to transport your child without making your arms tired!

Pack Plenty of Snacks

Your toddler will use up a lot of energy while camping. Pack plenty of nutritious snacks for your camping trip so that you have a quick and easy way to replenish your toddler’s energy.  Whole grain cereal, granola, string cheese, pre-cut veggie sticks, fresh fruit and homemade fruit leather are just some of the great options out there for on-the-go snacking. A snack in your toddler’s tummy will also help eliminate any temper tantrums resulting from hunger.

Check Your Medical Supplies

Let’s face it. Your toddler will be getting into anything and everything on your camping trip. Because of this, you’ll want to be prepared. Before leaving to go camping, check your medical supplies so that you know you’re prepared. Pack important items such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, sunscreen, anti-itch cream, alcohol wipes, and anything else you think your child might need.

Extra Wipes & Diapers

Even if your toddler is potty trained, you might want to think about bringing extra wipes and diapers on your camping trip. When camping, bathrooms are usually few and far in between, which means that your toddler might not be able to get to a bathroom before having an accident. Having extra wipes and diapers on hand can help you protect your toddler’s clothing from being ruined or unusable for the rest of the trip.  If you don’t want to risk confusion or going a step backwards then consider making room to pack a potty or even go as far as to reserve a campsite near the washrooms.


Get your toddler their own sleeping bag and leave it at that.  Just trust me.  Don’t worry about mattresses and cots, they aren’t necessary and your toddler will love sleeping on the bare ground.  You can also opt to put down foam floor tiles for a little comfort and to make the tent crawling friendly.  If your toddler tends to roam around at night then do bring a Pack and Play to help keep them contained. Pack winter hats for their heads at night if it gets cold and bring along an extra wool blanket just in case it gets really chilly.

Bedtime Routines

Try to stick to your usual bedtime routine as much as possible.  The familiarity will help your toddler adjust to sleeping in a new and unfamiliar place.

Leave the Toys at Home

Kids are pretty resourceful at play when given the chance.  Pack a few items you can use to play together such as velcro ball, and one or two other items for quiet play in case of rain.  Otherwise let them explore, under your careful watch of course, you will soon find them entertaining themselves with nature.


What are your best tips for camping toddlers?

Gary Dunn

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Great suggestions, however I disagree with the bedding suggestion for no pad. A pad isn't necessarily for comfort, but to insulate you from the ground which robs heat quickly. A toddler is going to stay more comfortable with a pad even if it is a just cheap closed foam pad. - Gary

kathy downey

Wednesday 24th of August 2016

My niece was really glad for these tips last weekend when she took the twins(21/2) and her 5 year old camping

kathy downey

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

And one of the most important for kids are snacks and more snacks...haha..its cheaper to clothe them than feed them

kathy downey

Friday 28th of August 2015

This is the last camping week of the summer for us and we have the grandkids so these tips will come in handy

Kimberly Flickinger

Sunday 19th of July 2015

These are some great tips. I will have to share these with my friends who have toddlers.