This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive an commission if you buy through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure policy for more info.
There is no sweeter sound to me than the soft breaths of my sleeping children lying close under a tent, while nightly creatures chirp lightly in the distant dark. And there is no worse sound than that tent being turned to a dark dome of hell as my 9 month old wails inconsolably at 2am, waking my 3 year old into her own hysterics and keeping her up long, long, long after the baby fell back to sleep. But we made it through our first camping trip as a family of four, five including the dog, who, lucky for him, was on his best behavior. Here’s how we survived camping with an almost three year old and a nearly nine-month old crawler.
Pack All the Things
Now is not the time for a hike in, live off the land kind of camping trip. We figure we can do that when the kids are able to drive themselves to the trailhead and we can stay home watching The Revenant 3 – The Bear’s Revenge. When in doubt, and you have room, bring it. We had a pop-up bassinet for our baby, but he just rolled right through it. Luckily, we had thrown the pack-n-play in “just in case” and he slept in that for his naps & night time. Same with the bumbo. It was a great portable feeding station for the baby. Art supplies, a milk carton boat to float on the lake, a soccer ball and bubbles were all key for entertaining first kid while we set up and broke down camp. The best get was my Dad’s extra-extra-large tarp (it was the most enormous thing, 20×30 maybe?) which we laid out under the tent and extended in front to create a semi-clean crawling space for the baby, and a shoe depository for my toddler. Pro tip: no shoes and no food in the tent.
Bring Extra Pants for the Kids, But Not So Many for You
Camp During the Week or Off-Season and Stay Close to Home
Get Up and Out of Your Campsite Early
Make Simple Memories and Go with the Flow
Just Go! You Can Always Go Home Early
*May contain affiliate links but all product recommendations are honest.
Join My Find Time to Thrive Email Challenge + Get a FREE Habit Tracker
Do you want to create healthy habits but can't find the time? Join my FREE 6-Day Email Challenge to Find Time to Thrive TODAY! Plus I'll send you my FREE HABIT TRACKER Printable!