Whether you have a baby, a toddler or a preschooler, the sooner you start camping with them, the better. Our son had his first tent camping experience at 6 months of age. It is never too early to get your children outdoors. Of course each age will have its challenges and rewards. The best advice I can give you is to tailor your camping trip to your youngest child.
So, what are the peculiarities you’ll be dealing with at each age?
Pre-crawling babies are very easy to camp with. You know they won’t be crawling around in dirt. The main challenge is keeping baby warm or cool, so pick a time of year when temperatures are moderate or a campsite with shady spots if the weather is very hot. However, as far as ease of camping with a baby, this is a great age embark on your first camping trip.
Photo by: Flickr/ Graham and Sheila
Crawlers and Toddlers
This is probably the most challenging age to camp with because it’s hard to control whether your child eats fistfuls of dirt. There is no reasoning with a crawling. Their instinct is to crawl and nothing is going to stop them. Nonetheless, you can minimize your frustration level by trying to find a campsite located on a grassy meadow or by bring along a playpen or a dedicated play tent you can set up near where everyone is hanging out.
Photo by: Flickr/Graham and Sheila
This is the age when camping starts to become really enjoyable with kids. One caveat is that you must be mentally prepared that your child will likely be covered from head to toe in dirt the entire trip. If you really can’t bear it, find a campsite with hot showers, otherwise, put those blinkers on and remember the mantra “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt.” Your major considerations with preschoolers will be teaching your child how to stay safe. You might not want a campsite right next to a creek or lake so you don’t have to worry about your child wandering to the water’s edge by themselves all the time.
Photo by: Flickr/danoxster
Do you have a question about camping with kids that our savvy parents can help answer?
Jessica Nugent (aka fani*fam) is the mom of a a one year old boy and loves outdoor adventures. They are known for braving the outdoors any season of the year. LiLing Pang (TravelPangs) is co-founder and contributing author on Trekaroo - - a reviews website dedicated to exploring and traveling with kids.LiLing Pang
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