Ask on Inquiring Moms

Up front, I would say sure, there is no intrinsic problem with taking a baby camping. That being said, you want to think twice about the type of trip you are planning and how taking a baby along may change that experience. For instance, a high endurance back country trip will be a lot more challenging with a small child or baby who requires constant attention and supervision. Campground or trailer camping would certainly be easier but remember that just as you have to deal with changes to routines and other daily activities while camping, so will your baby.

Things like more complicated bathing, different food, a different bed etc... can have a stronger impact on a baby who is more reliant on stability. Many parents and parenting experts believe that exposing your baby to different experiences at an early age will make him or her more adaptable and flexible and therefore more able to deal with change in his or her surroundings. On the other hand, some children find disruptions to their normal lives very upsetting and many people argue that stability and routines are an important part of a baby's life. All told, it's up to you to decide whether or not your baby will manage the changes and challenges presented by the camping trip you are planning.

Once you have decided as to whether or not you think your baby will be a 'happy camper' you need to consider the additional issues of safety and daily activities. While babies and toddlers always require close supervision, additional attention is needed while camping. Proximity to bodies of water, insects, wildlife, camp roads, and of course campfires, are all dangers found at campsites that your baby doesn't face while playing on your living room rug.

Remember that aside from the larger issues of water safety, wildlife and open campfires (which can be easily navigated with supervision and general camping safety practices), you need to be prepared for other issues such as exposure to the elements, interrupted sleep and food preparation. Life jackets, sun block, UVA resistant materials, bug suits, rain gear, warm clothes, and insect repellents can all make for a happy and healthy baby camper but be sure to talk to your paediatrician about sun block and bug repellents for babies as certain products are not safe for small children. In fact, it probably would be a good idea to talk to him or her about any other concerns you have about camping. Less reliable refrigeration and uneven heating while cooking over campfires can, in extreme cases, present a hazard in the form of food poisoning but being aware of the issues and taking basic steps can easily eliminate these risks. Steps such as making sure meats are thoroughly cooked, remembering that opened baby food won't last as long in a cooler as it does in the fridge, and checking the ingredients of prepackaged camping meals for foods unsafe for babies will make sure your campfire meals are safe for everyone. Familiarizing yourself with the appearance of other hazards such as poison ivy and oak as well as basic first aid will also ensure that your family avoids serious mishap while camping.

Keep in mind that your own daily chores can also be complicated by the camping setting with things like dishes, cooking and keeping the baby entertained taking greater time and attention than at home. Planning ahead, discussing these issues with your partner and/or the other members of your expedition group can mean not only that you all start out with realistic expectations but also that you can negotiate the workload and be sure that everyone has a good time on the trip.

These considerations taken into account, many families camp with babies and toddlers and have a wonderful time, I'm merely suggesting you start with a realistic expectation about what your trip will look like and take the necessary precautions. Camping offers families a chance for a fun and affordable vacation together with lots of opportunities for building lifelong memories, especially if camping is something you enjoyed before you had your child(ren). For more tips and ideas check out these links:

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.