Camping with Toddlers


It’s already October! I am so sorry friends. I have been away too long.

I had excuses for being so busy during the summer time and when September rolled around, local play groups and a Japanese toddler class started, and life got a little bit hectic.

It has been raining almost every morning here on the west coast of Canada. By noon, it usually clears up and it gets warmer. It is definitely long sleeve weather for me though. I miss summer! I miss being able to put the boys in the kiddie pool. What else do I miss?! Camping! I think it will be tricky to go camping with the boys now that the morning and night are cooler outside.

In August, my husband, our 19 month olds (at that time) boys and I went camping for two nights. It was so much fun. I do admit I am glad that we waited until this year to take our boys camping. If they were younger, it would have been much more challenging. For example, our boys don’t put things, or their hands, in their mouths any more (unless they are trying to touch their teeth or being silly) so we didn’t have to worry about them eating dirt all day long. Instead, we could let them play and get really really sandy and dirty, and it was okay! It went pretty smoothly and was such a memorable holiday. However, we did have to plan a completely different check-list for this camping trip from the one that we used when we camped as a child-less couple. We were well prepared. I would like to share a few things I thought was useful in our camping experience.




 A scheen house with zippers is a life saver. It works as a play pen to keep the children contained so that they don’t wander off to the woods when the adults are busy cooking a meal or trying to unpack, or if one adult has to watch two kids while the other goes to the bathroom, etc.

2  Sidewalk chalk, Crayons and papers, stickers, a bucket and a shovel, etc, were great for entertaining them at the campsite when we were back from our walks or exploring.

3  Sleeping arrangement for the tent varies for families I suppose, but we co-sleep at home so it was easy to just lay out a double air mattress and a twin air mattress side by side and we connected three sleeping bags together and slept together.

4  Squeeze food pouches were super convenient for snack time especially because their hands and our hands were always dirty from picking up leaves and pine cones, etc.

 Lots of walking, exploring, swimming, etc was the key for the boys to be tired (we didn’t use our stroller at all while we camped) so that they could go to sleep even though it was still bright out in the tent. (at home we have a black-out curtain in their room)

6  Treat them with something special to keep it fun. We brought juice boxes and also the boys had their first taste of bacon!! We didn’t sweat about exactly healthy meals for those days. We thought, “just have fun, we are camping!” That’s part of making special memories too, I believe.

 Bring some entertainment for yourselves. Our boys went to bed at around 7:30pm both nights and unlike home, we didn’t have house work or we didn’t have to take a shower, etc… so we actually had lots of time to sit at the picnic table just outside of the tent to chat, have some snacks and play a game of UNO or two… or seven. That was also the fun part of this camping and I think all the parents deserve the relaxing downtime at night away from home.

Unfortunately, we had to wait till end of August to take the boys camping for the first time, so we could not go one more time this year. We look forward to next summer and I hope to do more often! Our boys are just like my husband. They love nature and they are very adventurous. I am grateful that I can raise my boys in this beautiful country and I want them to develop a strong connection to nature.

Thank you so much for reading.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!



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