My tips for camping with toddlers

My tips for camping with toddlers

This weekend was our first weekend at home in a couple of weeks as we’ve spent the last two camping. I thought I’d write a post about camping with young children and why we love it. The weather has been so lovely here in the UK and you know how much we like spending time outdoors as a family, so camping was always a possibility this summer.  I was however apprehensive about camping with a toddler, I remember being the same when we first took our eldest too. So read on to find out how we made camping with toddlers an enjoyable experience for all and find some tips if you are planning a camping trip.


Camping with toddlers

Preparing for camping with toddlers

Preparation is everything. I love a good list and a bit of research beforehand. A little bit of time spent planning your trip will make all the difference.


Perhaps try a night camping in your garden first – we did this and the kids loved it and slept really well so this gave us the confidence to book a trip. No one woke up too early, feeling cold etc. The only problem we had was getting the eldest to sleep as she was so excited!


Find a family-friendly campsite in your chosen location – we wanted to be within a couple of hours from home for our first trip, not least because we were setting off after school on a Friday.


Camping with toddlers


Make a list of everything you will need to buy and pack – we had most of the essentials already but we needed a few extra bits. A packing list means you won’t forget something important like the tent pegs or your toddler’s teddy that they won’t sleep without.


Pack toys and snacks for the journey within reach – you’ll need them for the journey and once you arrive on site.


Pack the tent last so it is easy to get out when you arrive – you don’t want to have to empty the car out to get to the tent that you packed first!


Camping with toddlers


Tips for camping with toddlers

Once you arrive on site this is when the fun starts. Pitching a tent with young children around can be a little tricky, to say the least. Try to keep them occupied and in sight whilst you put up your tent. Snacks might help or perhaps a favourite or new toy. You know your own children best so have a think what might keep your kids happy and in one place. The alternative is to try and involve the kids in setting up camp. We end up doing more of the latter. Carrying the peg bag and handing out pegs is a good task for a little one and once the tent is up, my two love helping carry bits from the car to the tent.


Camping with toddlers


Pack more clothes than you think they will need in case they get wet or dirty. Remember you’ll be outdoors more than in, whatever the weather. Pack waterproofs and warm clothes even if the forecast is good. Camping with young children is never going to be a minimalistic experience!


Don’t expect your cool box to keep things cold for more than about 20 hours approx. Freeze some small bottles of juice or water and plenty of ice packs and it might last this long. Some sites have freezers where you can refreeze the ice packs.


Relax and expect bedtime to take longer than at home. I think it has been about 11 pm that the girls have both finally fallen asleep on the first night on both trips and a little earlier the second night.


Camping with toddlers


Pack flip flops for the showers (they’re not usually the cleanest places). Take two bags that you can hang from hooks in the showers for keeping your shoes, towels and clean and dirty clothes off the wet floor.


What to pack when camping with toddlers

I’m going to post a full packing list soon but in the meantime, I want to show you a few new items that we have been sent to review that are essential items.


Camping with toddlers


Comfort bed compact double airbed, Coleman

This airbed is so comfy and did not deflate even slightly over the weekend which sometimes happens with airbeds. The two sides to the airbed are pumped up separately allowing you and your partner to have different firmness if you desire. It also seemed bigger than a standard double as one night our toddler shared it with us too and we all had plenty of room. The advanced double lock air valve for inflating it is really well designed too and it stops the air bed deflating in the time it takes you to disconnect the pump and close it. We love this really well designed airbed and sleep really well on it. Find out more here.


Camping with toddlers

Camping with toddlers


Campingaz party grill 400 CV gas stove

We had a cheap single ring burner previously but this stove is so much more than just a ring burner. It is also a wok, reversible griddle and a bbq. We’ve only used it as a burner so far but I look forward to using it as a bbq later this summer. As a burner, it is far better than I remember our previous camping stove being. It took no longer than my gas hob at home to cook pasta. It packs away into a neat carry bag for easy transporting too.

I love the idea of grilling meats, vegetables or fruit on it or toasting marshmallows. I’m really looking forward to using it again on our next trip. I also think it would be good just in the garden or on a picnic too since it is so portable. The legs unscrew and everything fits inside with the wok as a lid. So practical. Find out more here.


Camping with toddlers

Camping with toddlers


Packaway 250 light, Coleman

This lamp not only gives out plenty of light, is suitable for carrying on late night bathroom trips and can be hung up but it also collapses to half its size. This is great for packing in our already overfull car. We’re really pleased with it and take it instead of our previous one every time. Find out more here.


Camping with toddlers


Have you been camping with toddlers or young children? have you got any great tips to share?


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Camping with toddlers


Disclosure: the air bed, lamp and camping stove were sent to us for review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.

Country Kids




  1. July 16, 2018 / 9:47 pm

    These are great list! I remembered out first time camping as a four. OMG! The kids are just too high with energy to go to sleep. It took like forever!! lol! Thank you for sharing and hope you’ll continue to enjoy camping for many years to come! 🙂 xx

    • Claire
      July 20, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Yes, that sounds very familiar!

  2. July 17, 2018 / 9:18 am

    The items sound fabulous and make the experience more enjoyable but dirty showers and sleeping with my pillow up against the tent wall where a spider could crawl down onto my face ain’t selling it to me lol.

    I’d love to say I’ve done it but I think I might have to try glamping first lol.

    Great post though and fab pics.

    • Claire
      July 20, 2018 / 10:39 am

      It’s not for everyone but we enjoy the experience on the whole.

  3. July 20, 2018 / 10:21 am

    Im looking at going camping very soon! These tips are amazing! Thank you x x

    • Claire
      July 20, 2018 / 10:38 am

      I’m glad they are useful.

  4. July 20, 2018 / 10:34 am

    Right so I read this on the way to camping and realised I have forgotten flip flops!! Great list! And some helpful tips thank you!

    • Claire
      July 20, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Sorry! I hope you enjoy the rest of the experience!

  5. July 21, 2018 / 2:25 am

    I’d need that comfort bed. No point going away and getting a poor night’s sleep!

  6. July 21, 2018 / 7:35 am

    We went camping earlier in the summer and I forgot flip flops! Top of my list when we go again in August.x

  7. July 21, 2018 / 8:07 am

    I’d love to take my daughter camping – she would love it. But hubby’s not a fan. Looks like you have had some great fun camping. If ever I manage to persuade hubby I’ll definitely be back to this post

  8. Chelsea
    July 21, 2018 / 8:32 am

    A great article!

  9. July 21, 2018 / 8:48 am

    Some great tips there!! Thanks for sharing x

  10. July 21, 2018 / 10:04 am

    You are looking like seasoned campers now with some great kit to make life easy for yourselves. I must say even as a non camper the idea of this beautiful summer weather outdoors is appealing. I do think the night in the garden is a great tip, such a safe way to try outdoor sleeping with the comfort of home in reach. Now if we can just keep the summer sun going I’m sure you will have many more camping trips this summer.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  11. July 21, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    We have the party grill and love it!

  12. July 21, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    We’re thinking about taking our toddler camping for a couple of days next month. I’ve been a bit worried about it, so I’ll follow your tips and hopefully it’ll all go smoothly! #CountryKids

  13. July 21, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    some great tips there. I’ve only ever been glamping which doesn’t really count does it! One day maybe I’ll be brave enough to go the whole hog #CountryKids

  14. July 22, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    I love your list, it totally makes sense. I’m not brave enough to try yet with our 2 though, staying in a hotel was traumatic enough! Hope you take them when they’re older though as I enjoyed camping when I was younger #countrykids

  15. July 22, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    We used to go camping when my son is younger so I agree with the tips! Your post made me miss camping a lot. #countrykids

  16. July 24, 2018 / 8:15 am

    We love camping but made some basic mistakes the first tie we went such as taking no light/torch at all. You can imagine how fun that was with a 2 year old in the middle of the night! I wish we had seen this list back then.

  17. July 25, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    Wonderful tips! We love camping. I remember when my son was little, we felt that a wagon was a camping essential. We could load the ice chest and gear when heading to the lake or load it with the fishing gear and then put my son in it when he became too tired to walk. #countrykids

  18. July 26, 2018 / 9:41 am

    I’ve experiences of camping which now make me want to try out glamping instead. I think trying out the tent before you leave home is a great one and understanding that sleep patterns may be altered due to excitement and the sun setting worth keeping in mind. #CountryKids

  19. August 24, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Some awesome advice here. We will be going camping when my new born is a little older nd we can afford. Big enough tent! I ill save this post til then!

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