Camping with a Toddler Packing Checklist

A Toddler's Weekend in East DevonWe’ve been camping a lot this summer. East Devon, South Devon, Camper Calling… So I thought that my camping with a toddler packing checklist would be good to share. I like to pack light, but with camping have tendency to shove everything we might need in the car. Even though it is a big car, it can reach bursting point! And then without a list I tend to forget something important. Like the stove…

Camping with a Toddler Packing Checklist

Tent n that
  • Tent (with pegs etc). Bit of an obvious one. We use a 4-man one for the three of us, which works nicely size-wise. I can’t recommend strongly enough having a good sized porch. This means that when the good old British weather lets us down we can comfortably sit under cover. And the toddler has a bit of dry space to play in.
  • Sleeping mats. Harking back to the days when I used to need to carry my camping stuff, we use self-inflating sleeping mats. They are not cheap, but roll up into a compact size and are light. As with most camping stuff, the smaller and lighter, the more expensive it is!
  • Sleeping bags. This is a bit of a personal one as it depends how much you feel the cold. Daisy and I like to be nice and snug so tend to use a three or four season bag in the UK even in summer…
  • Pillows. As we will have the car with us, I like to take our normal pillows. Gives a bit of home comfort.
  • Picnic blanket and chairs. Somewhere to sit, somewhere to play.
  • Cooking stuff. We currently have a single ring gas cooker, so tend to only take one pan. And plates, cutlery, cups, chopping board. This does mean you have to be creative with one-pot meals though. We think we might invest in a two ring cooker to expand our repertoire of meals.
  • Cool box. This is one thing we want to upgrade. For summer camping it is difficult to keep things cool. Which is tricky with a toddler who wants milk. We’re currently investigating some sort of solar powered fridge…
  • Torches. We don’t actually often use ours. But can be handy for locating a toddler when they have rolled to the far corner of the tent in the middle of the night.
Camping with a Toddler Packing Checklist
Other essential stuff
  • Clothing. Take lots of clothes that can be layered. It can get pretty chilly at night even when it has been hot during the day. The things we always pack for everyone include a full set of waterproofs, wellies/waterproof boots and a warm hoodie. I like to take flip flops for lounging around in.
  • Toddler transportation. We tend to take both buggy and backpack carrier. If we were short of space, we would just take the latter.
  • Other bits and pieces. None of this is particularly camping specific. Don’t forget wash stuff and towels for everyone. And sun cream and insect repellent. (Although forgetting those guarantees sunny weather). I have developed a tendency to forget glasses / contact lenses. Not very useful when I need them to see. Nappy changing paraphernalia. Camera / phone for taking snaps of the lovely scenery. And an in-car charger for when your battery drains.

Happy camping!

The Places We Will Go
Plutonium Sox

10 thoughts on “Camping with a Toddler Packing Checklist

  1. Great tips! I’m always surprised (although I have finally learned and packed accordingly) by how cold it gets at night in the UK in the middle of summer. Unless it is really hot we always wear a fleece on top of our PJs. I’m sure I didn’t do that in my youth
    though… #familytraveltips

    1. I always find sleeping mats a trade off between what is light and small to carry vs what is most comfortable!

  2. some great tips here. We love our baby carrier too, especially when you are short of space. Blankets, fleeces and fleecy onesies…..we can’t leave home without!!

  3. Brilliant tips! I definitely second taking pillows, I sleep so much better with one. We have a folding camper trailer tent type thing, which I love because it’s just like sleeping in a normal bed so we don’t need sleeping mats. We’re hoping to upgrade to a camper van next year but ironically, when we do I think we’ll probably buy a normal tent as well, I’d miss canvas if I didn’t have the option of it every now and then! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips

  4. We took Boo camping when she was one but I really hated it (she loved it though), I think it was because we just didn’t have the right equipment and I was really cold. I think i might have to give it another go now the kids are older and I know what I need to take with me to keep me happy 😉 Thanks for linking up to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    1. It definitely helps having the right stuff (and good weather!). Although apparently I’ve always had a thing about camping – when I was little I used to make my parents camp in their friends’ gardens if we were visiting and ‘Topsy and Tim go Camping’ was my favourite book for a while…

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