20 Things to Bring when Camping with a Baby

This weekend to celebrate my upcoming birthday, we took a family camping trip. It was our first time camping with Chicken, and I was so excited to finally share this experience with her. The idea of camping with a baby brought on lots of stress and worry, so when we made the decision to go I went straight to Google for tips and tricks. I found a lot of good ideas that I had mostly already thought of, but it was still good to get some reassurance that taking a baby camping wasn’t a completely insane idea.


Chicken trying to escape her pack-n-play while we set up camp.


My baby camping packing list is long, but it’s better to be prepared, right? We also went car camping which made it easier to carry everything. We aren’t quite ready for hiking in, but hopefully one day we will have the confidence for that. Anyway, here is my baby packing list. I have attached links to the products we used.

  1. A pack-n-play (This is an absolute must for crawlers. It doubled as her bed and a place for her to play during the day)
  2. A portable high chair (If your baby is eating solids. It is also doubles as another place for the baby to sit.)
  3. A baby carrier for hikes
  4. Some of their favorite toys
  5. A lovey or something your baby finds comforting (Chicken loves this security blanket and sleeps with it at night and during all of her naps.)
  6. Multiple changes and layers of clothes and don’t worry about matching. (The temperature at night got pretty chilly and hot during the day, so breathable layers are important.)
  7. A sleep sack
  8. A meal and snack plan (If your baby is eating solids, you need to prep and plan out their meals. Make sure you start preparing their meals well in advance. You don’t want a crying baby while you’re trying to cook their meal on a campfire.)
  9. Water cup and clean water (Obviously, it is important to keep your baby hydrated, but we were not sure what the water source would be like at this campsite, so we brought a jug of purified water just for her.)
  10. Lots and lots of diapers (The last thing you want is to run out of diapers or wipes. We kept an emergency package in the car in case we ran out.)
  11. A roll of softish paper towels (Just go ahead and accept that your baby is going to get dirty! They will probably also eat a little dirt too. That’s just being in the outdoors with a baby, but I found a wet paper towel went a long way in keeping her clean.)
  12. Baby friendly bug spray (Just remember that these baby bug sprays need to be reapplied more often than the bug sprays containing DEET).
  13. A mosquito net (Bug bites on a baby can ruin your trip, so we took extra precaution in keeping the bugs off Chicken. Draping a mosquito net over the pack-n-play was the best way to keep the bugs away from her. Mosquito nets are cheap and can be found at any outdoors store.)
  14. Formula and bottles (We didn’t pack this because Chicken is breastfed, but if you are using formula be sure you have plenty of both.)
  15. A warm hat and a sun hat (nights can get cool and day’s hot and sunny, so make sure you have both.)
  16. Sunscreen (Chicken looks just like her Irish daddy, so sun protection is a must for us.)
  17. A clean surface for your baby to eat on (Outdoor picnic tables are hard to clean, so we brought along our handy EZPZ mat.)
  18. Don’t forget the bib either! One that is easily rinsed off is best.
  19. A large blanket for playing on the ground
  20. The expectation that things are going to go wrong!


Chicken enjoying some french toast and berries for breakfast.


What a great list, right? It sure would’ve been nice if I could have followed my own advice. Here’s my list of everything we forgot. Not everything we forgot was baby related, but when you’re so focused on making sure your baby is comfortable you often forget about everyone else.

  1. The baby carrier (Thank goodness there was a Wal-Mart in the nearby town.)
  2. The dogs’ leashes (Had to turn around for that one.)
  3. A lighter definitely makes building a fire easier
  4. Carabineers for tieing up the dogs (Poor pups, they sure do get the short end of the stick since Chicken arrived.)
  5. Mine and Andrew’s dinner for the first night (Dorrito’s and beer it is!)
  6. And I’m sure some other things that I’m not remembering right now.


Last minute baby carrier purchased right before the hike.


Needless to say, we forgot some stuff, and everything did not go as smoothly as we hoped, but we had a wonderful time. We got in lots of device free family time and created a lot of great memories. There were other learning moments, I will share with y’all in future posts, but for now, I hope this list can help you in planning your family’s outdoor adventure.

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