Camping With A Baby | The Complete Guide

If camping is an important part of your life, it’s natural that you want to share the experience with your child and introduce them as soon as possible to the wonders of camping life. However, while you may be used to roughing it yourself for a few days or weeks, you may wonder whether camping with a baby is feasible or safe.

Camping with infants takes special preparation and choices to ensure your child is safe and comfortable. While many may have different camping styles, camping with a baby involves managing your expectations by preparing for a different trip to ensure you get the most out of the experience.

What are the benefits of taking your baby camping, and are there any drawbacks? Where should you camp, and what do you need to prepare before starting your adventures? Read on to find out everything you need to know before you set out.

Why Go Camping With Your Baby?

For some parents, the thought of taking an infant with them when they head out into nature wouldn’t even be up for consideration.

The precautions and adaptations to the camping experience make it not worth their while.

For many others, however, the allure of camping is such that they wouldn’t think twice before packing up their baby-friendly gear and heading out.

Parenting choices are extremely personal, and not all situations suit all parents or children.

Still, it is certainly possible to take your baby on a safe and enjoyable camping trip if you prepare thoroughly and are prepared for any potential difficulties.

The benefits of camping with your young child, as opposed to choosing another holiday type, all go some way to explain why parents decide to take their baby with them on camping trips. 

1. Affordable holidays

Being a parent can be extremely tough. Particularly with a young baby, you can find that time is no longer your own, and it is easy to get worn down and exhausted.

It’s important that you can take breaks away from the daily grind of daily life to refresh, reset and stay on top of things.

But children also have a huge impact on finances, and some parents find that the disposable income they once had to spend on holidays abroad or in hotels is no longer freely available.

Camping offers a flexible and affordable holiday style for parents who do not necessarily have the spare income to splurge on an expensive holiday for their growing family.

Off-grid camping can be free, and it’s possible to find well-serviced campgrounds at a fraction of the cost of a hotel or resort if you prefer to have more amenities available.

Affordable holidays

2. Experience for the child

For many who camp, it has been something they have enjoyed since they were children, an experience passed on to them by their parents or grandparents.

It’s only fitting to wish to share the same joy with their children as soon as possible.

Some reflect that, within reason, the sooner you expose your child to the camping experience, the more they will enjoy it.

Similarly, access to nature, particularly if you live in a town or city, can be a valuable introduction to something they do not always have access to in their daily lives.

Time spent in nature is considered good for our mental well-being, including young children. Even for you, watching your child spend time in the wonders of nature is a priceless memory.

Some campers commented that their kids slept better to the sounds of nature than in their beds at home.

3. Quality family time

Sometimes, it is too easy for us to get caught up in the daily demands of life back home.

With a constant checklist of tasks to complete, we can find ourselves with surprisingly little time to spend just enjoying our loved ones and doing things with them.

Taking your little one camping allows you to spend some time together in the peace of natural surroundings. It’s hard to be distracted by other tasks when there are fewer calls on your time.

Bear in mind, though, that camping with a baby is far less likely to be relaxing than before, so it’s important to manage your expectations.

Quality family time

What Are The Drawbacks?

1. Potential risks

Of course, it would be irresponsible to suggest that there aren’t risks associated with bringing a young baby camping.

Depending on where you are camping, you may not have the usual access to medicines or medical care if there is a problem or to the usual supplies you use.

The most often mentioned aspect of keeping babies safe and comfortable at the campsite concerns warmth.

As they can’t regulate their temperatures, keeping babies warm in winter and cool in the summer months is a primary concern to many camping parents.

In such different circumstances to what we’re used to at home, many campers have had to devise methods to keep their infant warm or cool depending on the temperatures they are experiencing.

Alternatively, consider whether it might be better to postpone your trip to a season when the weather is more temperate, and you can camp without concern that your baby’s temperature will plunge too low or soar too high.

For cold weather concerns, 45 F is considered a cut-off point by experienced parent campers.

2. Hassle

If you usually plan to camp for the peace and solitude of staying in nature, you should be aware that camping with a baby will be a completely different experience.

It will be far more work to ensure that your family stays safe and keep an eye on your child at all times.

Similarly, depending on your baby’s nature, they may react to the unfamiliar environment and are more easily upset than back home. You won’t necessarily be guaranteed a good night’s rest with your baby. 

Some campers reflect that it was easier to camp with a very young infant than with a toddler since they are more stationary and less likely to wander off on their own if not constantly supervised.

So, if you take your baby camping, prepare for a completely different experience so that you aren’t disappointed by the change.

Instead, you can relish the new challenges in showing your child what a wonderful camping experience can be.


Preparing For A Camping Trip With Your Baby

If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of camping with your baby and decided to take the plunge, you can do plenty of things to ensure you have a wonderful trip.

Making sure you have all the right gear and supplies is key to making your trip as problem-free as possible – particularly since you won’t necessarily have stores and pharmacies on hand should the need arise. 

1. Supplies

The number one recommendation from campers who have experience camping with young infants is to pack many baby wipes (more than you think you would need).

Of course, these can come in handy for any camping trip regardless of your group makeup, but parents, particularly, rate their usefulness as key.

Wipes are especially useful if you don’t have immediate access to running water at your campground since they’re a convenient workaround.

Similarly, overstock on the number of diapers you bring since it’s always better to have extra than to run short in a location where you don’t have easy access to stores.

It’s also a good idea to bring along some zip-lock bags for disposal purposes, especially if you’re at a site without a regular garbage disposal service. Plan your meals or feeding times thoroughly.

If you are breastfeeding, it’s likely easier for you to manage meal times.

If you’re using baby formula, boil water as soon as you wake up in the morning and store it in an effective thermos so warm water is readily available throughout the day. 

2. Clothes and sleeping bags

As discussed previously, camping parents’ key concern is ensuring their child stays at a safe temperature regardless of whether they’re encountering hot or cold conditions.

Packing the right clothing, therefore, is key to enjoying a successful camping trip with your baby.

If it’s likely to get cold, particularly at night, consider a snowsuit or sleeping bag to ensure your baby stays warm. Try to find a hat that covers the neck, as a lot of heat can be lost from the head.

Similarly, keeping hands and feet warm is also a priority, as the extremities are most vulnerable to the negative effects of cold weather.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of layers with you. That way, you’ll be able to easily adjust the amount of clothing to reflect the temperatures you’re experiencing.

If you’re camping in the summer or spring, pack clothes that will protect you from the sun, especially as it can be hard to escape the heat when you have only a tent for shelter.

You won’t be able to duck into a handy air-conditioned shop so try to think of ways to keep your baby protected from the sun at all times.

Clothes and sleeping bags

3. Kit

There are also some key items of kit that you can bring along to ease your baby’s first camping experience and make it a more enjoyable experience for you.

Mosquito nets are a must if you are camping in an area at risk of insects, especially as you can’t use mosquito repellent on your child.

Similarly, any additional equipment you can procure to give shade in summer conditions will make your experience far more trouble-free, rather than constantly seeking out shady areas.

Consider where your baby will be when you’re busy sorting out your camp.

If you’re in an appropriate location, a stroller can be a useful place to keep your baby safe when you are in camp, and a vehicle to help you explore your camp with your child.

Alternatively, camping parents swear by easily portable cribs since you can set these up as soon as you reach camp and always have a safe place for your infant to rest while you are managing the other tasks required for setting up your tent and site.

How To Camp With Your Baby?

If you’ve packed the right gear and supplies, you’ve already done half of the hard work when it comes to a camping experience with your baby.

However, there are also ways to camp that can help ensure you have the best experience possible.

1. Location

Although you may love the idea of vanishing into the woods for a few days with your baby strapped to your chest, this might not necessarily be the best action for all families.

If you have any concerns about taking your baby camping, it’s a great idea to start slow and work your way up to an off-grid camping trip.

For complete peace of mind, you can always do a trial run in your back garden before venturing further afield.

This way, you can see exactly what supplies and equipment will be useful without being stuck without them for a considerable period.

After your trial run, you can take the next step to car camping. As you have your vehicle, you’ll have plenty of room to bring more kit and supplies than you need.

It’s also far easier to bring any cumbersome items along, like a crib or stroller, when you’re not limited by what you have to carry.

It’s also a good idea to have your first real camping experience at a campground with good amenities so that you feel reassured that you can pick up supplies or get any support you need in an emergency.

Once you feel comfortable knowing how your baby reacts to camping life and exactly what you need to have a great experience, you can always take the plunge and try remote forms of camping if that suits you.


2. Duration

Similarly, think carefully about how long you want to go away before committing to anything longer than a few days.

For your first trip, consider a shorter stay to test the waters before you embark on a more ambitious trip.

However, do remember that setting up and deconstructing a camp takes time and effort, so you still want to get a chance to relax and enjoy your surroundings with your baby.

You lose out on all the advantages of a camping trip if it’s too rushed and structured.

We recommend a few nights away as the perfect duration, giving you a day in the middle to spend how you please before you have to think about moving on.


Introducing your baby to the wonders of nature through a camping trip can be an experience you’ll never forget.

Take it easy on your first few trips and ensure you’ve brought all the necessary extra gear to keep your baby comfortable.

Hopefully, you will be forging the beginnings of your child’s lifelong love of the outdoors.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

Recent Posts