I don't know if you remember my "traveling with a baby essentials" post here, but I put it to good use with our last trip to Oregon! Several of these items came in handy to make our camping experience easier including the above items pictured: GoCrib, bumbo, baby wrap (similar), child carrier (similar), oball toy, and Patagonia suit (similar).

I'll be honest, I was afraid of taking a long road trip with my Van man. Too many hours in a car seat can drive everybody mad! Plus, our VW van doesn't have air conditioning. We made sure to pack a hand held spray fan to cool off and gave Van plenty of breaks until we reached our camp site for the night. Van loved being outside!

Here are a few tips I have come up with if you have been wanting to camp with your baby, but are afraid or not sure how. Just make sure the three basic needs are covered. Every baby eats, sleeps, and poops. If you have those things well planned, the rest is just fun!

First and foremost, be prepared! Expect to not get much sleep, especially if your baby is still waking up for night feedings. Expect to have a restless child- not because you weren't prepared, but because he or she is in a new environment far away from home. If you are mentally and physically prepared, your camping experience will likely go much better than you thought. This doesn't go to say that your baby is guaranteed to be a happy camper, but you will still be able to have fun doing what you love with a baby!

1. Eat.
I usually pack a little backpack with Van's baby food. I include a travel bowl and spoon, bib, formula, oatmeal, his solid fruits and vegetables, at least two bottles, and his bottle brush for cleaning. I find it easiest to use hot water and soap when cleaning my baby's feeding items immediately after he eats so it will have plenty of time to air dry. I have seen those awesome camping high chairs like seen here, but can't get myself to spend that much so I use my Bumbo. It is easy to pack around and easy to clean, works great. I am still nursing as well so a hooter hider might be a good idea if you don't want to hide out in your tent for feedings, but then again you're camping so who's gonna see? Hehe.

2. Sleep.
I like to pack warm clothes for camping. Even if it is the summer, night time always is cooler. I pack a sleep sack and onesie for underneath, mittens and beanie. It's comforting to know your little one is warm! If your baby is still swaddled a Swaddleme is a great idea, but Van just sleeps in his sleep sack. When Van was an newborn I used a little doggy bed to lay him in right next to my head in the tent! He slept his longest night ever to this day in that doggy bed camping. Now that he is bigger we use our GoCrib. It can be a tight squeeze in your tent, but it works great in our van so he has space to roll around. We always lay down a blanket underneath to keep him warm and you can use a camping pad for extra comfort. You can also get a big family size sleeping bag and just snuggle your baby all night! I have done this when Van was fussy for sleep nursing or on extra cold nights- just don't roll over!

3. Poop.
Always have a changing station. I make sure to have a travel size changing pad laid somewhere in the tent or van for a clean diaper change. I usually pack the diapers I have left from home and I buy a package along the way when I run out. I have a travel carrier for baby wipes and I buy a package at the store. Keep some hand sanitizer nearby for cleaning your hands before and after diaper changes and a flash light or head lamp for night time changes. It is also nice to have travel size baby powder, diaper rash ointment, soap, shampoo, and baby wash for those times when your baby needs it. Otherwise, a quick wipe down with baby wipes seems to do the trick! If your baby has a blow out, do what ya gotta do to clean it up and rinse out his or her clothes as soon as you can, then lay them out in the sun to dry. Sun is a natural bleach for breastfed baby poop stains- it's amazing!

If you have any more questions or advice about traveling with a baby and camping gear feel free to leave a comment. Happy camping!
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  1. Hey Megan-

    I have a 7 month baby boy. We are taking him to Maui in November. I have only been to Oahu 10 years ago. Since you have been there a million times and knowing what you know would you prepare?

    We will be staying at a resort for 1 week.



    1. Wow, how exciting! I can definitely make a post to help you prepare! Although, staying at a resort should make things much easier :) Thanks for your comment, Carly!

  2. meg this is super helpful. i can't wait to come back to this post when i have little wee ones!


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