Some of my best memories are of camping with my family, and I’m sure yours are, too. Wanting to go camping to get away from it all and connect with nature is a necessity, but how do you safely and successfully camp with a baby in tow? Let’s discuss it.
Where to Camp
For your first-ever trip, pick a campsite that’s close to home and has a bathroom nearby. That way, if it all goes awry, you can easily pack up and go home or use the camp bathroom to get access to running water and toilets for convenience.
As for actual spots, here are a few to look into that have bathrooms and other useful amenities available:
Ridgway State Park
Lake Pueblo State Park
Stillwater Campground on Lake Granby
White River National Forest
YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Campgrounds
Reverend’s Ridge at Golden Gate Canyon State Park
What to Pack
Lifejackets or floaties, if camping near a body of water. Kids get away from us even under the most watchful eyes, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If your baby is still loving a warm bottle, a small saucepan with a spout or a kettle would be great to heat water and milk. If you aren’t wild about heating this up over a fire, a propane camping stove might be another must-buy.
Clothes. Overpack with baby clothes. If the weather is hot and humid, your baby will need cooler clothes. If it’s suddenly really cold, being able to layer up will be crucial. Plus, you never know when you’ll have an obscene diaper blowout.
A baby sling or carrier backpack. Holding your baby while you’re camping and hiking is going to get old quickly, so you’ll need another transportation option.
Figure out your bug repellent and sun care options now. Be aware that it is not recommended to use bug repellent on infants under two months of age. Instead, purchase mosquito netting to place over the baby carrier. As for sun protection, get a shade cover for your baby carrier and dress your baby in lightweight, long sleeve shirts and pants with a brimmed hat that covers their ears.
Prepare for Everything Ever
Unfortunately, the weather is a huge factor in camping safely, and having proper shelter will save you a lot of trouble.
Fill up on gas before you settle at the campsite. Being able to shelter in the car to keep warm or get through rough weather is better than huddling in a fabric tent with your fingers crossed.
Buy a canopy tent. In a pinch, standing under a canopy tent will provide shade under the sun and protection from the elements while it’s raining (or worse, hailing).
How Long Should We Stay?
The perfect sweet spot to aim for is a solid three days, which shouldn’t be overwhelming for you or your baby. The first night will always be difficult, but try to stick it out because the second night tends to go much smoother. By the third day, everyone should be enjoying their stay before heading home the next morning.