Camping with a one year old – What to bring?


Camping with 1 year old


We will soon go camping with our one year old, and although we’ve been camping as a couple extensively, this will be our first time as a family.  My husband is so stressed by this little trip he can’t sleep at night, and I must admit that even though this adventure excites me I am also a little bit worried.  

See, my son is very insecure and he is not used to sleeping anywhere else than in his bed.  I try to keep an open mind and be positive about what will happen, but I am still scared.  In order to control these feelings, I’ve decided to be prepared. Because even though we are parents, we still want to keep our life “somewhat” as it used to be.  We want to experience something else than staying home every single day. We want to show our son that there’s something else than watching TV.  There’s a whole world open and ready to discover. We (especially ME) are craving some adventure. Even though the adventure will be much more tempered than before – no more 8 hour hikes – I still plan on having a great time.

Since we haven’t camped since I was pregnant with our son (almost 1.5 years ago, time does go by so fast), there’s a lot of things to do before we head out the door and to the campground.


Verify our tent.  

As we will be family camping and our son needs a place to sleep, my husband and I can no longer sleep in the same tent.  We have a 4-person tent we use, but with the playpen inside there will not be enough room for the 3 of us.  My husband also complained that he couldn’t sleep in the same tent as my son because he wriggles like crazy while sleeping.  So I will be sleeping with my son in that 4-person tent (I would not let my 14-month old alone in a tent all night without supervision, even more so since he started climbing our furniture at home, meaning he probably could climb out of the playpen). 

All this means that I have to get my pre hubby relationship 2-person tent (aka over 6 years old) out of the closet and make sure it is still in working order. I will need to set up both tents in the backyard and try to get my son used to the idea of being in a tent.  Not a small undertaking, considering his insecurity.


Cooking supplies check-up:  

We haven’t used our camping cookware in a long time, because ever since we moved to the US we brought our small Weber barbecue instead of our backpacking stove.  But that barbecue lost a small plastic ring and has been leaking propane on our last use.  Not good.  So I have to shop around and try to find a solution.  Either I find a way to fix this leak, or I’ll need to check up our backpacking stove and buy the necessary fuel (make sure we don’t already have fuel in our camping bins).


– The solution to our little cookware issue also implies that our menu might be different.  Taking the barbecue with us would mean we’ll eat sausages and potatoes for dinner while bringing the stove equals pasta night.  I also have to prepare ahead of time our little one’s meals as he doesn’t eat much meat and is picky on the type of pasta he’ll ingest.

In addition to taking our usual gear, we’ll need more stuff to cover our son’s needs.


Here’s my list of what to bring when camping with a 1 year old:


– Tent (s)

– Cookware +utensils + plates 

– Cooler and Food : 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast.  Water.  Baby Bottles, formula, milk, snacks, bibs + storage bin for bath time

– Our clothes plus the usual overnight pack + change for showers

– Baby clothes: 2 t-shirts, 2 pants, 1 pajama, 2 pair of socks, a jacket, sandals and shoes. 

– Day-trip backpack plus the baby carrier backpack

– Sleeping pads, sleeping bags + blankets for our son. His sleeping pouch.

– His highchair? It’s portable.  Plus 2 camping chairs.

– The playpen

– Tarps? It’s always nice to have (we’re from the northeast, where it’s a must in case of rain). It can act as a clean playing area or a shade maker .

– A couple of toys, such as his favorite sand toys, small trucks and 1 book for bedtime story.

– Towel for bath time, and maybe his bath toys?  Bath soap too.

– The usual diapers, wipes, sunscreen, hats, vest, warm hat.


We are camping a mere 45 minutes away from our house, so if something goes wrong we can always come back home. Although I hope this is not what’s going to happen!


I’ll let you know how it went!






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