Camping is such an awesome adventure – from long scenic hikes during the day to nights spent under the stars, there are so many reasons to take a camping trip with the whole family!  Whether this is your first camping trip ever or you are a seasoned camper heading out for the first time with baby, it can feel overwhelming to pack for a little one. You want to pack enough and not miss the essentials like diapers and wipes, but you probably don’t need every single baby toy in the house to make your trip a success.

If you are ready to head out for your first camping adventure with baby and not sure what to bring, we’ve got you covered!  First, grab a copy of this camping checklist. It covers all of the basics of what to bring when camping from shelter to cooking gear and all of the random important things like headlamps and flashlights, plus all of the “kid specific” extras if you’ve got a little one on your trip.

Let’s go over some tried and true gear and packing hacks to get you out into nature, sourced from our Hike it Baby Community!

Large Plastic Storage Bin

In terms of packing, try packing items in a large plastic bin with a lid.  It keeps your gear dry in the event of packing or unpacking in the rain, but can also double as a kid bath tub if your little one is old enough to sit up on their own!

Pack and Play

The most commonly suggested item in our community to bring along for baby is a pack n play.  Throw a bug net over the top, and baby can hang out in there, tucked away in the shade while you set up the tent or even cook a meal. If you don’t have room for a pack and play, a baby carrier can certainly help keep you hands free while cooking or setting up a tent as well, or event a booster high chair that would typically strap to a chair can be placed on the ground with some toys to keep baby contained and safe while you get everything ready.


The pack and play is a safe sleep space for little ones rolling around in the tent while everyone tries to catch a little shut eye in between adventures.  It’s also important to check the weather for the days and the nights during your trip.  Since babies’ bodies don’t regulate their temperature like grownups do, remember that you may need to accommodate a variety of temperatures for sleeping! It may be warm in the day, but you may need to bundle up in the night as the sun goes down.  If it’s chilly at night, be sure to grab warm sleeping bags for the kiddos, and Morrison Outdoors Baby Sleeping Bags for your littlest campers. These sleeping bags keep baby warm through a chilly night and alleviate the concern about having loose blankets near the baby while sleeping.

Other Helpful Gear

Finally, some other important gear grabs include multi-use burp cloths, sun hats, sunscreen (when your pediatrician gives you the okay to use it), and insect repellent wipes (instead of spray) or permethrin-treated clothing.  We suggest bringing some pre-prepped meals so you can heat them up when it’s time to eat.  But meal time is a subject for another blog!


As you can see, our community is resourceful and experienced in packing for camping adventures with little ones in tow! Most of our gear needs to do double duty since babies can require a lot of gear.

What did we miss? Do you have any awesome gear suggestions or hacks to add?




Photos by Deanna Curry



Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create a world where everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of spending time outside. We are focused on creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. We believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. Since its grassroots inception in 2013, Hike it Baby is a growing community of 270,000 families and over 400 volunteer Branch Ambassadors. More information, as well as outdoor engagement events, can be found at, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.


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