General Lifestyle, parenting

Tent Camping with a Toddler

Usually someone would cringe at the thought of tent camping, and then adding a toddler into the mix? Must be some sort of crazy! It isn’t as hard as it may sound, of course with the right precautions put into place.

Please note that these are only suggestions, I am at no fault if anything with this list doesn’t fit with you or that doesn’t work out.

Also, always ALWAYS! Keep an eye on your tiny human, even using precautions provided here, young children should never be left unattended. Especially in the woods.

Getting ready. Well trying 😛                                                                                                         

 It is already hard and stressful enough trying to pack and make lists to make sure you will have everything you might need during you camping trip. When you add a toddler into the mixture it gets a bit hectic. You have to remember all the tiny things that are super important, and then you have the tiny humans taking things out of bags and replacing with things that are completely irrelevant to your trip. Not only do you have to think about adult activities and how to keep safe, but you have to try and come up with ideas to keep the little human busy, safe, and contained :P.

So the day before you leave you double check and even triple check and every time there is something random like a fridge magnet, cat food, dirty socks. Who knows what his tiny human put into the packed bags, or what they might have taken out. So now the toddler naps. While you take EVERYTHING out of the bags to be repackage. This time the packed bags go into a closet or hidden up somewhere.

It’s the night before, you and your partner are going over lists, thinking of new things you might need or the tiny cute sweet little devil toddler might need. So you check multiple blogs, lists, ask family members etc.

Well I have here the master list! From food, to toys, pets needs to first aid. Even provided are some great tips and tricks I learned while camping.

I absolutely loveee camping, I have camped in the mountains in b.c as a child, and in Quebec as well as Ontario. As much as I love tent camping, the preparation and packing sucks.

Want some tips? 

Don’t worry about writing these tips as they will be included in this free printable.             tips and tricks printable

I would like to start off my tips and tricks with knowing where you will be. Make sure to have GPS, compass, and a paper map. On the paper map circle where you are camping and where the nearest stores and gas stations are.

Being near the water is super nice to look at, but I hope your OK with the bugs that come with it in the morning and evening. If not then set up camp where its dryer but a close walking distance to the water.

When it comes to camp fires, make sure when you set up camp that you place you spot for the fire where the trees are not too close over head. Try to place it in a clearing.

My most recent discovery… if you are introducing the potty to your toddler at home, bring it! My toddler was doing so well with her potty and we didn’t bring it camping… big mistake. Now she refuses to use it, so we are back at square one with the potty.

When checking off your lists, only check off the items right after you pack them.  Not when you have them put aside.

Something super important, if you are camping where bears, mountain lions or any territorial  and violent animals are known to be, pack up your food away from where you are sleeping. Pack them up into a tree so they cant reach it. I don’t suggest putting in your vehicle as bears will tear it apart.  

Keeping the point above in mind when thinking of bringing animals with you. If they are really good and stay where they know they should than it should be OK, but if they run and wonder off than its best to leave them with a loved one.

Before you start to set up camp, make sure to check for bees and wasps nests nearby. Some bees do burrow in the ground.

Wilderness camping and camping in a campground.
Camping in either a camp ground or on your own in the woods are both dangerous in the same ways and in some different ways. Kids get lost, bugs, stings, animals, fire, etc. Be cautious   And keep them in view. When the children are older it’s a bit different, lets say between the ages of 10 and well 18 they just want to be independent. And you can give them that . But between 0 and 10 you should keep a close eye.

Camp rounds have an equal amount of bugs, animals, bees etc as wilderness, but wilderness doesn’t have strangers camping nearby, and  busy -ish roads close by either.

It’s up to you to decide where you are camping. Just make sure you know where you are camping. Maybe even view it or check reviews before going.  I personally would rather choose my own spot , that way you have privacy, silence (when the toddler is napping ) And you have that whole area to yourself!

Don’t let the stresses of the travel and the packing take away from the wonderful trip! if you are looking for some tips and packing for the road I have another post here you can look at. This also has a free printable you can use. Planning a small road trip with a toddler.


click this title to obtain the printable version of the list. 

First Aid

Make sure to always have an emergency plan! 

If there is a serious emergency, do not stop to pack everything up. Just go.


  • Bandages of different sizes. (Cloth preferred)
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Adhesive strips
  • Rolled\elastic bandages
  • Compression bandage
  • Gauze pads & non stick pads
  • Slings


  • Anti bacterial ointment
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Burn cream
  • Calamine lotion
  • Aloe Vera
  • Sting & bite relief
  • Antibiotic ointment

Oral medications

  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Anti-histamines
  • Imodium
  • Stool softener


  • Epi-pen


  • Medical tape
  • Safety pins
  • Suture kit
  • Splint
  • Scissors
  • Instant cold packs
  • Eye wash bottle
  • Regular and pinpoint tweezers
  • Finger splint
  • Eye patches
  • Cotton swabs and Q-tips
  • CPR mask
  • Surgical gloves
  • Heavy duty sewing needle (curved)
  • Heavy duty string
  • Magnifying glass
  • Tourniquet
  • First aid manual

Good to haves

  • Charcoal powder if ingested anything poisonous. (If something poisonous is ingested, go straight to the hospital. Call poison control as soon as you have service.)
  • Whistle
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Saline water

Games & activities

  • Cards
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Tanning
  • Reading or Identifying plants
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Coloring
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Hike
  • Catch butterflies
  • Yard games
  • Listen to music
  • Catch frogs

For the campsite

  • Tent
  • Tarp(s)
  • Outdoor carpet\mat
  • Camping chairs
  • Hammock
  • Rope
  • Citronella candles
  • Fold-able table
  • Table cloth
  • Coolers & containers
  • Generator if you cant live without electricity

For the fire

  • Fire starters
  • Paper
  • Matches or lighter
  • Hackett and\or axe
  • Wood


  • Tooth brushes
  • Tooth paste
  • Mouth wash
  • Hand soap
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • Hair brushes & hair ties
  • Female hygiene products
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • A-tips
  • Nail kit
  • Toilet paper

Child specific needs

  • Playpen
  • Potty
  • Diapers & swimmers
  • Lots of wipes
  • Water floats
  • Life jacket
  • High chair
  • Umbrella stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Music box (battery operated or wined up)
  • Outdoor toys
  • Teething toy
  • Favorite stuffed toy

Adult specific needs

  • Adult potty or small shovel
  • Prescription medications
  • Contraceptives
  • Fishing license
  • Books

Clothing per person

  • 1 shirt per day
  • 1 bottom per day
  • Pants and sweatshirt for night
  • Swim suits
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Shoes & sandals
  • Under garments
  • Rain jackets and boots
  • Pyjamas, both warm and cool

 Cooking utensils

  • Can opener
  • Cork screw
  • Pot and pan
  • Grate for over the fire or portable barbeque
  • Cutting board
  • Coffee press
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs, stir spoons, spatula
  • Dish cloths
  • Microfibre towel
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket for washing dishes
  • Garbage bags
  • Cutlery
  • Bowls & plates
  • Knives
  • Oven mitts
  • Breast pump


  • Don’t forget the ice


  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Lunch
  • Hot dogs
  • Burgers
  • Bacon
  • Sausages
  • Cheese


  • Loaf of bread
  • Bagels
  • Hot dog buns
  • Burger buns
  • Crackers
  • Cereal


  • Milk
  • Water
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Alcohol

For the little’s

  • Homo milk
  • Formula
  • Pumped greats milk
  • Baby food
  • Favorite snack


  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Mayo
  • Hazelnut spread


  • Cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallow
  • Graham crackers
  • Over the fire popcorn
  • Cereal bars
  • Candy
  • Muffins


  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Honey due
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Mangos
  • Dragon fruit


  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Radish
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Tomato’s
  • Potato’s
  • Beets
  • Pickles

 Tent essentials

  • Extra stakes
  • Tarp
  • Blow up mattresses
  • Play pen
  • Bug traps
  • Air pump and patch set
  • Flash lights
  • Mini broom set
  • Room divider if tent has one

 Pets needs

  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Leash
  • Line with screw for the ground
  • Tick repellent
  • Shampoo


  • Batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Maps
  • Compass
  • Life jackets
  • Data on the sell phone

 Good to haves

  • Generator if you cant live without electricity
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Bottle warmer
  • External battery for charging phones
  • Camera
  • Plant identification book for the region.




4 thoughts on “Tent Camping with a Toddler”

  1. Some friends are going camping with kids this weekend. I’ll send them this post. They have a tent that’s like 3 rooms, or something. It would have to be glamping for me, even though I’m not that glamorous. Taking the kid to the circus instead, ha!

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