My wife and I are pregnant with our first kid. For all the parents out there, what gear should we look into to hopefully go car camping a few times in the first 12-24 months with the new one? We already have the essentials like stove, cookware, cooler, etc. But they aren't generally the best quality. We also know we probably need a real camping table and a stroller wagon. What are we missing or should look to upgrade?

We're located in Oregon. Thanks!

@iceaxepdx I'm sure you'll hear from others with ideas on how to enjoy camping with a new baby; while you're waiting for folks to respond, you can find a few related conversations here and here that we had in the community earlier!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@iceaxepdx Congrats on becoming parents soon! We have lots of users on this platform with tremendous advice and experience in taking their kiddos with them on their outdoor adventures. The best advice I have for you is that while it can be challenging it is totally worth it! When my son was little (he just turned 4) I used to take him outside and walk under the trees to get him to calm down (when all else failed) and to this day when he's 'super emotional' (his words) he asks to go for a walk in the trees to help him calm down. The outdoors has the ability to positively impact our lives in profound ways and there is nowhere that is more visible than the lives of our children.

I recommend picking up a copy of Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods as well as The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. Those books have been an inspiration to get my kids outside (especially in the cold winters up here in Alaska). I also encourage you to peruse the Family section of our Expert Advice articles. There is a lot of great information there.

Lastly, the most appreciated piece of gear we bought when our kids were little was the REI Co-op Screenhouse Shelter. It keeps the little ones shaded and protected from bugs and is especially useful for before they are mobile. Now I put it up over a sandy spot in camp and my son and daughter are good to go!

Again, congrats on your kiddo, it will be the greatest adventure you have ever had!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I think you willfind a good back pack baby carrier a worthwhie purchase.  We often used ours in town and in other non-camping situations.  We also mandated a stout hiking staff for whichever one of us was toting the kid.

Disposable diapers are really worthwhile.

Kids are quite resilient and have been growing up in the great outoors for thousands of years.  Be sure you never lock yours in a hot car, and enjoy nature along with your child.

Congratulations!  Wonderful times await all of you.





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Hi @iceaxepdx !  You're going to want to think about how to keep the kiddo warm at night, even in the summer the nights can be chilly.  We used a pack n' play made for travel that packed down light and then put a sleeping pad under it to block the wind.  I'd also recommend a nice baby sleep sack or bunting.  REI has a few good options here 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.