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Taking infants camping

Hello all! 

I am a new mom of a one month old and I would love to return to my outdoor lifestyle at some point, but I don't know when would be too soon.  As a single mother, I don't know how much of a challenge it would be to pack everything up for a night or two under the stars before my daughter gets to appreciate the wilderness with me.  Perhaps I should wait until she's older and can enjoy the experience with me? 

But if you did take your infant with you, I'd love to hear about it.  When did you take your child camping in a tent?  What did you bring with you that you were glad you had?  What do you regret not having with you?  Was there anything you brought that really was better left at home? 


9 Replies

@hackwrth - I had a friend who had went camping with their newborn and they had used a suitcase for their baby to sleep in. They padded it up with a whole bunch of blankets and the baby just slept in the open suitcase like it was their crib. I thought that was a pretty neat idea/hack! 

Hope you and your baby can #OptOutside soon!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.

We took our eldest camping with us when they were 3 or 4 months old (the time blurs).  We have one of those travel bassonets, it worked quite well.


We took our daughter camping for the first time at ~6 months old. We would have gone sooner but the weather didn't cooperate. We had her in a soft thick bunting and intended to have her sleep on her own sleeping pad with a blanket over her but she ended up starting on her own pad but then halfway through the night she'd land in my sleeping bag up until she turned ~2. It's not "safe sleep" but I sleep light while camping and kept the blanket around her torso and not near her head. 

I don't think you need that much honestly. If you are nursing it's even easier. Diapers, wipes, some way to wear the baby, maybe a few toys,...and then stuff you'd bring anyway 🙂 

I think it's totally worth it! My daughter is 2.5 now and loves to camp. I have always had my husband to help out, though I'm sure you can do it by yourself, but if you have a friend or sister or someone who wants to come an extra pair of hands would be nice for when you want to go to the bathroom or cook dinner for yourself. 

If you don't have an extra set of hands then it might be more enjoyable to wait until she can sit up on her own, but before she's crawling (5-7 months). 

We took our daughter to Yosemite before was she was 1yo and my wife was pregnant with our second and we were able to camp for 4 nights and even hiked up to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall with our little one in a Osprey Poco pack. We have some of our best memories from that trip.  


Both of our kids went car camping with us when they were under a year old. Just bring a pack-and-play and a tent big enough for it. They can sleep in it and you can bring it outside the tent when you need to prepare meals, etc. Get a good backpack carrier for hiking. A jogging stroller with heavy duty wheels will come in handy for around the campsite. 

I took my daughter car camping as a solo mom when she was 6 mo old and the weather was pretty warm, but not uncomfortably hot. I was nursing so her sustenance was easy. I got a cardboard box with a cheap pad I cut to size and a pillowcase as a fitted sheet for her bed. This was also great for carrying her stuff in packing/unpacking. She wore some bunting and a wearable sleep sack  that had fairly easy diaper access through the layers. Having a jogger stroller/baby wearing  was nice around the campground and an extra ground cloth/blanket for her to roll around on was perfect. I did a practice run camping in the backyard  I first so I felt confident heading out to the campground. 

The following summer, around 18 mo we car camped again. This time she slept in a kid's sleeping bag (it was huge for her but she loved it) with her pack n play matress as a sleeping pad.

The overnight low temperatures were what helped me decide if I was ready to go or not because I wanted to be able to sleep without worrying if baby was too cold/hot all night. It happened that my kid was in the able-to-sit-up-but-not-crawl age range for our first few trips and that was really nice!


Lots of good answers & encouragement here. I just put a reply to a similar Q in another "camping with kids" thread. 

You can TOTALLY do it, Mama!  Its okay to mess up and forget something or whatever. (We've forgotten & messed up A LOT while camping) The RIGHT thing is that you're trying something new to bring joy to your family. ❤❤❤ 


Just came across this lifehacker list on "How to Go Camping with Little Kids"... it has a few ideas I haven't seen before that seem pretty genius!


I believe our daughter was camping at around three months (Mrs. Hikermor will know for sure...)  In any case, try something that is easy for you at first; mild temps andweather are a plus.  Better to be too soon, rather than too late, but, in nay event, share your interests with your brood.

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