Camping Hacks for Camping with Toddlers

camping hacks for camping with toddlers
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When most people find out we go camping with toddlers, the response is, “Are you crazy?” Maybe, but we do have some camping hacks to make our trips easier, survivable and even fun! I’ll get right to it.

Solar Shower for Hand Washing

Toddlers are messy. And camping is messy. My kids are often digging for worms or who knows what. Get a solar shower, hang it on a tree, add a little hand soap, and now you have a hand washing station.

Pull-ups at Night

You have made it camping with your toddlers. And they are even potty trained. Hooray! But then they have an accident in their sleeping bag. What are you going to do?


You have your kids wear pull-ups at night to prevent the above scenario. I’m not sure when I will stop having my kids do this camping, but I haven’t made it there yet.

Outdoor Rug to Wipe Feet

Did I mention that toddlers are messy? By placing a rug outside your tent or camper, you can eliminate tons of dirt and mud from getting inside. Better yet, just leave all shoes on the rug. I also think it makes your site look a little homier, like a home away from home. Here is one of my favorites:

Portable Clothes Storage

We hang a fabric shoe rack in our camper to keep the kids’ clothes organized and readily accessible. In the past, when I would pack, I would be digging through everything just to find that sock, or shoe or that that thing one of the kids needs right this second. This really helps keep everything easy to find, and if the kids are old enough, they can even get it for themselves!

Dollar Store Games and Books Just for Camping

We have learned the hard way that bringing your kids everyday toys, turn into ruined toys. Now we have specific camping toys from the dollar store. It doesn’t matter as much if they get torn apart or demolished during the trip. Most dollar stores have a pretty good selection of books, toys, games, puzzles, coloring books and even stuffed animals. Let me know what you find!

First Aid Kit

Bringing a first aid kit is a good idea whether you are camping with toddlers or not. But toddlers tend to scrap their knees and get random fevers out of no where. We are also an EpiPen carrying family so there are a few items we have to have on hand at all times. Bring a few kid band-aids for the scrapped knees too.

Laundry Basket

Bringing a portable laundry basket with you is just another way to stay a little more organized, and keep all the smelly clothes separate from any clean clothes. I might even suggest a separate laundry basket for your kids’ clothes if they are prone to accidents.

Simple Meals

One of my best camping hacks for camping with toddlers is to bring simple meals. Don’t over think it! Think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, and s’mores. Heck, when we set up in the evenings, we have even brought a pizza with us. And it is usually better the next day warmed up on the fire.

Your kids won’t notice if you make a Martha Stewart inspired meal. But they will notice if you are cranky, because your dinner is taking too long or too complicated with your limited camping supplies. Keep it easy.

Please send over any camping hacks for camping with toddlers. We could all use all the tips we can get!

Happy camping!

Download the PDF of the Camping Hacks for Camping with Toddlers graphic here.

Camping hacks for camping with toddlers

Free Printable: Road Trip I Spy

I spy with my little eye, something….

Road Trip I Spy
Download the Road Trip I Spy PDF below.

Ah, the road trip with small children. This is an adventure all in itself. From experience, I have to come equipped with games and snacks. Gummy worms tend to be our favorite road trip snack. And my kids’ favorite road trip game is I Spy. But the one where they spy a color and you have to guess what it is. Like, “I spy with my little eye, something…red.” Then the answer is something like, “a stop sign.”

I don’t know about you, but I can play along with this game for about 15 minutes on a road trip. Then, I’m ready to just listen to music or sit in a rare (if not nonexistent) quiet. Or if I’m not driving, maybe even take a nap!

A New Road Trip I Spy

This Road Trip I Spy helps your kids look for things and be thoroughly entertained on their own. They feel so accomplished once they have found the cow, or dog, or whatever it is they are looking for. Some of the items are difficult enough that it may take the whole trip to find-like the Alaska and Hawaii license plates.  

We have a few road trips coming up to far away campsites, where I know this will come in handy. The Road Trip I Spy game is also a nice break from screen time. Sure they could watch a movie on the way to camping, but that seems a little counter-intuitive since we are going camping to get away from our daily lives including screens and electronics.

Hopefully this is just the ticket to get your kids to wind down and be in the moment. You could even make it competition like whomever finds all the items first wins.  

What other road trip games do you like to play?

Download the Road Trip I Spy PDF here.