There are two types of people in this world:
- The type of person for whom taking a baby camping sounds like a complete nightmare
- The type of person who thinks it’s the ideal way to spend a vacation.
I’m pretty firmly in camp #1, but Ryan somehow loves camping, so we periodically pack up our entire lives and sleep on the ground.
In general, babies don’t give a hoot where they go during their first year of life as long as they’re warm, dry, and well fed. But any parent wants the best baby camping gear to bring on their camping trip so they can minimize the hassle.
So grab your baby packing list and get ready for your next adventure.
- But Do I Really Need Camping Gear for My Baby?
- What to Look for in the Infant Camping Products
- The 10 Best Baby Camping Gear of 2019
- #1 Pop N’ Sit Portable Booster by Summer Infant
- #2 Portable Outdoor Shower
- #3 Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
- #4 BRICA Fold N’ Go Bassinet
- #5 Large Waterproof Folding Blanket
- #6 Graco Pack n’ Play Sport Playard
- #7 Stonz Three Season Baby Booties
- #8 Natural Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
- #9 Baby Pronto Portable Changing Station
- #10 gDiapers gPants
But Do I Really Need Camping Gear for My Baby?
Just what you wanted… more stuff. Right?
You can probably substitute some of this baby camping gear with regular baby gear, or non-age specific camping gear. Your baby probably doesn’t need her own tent trailer! But, outdoor baby gear products come in lightweight designs — to lessen your packing load — and are built for practicality.
So, having some of these pieces of gear could make your life a little easier, which is what I’m all about.
What to Look for in the Infant Camping Products
If you want to have a happy camper in your hands and get more bang for your buck, these are some of the more important features to think about when looking for outdoor baby gear.
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to parenting, but I’ve found that keeping Poppy comfortable when we’re out camping makes the whole experience less overwhelming and far more fun. So try not to compromise on how comfortable your baby camping gear is.
Camping with a newborn in tow is already a handful. We recommend picking out baby gear that is easy to carry around, set up, and stow away after use. We took our 8 week old on a multi-state, 10 day long road trip (read more about road tripping with your baby about that here) and portability was a life saver.
Consumer feedback and reviews is invaluable. But keep in mind the popularity of a baby camping product doesn’t reflect its overall practicality and usefulness (that’s why I’m writing this guide!)
Sometimes the most expensive option is not always the most useful piece of camping gear. Take your time and compare what each price range has to offer. Your aim is to get the best value money can buy without compromising on usefulness.
Because there’s so much to choose from when picking out baby gear for camping, here’s our hand-picked list of some of the camping items you wouldn’t want to be caught dead without.
The 10 Best Baby Camping Gear of 2019
This may not be baby-specific. But I will say that I used to be able to skip a shower while camping. And then I had a baby. Hello spit up! Oh, and blowouts…
This handheld device will solve all your water woes when camping with newborns thanks to its built-in filtration feature. The filtration system instantly turns lake water into clean shower water, by drawing water from a bucket and converting it into a steady shower-like stream.
The unit’s integrated suction cup and S-style hanging system is convenient and helps to free up your hands when bathing little ones. The water pressure is gentle enough on a baby and there’s no risk of overstimulating them during bath time.
I have to admit that these hats are super geeky looking, so they don’t exactly make the best Instagram pics. But every kid needs a sun hat, and the protection is worthwhile. Sunday’s Adventure Hat has a big down-sloping front brim and a back veil neck flap to protect your baby’s face and neck from harmful sun rays.
The adjustable chin strap and smart fabrics used on the Adventure Hat offers functional sun protection when it’s time to hit the trail.
Our list of baby camping gear felt kinda incomplete until we stumbled upon Brica’s Fold N’ Go Bassinet.
This is a comfortable and safe place for your baby to sleep when out camping. What makes it a good buy is its quick and easy set up, a convenient carry handle, and a locking frame that provides stability.
The stain resistant sheet on the mattress pad is also removable and easy to clean.
We simply love this folding outdoor blanket. It’s large enough to seat 3 adults and a baby and small enough for a backpack.
It doubles as a comfortable surface to have meals when camping and a clean place for your baby to hang out and enjoy tummy time. This outdoor blanket is made of durable materials (600 D polyester and PVC) which is a huge plus if you’re a sucker for sturdy baby gear like us.
This may be one of those items that you could probably skip if you wanted to go minimalist, but it’s definitely a “nice to have”. A pack n’ play pen like the Graco Playard serves 2 purposes when you’re out camping with your baby: it’s a comfy area for them to take a nap and a playpen where they get to watch all the interesting activities going on around camp. Which is a win-win if you ask me.
The Graco features a large removable dome canopy – with a UV liner – that shields and protects your baby on a hot day. It’s also well ventilated for maximum airflow and has a padded bottom to protect your baby from the harsh ground elements.
These fleece-lined booties are all weather and the perfect baby gear to keep your baby’s extremities as warm as the rest of their body – especially if their feet are still too small to fit actual boots.
The best part about these booties is they can be worn barefoot, over a pair of shoes or even with socks. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
Deet is pretty much poison and call me precious, but lathering it all over tender baby skin is not ideal. These deet-free bracelets are your next best bet.
The mild formula used is a blend of 100% natural substances like lemongrass, citronella, and geraniol essential oils which is effective in keeping your baby safe from pesky mosquito and bug bites while camping.
The fact that one size fits all makes these bracelets good value for money. Each bracelet is adjustable, stretchy and easily fits making it perfect for the whole family and not just baby.
You need this. Seriously. Regardless of whether you’re camping. This portable changing station allows you to handle blowouts like a pro wherever they happen without getting overwhelmed.
Drop it in your backpack, wear it on your wrist or clip it to your stroller when you don’t need to carry the whole diaper bag and you’ll be good to go.
The roomy mesh pocket is large enough to hold up to four diapers, creams, and other essentials.
Using cloth diapers is 1000x better than disposables. But, if you’ll be camping with your baby, disposables are more practical.
And nothing screams practicality like these gDiapers gPants. These are soft diaper covers made of breathable cotton that can be used with disposable inserts (the inserts can then be flushed, composted or tossed).
When we were camping with our 2 month old, we had a man approach us from the campsite across from ours. His wife was 7 months pregnant, and he was in awe. He asked how old our baby was, and told us that we gave him hope. The couple’s main hobby was camping, but he was nervous that they wouldn’t be able to go when their little one was born.
Do NOT think your life is over just because you have a baby. It’s not. Camping with a kid, no matter what age, will come with a host of new challenges compared to when it was just the two of you. But if you enjoy it, it’s worthwhile.
Besides, packing up the car and driving to a secluded campsite in the woods is not as difficult as it was a couple of years ago. Cell phones make emergencies less startling and baby camping gear concepts like the ones on this list are a smart way of keeping stress levels in check.