Camping With Toddlers

August 20, 2012

Yes you can camp with young children. My daughter was 2 on her first camping trip, and that was in a tent not a popup camper! This image was of my son’t first trip where he helped me setup that tent in the background and build this fire. Here are some tips to make your first toddler trip a great one.


Here is my daughter at age two. The key is to keep them warm! Warm pajamas, a warm sleeping bag, and a stocking cap (since the kids won’t stay tucked inside their sleeping bag hood). We also bought a special “camping lovey” – a nearly identical copy of the special item they sleep with at home.


I even got my four and two year old to take a 2-mile hike up to this mountainside lake. They key was plenty of snacks, water, and a back-carrier for when they did get tired.


Here’s our campsite “after bedtime,” when the sun was setting and my wife and I could enjoy a nice cold beer. Oh and this fire that my son built – a few weeks later he taught all of his friends how to build a proper “tee pee fire.”

As with most things in life, “you’ll never know if you don’t go.” Give camping with your young children a try today!

Extra Credit

I recommend staying away from down sleeping bags with kids, as down feathers don’t keep you warm when wet.

Get new posts delivered automatically



I've been camping regularly since I was a kid, from quick Cub/Boy Scout trips to week-long backpacking trips and everything else in-between. We got a popup camper when our kids were 1 and 3 years old to enjoy more time outdoors together alongside a few conveniences like heat and running water. Since then, we've spent over 75 nights together as a family in our popup camper. I've learned a lot about the intricacies of a popup tent camper during this time and love to share those lessons here for the benefit of others.