Sunday, June 6, 2010

Camping with baby and a few additional tips!

I thought that I would share with you all a few of the things we do while camping that make it a little more bearable and fun. First off I am going to cover a few tips for camping with a baby.

Camping With Baby:
Camping with a baby can be done. I do not recommend bringing a nursing baby if you are camping in such high elevation that temperatures drop below freezing at night (learn from my mistake, lol). This may work if you camp in a heated camper, but tent camping is not recommended.

Create a few safe places for baby to play. I highly recommend the Pop-A-Tot. This is a baby entertainer that fold up like a camp chair. It comes with a carry bag just like a camp chair too. Sets up in seconds and has several toy loops and cup holders. You can use the Pop-A-Tot on babies 4 months to 1 1/2 years. We even used it with our 2 year old because he is so tiny. For $50 this is a wonderful investment for those of you who travel or camp frequently. I purchased mine online at The Baby Store Plus. The Pop-A-Tot comes in 3 or 4 colors. I LOVE the camo print for boys. Here is a couple pictures of my boys hanging out in their Pop-A-Tot.

Another great item I highly recommend for camping with babies is the Kid CO Pea Pod. I reviewed one awhile back and you can read my full review here. I forgot to take pictures of it while we were camping, so here is a stock photo.

The Kid Co Pea Pod is a pop up baby tent. It comes with a inflatable matress and creates a safe haven for baby to nap and play. These are ample in size and can be used for children up to age 6. We used our Pea Pod during the day while camping to keep our baby safe from bugs and also at night in our tent as his bed. These run anywhere between $50 and $100 depending on which Pea Pod you purchase. There are several varieties to choose from.

Next, create a safe eating area for baby and toddler. We have the Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe booster seat. We purchased ours for around $25 from Walmart. It straps to any chair (we strapped it to a armless camp chair). This worked perfect and kept our toddler from running around with his food. Note- My son's bib. I recommend Pampers Bibsters. No, they are not eco-friendly, but for camping this is when I feel it is okay to use disposable diapers and bibs. This is what they should be intended for. Temporary travel situations not everyday use.

What do you do about Mosquitos? Not every bug repellent is safe to use, especially when it comes to delicate baby skin. We use Bite Blocker on our children. I purchased my Bite Blocker for $7.85 from

(Info from their site)
Bite Blocker is an organic all natural Insect Repellent and Pest Control. Family Safe Protection! Proven 97% effective! Sweat-proof and Child-Safe, with hours of protection! Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable, and won't harm plastics or the environment. DEET Free! BiteBlocker® is safe in that it contains natural ingredients that are mainly food-grade and listed by the EPA as minimum risk. The basic ingredients are Coconut Oil, Soybean Oil, Purified Water, Geranium Oil, Glycerin, Lecithin, and Vanillin. BiteBlocker® is regarded as the safest product on the market that works.

For night time.. make sure baby is dressed appropriately. It may be nice and warm during the day, but temperatures drop fast at higher elevations when the sun goes down. I recommend dressing your baby in wool. We had our 2 year dressed in a long sleeve onesie, wool longies, with warm feety pajamas on top of that. He then wore a merino wool cap, wore his Merino Kids wool sleep sack and slept in a kid sized down sleeping bag. He stayed warm and slept the whole night through. Although, I had baby J equally bundled we don't own anything wool for him and he got quite cold. This goes to show you the power of wool!!!

Last but not least... Keep your baby protected from the sun, well hydrated and warm. Being outdoors for extended periods of time wears anyone out. Remember to re-apply sunblock and bug repellents every 3 hours. Keep baby's head covered and keep out of direct sunlight if at all possible.

Misc. Tips:
If your family likes to camp in places other than designated camp sites and you tent camp, one of the greatest things you can do for comfort is set up a potty room. Portable toilets may seem easiest, but are absolutely disgusting when it comes time to empty them.

Our Camp Outhouse

Our family purchased a cheap shower tent. You can buy these as low as $15 dollars. Simply cut out the floor and you have an instant camp outhouse. It stakes to the ground and will not blow away, you have privacy, and it has ventilation. My husband digs a hole in the ground where he puts the camp outhouse and then we have one of those folding camp toilets that we set over the hole. This works great. There is not any odor because you kick dirt over the whole each time you use the toilet. The tent keeps the bugs out too. At the end of camp you cover the whole back up and your done! This has made our camping experiences SO MUCH EASIER.

Camp Meals:
There is all sorts of fun meals you make while camping. I am not going into great detail about this subject here, but do want to share a couple of our favorites.

Foil Dinners
These are awesome! Fun and easy to make and cook perfectly on the camp fire.

You will need:
Ground Beef (choose a lean meat to avoid excess grease)
Lipton Onion Soup Mix (1 pack per 2 foil dinners)
wide variety of veggies
(we used mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, red onion, carrots and green bell pepper)
Heavy- Duty Aluminum Foil

Place ground beef in foil square (about 10 inches long). Put at least 1/4 to 1/2 pound per foil dinner. Add 1/2 pack onion soup mix. Add diced vegetables. Fold foil around food. Double with an additional layer of foil. Put foil dinner directly onto hot campfire ashes close to flame. Cook for 30 minutes.

My daughter and I making foil dinners.
We used ground turkey, but I prefer ground beef for these.

Adding the veggies.

Foil dinners cooking on the fire.

Finished product. It looks gross, but it tastes wonderful!

Campfire Burritos
My husband came up with this idea. These are not healthy by any means, but quick easy and everyone loves them.

Cook thawed frozen burritos over the campfire until crisp.
Chimichangas work best for this.

Top with sour cream, salsa, and cheese.
We also made a green salad with ranch. Yum!

Does your family go camping? What do you do to make camping easier and more fun? Do you have any recipes you want to share? Leave a comment or link up your ideas! I would love to read about your ideas.

*Up next: 2 reviews and giveaways of products we used on our trip that I did not mention here. *
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Chari said...

Thanks for all the great tips! I love the porta-potty one! I'll have to remember that one.

onetallmama said...

Some great ideas, thanks! I was going to add that the next time we go camping I am planning on using my Envibum mom4mom cover with prefolds. I bought it with camping in mind because it can be completely washed off and reused. Any tips for using cloth diapers while camping?

HappilyDomestic said...

Sorry...I use disposables when we camp. I suppose if your not camping to long you could use cloth and bring a large zip up wet bag to store the diapers. I may try it next time. :-)

onetallmama said...

I agree it may be a little difficult on a long camping trip. Thanks again for the post. I especially LOVE the Pop-A-Tot idea!

loohire said...

I also love the toilet idea. Even though I rent out the large portable toilets, if I'm camping, I would much rather not to use the small potty types.

The Baby Store Plus said...

Very valuable tips for families camping with little ones!

Thanks for the plug of my store...glad you are enjoying the Pop-A-Tots! Looks like you will have a wonderful camping season ahead of you.


Tamara said...

Thanks for this! I love the pop-a-tot and outhouse tips, we just might use 'em.

Mozi Esme said...

Love the recipe ideas! We're vegetarian, but I'm thinking we can easily adapt the foil dinners by using tofu, and toasted bean burritos sounds great!

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