Camping With Toddlers : Don’t Forget The Pack ‘N Play

camping with toddlers We recently took our 3 kids tent camping.  Our youngest was barely over a year old.  Of course, this wasn’t her first camping trip. Camping with toddlers is fun.  Our camping trip was perfect.  We were totally prepared.  The camping trip was incredible.


Let’s face it.  With kids, nothing goes as planned.  Our first mistake was huge.  We forgot the most crucial piece of camping equipment needed when tent camping with toddlers.

We forgot the Graco™ Pack ‘N Play®.

I don’t know how we forgot the Pack ‘N Play.  We intended to bring it.  It was on our checklist.  But the Pack ‘N Play did not make it into the truck.

Our second mistake was a doosey.  We didn’t go back for the Pack ‘N Play.

We decided to forge ahead.  Our main concern was pitching the tent before the sun went down.  Besides, we are seasoned campers and seasoned parents.  How bad could it be?

You guessed it.  Camping with toddlers without a Pack ‘N Play can be pretty bad!

Why is the Pack ‘N Play so important when camping with toddlers?

  • It is their bed.
  • It is their play pen.  They can play in the Pack ‘N Play while you are preparing meals, setting up camp, etc…
  • It is another place to sit besides the stroller.
  • If you don’t have a Pack ‘N Play, you have to carry the toddler around constantly.   This is especially true if your toddler still crawls or is an early walker.

Bedtime without the Pack ‘N Play was the worst experience.  Babies and toddlers do not like change.  Our toddler had never slept in the bed with us.  She either sleeps in her crib or Pack ‘N Play.

Baby Girl did not like this change and did not adapt well to the change.  She was awake and crying until 1 am.  We rocked her.  We consoled her.  Finally, she fell asleep.

The next morning, we drove home and picked up the Pack ‘N Play.  After all, we are seasoned campers and seasoned parents.  We know when we are beat!

I’ll see ya by the campfire.


P.S.–The rest of our trip was great.  Baby Girl went to bed early and slept through the night.  She had a place to play during the day while at the campsite.  We won’t make that mistake again.

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Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

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  1. Diapers! My son was a baby (2 months?) and we were going camping in Yoho National Park. Everything was packed but we only had 4 disposable diapers left (we were using cloth mostly at this time). We stopped at the store as planned as there were a couple other things to buy, then headed into the mountains. Just as we get to the campsite a lightbulb comes on… we got everything but the diapers. S***… by this time he’s down to 2 diapers and if we’re lucky they’ll last until 6 am. Long story short – there’s no where to buy small diapers in the mountains after 10 pm. We ended up staying at a hotel that night, bought the diapers first thing in the morning and then continued on the trip. Moral of the story… ALWAYS remember the diapers!
    Suzi recently posted..We are ExplorersMy Profile

  2. We bought a giant tent 8 years ago to accommodate tr pack n play when my kid was a toddler. I do not think we could have survived without it either!
    Traci recently posted..Weekend Getaway: Cabin Camping at William Heise County ParkMy Profile

  3. We didn’t even camp until my children were old enough not for me to worry about these things! I, personally, couldn’t face the extra work and messing up of routines. And I have huge admiration for everyone who does go camping with babies and toddlers – but it just was not me!

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