My Five Camping-with-Littles Must-Haves (And ONE thing you’ll never need!)

  • By: Jennifer
  • Date: August 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

We‘re big into camping around these parts, but I will go ahead and say that we love camping so much mainly because my dear, darling husband purchased us a little pop-up camper several years ago. The funny thing about that purchase was my complete disagreement with it at the time.

I think I was actually even mad at him, if you can believe it!

But now I say a silent thank-you to that sweet man every time I step up (off the ground) into my little kitchen area (that’s not a camp fire) and sit in the cushy dining area (that’s not a picnic table) or get into my bed (that’s not a sleeping bag…laying on an ant hill). 

Suffice it to say that we love our little camper, and while it didn’t make the must-have list (’cause really, some tents these days are bigger than apartments), it’s been a really nice addition to camping with little kids. I’ve compiled the five items that DID make the list for you below, and hopefully you’ll find them as useful as we have over the last four years. 

1) The baby corral. When you’re camping with little people there will inevitably come a time, like when your fire is blazing out of control, that you might need to “put them in a safe place.” Well, here’s your safe place. The hubby rigs up a contraption using our beloved baby corral, which also really comes in handy at bedtime with the toddler who likes to roll out. Score times two!

We’ve been using this for a while, cause that baby girl is FOUR now!

2) The Klean Kanteen. We actually purchased these for a camping trip a while back, and then ended up sending Mr. A to school with his every day this past year (and plan to again this year). 

These canteens are stainless steal and you can even get them with the sippy cup top like we did for Mr. M. ‘Cause he’s the baby and may still be drinking from that top when he goes to school. 

Some day. In the very distant future.

(sniffle, sniffle.)

3) Bicycles. Every single camping trip we’ve taken in the great state of Michigan has included prime real estate for safe cycling–and the kiddos are more than happy to oblige. 


Except for Mr. M whose baby motorcycle didn’t make the cut resulting in bouts of sadness (READ: screaming fits) because he didn’t have a “Bye-See-Co!”

That kid should seriously get some better parents. 

4) The Wet-Nap. I’ll be honest, we usually just go for the box o’wipes when traveling and then are left with the fun task of hunting down said box whenever it’s needed. Let me tell you, hide and go seek with the wipes is not fun when you’re up to your elbows…

…in melted marshmallows. What did you think I was talking about?

So this time we snagged a Wet-Nap canister from the paper products aisle at Wal-Mart and actually left it on the picnic table with the rest of our eating implements. And it was perfect for our trip…especially at s’more clean-up time. 

The only thing that grossed me out was the amount of dirt/food/who-knows-what-else that was left as evidence on each wipe. Could be the fact that our site had ZERO grass this time around. But the wipes are soft enough to not be gritty and strong enough to get the job done. Four little times over. 

Anyway, the Wet-Nap canister was a happy addition and I’ll definitely be keeping it in the camper for our next trip. And because we’re rocking out life here on the blog today, I’ve got a coupon for the Wet-Nap that you can use while supplies last!

5) The baby booster seat. Well, if you’re camping with a baby (like we tend to do) you’re going to need somewhere for them to sit and eat that does not involve your lap. Or your clothing. We love these seats because they strap right down to the picnic table and give us a safe outdoor spot for baby in a pinch. 

And the one thing you won’t need?

Your computer. Because even though you convince your pre-camping self that you’ll have time to do work whilst lounging around the campfire after the kiddies are in bed, your present camping self will be like “ain’t no way I’m doing work after wrangling the screaming one-year-old into unconsciousness and then (finally) silently slinking out of the camper to get a marshmallow.” And your post-camping self will be laughing hysterically (In the corner. All sleep deprived and dirty.) at the LUDICROUS insinuation that you might ever do work under such conditions. (LUDA!)

What other ludicrous (or not so ludicrous) items do you bring camping? Anything I left off of my list?

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