Wow, is there so much more you need to camp with kids, especially when they are younger. I’ve been camping with twins for a season and a half. We went when they were still on bottles, which meant more sanitization than they need at the moment. After completing a 2-week road trip with them, we learned a lot and I’m excited to share some gear that we found super helpful.
When I’m packing, I normally go through their normal routines at home–sleep, eating, play, and bath. Even though we pack way more than what is listed below, here are my select camping gear that I won’t leave home without.
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Our girls still love their milk for hydration. Fortunately for us, we have a setup that allows us to have an electric cooler in our truck. The Dometic CFX3 55IM keeps the temperatures of formula or milk regulated to keep us going for multiple days. YETI coolers are also an amazing option to use if you don’t have access to a power supply.
Pro tip: we don’t wash the bottles every time and keep the used ones in the refrigerator. When they were younger, we would bring multiple bottles. It’s important to know best practices for how long formula, breast milk, or regular milk will last before it spoils.
The hardest thing I had to figure out was sanitization when camping with kids. We would wash bottles on the go and running water helps! A little pricey, but we found that using Dometic’s hydration water jug and faucet was the best solution for us. This infinitely makes clean up from meals and restocking water throughout your trip way more easy. If you don’t want something so bulky, consider GSI Outdoors folding water cube.
Pair this with a collapsible wash bin or two, and you’re all set for keeping things relatively clean on the trip. We use hospital wash bins we received after giving birth to the girls.
You can do away with running water if you’re staying at a campground that has bathrooms or potable water. We have stayed at state campgrounds, and it does make it a lot easy when you have immediate access to water for keeping things clean. However, our girls aren’t good sleepers and having midnight wake-ups throughout the night isn’t ideal to your surrounding camp neighbors.
We knew we were going to be traveling with the girls when we put together our registry. Since we have twins, I wanted to make sure that we could use our high chairs at home on the road. The Summer Deluxe Comfort Folding Booster allows us to collapse the chairs and travel with them. We removed the cloth parts and the straps, so we can hose them off easy when we’re traveling.
We have the 5×10 Little Unicorn picnic blanket that we take everywhere. It makes a good play mat when they are little and a place for them to hang out when they are walking about in parks or camping.
With twins, one parent can’t get away with carrying one kid and the other all the supplies. To save space in the truck, we decided not to bring our Osprey Poco packs and use the Trail Magik that clip onto our 30L+ packs.
Since we have a rooftop tent on our truck, we sleep up there with both the girls in between us when they are still small. We always bring a small tent just in case, which can be used as a shelter from sun or bugs and provides an enclosed play area.
A friend purchased the Morrison Outdoors Little Mo 20 Baby Sleeping Bag, which has been super helpful. We try to be mindful on the outside temperatures because we don’t want them to overheat. If we know it is going to be warmer, we normally bring along fleece pajamas and blankets to keep them covered. One of the girls doesn’t mind being in the sleeping bag and the other one won’t sleep through the night in one.
We have a larger sound machine at home and bring this when we travel where we have regular plugs. When we’re camping, we use a portable sound machine that works well. The sound machine allows us to talk and move around camp after the girls go to bed. We have forgotten this and have used Spotify white noise channels (downloaded offline) as a replacement. I don’t love this option because it means that one of your phones will not be useable around camp.
We always bring a stuffed animal and other toys they can use at camp. Since we’re outside, we allow them to dig and rake. Green Toys trucks and collapsable beach toys are the best for summer activities because they can get dirty and wet.
I usually bring a book or two for them to have fun with. I pack snacks for them to eat on the road that we can hand back to them while we drive. I normally have a bag of toys they play with only when we’re out of the house, which keeps them engaged, along with one favorite small toy they have been enjoying at home. This combination seems to help.
Baby wipes and disinfectant wipes are crucial for quick wipe downs to clean up on the go.