We recently decided, mostly on a whim, to take the boys camping for two days. Before kids, Dan and I were very experienced campers and I remember talking passionately before having kids about how we’d take our kids camping all the time once we had them. The reality is we’ve only taken them a handful of times due to my own fears of “what happens if it all goes wrong?!”
Despite the fears, we decided to brave the great north this past weekend and headed to Awenda Provinical Park! I felt optimistic because of some great gear we acquired from Canadian Tire. My first tip when deciding to camp with babies and toddlers is that comfort is key. This is not the time for truly roughing it…now is the time for glorified camping…glamping if you will!
The first thing I’m happy we acquired was our 10 person tent from Woods.
One of the things I’ve learned in my years of camping is that you need to reduce whatever sized tent you’re buying in half. A 4 person tent really means 4 people lying down, shoulder-to-shoulder, no gear. Let’s face it…when camping with toddlers and babies you need more room. So if you’re camping with 2 adults you really want to be looking at a 4 person tent. In our case, camping with two tall adults, 1 toddler, 1 baby and one large gorgeous beast, we opted for the Woods Klondike 10 person tent. It has a power pocket to run power into your tent, offers TONS of room, has two large storage areas and lots of netted ventilation. Another thing I love about this tent is the extended front canopy which offers shelter from the elements…like rain…which we ran into on the weekend.
To see a full tour of the tent, check out my latest YouTube video which offers a hilarious MTV Cribs parody but shows all the features really well!
Another gem we found from Canadian Tire is the Woods lantern + bluetooth speaker. It has amazing battery longevity and connects to your phone’s bluetooth allowing you to play whatever music you’d like to listen to while enjoying the great outdoors! Plus I think the look of it is super chic and modern (you know I’m a sucker for aesthetic appeal).
Another integral part of your camping experience is getting yourself a good stove and cooking gear! We love our Coleman cooking stove. It has two burners, offers protection from wind and has an oven where you can fit a full sized pizza! We’ve loved cooking croissants in the oven and the kids really get excited to eat breakfast from the outdoor stove.
You can watch Dan cooking croissants in the oven for the first time here:
We love our cast iron Woods cookware from Canadian Tire!! It gives the desired rugged feel to our camping meals while offering fantastic quality cookware to our camping. Easy to clean, uniform heat and conducive to both stove and open fire cooking, the cast iron cookware has been one of our favourite purchases.
Another tip I’d offer when camping with kids is to go with the flow. Dan and I have found it helpful to have some ideas of things to do with them (beach, hike, discovery centre, roasting marshmallows, etc.) but the reality is you need to be able to remain flexible, go with the flow of the day and be adaptable because things can change on a dime. Our second day of camping ended with a tornado warning and although we really wanted to prove ourselves to be that granola family who loves the outdoors, the reality is we had a miserable baby and dog and decided it was best to call it quits.
Watch day 2 of our camping here:
In the future we’ll be bringing the iPad loaded with a few movies that we can enjoy from the comforts of our tent should we get another downpour…you live and you learn!
Have you been camping with kids before? What are some of your tips?