Most avid campers are eager to get their little ones on the trail as early as possible. If you’re prepared with the right outdoor baby gear, there’s no reason not to take even the youngest new member of your family along. Equip your first-time trailblazer for his or her very first outdoor adventure with these must-haves:
The “Not Just Camping” Essentials
Before worrying about anything else you’ll need while camping, don’t forget the basics. Diapers, wipes, burp cloths, pacifiers, bottles, clean water to rinse bottles (and anything that goes in baby’s mouth), and of course, formula and/or breastmilk are all necessities. Bring your baby’s comfort item(s), like his “blankey,” or favorite plushy to assuage meltdowns. Diapers are the most under-packed camping item—they’re virtually weightless and can be stored in the car—err on the side of caution so you don’t have to leave early.
Baby Carrier or Sling
If your baby isn’t walking yet or is younger than two, bring a front-facing sling for infant–toddler-aged campers, and a rear-facing carrier for babies old enough to hold themselves up. Backpack-style carriers are great for camping: they’re loaded with features like sippy-cup holders and hoods to shade baby from the elements so you can hike with your tyke in-tow. Front-facing slings are best-suited for infants, hanging around the campsite, sitting around the fire, and preparing baby for bedtime.
Rugged Outdoor Stroller
You can’t hit the trail without a stroller with strong features made to handle rocky, muddy, icy, or wet terrain. There are many options to choose from, so be clear on what you need in an outdoor stroller before shelling out the cash. If you camp during spring and summer, you’ll need a stroller that offers great shade. If you camp during fall and winter, your stroller needs a waterproof shield and a bunting bag for warmth. In either case, be sure the stroller you choose can handle off-road surfaces. All-terrain or sports utility strollers offer the best amenities for what campers need: three wheels that can handle everything from sand, dirt, rocks, gravel, snow, slush, and just about anything else.
Fall and Winter-Specific Outdoor Baby Gear
The importance of having the right outdoor baby gear for camping during fall and winter can’t be stressed enough, because babies cannot regulate their body temperatures well. If you plan to camp in the cold, there are some basics you’ll need, including a fleece baby jumper, warm mittens, thick socks, a few baby beanies and/or woolen cap, and plenty of extra blankets for naps and bedtime. Babies tend to sweat quite a bit during the day and while they sleep, even in cooler conditions. Wool clothes and blankets keep moisture and cold away from their skin, making wool the veteran parent camper’s choice for both daytime and sleepwear for infants on the trail and while sleeping.
No matter the time of year, always bring baby sunscreen and baby sunglasses: both items help shield babies from potentially damaging effects of the sun—the last thing you want while camping is a sunburned baby in need of medical attention or lotions and potions you didn’t bring.
Baby Camping Footwear
Even if they’re not walking yet, babies need the right footwear for camping. Muck Boots offers the best slip-on baby booties for your infant adventurer, custom to fit for babies, and appropriate for sub freezing to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. With a super-soft faux fur lining, My First Mucks come in black, pink, and camo print.