I did not go camping as a kid. My mom always said her idea of camping was a hotel without a hot tub. Fast forward to the present — I have a husband who did grow up camping and has worked in the RV Industry for 9 years. I am now presented with the opportunity to go camping regularly. Since this camping is in motorhomes and not tents, I’m all in. But I had one big concern before our first trip — we have an infant son, and I just didn't know how camping with a baby would work.
On any given day at home we use a rock 'n play, swing, activity mat, crib, ExerSaucer and stroller to contain and entertain little Simon, but I can't take all of those camping, right?! So before we headed out on our first RVing trip with Simon, I started looking on Pinterest for blog posts about camping with a baby to get a better idea of what I really needed. I started compiling a packing list.I used Google docs to create our list. Over that first year, each time we went camping or took a road trip I either reused my list or copied and
modified it into a new list. Having these lists on Google docs makes it so easy to access them any time on my phone or computer. Now I have a list for nearly every traveling situation we find ourselves in, including a list for camping in a smaller coach or a larger coach. We don't own an RV yet, but we are able to borrow trade-in RVs from my husband’s work. This means that each weekend we pack whatever RV we are going out in, and at the end of each trip we have to unpack and completely clean the RV. My packing list really took the stress out of prepping for each camping trip last year and not once did I feel like I was missing anything.
Simon was 5-9 months old during his first camping season last year so he wasn't too mobile, and could get most of his wiggles out crawling around the RV. He was pretty happy spending a lot of time in the stroller, baby carrier and pack 'n play. He started eating more solid foods halfway through the summer, so we added a booster seat to the packing list.
Sleep is difficult away from home for Simon, so we always packed a sound machine, baby monitor and a big blanket. At night we put him down in the camper and relaxed by the fire while he fell asleep. For naps we would often put him in the pack 'n play outside the camper and drape a blanket over the top and sides so we could go in and out of the camper without waking him. With the baby monitor in hand we could walk around the campground and still hear if he woke up from naptime inside the RV.
Bringing all the right stuff makes RVing with an infant so much easier, but the real key to success is flexibility. The change of scenery and fresh air always threw Simon for a loop, and if I didn't stress about trying to keep him on a schedule we all had a much better time. He never slept that great while camping, but the night we got back home he almost always slept for 8-10 hours straight, giving us a chance to catch up too!
Our top must-have items:
- Collapsible trash can with trash bags
- Wet wipes
- Paper towels
- Electric skillet
- Folding table
- Camping patio mat
- Rug for wiping feet inside coach
- Pre-portioned coffee grounds (in snack-size Ziploc bags)
- Crock pot meals (fully cooked, frozen FLAT in gallon Ziploc bags)
- 2 savory snacks; 2 sweet snacks
To read more about our camping adventures and see our full packing list, check out our blog at theherschbergers.com.
Tina HerschbergTina and Kyle Herschberger have been married four years and love the fun and adventures baby Simon adds to their lives. They went camping as a family 12 times in 2014 and are looking forward to the 2015 season! Kyle has worked in the RV industry for 9 years and is the business manager for Phoenix Cruiser, maker of luxury B+ motorhomes. Visit their blog at theherschbergers.comand follow Tina on Instagram @tinaherschberger.