When my oldest daughter was about 10 months old we decided to go camping for a weekend away. It was nearing the end of winter so it was cold to say the least and I really wanted to take her to the snow just as I had done for many years as a kid.

We camped in Noojee near the bottom of MT Baw Baw the first night we just found a semi flat spot to camp as it was already dark getting late and starting to rain.



Young Child Waking up in Tent after Camping


The first night wasn’t too bad apart from the cold and the rain. After we woke we packed up and off we went up the mountain. It was a great day even though there wasn’t much snow so late in the season but there was still enough to toboggan which we all loved and everything was good so far.

Then the second afternoon/night back at a new campsite my oldest was only crawling not yet walking so trying to contain a crawling toddler in the middle of the bush where there isn’t really anywhere to put her down safely is not fun, if I’m totally honest it sucked.

All they want to do is explore. But there’s sticks and bugs and rocks and other un- knowns everywhere and you can’t take your eyes off them for a second because you blink and they are gone. They refuse to just sit on a chair with some toys, they don’t want to be confined in the tent while you’re around the fire even if the doors open so you can see them and they can see you and least of all they definitely don’t want to be held. Needless to say, I made a decision to not go camping again until she could walk.

Fast forward to Easter long weekend this year we have two kids a not yet walking 1 year old and a 2 year old that doesn’t like being told what to do. We planned a family camping trip away up bush with my partners mum, dad and younger brother. I had at least learnt to take something to stick the non-walking toddler in so that I wasn’t so stressed out about what to do with her. So, armed with a walker as well as her own camp chair off we went car packed full, kids squished in the back on a long drive to a hopeful relaxing weekend away in the bush.

Having the walker definitely made a huge difference this time I could put her in that near our seats, she was still involved in what was happening, the other kids were talking to her and playing with her. It was great, and bonus after removing the toys from the tray it doubled as a highchair! It still was a little stressful when she got sick of being in there having to struggle with her trying to sit still with one of us!


camping photo


Thank god for Pa! (my partners dad) for some reason she was infatuated with him and sat still and quiet and just cuddled up to him it was great. Then there was the 2 year old with her 8 year old uncle. Our oldest was like his own personal shadow she followed him everywhere and copied everything he did no matter how many times they were told no don’t do that or be careful.

Recently we went away again over Queen’s birthday long weekend. And luckily my youngest had finally started walking! (Sigh of relief) This time we stayed on private property in a hut. Which was definitely nicer and warmer than staying in a tent! Although staying in a hut comes with its own worries.

Like the fact it has a fire place in the middle of the room that even after explaining to the kids it’s hot so don’t touch it and don’t go near it! What happens.. of course they touch it and get right up near it constantly. Added bonus of staying there it had its own little fenced in yard around the hut and across the little drive way.

And being on a property the owners had cows in the paddock where the hut was so of course my oldest was constantly worried about the cows coming to get her even though we explained they cant come in the fence they will get zapped and even if they do get in the fence they wont fit in the door. So know we know she has a fear of cows. Haha strange thing to be scared of but hey she’s two.

So some tips I have learnt from camping with toddlers are:

  • If they aren’t yet walking taking a walker is a lifesaver!
  • Have snacks and drinks on hand for the car trip but ration the snacks (my oldest gets car sick if she eats while on long drives ☹)
  • Toys are good. But not always necessary.
  • You can never have enough clothes and socks!
  • If you choose to take a portable dvd player make sure the car charger works!

You might also like to read:

Man camp

Imagination Matters

Playtime Rules

Children, Play and Technology