My wife and I have just returned from our first camping trip with our 3 month old baby Benjamin, so I thought I’d share our experience and top tips for making the most of camping in the outdoors with a baby.
We took the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam and then traveled about 3 hours across Holland to an excellent campsite called Camping De Roos near Ommen. This meant that our total driving time was about 3 and a half hours, and for a baby that doesn’t like his car seat, this was about as far as we wanted to travel.
The holiday was booked for the beginning of May and naturally our main concern was the weather and how we would cope if the weather was awful or if the nighttime temperatures got really cold. We decided it would be a good idea to have a trial run in the garden a couple of weekends before heading over to Holland, to make sure that we would cope and to purchase any kit that might help…this turned out to be a good idea!
As you can imagine, camping in Northern Europe meant that we saw every type of weather possible, we had 30°C sunny days, hail storms, torrential rain and gales and thankfully we still managed to have a fantastic holiday. Here is a rundown of the kit that we found made camping with a baby much easier:
This was the first thing that we learnt from the trial run in the garden, as my wife Jaemi did not have anything to lean up against in the tent it was really hard for her to feed Benjamin at night time if we were sleeping on the floor. The camp bed meant that she could swing her legs down and sit much more comfortably and also picking Benjamin up from his basket was much easier too.
Here at Radfan, electric fan heaters are usually our worst enemies, but in this camping situation with a baby it was essential. The night time temperatures in Holland got down to about 6°C, so without the heater we all would have frozen! Our electric hook-up point gave us 1.3kW of power to use and we found that our heater on the 1kW setting was more than enough to heat the tent.
We decided to pack our Bell Tent for this holiday rather than our more modern dome tent, mainly because it looks great but also because we had heard that canvas tents regulate temperature better than modern nylon tents. We certainly found this to be true with the tent holding the heat well at night and keeping cool during the hot sunny days, it meant that there was always a comfortable space for Benjamin (and me) to have a sleep during the day, whatever the weather. ￼
We had packed an inflatable baby bath but it turned out that the excellent shower blocks in the campsite had baby changing and bathing facilities in them that were great. At about 7pm every night, all the families from the campsite would descend on the baby baths and it ended up being a joyous mayhem of naked babies and chattering parents. This turned out to be one of the highlights of everyday, not just for me and Jaemi, but Benjamin has grown to love bath time too as a result of the buzzy, happy atmosphere!
Our trusty Parasol was a lifesaver on more than a few occasions. It was really useful to be able to set up shade wherever Benjamin felt like playing when it was sunny, but it was more useful in the heavy rain when it sheltered all 3 of us from the downpour and meant that we could still go on walks and get out and about in the baby carrier without getting Benjamin wet. He loved the rainy walks and was squeaking with delight regularly!
We were pretty nervous about going camping with a baby as young as Benjamin before the holiday but we are so glad that we went. Benjamin seemed to have a great time and has never slept so well at night time, in fact we are considering pitching the tent in the garden to get him to sleep properly again! With the right kit and a bit of forward planning taking a baby camping can be really fun and we’d highly recommend it!
If you have any questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to help out!
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