10 Essential Camping Items Your Toddler Will Be Grateful For

Peace Of Body And Ease Of Mind

By Fairuz Emran
September 3, 2020
Families, Lifestyle

Leaving for a camping trip simply means setting up a temporary second home in a new environment. While there are tons of necessities to bring, slipping any listed items will undoubtedly leave a slight worry in mind. Especially when they are for your babe’s use.

One of the most highly-anticipated activities during summer and autumn in Japan is camping, and it’even more exciting with a toddler. This fun recreation activity leaves lasting memories and provides stories for years to come. Japan—known to be blessed with beautiful natural landscapes and clean blue rivers—has attracted many nature lovers to spend time outdoor. 

In line with that, there are many campsites made available for the public to visit, either for a デイキャンプ (deikyanpu,”day camp”) or 宿泊 (shukuhaku, “overnight stay”). Though the spots are recently limited following the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic safety measure, the whole camping experience will surely worth the struggle of reserving yourself a spot—and enjoy some well—deserved natural social distancing. 

[…]as parents, the mere thought of bringing young babes to an outing adventure is enough to strike fear into the hearts right away

However, the general excitement of camping might be perceived a little differently by your toddler. Being away from the coziness of home, settling into a totally different kind of environment for up to a few days can be a daunting undertaking. And as parents, the mere thought of bringing young babes to an outing adventure is enough to strike fear into the hearts right away. In all truthfulness, a night in the woods with a tot in tow is not only possible but also rollicking good fun. 

This season, ease the surrounding switch and add extra smiles and giggles to your baby by including these ten essential camping items to your travel essentials.

1. Insect repellant

insect repellant is an essential items when camping with a toddler

Skin Vape, ¥970

As campsites are typically located in a mountainous forest area or near rivers, it is pretty understandable to find lots of insects flying around. And either you have an entomophobia or not, you certainly will not be pleased to find any red markings left on your babies’ smooth silky skin. Insect repellant comes handy as it will not only help to protect their skin but also save parents’ time to shush away the bugs.

2. Baby sunscreen

Baby sunscreen

Bioré UV Kids Pure Milk SPF50, ¥850

To avoid unnecessary and dangerous skin burning, do not forget a bottle of baby sunscreen as Japan’s summer sun can be rather harsh—especially to the little one’s skin. Moreover, the baby sunscreen will also help to reduce the chance of your kids having an unnecessary ‘shadow shirt’ of tanned skin.

3. Outdoor kettle

outdoor kettle is another essential for camping with a toddler

Black kettle, Coleman, ¥1,987 (20% off ¥2,481)

Though the summer weather is scorching hot, expect a much colder tap water at the campsite. Considering the availability of public bathrooms or shower rooms are nowhere near walkable distance, you will need this item to warm up water for several baby usage. From quick shower to bum wash, enjoy a smoother moment of completing your mama or papa ‘task’. In addition to that, the kettle is also very important to heat up water for formula milk or instant pre-cooked baby food. If we have to classify the items, this particular one will be in the VIP—very important piece—category when camping with a toddler.

4. Swimsuit 


Swimsuit, H&M, ¥2,999

Being UV proof and able to dry super fast are two features of the swimsuit that makes it necessary for each kid to own a pair. But in all seriousness, don’t we all parents need to doll up the baby in a bathing attire for one good memory photo?

5. Swim diaper

Swim diapers

Swim Diapers, moony, ¥1,149

Equally worthwhile is a swim diaper. Usually sold in packets of three, this type of diaper is necessary to prevent any leakage of babe’s waste into the water. Compared to normal baby diapers, this specific type is often found in boys or girls versions. Though it is widely sold in drugstores or baby shops, some parents may have trouble finding it, especially during long summer holidays. So to be on the safe side, always keep a spare packet of swim diapers so your babies will not miss the opportunity to have fun in the water peacefully. 

6. Water toys

Water toys for your toddler when you go camping

Forget about those fancy expensive water toys and head to the nearest 100円 shops for some interesting affordable ones. From a cute set of bucket and shovel to an elephant water sprinkler, these low-cost toys will never fail to delight the kids. Whether you have a clean-freak baby or the opposite, digging in the dirt and sand near the edge of the river can actually boost the kids’ immune system. More time under the sun will also generate an influx of vitamin D of the infants ergo making it all worthwhile to bring extra toys for them to play with. 

7. Baby float

Baby float, HappyHome, ¥1,599

In Japan, campsites that are set up near a river are commonly kids-friendly. In line with that, a float is considered as an essential so your little ones can play safely in the water. While there are many kinds available in the market, choosing one that suits your baby perfectly goes beyond aesthetic reason. In fact, this rather requires thorough research beforehand. Young toddlers especially those under two, need a float with comfortable leg support and a headrest. Try to avoid the neck float as this item can potentially pose a drowning risk. While swimming and exploring the water together with your little sweethearts is a perfect way to bond, keep in mind to always stay in direct contact with them at all times despite your children being safely tucked in floats. 

8. Portable high chair

portable low chair for toddlers

Baby chairs, Newox, ¥4,599

In the campsite wilderness, keeping the baby comfortable in the new environment comes with its own challenge. Recreating and following daily routines if at all possible will help to keep the sweethearts’ mood cheerful for the day. Feeding time, in particular, has to imitate a usual condition to avoid any issue. If your baby used to sit on a high chair or baby chair during mealtime, invest some money on a portable high chair because you really do not want to waste energy running around trying to feed your kids. 

9. Electric hand fan

Fure Handy Fan, Franc Franc, ¥1,980

Have you heard that babies have more sweat glands in the head compared to the rest of the body? You may now have an ah-ha moment, recalling all the time you saw your little one’s head drenched with sweats. When camping in the sweltering summer heat, other than a good dip in the water, the toddler will also be super thankful for an electric hand fan. Though it might not be as comforting as an air-conditioner at home, this device will still be useful and considered a gem outdoor. 

10. Lots of food

items to bring when camping with a toddler

All in all, at the end of the day, what brings most comfort to the sweet babe is no other than food. From breakfast to lunch to finally dinner and couple times of snack sessions in between, pack meals that are easy to prepare yet healthy. Pre-cooked food—either they are home-made or instant ones—are a good option to go for an effortless mealtime. As for the quick nibble dish—fruits, steamed frozen veggies, cold yogurts, and bread for instance—can be a great choice as they require minimal preparation time yet are packed with high nutritional value and also very fulfilling. 

sleeping toddler in a camping outing

While you need to be well prepared with the essentials, do not forget to go slowly and have fun as a kid-toting parent. At the end of the day, all’s well that ends well.

Is there anything missing from these 10 essential items to bring when camping with a toddler? Tell us in the comments! 

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