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I only went camping a few times when I was younger. My family ran a business and it was always quite busy; there wasn’t much of an opportunity to go out and enjoy the great outdoors together. As I got older I did end up finding a few more opportunities to get out and about, but I always felt like it was quite a hassle to get everything together; packing up all of the equipment that you would need, getting your food prepped in advance, and then making the trip to wherever it is that you want to tick actually camp. There is a lot to do, and that’s just adult campers! What happens when you have kids?
Families have been making it work for years, but I knew that if I were to take my kids camping that I would want it to be as easy and painless as possible. If it’s already a hassle enough to get everything together just for adults, adding stuff for the kids was going to make it infinitely more challenging. I can’t even go to the supermarket without taking half of the house with me!
What I did end up doing was taking an Amazon voucher I was given for Christmas, and spending it on some mod cons to make life easier. Covering off the basics first — eating, sleeping, going to the toilet- I added products to my shopping cart and sat back as they arrived at my door. Here are some of my favorite items from that shopping adventure. I hope that it helps you!
Going to the toilet! The ONEDONE portable potty
It almost looks like a toy suitcase! Coming into colors pink and white, and a yellow and blue, the potty is basically a portable seat with a pan that you remove and clean. I don’t know why I didn’t buy one of these earlier actually, I should have put it in the boot of the car for the times when we’ve headed to a park or playground; it would have been super handy!
The pan is a good size, it seals well, and it’s good for kids up to 3 years old. It wasn’t one of the best-sellers on Amazon, but it was well-reviewed with over 140 reviews at the time I started looking. It doesn’t use liners, but I agree with many of the reviewers; if you wanted to you could certainly use some with the pan. And again like many of the reviewers, my boys enjoy the fact that they could carry it on their own. It is smaller than I expected it would be, but when you’re packing an entire car full of things to take with you camping, I was grateful that it didn’t take up much space. Perhaps just keep this in mind when looking for a portable potty to take camping.
The portable highchair that has it all! Hiccapop’s Omniboost Travel Booster Seat
I don’t know why I didn’t think it would be a thing, but how cool is this fold-up portable highchair? I use the term highchair loosely; it sits quite low to the ground obviously! But look at it! It has a three-point safety harness, a dishwasher safe tray that swivels out, and it packs up into its own bag. I mean come on!
Hiccapop pitched the chair as being perfect for a day at the beach, a weekend camping, a visit to the grandparents’ house, or even going out to dinner; it has straps to secure it to a standard dining chair as well. We already had booster seats for the dining table at home, but I kind of wish that I had found this one sooner.
The feet are super stable, which absolutely would make them suitable for use at the beach. I haven’t used it at the beach as yet, but on the loose dirt on our camping trip, it worked perfectly. Speaking of dirt though, the whole cover is machine washable too. Thank goodness. There is a pocket on the rear of the cover to put bits and pieces in, and it ended up costing around about $30. I don’t think I could be happier!
Food that doesn’t end up with dirt in it! The SiliKong silicon suction plate!
Once you’ve managed to get your little one seated (read: strapped in!) It’s time to get some food into their bellies. Since the travel booster seat has that swivel tray, I picked up some new suction plates to use. They’ve ended up in rotation at home; I don’t like food on the ground while camping, but I also don’t like food on the ground while at home.
It is made of food-grade silicone and is free of all the things (BPA, PVC, Phthalate, and Lead) which is a good start, but to be honest, I was most interested in the fact that it was not only dishwasher safe, but also microwave and oven safe. Winning!
When I hit the store it had a 4.4 out of five-star rating, and I liked the fact that the suction base was smaller than the plate itself; I was a little bit worried that it wouldn’t fit on the highchair tray but it fit fine. And that up picking up the set with the silicon bib as well. I was already going to have a bag of dirty clothes, so not having to also add a bag of dirty bibs really helped. All I had to do was wipe it out, or chuck the bib in with the rest of the cooking equipment at the end of the meal to get cleaned.
Quiet playtime without the dirty bum — the Baby Delight Go With Me Eclipse Playpen
I did take outdoor appropriate clothes with us, but once everyone was in their pajamas I wasn’t going to risk getting them dirty and then putting them in the tent! Enter the baby delight go with me Eclipse portable play Yard! I think third go with me haven is just the clips but without the shade canopy, but for around 20 extra dollars I was happy to pick up the complete set. The canopy is UPF50+ — rated to protect against 98% of UVA and UVB rays. You can pick up a spare canopy on the babydelight.com website too.
Again, as with anything intended to be used outdoors, the first thing I wanted to do was to check to see whether it was machine washable or not. The walls and floor of the play yard can be removed for machine washing. That’s all I needed to know. It comes with its own carry bag, and is surprisingly easy to set up and packed down.
The only thing that came up was that this law is actually quite slippery; the nylon floor is grateful cleaning and being waterproof against a damp surface, but if you’ve got a pair of socks with the little grippy dots on the bottom I would chuck a few pairs of those in your bag before you head out.
I’ve written this up as a bit of a shopping list for friends, but as we all head out on more adventures I will update the list with any extra products we find. If you have any suggestions for items that should be on this list but aren’t, please shoot an email through to firstname.lastname@example.org!