How To Survive a Weekend at Camp with Toddlers

When my husband and I first considered taking our kids to camp for the weekend, I thought -- let's wait until they're older. But like most things that require a commitment, there will always be a reason for not going. So, there we were, packing up for a weekend in bunk beds, shared bathrooms and jam-packed itinerary of activities.

I've rounded up a few essential items that made our camp experience fun, safe and relatively easy!

Here are my can't live without them baby/toddler gear items -- whether you're spending a few nights at grandma's, traveling to the beach or sharing spaces at camp -- these will make your life so much easier.

#1: The Slumber Pod : put it over a pack and play or toddler mattress on the floor to give your child a dark environment that even reduces outside noise. This has been a life-saver on many occasions and we don't go anywhere without it. Shop here.

#2 : Noise Machine : I've been using the ZetroFan since my oldest was born. It's dependable, easy to pack and has a wide-range of volume. It's also a no-fuss sound machine. We didn't need the varying sounds of rainforests and lullabies. This is another essential we don't travel without. Shop fan.

#3 : Lovies : I always pack our kids favorite stuffed animals, lovies and blankets so even when they are in a new place, they have the comfort of home. Here is my son's favorite blanket and my daughter's "bun bun."

# 4 : The BOB Stroller : it's hard for me to imagine our life without the BOB stroller. It's a running stroller that is built for trails and off-roading so whether I'm walking the uneven sidewalks of historic Dilworth or pushing my daughter up the hill to our cabin at camp, this stroller makes my life 10x easier. This one is expensive but lasts forever and can comfortably work for kids 6 months - 5 years.

# 5 : Mom Essentials : when I'm traveling especially, I want dependable, no-fuss gear. I lean towards neutrals so for my rain gear and athletic wear I go for black, navy and hunter green. Since this weekend was cold and rainy, my packing list included these comfortable Barbour rain boots, my favorite everyday leggings and a classic North Face rain jacket.

#6 : Travel Accessories : I recently started carrying a first-aid kit with me when I travel (I know, a little late to the game). It's been a huge help for those little scrapes and also has brought a peace of mind knowing I have some of the essentials with me, if needed. I like this one because it's compact and can be thrown in a diaper bag, purse or on the bottom of a stroller. Speaking of bags, these LL Bean canvas totes are our family's favorite. Each of the kids has one with their name -- if you get the extra large size with a zipper you'll never need another bag. It has pockets for organizing and lasts forever. It's easy to find them on sale too! And lastly, this adorable camera was a Christmas present for my son who has loved getting to capture his experiences on his own. It's a digital toddler camera with a flash drive so you can easily go back and relive moments through your child's eyes. They come in pretty colors too!

#7 : Toddler Rain Gear : I'm so glad I threw in the kids rain gear! There were chances of scattered rain in the forecast but it ended up drizzling most of the time we were in the mountains. My kids love The Beaufort Bonnet Company rain jackets and Hunter rain boots. The rain jackets have two pockets in the front (a must have for my son!) and are loose fitting enough to add a jacket underneath. They don't have a fleece lining themselves so they work great in the spring and summer too! These rain boots are also great for toddlers because they don't go up too high and are easy to get on. I buy neutral colors so they can be passed down to siblings.

I hope you found these helpful! My husband and I love to travel but it's no easy task to take little ones on a trip. That's why I'm always looking for ways to make wherever we go, feel a little more like home - and these items do just that!