Camping with toddlers

11 July 2017

Our family has a lot of traditions, but one that I look forward to most is camping with our friends the Rays. Camping scratches all of my itches: unhurried time with friends, space for deep conversation, natural beauty, fresh air, yummy food, no technological distractions, and adventure. If any of those speaks to your soul, I’d encourage you to give camping a try, kids or no kids!!

I know the thought of camping as a family can be overwhelming, but truly, you can do it! I hope these photos help convince you :) Most are by the talented Nancy Ray, with a few from my phone camera!

camping tees

adventure tees

What a cutie!!!

custom camping tees

This was our fifth year in a row camping together, so we surprised the Rays with matching custom tees from Zazzle!

swimming hole

peonies and camping

stone mountain

This year, we chose Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina as our destination. It was great! There was less shade than at other campgrounds we’ve visited, so we opted to borrow a pop-up canopy from our neighbor, which was so helpful.

eating breakfast

Will and Milly

best friends forever

BFFs :) We did two separate hikes at the park on Saturday – one to a waterfall and one to an overlook – and the girls fell asleep in their packs on both!

Stone Mountain State Park

scenes from camping

waterfall swimming

camping sunset

And now for the question you’re all wondering: did the girls sleep? The answer: YES! They both slept through the night both nights, hallelujah!

Ray family camping

family camping

If you’re interested in camping but not sure where to start, stay tuned! Later this week I’m sharing the master packing list we use every time. And check out these past posts:

Camping with babies (lots of tips for family camping!)
Our first camping trip
Our last camping trip before babies
A few of our favorite camping supplies
My perspective shift on camping

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 11, 2017 8:05 am

Love all these ideas!!

Where are your shorts from? I’m on the hunt for jean shorts…

July 11, 2017 10:00 pm
Reply to  Melissa

Thank you, Melissa! They are from Old Navy! I’ve also heard that American Eagle (as strange as it sounds) has great jean shorts :)

July 11, 2017 1:00 pm

Can’t wait to read! I’ve always wanted to give camping a try but am a little timid because I’ve never been. And with the Smoky Mountains 15 minutes away it seems a shame to not go!

July 11, 2017 10:01 pm
Reply to  Kelly

Oh, you’re so lucky! Tennessee has some of the most beautiful campgrounds – my friend Amber Housley has been camping several times this summer already, near Nashville! She might have some good recommendations :)

July 11, 2017 3:44 pm

I am glad you are adding to your camping series. I want to give it a try with my toddler this fall. I haven’t camped since I was a kid.

July 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Reply to  Gillian

Do it!! As long as you come prepared with the right gear and the right mindset (and hold out for good weather), I don’t think you can go wrong :)

July 12, 2017 2:27 pm

Such a great tradition!! I am anxiously awaiting two other Thomas family traditions – June in June + MAINE!

August 3, 2017 8:30 am

[…] Hanging Rock Blue Bear Wilmington Blue Bear Stone Mountain […]