Camping is one of my greatest loves in life. Sleeping outside in the cool summer breeze, watching the stars, being woken up slowly and gracefully by the sun rising. Every experience is amazing and beautiful. Nature is where we were meant to be. I think it’s important for us to reconnect to our roots and experience the ground beneath our bare feet, especially in the moments when we’re creating life inside us.
So when I got pregnant in October, my first thought (after the initial shock) was.. how am I going to go camping this summer with a huge stomach in my way? Some people think its unsafe or crazy to go camping while pregnant. Well, I’m six months pregnant and once my favorite park opened up for the season, there was no way anyone was going to tell me that I couldn’t go camping.
Obviously I didn’t want to be hiking miles to a campsite with gear strapped to my back, but this week I did go to my favorite national park, set up camp and enjoyed the great outdoors. Assuming you aren’t hiking to your destination either (which I wouldn’t recommend), this is all you’ll need to survive and have a great time. Going to a designated camping area in a park where you car is close by is your best bet.
The Camping Essentials
This is a complete list of essentials you’ll need to have a comfortable, good night sleep. You’re gonna need a little more than the average person, but that’s okay!
- tent with a fly
- a floor mat
- a body pillow / pregnancy pillow (I can’t tell you how important this item is, if you want to have a comfortable sleep, you’ll need this!)
- a couple of blankets (depending on the temperatures)
- hammock (not needed but highly recommended, they’re so comfy especially relieving the stress of the weight in your belly!)
The amount of clothing you bring, of course, depends on how long you plan to stay.
- comfortable jean or cargo pants/shorts
- comfortable bed pants/shorts
- a couple of long t-shirts
- a couple of long tank tops
- bathing suit (if there’s a swimmable lake near by)
- ample amounts of underwear and socks (there’s nothing like putting on a fresh pair of underwear and socks if you’re starting to feel gross)
- good pair of comfortable walking sneakers and/or sandals
Food & Utensils
- camping food (I go into further detail in a section below)
- a couple of gallons of clean water
- knives, forks and spoons
- can opener
- cups and plates (you can get nice metal ones designated for camping at REI or Walmart- plastic is not your friend!)
- napkins/paper towels
- cooler and ice packs
- pocket knife
- prenatal vitamins
- bug repellent
- hand sanitizer
Mosquitoes and Ticks
Mosquito bites are usually not dangerous unless you live in an area where Zika is present. In that case, I would suggest to be extremely cautious or even stay home. Zika can cause birth defects if you get infected. Otherwise, mosquito bites are annoying, but harmless. Use natural mosquito repellent to keep the pests away. There are some scary chemicals in your average bug spray that you may not want to put on your skin because it can get to your baby. Click here to view my homemade mosquito repellent recipe using essential oils.
Ticks are more of a concern, whether you’re pregnant or not, because they can carry certain scary diseases. In my homemade bug repellent recipe post, I also have a tick repellent recipe that you can make at home. Make sure to check yourself every now and then where ticks like to hangout – your armpits, between your toes, on the back of your neck, behind your ears and on the back of your knees.
I would advise to not camp in a place where you have to lug a bunch of gear down the road, unless you have someone who can carry all of your stuff for you. Find a site where you are fairly close to your car and save the hiking/walking for the trails where you’ll just need a fanny pack with some snacks and a bottle of water.
Restrooms Are Essential
Make sure you camp at a park where there are at least porta-potties available to you. I don’t know about you, but I get up at least four times to pee during the night. And having to squat behind a tree, half asleep with a big, pregnant stomach sounds like torture to me… I chose the campsite closest to the restrooms when I went camping. It was just a short walk to the restrooms when I needed to go.
You’ll need plenty of clean water on your trip. It’s easy to get dehydrated, especially during those hot summer months. My midwife advised me to drink at least 65 ounces of water per day and 85 when I was outside in the heat or if I were to exercise that day. You’ll need at least a gallon of water for a two-day camping trip, just for drinking. You’ll need a gallon or two more to wash your hands, put out campfires ect.
Easy Camping Food/Meals
- eggs and bacon for breakfast
- hot dogs
- canned veggies like corn and green beans
- canned dinners like soup and ravioli
- trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, pretzels)
- cheese cubes
- applesauce packs
- fruit (bananas, apples)
- protein bars
Now Get Out There and Experience the Great Outdoors!
Camping while pregnant isn’t much different from camping when you’re not expecting, so don’t let it scare you away from having a good time. The way I see it is, the Native Americans in the west slept in tepees and they survived! Women in the ancient times didn’t have plumbing or body pillows or even mattresses and they seemed to be okay. I say, if they can do it, so can we. Plus, once your little one arrives, it will be a little more difficult to take a spontaneous camping trip!
Hi, I’m Claudia! I’m an artist, wife, and first time mom-to-be. My blog is based on resourcefulness, creativity and getting back to the way life should be.