Camping While Pregnant Part 1: Your Checklist.by Elizabeth MacDonald
As winter transitions to spring, many families are planning to get outside for their vacations this year. While the fresh air and Vitamin D will do your soul and immune system well, camping can be a bit unwelcoming to those with pregnant bellies. There’s the sleeping on the ground thing, fitting into a sleeping bag, needing to pee frequently, and fear of running out of snacks! Don’t worry, with proper preparation you can enjoy your camping trip as much as the rest of the family does.
There are a few things you should consider while planning. You will want to avoid high altitudes, as your body will have trouble adapting to the air and may feel dizzy and sick, potentially triggering contractions or problems. You should stay within a few hours from home if you are in your third trimester or at high risk. You’ll also want to make sure you have cell service or know where your phone works as you arrive.
Your Camping While Pregnant Checklist
It doesn’t matter if you have little ones in your tent yet or not, you will want the extra space. Shop for a durable, high-quality tent that is easy to construct and disassemble. A ‘porch’ area with a supported shade overhang is a great addition to look for.
Tick Removal Tweezers and Ziplock Bags
Ticks are nothing to laugh about. The diseases they can infect you with can potentially cause chronic symptoms. Research is showing that a tick bite while pregnant can even impact your growing baby. Make sure to do twice daily tick checks while camping. If a tick is found (on you or someone else) utilize the proper tweezers, removing the entire tick (do not leave the head in!). Seal the tick in a plastic bag and label it with the date and how long you think it was attached to you. Keep in on ice in your cooler until you get home and send it in for testing to make sure it was not infected. (A bullseye rash does not have to appear for you to have been infected.)
Quality matters. You do not want to poison yourself by putting toxic chemicals on your skin (and passing them to your baby through the placenta). Stick with natural versions that contain essential oils and apply often.
Again, quality matters. Find a mineral-based sunscreen and rub it anywhere the sun will be hitting you.
You can bring several gallons of water with you, but know where the nearest location is to run out for more.
High-Quality Air Mattress
Do not skimp on this investment. You want one that is easy to inflate (and deflate), holds air like a boss, has a soft ‘pillow top,’ and will keep you pain free on your camping trip. Purchase the Cadillac of air mattresses.
Those sleek, low-profile chairs may be some campers’ dream, but a pregnant mom needs something easy to get in and out of – and one that is comfortable!
Travel Toilet (and Toilet Paper)
Unless your campsite is a few feet from a restroom, you will want a close option. Sure, you can run into the woods, but it’s nicer to have a travel potty option.
Pre-Planned Meals (and a great cooler)
Take the time to plan out every meal for your camping trip and pre-cut or cook anything that will make the trip easier. You want to keep your food fresh, so invest in a great cooler.
Meals are one thing, but you know that you are going to need snacks – lots of them! Fruits, veggies, trail mix, and popcorn are all easy and healthy treats to bring camping.
Weather temperatures and pregnancy body temperatures sometimes do not mesh well. Make sure that you have light layers and something to throw on top when the sun goes down.
Lanterns and Flashlights
Make sure you are prepared for nighttime adventures. You need to have plenty of light to ensure you don’t trip over rocks or roots.
Pack your positive attitude, too. You’ll need it – and it’ll come in handy when you ask for the extra back rub you are going to want!