So far Baby P and I have made 2 camping trips and we have at least one more on the calendar before baby’s debut. Our first beachside camping experience was a lot of fun, but I definitely learned a lot about what to do, bring, and prepare for before the next trip. With these tips in mind, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a night or two in the outdoors even with a growing bump!
Tips for Camping While Pregnant
Many camp sites in Hong Kong will be situated near a local restaurant which means you won’t have to worry about going hungry–otherwise be sure to pack plenty of food and water and then even more food and water. All the food. All the water. Either way bring lots of snacks and whatever you’ve been craving recently– for me this means granola bars and Gatorade and something sweet– grapes, dried fruit, and all the ingredients for s’mores.
Sure Peter thought I was being a total diva because my backpack is stuffed with nothing but pillows and chocolate, but oh man is it worth it. Recently I’ve been uncomfortable sleeping even at home so I made sure to pack a self inflating mattress with an attached pillow, 2 more pillows, a sleeping bag, an eye cover and ear plugs.
I’m a very light sleeper so the eye cover and ear plugs are great if you don’t want to get up at sunrise or you have loud tent neighbors. An air mattress or thick sleeping pads are a necessity in my mind, regardless of pregnancy. Sleeping on the bare ground or sand is terrible. It’s tolerable for one night, but you’ll be in pain all night.
If you have space in your hiking pack (or if you’re not hiking to your campsite– even better!) bring face and body wipes and your usual skincare toiletries. I thought this would be overkill but it’s so comforting being able to wipe clean before climbing in to my sleeping bag and then rubbing lotion on my growing belly. Plus my skin has been on a hormonal rollercoaster and it makes such a difference to be able to stick to a somewhat normal routine.
There are a lot of over the counter meds that aren’t approved for pregnant ladies, so bring any pregnancy approved meds you may need — Tylenol/Panadol is a must for me because I know I might find ibuprofen or Advil at a shop, but I won’t always find acetaminophen. Bring bandaids too for any blisters from hiking/walking or if you lose your balance and end up with a small scrape. I also bring an ankle brace since pregnancy loosens your joints and ligaments and I find myself twisting my ankles more easily.
Depending on where you’re camping, you should also plan to bring bug spray as pregnancy may make you more susceptible to mosquito bites. There are several all natural options, but if you’re in a high risk area and/or worried about Zika, dengue fever, malaria etc. — go for one with DEET if approved by your healthcare provider. When I travel to Rwanda I don’t take anti-malarial meds. Before my last trip my midwife recommended bug spray containing DEET and assured me it was pregnancy safe.
And don’t forget sunscreen either — if you’re using sunscreen and bug spray, layer them on in that order.
If you’re a Hong Kong resident (and camping in Hong Kong) don’t forget your HKID and your hospital obstetric card. This half sheet of cardstock that you should have received from the public hospital has your name, hospital ID number, and is basically a fast pass for pregnant ladies in case of an emergency. You can skip the lines in the ER and head straight to the obstetric ambulatory care centre and hospital staff will easily be able to scan the card for your records.
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