Since having children of our own, we have tried to have several staycations where the girls will make amazing memories and as we all have a love for nature and the great outdoors, we seem to have embarked on camping A LOT.
Camping has been THE holiday where we all seem to laugh out loud, have a break from technology and ‘rough it up’. We usually camp without electric and we usually pick those fields without any wifi or signal. Although this is horrible at first, we soon seem to slip into not knowing the time or what is going on in the world of social media. We even misplace our phones in our tent and not seem to care.
Our camping trips have seen us go to Trewan Hall in Cornwall, Golden Cap, Nordern Farm, Rosewall, and Lymington. Picking a good campsite isn’t easy but we have a criteria to follow now. Nice showers and toilets, on site shop, pub within walking distance, crabbing or rock pooling close-by, dog-friendly, firepits allowed. Having a nice shower and toilet unit is important because no matter how much you are ‘roughing it up’, the only piece of sanity you have is the decent shower that you will get first thing after a rubbish nights sleep.
My girls adore camping so much and over the years we have added to our camping equipment. Our tent is a pretty good size but we got this tent at an amazingly reduced price so it was a BARGAIN. There’s plenty of places to hunt for a decent tent. We can fit 6 camp beds in a row in the bedroom with our luggage inside and under the beds too. The living room space always fits in all the adults that we usually camp with, which is about 8 of us and all their children. We usually have a games corner, colouring corner, a coat corner and we fit in all the adults chairs. Ours being wonderfully spacious means that we often play host to the group so we can all sit around dry and snug indoors and chat to each other. I now make sure that I take a dustpan and brush because after daily footfall on a large scale and food being consumed, when you shake out the carpet on packing up day we are usually greeted by a three-course dinner – well, usually crushed crisps and bread crumbs.
I think investing in a good tent, that will stand the test of high winds and rain is important. British weather is a nightmare and when you plan a camping trip in the summer you can bet that it will rain and blow a gale!
We started our camping trip with blow up beds but we found these annoying and they would deflate quickly. We have since invested in camping beds but, although these are better, they are still not comfy. Me and the kids hate sleeping in sleeping bags so we take our duvets which feels much nicer, but our recent trip found me and the girls freezing! No onesies this time and I think they make a difference. I would suggest you add these to your list!
An essential that I would suggest to any first-time camper reading this is a wee bucket – yep! When your child needs a wee at 1am and it’s cold and dark outside and a trek to the toilet, it’s the last trip you want to be making so we take a bucket that we place in the side part of our tent – it’s actually the toilet room and my kids wee in a bucket. I’m guessing there’s something better out there for this but we use a bright orange bucket and we remain warm and dry. Although if they need a poo in the night then I will aslways send hubby.
We have a porch on our tent that we use for the cooking area. A double gas stove, a kettle and a big cool box is essential. Breakfasts are usually bacon, egg or sausage baps and lunch is usually pasta or pot noodles and dinner is bbq/pasta/mince dish. We usually do the cooking as a group because we find that we all eat the same things. This is so much easier. Although someone needs to forget bringing the crips! My waistline does not appreciate crisps and it’s my weakness especially after consuming the essential red wine.
Don’t forget to take a washing bowl so you can go and do all your washing up – i forgot this first time around and it was a pain!
We have a couple more camping trips planned this summer but as yet we are not sure where to go. It would be so nice to have more car space so we can take the bikes with us too. I like staying active whilst camping and we do find ourselves on long walks which is lovely. I try and take my running stuff too but it’s not always easy getting up and out for a run when on a family camping trip. It does make you feel really good once you have done a run though, especially when living off naughty food.
Our favourite sites have been Rosewall, Trewan Hall and Golden Cap so far. It’s an amazing way to bond as a family and appreciate home a little more!