Guest Post Camping With Kids
Guest Post from Tattooed Mummy.
Camping. When I was younger I went camping both in a tent and caravan with my family, mum, dad and younger brother. Once I grew up I seemed to forget about how much fun it was. It wasnt until I was 41 and my daughter was 7 that I thought about it again. I was tempted by a festival that sounded like great fun. I told a mate about it and we set about acquiring tents and equipment to go. It was the wettest festival ever. There were deaths (no one we knew!) toilets that didnt get emptied, drugs (not us) and sex (again not us!) but despite all that it was the best fun wed had in years and we were hooked.
Â Camping (and especially festival camping) is not for everyone but it can make a fantastic family holiday. There are numerous family friendly festivals these days and they are the perfect excuse to beg, borrow or buy a tent and get camping!
Â Camping is one of those holidays that can be cheap or expensive. You can get a cheap family tent on eBay or from a supermarket or you can spend a fortune on a state of the art monster of a tent (I suggest a cheap trial run if youve never done it before! Borrowing a tent is a great idea if you can). You can camp at an expensive camp site with all modern conveniences, pools, shops, showers, toilets, hairdryers, or you can opt for cheaper, less glamorous, wild camping.
Â Which ever you choose it can be the best sort of holiday. Relaxing for parents and full of stories and adventure for children. Things we see as a bit of a pain (if we are honest!) like trekking to a toilet block in the dark with only a torch, while trying to avoid standing on a toad, are exciting things for children. Brushing your teeth outside in a field and spitting (down wind!) onto the ground is great fun. As is doing the washing up in a bucket, youll be surprised what kids will help with when camping!
Â There are (as I said earlier) no end of things you could buy to have a great camping holiday, but the bare essentials (assuming you have a family, and excluding things like clothes which I assume you have anyway) are:
- Â Tent
- Beds (inflatable are really cheap in the supermarkets at the moment)
- Sleeping bags (worth getting proper branded camping ones here)
- Kitchen bits and bobs and a stove though you can eat out, use a disposable BBQ or cook over a fire if the site allows!
erm..thats it for essentials I think! You can add lots more as you need it of course (I have a list on my site here)
People often worry about the cold. Take plenty of layers, onesies are great for kids, wear socks and hats in bed. Take a few extra throws to put under and over your sleeping bag, it gets chilly at night even in summer so have some blankets for wrapping around you at night. Remember that on a sunny day the inside of the tent will get hot!
Â Kids like to have some responsibility so give them each a specific chore and give them each their own torch too! Take a few things to do for the day time and in case of rain, and for the evening, frisbee, soft sponge balls, and colouring/diaries and card games are all good. What about a kite? Water pistols can be fun but many sites ban them as water wasters, and bubbles while pretty, can damage the waterproofing on some tents.
Â Take a few cheap solar lights for the evenings, maybe some camping chairs, some marshmallows to toast (check the fire regulations for your chosen campsite), a beer (or two)
Â Why not see if you can borrow a tent if youve never been camping as a family before? Find a site near to home (just in case it all goes horribly wrong) and book a weekend or a few nights in the week. If you like the outdoors and freedom to drink beer while the kids get muddy and build camps this could be your new favourite holiday. And once you have camping sorted, why not try a family orientated festival for extra fun!