Since last year we have been toying with the possibility of becoming a camping family.
Around 8-9 years ago I camped almost every single weekend as part of the Sealed Knot, which is a civil war reenactment group and I travelled the length and breadth of the country camping with a group of extraordinary people, some of which I am still in touch with now.
Its at the time of the year when these ‘knotting’ adventures would start in earnest so I always get to this urge o sort out my kit, however life moved on and 2 further children later and a husband who has never camped has meant that my camping adventures ceased and life just got busier.
Last year I introduced my husband and eldest son to the feel of a weekend with canvas, although it was only Joshua and I that slept in a tent.
We had a whale of a time, Joshua and I and Ollie vowed that it looked like fun and we could look to maybe going camping in the future.
Well, I took that as a win and this year with the helps of Blacks we are starting our full family camping journey with some practice camps in the garden so sorting out the basics is a must. The niceties can be bought over time.
The Perfect Tent
For me the perfect tent means space. I have camped under canvas in the past where the tent was beyond too small. It doesn’t make for a nice weekend especially if there is rain. I always work with the rule of thumb that if you are looking to house 5 people pick a 6 man tent this will allow you to put your bags of clothing and personal effects in the bedroom compartments and not in the living space.
For us we have selected the Eurohike Rydal 600, 6 person tent as travelling with a toddler means you need yet more space, having toys and travel cots to make room for.
I also prefer a sown in ground sheet to eliminate drafts and also bugs and critters.
Since I mentioned essentials I must share with you some perfect products that I have discovered this last year that lend themselves perfectly for any camping family that has those tiny toddlers!
First up is the Summer Infant ‘Pop’ range. We reviewed their Pop N’ Play and also their Pop N’ Jump but equally their Pop N’ Sit would be great for feeding wriggly toddlers while in a field. All 3 of these products fold down compactly and can be taken easily onto a campsite equally as well as your living room.
I have never been a fan of cheap sleeping bags so finding a good quality sleeping and air bed is essential as these are the makers of a great trip. If you don’t sleep well then that’s your trip affected for the duration.
I love adding in cotton sleeping bag liners to as these help keep the static at bay and seem to provide a more comfortable sleep.
If you have a small human I can highly recommend HippyChics Space Cot, smaller than most and folds up and down in mere seconds not to mention its weight being only 6kgs.
For practical reasons a foldable camping table is a must as you will with children need to feed them somewhere, for the toddlers as mentioned the Pop N’ Sit works but for older children you can get some reasonably priced tables that cater for dining needs but also don’t forget you will want somewhere to cook on and store your food too.
We have the EuroHike Base Camp Storage table which works as both a storage table and also somewhere that we can store all our kitchen items both edible and not.
You will also need some form of camping cooker. Please don’t rely on BBQ’s to feed you. Many sites do not allow them and those that do can not guarantee sunshine every mealtime.
For crockery and cutlery products during the spring summer months look around your preferred grocery store for picnic plates and bowls. They can work out so much cheaper to buy than ‘camping’ plates and bowls. The ‘picnic’ melamine sets are all over at this time of the year and I managed to buy enough cups, bowls, cutlery and plates for us all plus some extras for less than £15.
Other Essential Camping Products
I recently wrote a post for Blacks with a far more in-depth list of products you would need for camping with children in tow that you can find HERE.
However for the non camping shop related products I have popped a more comprehensive list below:
* Bottles of water (you can buy camping water containers, however we just purchase value 2ltr bottles of water and use the empties to fill up for boiling the kettle with.
* Baby wipes and antic bac wipes are a must with no on site bathroom in your tent having things to hand can save the day.
* Kitchen cloths – These include washing up liquid, washing up bowl and tea towel.
* Dustpan and brush
* Toiletries and shower kit in a bag you can hang – Campsites have a showering facility that others use so you will need to hand your things up
* Waterproof slip on shoes – For crossing the field something water-resistant on your feet you can just slip on are essentials ( you may prefer to wear them in the shower block too!)
Watch this space as I share with you more of our family camping adventures this year.
*This is a collaborative post*