Some of my earliest memories of childhood are of my Dad loading up the trailer, fighting with a tent and cooking beans on a camp stove. As a family of six we used to camp fairly frequently (to keep the cost down presumably) but I remember it being so much fun and an experience I’d love to share with my kids now they’re a little older.
Planning a family camping holiday is actually quite easy for the experienced camper who has all the gear stashed away in their garage but for a newbie it can be quite daunting – especially if you have kids in tow.
Here’s a list of items you will need to consider if you’re starting from scratch like we will be;
It goes without saying that the tent you choose is probably the most important purchase you’ll make for your holiday. It needs to be big enough to house everyone comfortably but not so big you struggle to erect it. Tents have moved on a long way from when I was a child – I even came across an inflatable tent the other day!
You’ll need to be prepared to at least make the basics in your tent, unless you wish to eat out for every meal. A mini stove will do just about everything you need from boiling a kettle to frazzling bacon. Of course, you can buy all kinds of gear but you need room to transport it all!
Camping in the Summer can be hot! You will need to think about some kind of outside shelter as tents can become stifling. An affordable gazebo from Garden Camping would do the job perfectly and provide some shelter from the elements.
To the inexperienced camper sleeping on a thin foam mat and a sleeping bag can be an eye opener so it’s probably worth investing in air beds and don’t forget the electric pump – no-one wants to be blowing six air beds up manually. You can buy pumps which plug into the cigarette socket in your car which are ideal.
Don’t underestimate how long it will take to pack up your tent upon departure – especially if the weather isn’t playing ball! Take the time to pack everything away as neatly as possible otherwise you’ll be cursing yourself the next time you come to use it. If you do have to pack your tent away when it’s wet, make sure you lay it out to dry in the garden when you get home otherwise it will rot.
Choosing a Campsite
Choosing a campsite can be a bit of a minefield. I always choose mine based on what activities they have for the kids and the toilet/washroom facilities! Work out what’s important to you and your family and go from there. Check out the location and the services available on the pitch itself to ensure it meets your requirements.
So, there you have it. Obviously this list is not exhaustive and there are many things to consider when camping as a family. However, these are the main things to think about. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever been camping and if so what advice would you give to a newbie?