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Some of my best childhood memories came from the camping trips I had with my Grandparents and Mum. We would find a good site, pitch up, get the croquet and games out, play endless garden games and relax. It was childhood at its best.
Ready or not, I’m coming to find you! – Hide and seek camping style!
It’s something I always wanted to pass to Munchkin. This year, Nanny and Grandad were already planning to go to a local site so we joined them for a one-night trail run. The short, it was fantastic, so seriously, take kids camping!
The sky’s awake so I’m awake!
As a parent, we often worry about our child sleeping well. So the thought of camping in the summer with an early sunrise and sharply rising tent temperatures was enough to add a bit of fear with taking Munchkin camping.
Going to a local site eased the fear a little. If worst came to the worse we could escape home in the middle of the night and return the next morning.
So, we put our fears aside. Bought him his own character airbed and a new Paw patrol nightlight and took familiar things like his pillow, duvet and favourite bed toy from home. We made sure we had long walks, lots of activity and a little bit of a later night after a late takeaway dinner.
The result: he slept through undisturbed until morning.
Home away from home
To make him feel at home and included, we made sure whatever we had, he had. He had his own little camping chair so he could sit around the firepit with us, and his own personal airbed. We let him help with activities such as pumping up his bed, helping with the washing up and building the tent – he especially loved the mallet, offering to help hammer in the pegs. We took a good selection of toys which could be used outside and garden games. Ensuring he never got bored.
The most important thing, especially with the current cost of living crisis, is that camping can be affordable. You can pick up a good sized tent for a family of 3 or 4 for under £50 and pay a quarter of what is it for a low budget hotel room for the pitch. There’s a bit of prepayment for things like chairs and airbeds, but at this time of the year you can find cheap camping stuff everywhere, for example, we picked up our foldable chairs for a little over a tenner and borrowed other bits from my parents. It was obviously more pricey this time, but will make an affordable getaway next time and the next…
The trial run
As it was Munchkin’s first time a we opted for this as a trial run for future camping.
The reason for a short trial run of camping was two-fold. Firstly we needed to see if Munchkin would sleep. Second, we needed to see what items we needed and inevitably you will forget something the first few times! Like any holiday, imagine going away and forgetting the baby milk, or a favourite cuddly toy!
Prepare for all weather
In the UK we all know we can experience all four seasons in one day. We went in June.
Summer is probably the hardest as you never know what you are going to get. So pack the sun cream and shorts, the coat for the cooler evenings and the wellies and waterproofs if it rains. Plus, plenty of spares if they get muddy or wet. Be overprepared.
Given this was just our trial run I imagine ill update it over the trips to come.
Do you have any advice on camping with kids?
Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Daddy and Munchkin