Silly question, but what does one actually DO while camping?(31 Posts)
We have the gear and are all set up to sleep and eat.
But there is more to a day than that...What do you/your children do and so what else do we need to carry? (Not driving!)
Also, what sort of excellent sharing food can you cook with a camping stove? Is cake out of the question? (Probably.)
Everything takes longer when you are camping, even making a cup of tea. I quite like it because everything slows right down.
I take cake or buy it when there. Have never baked when camping! Pancakes would be good though.
If your DC are fairly young then they might befriend other DCs and go off to the playground leaving you to snooze with the paper.
We sit down and relax while the kids run off into the woods.
Go out for the day - a walk, a NT place, local attraction, beach, whatever.
Come back and make a fire and dinner and sit round the fire.
They run around and explore the campsite..... you sit outside your tent and drink wine....
During the day, you do the same as if you were staying in a hotel : visit the beach, local attractions etc....
Like Marj says, everything takes so much longer, that breakfast starts with tea, then maybe a trip to the camp shop for eggs, then cooking it, eating it, washing it up..... that frankly we never get going anywhere till about 11am..
Relax, eat, drink and relax some more.
We tend to go away with several other families. The kids run off and play. The make wands or swords out of sticks, build dens, get together with other kids and play ball games etc.
We do have a stove, but we tend to cook on open fires now as its quicker (once the fires going) and less to take. Also nicer in some way.
As mentioned above, everything does take longer, whether its cooking, washing up making tea! It's just good to get away from everything
we usually take sports equipment - bats and balls, racquets, etc. THere is usually somewhere to kick a ball or fly a kite on a campsite. We also take cards and games for the evenings.
We dodn't stay on a campsite all the time though, usually go out for walks, bike rides, beaches, trips to local attractions or towns. We treat the campsite as a base for a holiday, and go out from there. Depends on the age of your DC, some will be happy just to play round the tent and go to the playpark, but as they get older they may want to do more.
When the DC were very young we used to take a small inflatable paddling pool. This was in sunny bits of France though.
Also a ball, a kite, and games like Yahtzee and Uno that didn't need a big table or good light to play.
Oh good, I like the sound of slowing down.
I can find endless ways to amuse myself, that's no bother. Just wondering what to bring for all of us.
So cards, maybe a kit, ball,
iPads for starters.
We camp near the sea, so swimming, cliff walking
to the nearest resort so the kids can play on the arcade Hence we only camp in summer
We use the site as a base, and tend to go out during the day. Evenings are spent relaxing with wine. We do easy food, like tinned curry with ready cooked rice, pasta with cheese/tomato sauce, and we have a small bbq and cook chicken, sausages and burgers. Our staple is pancakes (ready cooked) sausages and syrup for breakfast. I also bake potatoes before we go and heat them up in the bbq on the first or second night.
We buy cheap poundland bats/balls etc. and take uno and cards.
Food-wise, we always have a bbq in the evening and a cooked breakfast(eggs, bacon etc) and just have a small lunch out during the day. We will have a couple of meals out at restaurants (have a favourite fish restaurant in Dorset, we have to visit!)
Camping is like playing house for grown-ups. You spend time and money finding stuff to make your playhouse all nice and talking about it on MN and ukcampsite. Then you play at living in it.
Cooking dinner or making a cup of tea is much more fun when you do it in your basic toy kitchen than doing it in your boring old well-equipped kitchen at home.
One of the best things for us is that the dc seem to just love playing in and around the tent. They entertain themselves and get on so much better than at home. Mine love playing lego, which is apparently much more exciting in a tent , so we take loads of it. Plenty of books and drawing/colouring stuff seem to go down well too.
Although ds' favourite things last time were a plastic cricket stump (used as a light sabre, obvs) and those stretchy, hooked bungee rope things, which he used for abseiling in and out of the open car doors. Odd child.
My 2 DC spent the WHOLE weekend a couple of weeks ago playing on a rope swing and getting muddy. We sat around cooking and chatting, checking out other people's kit.
Quenelle - you are spot on!
I drink wine and read while the dc frolic merrily in the woods and streams (or sneak into the car to charge the ds, sometimes).
then we go out and do normal holiday stuff - beach, cycling, watersports, trips to places. Whatever we'd do if self-catering or in a hotel.
Make a bolognese sauce and freeze it. Pack it in the coolbox frozen and it'll help keep everything cool and will stay cold/a bit frozen until at least the second night. All you have to do is cook pasta and reheat the sauce.
Lots of cakes freeze well, so you can do the same with them. Lemon drizzle works really well.
We always stay in places where there is stuff to do nearby but lots of time is taken up by the kids running around and playing with other kids in nearby tents.
Last year and this year we are staying here - it is a bit more expensive but has all the entertainment you need included in the price. The park shuts to the public at 6 so it is great fun to wander down and play on the almost empty playgrounds after dinner. They also do lots of activity days during the hols which are free and they do lunch for the kids.
The campsite is set away from the main park but is just a 5 min walk down a path.
We have also stayed in Dorset and done things like Monkey World.
Ha ha Quenelle, I love your post.
Ok I'm proper excited now. Thank you all.
We're going with another MNer whose posting name I don't know, wonder if she'll read this? <waves>
Personally I seem to spend most of my time swatting midges & picking bits of dead grass off my legs. Have fun though! I am so looking forward to DD being old enough to go camping, she is only 13m at the moment so a bit young yet.
We go to the beach during the day. At night we light a fire, cook our food and sit out in our chairs drinking wine and looking at the shooting stars whilst we chat.
I'm really liking all this talk of drinking wine and looking at the stars.
It's forecast to rain. Am now fantasising about going off camping alone so I don't have to play Uno <bad mother>
Oh yes Oblongata - solo camping sounds very appealing doesn't it?
I went solo camping last summer.
Bliss. I went walking during the day, along the S Downs.
I think a lot depends on what kind of campsite you prefer. The more 'wild camping' style with a fire, or a place with a pool, bar, playground. IME if you have a fire, that is all you need. And the kids run about til ready to drop, then sit round the fire talking, then go to bed.
I'm with blu re wild camping. I've been to one holiday park and it was he'll on earth for me. But you need to decide what kind of camping you want to do. A good website to look at is www.ukcampsie.co.uk you can filter the kind of place you're looking for and read the reviews.
Bugger, try again [www.ukcampsite.co.uk]]
My DS is 8, if it's just me and him, he does have to help with washing up fetch water and wash his filthy socks. I tend to let him run off with the other children when there are some nearby though. He'll spot the site play ground on the way in and make a beeline to it. If not that, there'll be a ditch, forest, sand, sticks etc.
I usually take a small beach ball, frizbees which double as plates, a pack of playing cards and some finger puppets. If you're carrying your stuff, make the DC carry at the least, their own clothes, sleeping bags and toys, that way they will understand why they can't take everything .
You can make a cake out of pancakes layered up with filling in between and covered in cream or icing. I saw a camping hack idea for preparing pancake mix with powdered milk in a plastic milk bottle, just add egg and water and shake! You can also make an easy 'cake' with sweetened whipped cream (you can apparently 'whip' it by shaking in a screw top jar) spread on gingernuts and sandwiched together to make a log. Wrap with foil and chill (a frozen carton of juice or wine makes a good ice block for the cool bag), leave overnight if possible then cover with cream and serve. It's a Christmas Log recipe with cocoa added to the cream but you could vary this. The biscuits go soft like cake .
How about some popcorn? I improvised with the DC's request for chocolate popcorn and tipped some instant hot chocolate over it after it was popped.
Oh those all do sound delicious!
Camping was great. We were well fed and as predicted the kids all ran around with the other kids in the same field.
We had enough sunshine and good company. I can't wait to do it again
Brilliant! Thanks for update, OP.
My son likes to whittle sticks with his pocket knife (which he is only really allowed to use when we are camping). He also likes to kick about with a ball etc. He's very anti social so doesn't tend to want to hang out with other kids, and we normally camp in remote areas anyway where less families go. I much prefer basic camping to the resort style sites full of caravanners [www.coolcamping.com] has some good off the beaten track sites listed.
For food, we freeze water and put into the cool box as they last longer than freezer packs and you also get a nice cold drink on a hot day. We take stuff for a fried breakfast for one day and then a bottle of pancake mix for the second and lots of fresh fruit, bread etc. usually it's sarnies for lunch with cake we have taken with us and then either a defrosted pre cooked hot meal in the evening (again helps to chill cool box better) or a pub dinner.
I was worried my ds wouldn't have enough to do in the eves and that would cut into chill out time, but he was v happy tending the fire until 11pm when we all went to bed and he even rewarded us by sleeping in until 9am both mornings, unheard of!
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