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Camping with a family - your tips please

(24 Posts)
dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 14:54:43

DH and I used to camp a lot in our younger years, but it was basic 3 man tent, roll mat and sleeping bag affair, hiking between campsites next to pubs with our rucksacks etc. So we are not camping novices.

However we have now decided for the next few years camping holidays are probably a good idea again so we have traded in our lightweight 3 man for a substantial air tent but I was wondering if people had tips for making camping as a family enjoyable?

Kids are 4 and 18months.

OP’s posts: |
BigMamaFratelli Wed 29-Jul-20 14:56:33

Blackout linings. And wine.

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 14:58:20


Blackout linings. And wine.

Our fancy new tent comes with blackout bedrooms!

And I've already packed the bottle opener!

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Feralkidsatthecampsite Wed 29-Jul-20 15:03:02

All in one waterproof suits for the dc. Those light weight kagool type.
Air beds with sides and proper dc sleeping bags!!
And patience.
Lots of it.

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:05:47

Love the name Feralkidsatthecampsite I'll take a look at those airbed. We'd just planned on SIMs like us, but I imagine kids slide off them!

OP’s posts: |
BrieAndChilli Wed 29-Jul-20 15:06:28

When mine were that young - a potty so you didn’t have to traipse to the loo in the middle of the night

Portable fire pit

Kids camping chairs

Lots of duvets/blankets


Camp kitchen to help keep organised

Glow sticks

Kids magazines with those free toys on - doesn’t matter if get lost broken and help keep them amused

Feralkidsatthecampsite Wed 29-Jul-20 15:07:39

We have just returned from a trip and I nc to suit my ranting mode post holiday!!
Camp away from anyone else is a good tip..
Ds is nearly 6 and plenty of room left on his airbed!! From go outdoors..

ShivD Wed 29-Jul-20 15:08:26

A potty for night time wee or one of these-

Inflating mats are a million times more comfortable than blow up mattresses.

Our new tent had blackout rooms, we used it for the first time last week. Total camping game changer.

Good lights, some storage, slip on shoes for showers.

Use the fly next part of doors to keep the bugs out during the day.

Some sort of shade that isn’t the tent is good if it’s going to be super hot as tents are like saunas during the day and your pitch might not have any.

I’ll be back if I think of more.

dicksplash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:08:30

There is a fab facebook group for camping - annoyingly its always in my feed and now I can't find it.

Tip my brother gave me is fill a plastic box with a lockable lid with the following (off top of head):
Washing up bowl
Washing liquid
Tea towels
Tin foil/cling film
Dust pan and brush
Shampoo/conditioner/shower gel - we also have a bottle of sun cream in ours
Plastic plates, cups, cutlery
Salt and pepper
Ketchup is useful
Bin bags
Rubber mallet- i want to by another one as we spend to long waiting for the other to finish
Playing cards
Bottle opener/tin opener
One sharp kitchen knife
Chopping board
There are more kitchen things but depends if you intend to cook or not

I'm sure there are things I've missed. The idea is this box has all the basics which stay in the camping box so you don't have to remember what you need each time and take the box (or boxes as we now have).

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:15:55

These are great thanks.

Yes, I'd planned a "camping pack" that we didn't touch but not with everything suggested so thanks.

We have a week booked in August but no EHU as there were none left, so I'll add batteries to the list! And a power pack for charging phones.

OP’s posts: |
SleepyPaws Wed 29-Jul-20 15:17:23

Electric hook up if you haven't already got one. We use to take a kettle and toaster with us and also a plug in cool box and a heater for cooler nights.
Camping toilet especially for the little ones.
Microfibre towels/tea towels/hair turban, dry quicker especially if it's not that sunny.
Flip flops for the showers
High raised air beds or good quality self inflating mats
Sure there will be lots of other suggestions. Enjoy!

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:18:12

Inflating mats are a million times more comfortable than blow up mattresses.

DH and I have got really good SIMs, not got kids beds yet, but I think airbeds with sides is the way to go.

OP’s posts: |
dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:20:10

SleepyPaws we've bought a EHU but unfortunately no pitches left on the site we are going to so going to have to go old school. We've got an electric cool box though and it can run off the 12v in the car (separate rear one with extra battery) so not too bad.

I'm a good cook but intend to pre-cook stews and freeze, partially to help the freezer box stay cool but also to reduce stress.

OP’s posts: |
SleepyPaws Wed 29-Jul-20 15:22:14

@dotdashdashdash oh that's a shame, sounds like you've got it all figured out though. Sure you'll have a wonderful time.

MoaningMinniee Wed 29-Jul-20 15:27:14

Crocs for wet morning grass and late night outside trips. Something to wee in, in private, rather than traipse miles to the loos.

Porch/awning for shade or protection from light rain.

Spare corkscrew and bottle opener etc and MORE WINE!

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 15:50:36

Oh crocs! I hate crocs!

OP’s posts: |
CeibaTree Wed 29-Jul-20 15:53:53

We just spread out a double sim and a large single one and make one big bed for all of us - we use sheets and duvets as they are much warmer than sleeping bags and you share the body heat of everyone who is under the duvet with you. I'd suggest taking a hot water bottle to warm up the bed for the DC before bedtime. Also get everyone into their PJs just before dusk as it is not much fun having to get dressed once the the temperature starts to drop.

We recently bought an Outwell Fulmar cool box which keeps things cold for about 3 days, we just froze some water bottles and the inner bag from a box of wine (which meant we had delicious wine slushies) and topped up with a bag of ice from a supermarket near the campsite. It meant that the DC could have yoghurts and mini sausages etc, and we could have milk for coffee for the duration of our last trip.

If you are used to camping with just a tent and backpack, you'll be shocked about the amount of stuff you need to make family camping comfortable, but it is worth it smile

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 16:08:02

I'm already thinking we are going to need a roof box!

OP’s posts: |
PragmaticWench Wed 29-Jul-20 16:10:36

Battery powered lantern or a string of led lights so you can sort children in the dark without needing to hold a torch.

Slip on shoes for everyone so it's easier to go in and out of the tent without hassle.

A black bin bag tied up somewhere for all rubbish.

A blanket under the airbed to stop the cold coming up from the ground.

We do a communal story time for all the children we camp with, on a blanket outside, just before bed.

Feralkidsatthecampsite Wed 29-Jul-20 16:33:31

Our best but was a camping fridge. Big cool box size but a proper fridge. About 100 quid from Go Outdoors but going strong 5 years and multiple trips on. Great for days out too!

dotdashdashdash Wed 29-Jul-20 21:23:54

I'll take a look, thanks. Currently googling microfiber towels.

OP’s posts: |
frugalkitty Wed 29-Jul-20 21:58:28

Electric hook up, and use a portable induction hob for cooking.
Hot water bottles for bed.
Ear plugs!
Don't try to keep to normal bedtime routines, let them stay up later and go to bed when it's dark.
Make sure you know how to pack your tent back down and think about how to pack into the car.
Don't worry if the first trip is a bit of a disaster, you'll learn from it!
When you get back make a list of everything you took, and anything you need to take next time.
Lots of snacks.
First aid kit.
I take a fabric Ikea kallax box for each kid (three teens) for their clothes and wash bags to go in.
Lots of torches! And spare batteries

dotdashdashdash Thu 30-Jul-20 06:27:08

Ikea kallax boxes are a great idea!

OP’s posts: |
frugalkitty Tue 04-Aug-20 13:59:21

Yes, they fold flat so take up little room in the car/trailer, and then pop up for storage in the tent. A flash of inspiration last year that worked a treat!

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