We have been invited to join friends camping this weekend but I'm working on Saturday night. We could go for Friday night only but I don't know if it's worth the hassle. It's a 2 hour drive but to one of my favourite parts of the country.
Any tips for bare-minimum packing and general encouragement gratefully received
Tent, beds, bags, minimal clothes, take food ready made (I've just made chilli tonight in prep for camping next week) or eat out, no towels, miminal wash stuff (would they tolerate a baby wipe/dry shampoo wash?). No table or chairs. I hate to say it, but I think the problem is you need almost as much stuff for one night as 5!
If you get to hang out with them in the day then it would be worth it IMO. Time is much longer to children isn't it?! A 2 hour drive isn't that far either, some people commute that every day don't they? (Although I don't envy them that).
Tent, torch, bedding, minimal clothes, food. You've got a car you'll be fine! I went camping with my ex in France for a summer. No DCs then, but we took everything we needed for 5 weeks including the tent, on a motorbike!
Assuming the weather's nice I expect it'll be great fun for the DCs, enjoy
How much of your friend's camping equipment can you use, eg stove, pans, BBQ, cool box? It would help you cut down if you just needed to take enough plates, cutlery for your family and could cook with your friends. You could also ask to chip in for the food so you don't have to take much yourself.
You could get changed after school then wear those clothes on Sat. Only need to take change of underwear then, and another top at the most. No need for showers, hence no towels, shampoo etc. You can have one when you get home on Sat.
Then you'd be down to tent, airbeds, bedding (put duvets on the bottom and pack everything on top, it flattens them), coats, change of underwear, crockery and wash stuff.
You could also ask the campsite if you could leave late afternoon if there's no-one expected on your pitch on Sat. It'd give you more time there on Saturday and make it more worthwhile.
You don't really need airbeds for just one night. the floor will do.
you don't really need a stove, just heat a bit of water for coffee on a friend's stove and take picnic food.
One tip though, we go backpacking for just a night at a time, last time I took just one pair of trousers. got up to go to the loo at 5am and fell in the stream. Had to walk home in soaking trousers. not idea. You can get too minimal.