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Creating a cosy holiday home...

(11 Posts)
badger2005 Mon 15-Jul-13 11:14:08

Just been camping for 1 night with dh, ds (7) and dd (5). Dh and me used to really enjoy camping, and didn't really bother much about e.g. the ground being hard under our rubbish sleeping mats! Ds also seemed to love camping, but dd seems less convinced. She is very keen on being at home, and generally on cuddles, cosiness, furry teddy bears... you get the picture!
We need to like camping, because it is affordable! And we have a ferry booked to go to France this summer, and we were planning to camp... What can I do to make the tent more cosy for her? More comfortable and homely? And nicer to sleep in?
Our tent pole broke on our Easy Camp tent, and though we mended it with tape, dh is not happy to take it for a week's camping. So either we need to source a new pole, or we could maybe buy a new tent. If so, what sort of tent would be good? Any advice on tents, mattresses, etc would be great. Thank you!

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 15-Jul-13 12:47:39

Well, I would say a bell tent, but they are not everyone's cup of tea, I know grin.

For your daughter, does she have her own ready bed or is she too big for that now? If she is, then you can get airbeds with sides (like a sort of rubber dinghy) and that might make her feel more secure and cosy. You could take her duvet and pillow from home if you have space and, of course, teddies etc too (if she is on an airbed, make sure she has a fleece blanket or something underneath her to insulate her from the cold air rising up from the ground). Her own torch/lamp might make it more exciting for her and also mean she can have light at night if she is concerned.

If you are buying a new tent (and not going for a bell), then I know Outwell used to do special children's pods which were decorated and had fun things to do (like a basketball net I think) so it might be worth checking those out.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 15-Jul-13 12:49:18

This is the sort of airbed I meant:

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 15-Jul-13 12:54:15

And these are the kids' rooms:

badger2005 Mon 15-Jul-13 14:11:09

Hello mummypigsfattummy - thank you so much for getting back to me. I have had a look at bell tents, and I can see that they are much more appealing than our current tent. I have read about some practical benefits, but there is also just the fact that they are pretty. Maybe dh and ds are indifferent between nylon and canvas, but maybe dd cares... actually maybe I care too! I think she would also like the fairy lights I saw in one picture, but maybe I'm going too far now!

Do you have a bell tent? What size is it? And how do you find it?
I like the look of the airbed you linked to as well. I am wondering whether we should switch from sleeping bags to our own normal duvets... do you think this is feasible, or is there are reason why people don't do this.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 15-Jul-13 14:29:00

Hi badger, we do have a belltent yes. We have a 5m and I think this is the perfect size for a family of 4 (we are only 3 but like the space). We love it but you have to decide what sort of camper you are. If you like to be tidy and for everything to have its place and everyone to have their own bedroom, bell tents are probably not for you. You can keep them tidy of course and you can buy inner tents for them but, to be honest, this does defeat the point of them - the feeling of airiness and space.

That said, I would not swap our bell now, even though I do admire all the beautiful family tents out there and I can see their advantages/.

And, whilst you can glamp in any tent, fairy lights, chandeliers, bunting and rugs/cushions etc do seem particularly suited to a bell tent and, yes, I am sure your DD would love all that. We took away our tea light chandelier for the first time a couple of weeks ago and our DD (3 years) spent the weekend taking her little toddler friends in to look at it and to play with the (battery) tea lights. She is definitely a glamper in the making. grin

As to bedding, we take our king size duvet but there is no doubt it takes up a lot more space in the car than sleeping bags would. the jury is out on whether it is as warm as a sleeping bag too. I don't like the cramped feeling of being zipped into a bag but lots of people find them warmer and cosier. So I think, space permitting, it is worth trying the duvet option and seeing how you all get on. But definitely remember some insulation for under you (fleece blanket or an open sleeping bag or something).

happyyonisleepyyoni Fri 26-Jul-13 17:33:31

Would a new pink/character ready bed of her choice seal the deal

hotbot Fri 26-Jul-13 18:18:49

We do duvets and use me of those vacuum packed bags to reduce the room taken up in the car.

Laquila Fri 26-Jul-13 18:29:57

I'd say really the only reason people don't take nice cosy duvets is the space restriction - sleeping bags are much more practical if you've a car full, or if you're backpacking, for example.

I'd definitely recommend getting her a little head torch (pretty much my key camping essential!) and maybe a little inflatable chair or bean bag chair? To be honest, if you're going camping in France this summer she'll probably be won over by excellent facilities at the site and a bazillion other kids to make friends with, but it's nice to make the actual sleeping space as comfy as possible.

MinimalistMommi Sat 27-Jul-13 07:56:58

We have a bell tent and our kids love it because it is super cosy! At night, all the beds go in a row next to each other which they like. We also have three sheep skin rugs scattered around and keep everything tidy. They like playing 'house' and sweeping up dry grass that have been walked in. This is our fourth year in it now. This autumn I'm buying bunting and fairy lights, I've ran out of time (again) this year.

Bell tents do need to be carefully dried but they're worth it. If your holidays are going to be camping from now on, a bell tent would make it extra special. Camping is what we can afford and being in the bell tent makes it a lovely experience. I'm sure bunting etc would swing it for your DD!

stuckonsmallrock Mon 29-Jul-13 13:29:05

We have a Bell Tent and my DD2 has gone from hating camping to loving it! We have a tea light chandelier & rainbow bunting & it makes the tent look gorgeous & so different from our old dark blue 8 man beast of a tent smile

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