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Camping on my own with DC

(10 Posts)
Tailtwister Sun 02-Feb-14 16:57:35

We are splitting our holidays this year to cover DS's 8 week (!) summer break. I've opted to spend some of 'my' time camping, but I'm starting to freak out about the practicalities of being the sole adult.

The boys will be 4 and 6 by the time we go, so not tiny. However, I've been worrying about how I'll do everything safely on my own. Usually DH or I will watch the DC whilst the other gets things done (puts up tent etc). I'm hoping I can rope the boys in to help and keep them occupied that way, I would welcome any advice from seasoned solo campers.

What do you do if you need the loo in the night? I don't feel comfortable leaving the children sleeping in the tent. I'm thinking the travel potty would work (the one with disposable liners)? Should I be concerned about camping on my own with the children from a safety point of view? We're going to be staying on a National Trust site, so there will be good facilities and we'll be on the family field.

All tips welcome. I don't want to sound completely pathetic, but I am a worrier!

MrsPnut Sun 02-Feb-14 21:11:57

I regularly camp on my own with dd2 (7) and she is great at helping to put the tent up and sorting out the beds.

I really wouldn't worry about going to the toilet at night, you can either ask to have a pitch near the loos or you can use a bucket with a lid (with a bag of cat litter in it). I do go to the toilet at night and leave dd2 in the tent if she's asleep but most of the camp sites we go to are fairly small and campers are on the whole a nice bunch.

BrianTheMole Sun 02-Feb-14 21:16:40

You could always leave the children in the car if you need to whilst you put up the tent. You normally can park next to your pitch. If you're near the toilets you shouldn't have a problem, although a porta potty would be useful for the kids anyway. I wouldn't be concerned about safety on a family field particularly.

Tailtwister Mon 03-Feb-14 08:03:42

Thanks for the replies. Keeping them in the car when I pitch the tent is an excellent idea although I can imagine they'll protest somewhat. I will give it a go though.

The toilet paranoia stems from when I was small and on a family camping holiday in France. My brother and I were asleep in the awning whilst our parents were a few vans away having dinner. A man came into our tent and I woke up whilst he was there. Nothing untoward happened and looking back I actually think he was a bit pissed and tried to get into the wrong caravan, but it freaked me out and still does tbh. I think I'll go to potty route and as you say, it will be useful for the children anyway.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 03-Feb-14 10:51:15

I would agree that a porta potti is great for night time wees for children. For you, the bucket route is probably best. We buy special powder called 'poo powder' (http://www.thepett.co.uk/pooh.html) which neutralises odours. It is pricey but the container is compact and each one lasts for ages. I am sure cat litter works just as well though.

I don't blame you being a bit cagey about leaving the children after that experience when you were a child, Tailtwister - how terrifying.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 03-Feb-14 11:29:09

I often camp with my two (now 5&7) and have done since the littlest was 2. When they were smaller, they had to sit in the car and listen to stories while I was getting the tent up but now they are allowed out and get to pass me the pegs etc., but it's been drummed into them that mummy needs to get the tent up and they need to behave. An iPad or phone loaded up with things from iplayer is a huge help at this point (and at 6am in the morning!!). Other campers will usually offer help with the tent IMO, which is lovely.

I am fine being on my own, security-wise. I pick my sites carefully, opting not to go to places that are really busy. I have 3 or four sites that I now know and we rotate around them, a seaside one, a forest one, one near an attraction we like etc. I try to pick ones where there are wardens on site in case I have a problem. Sites with family bathrooms are helpful too. This sometimes means staying in more expensive sites to get those things but I think it's worth it.

Also, I only do a max of 3 nights. I get too sleep-deprived after that!

Back2Basics Mon 03-Feb-14 11:38:43

Op you need camping pods... They are wicked.

No putting tents up, they usually have a loo just for the pods use behind them and they're about £35 a night. Oh they have electric and a heater to.

intheenddotcom Mon 03-Feb-14 20:35:01

I camp on my own all the time - never worried about safety. After all - tent walls are thin so all you have to do is scream.

As for the loo - go au natural ;).

NowRising Wed 05-Feb-14 10:03:34

I camp all the time with DC & have done since they were 3. Never locked them in the car - they help pass pegs, poles etc. We wend to go to the loo before bed & if I need to go in the night, I'd just go in the bushes either to the toilets or in a bucket

YellowDinosaur Thu 06-Feb-14 11:18:00

I've camped on my own with the boys loads too. They are 7 and 6 now and I've been going on our own for the last couple of years.

We have a pop up tent so it's really easy to put that up in seconds and then they help peg it in. And we have a luggable loo (basically a big bucket with a toilet seat on) and use blue diamond 'nature calls' chemicals in it to neutralise smells.

We tend to go to pretty basic site, one of which has no facilities, and is great for them as they have the freedom to run and explore while I sort the rest out and get the fire lit. Do it!

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