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Anyone camped with their DCs as a sole parent?

(69 Posts)
PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 20:36:04

Not sure I've worded that very well, I'm not actually a sole parent but I have a DH who works away a lot of the time. We are just about to buy a campervan, brand new, 4 berth, fridge, hob, grill, heating, toilet. I am hoping to be brave enough to take my two DS away for weekends on my own when DH is working away. I was just wondering if anyone has done this, if they felt happy/confident doing it, and if there are any top tips. We live in Hampshire so can easily access the New Forest, or somewhere along the South Coast. My boys are almost 8 and 13 and are pretty sensible. I'd love to think I can do it, but am a bit apprehensive.

Porpoiselife Fri 17-Mar-17 20:41:43

Sorry no advice! But I'm here to bookmark and steal the suggestions as I'm a sole parent planning on taking my 4 camping this summer (age 3-15) we would be tenting it though!

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 20:51:30

Porpoise that sounds exciting (and very brave!) I have visions of the boys entertaining themselves around the campsite and leaving me to have a peaceful cup of tea and read of my could happen!grin

happy2bhomely Fri 17-Mar-17 20:55:59

With an 8 and 13 yr old? Absolutely!

I've taken 3 of mine, (3, 7, 9) and the only awkward bit is that EVERYONE has to come on the toilet/firewood run.

They were able to hold a tent pole up while I slotted bits together etc.

I have a DH but he's not keen on camping.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 20:58:38

Thanks happy! Yes they're pretty independent, I'm thinking if we just go for a night or two we may not showerblush Good to know you have done it successfully with younger DC.

whojamaflip Fri 17-Mar-17 21:03:30

Yep all the time! Dh is a farmer so is unable to come away with us in the summer - we manage one week away early in the year as a family but I take the dc away a least 3 times on my own. Been doing it for the last 4 years since I youngest was 3 - dc are now 14, 11, 9 and 7.

I always try to choose quiet campsite with basic facilities near a beach or moorland so we can do plenty of walking. Always plan at least one day out to a local attraction and the rest of the time just relax.

The older 2 are great at helping put the tent up and will also take the younger ones to the shower block or toilet if necessary. Food prep and washing up is a group effort and we spend a lot of time in the evening playing card games or ball games or frisbee.

I really enjoy taking the kids away on my own - I find dh tends to be less relaxed than I am when we are away whereas I tend to allow the dc a lot more freedom.

Enjoy your trip!

MyHairNeedsASnip Fri 17-Mar-17 21:04:48

DH has done it since DD was 3 or 4. He takes a padlock for the tent so she can't escape!

fusspot66 Fri 17-Mar-17 21:05:03

I've been in a tent with DC aged 5 and 8 but camped with a friend and her 2 DC aged 6 and 8. The following year the kids actually helped put up the tents. There's honour amongst campers (one hopes). Camper van much more secure than a tent. I wouldn't wander off to the loos alone in the night though. That's what buckets are for!

MyHairNeedsASnip Fri 17-Mar-17 21:05:40

* at night that is. He doesn't keep her locked in all the time grin

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:08:15

Whojamaflip that is very inspiring! Your idea of a good location sounds just like mine. Not a fan of larger busy campsites with 'entertainment '! Card games are up our street too. I'm picturing cosy evenings now!
Thanks for all the replies, it sounds very positive.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:10:08

Ha ha hair that would be a bit extremegrin
Fusspot yes I'm hoping I'll feel safe in the van. I think the loo, although basic, will definitely be good for night time wees!

KarmaNoMore Fri 17-Mar-17 21:13:40

I have camped or better said glamped on my own with DS. I worked well when DS was younger but as he grew up he started finding the countryside boring and the lack of network unbearable (he misses his friends)

Obviously the idea of going to remote places was to spend some family time together undisturbed but when the "are we there yet, mum?" turns into "how many hours before we leave?" It just kills all the joy of itangry

By the way, I never did any massive sites with entertainment but probably DS would have enjoyed those more

midlifenicethis Fri 17-Mar-17 21:15:52

I've done it and in a smaller VW camper with no loo. Kids 5 & 8. It was mostly great fun. Camp sites are generally pretty safe places - fine for them to wander to loos and washing up block together etc. Give them little jobs, get them involved. Also, try to plan in some down time for you so it doesn't turn into a mission. Kids make friends easily on camp sites so they can wander off while you get yourself sorted out to make dinner or sort out the van.

PossumInAPearTree Fri 17-Mar-17 21:16:56

You'll be fine. I tent camped on my own with Dd from when she was about 4yo, then a camper van when she was a bit older, then a caravan.

People on sites are friendly and helpful if you get stuck with anything. My first weekend in the caravan I couldn't work out how to turn the heating on and just asked the neighbour for help.

My tip would be to get breakdown cover. Then if the worst happens you know you'll get rescued.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:18:15

Karma that's why we decided to get the van now, while the boys still want to come. We have previously camped a lot in our old rusty VW but have been without a van or tent for a couple of years. We since done an all inclusive holiday, and a cruise, and they just keep saying they want to go camping again! I guess my 13 yr old is not your typical teenager (yet) he barely uses social media. They do both love their tablets for games but we'll have power so I guess they'll survive.
Kind of want to seize the day.

Wolfiefan Fri 17-Mar-17 21:19:06

At that age absolutely! I have camped alone with a 3 or 4 year old and that was more of a challenge. With two kids when you gets was 4. That wasn't a motorhome either!

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:20:17

Thanks midlife and possum very good to read such positive experiences. I was thinking people are generally helpful and friendly but it still seems a bit of a big step - you have all encouraged me loadssmile

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:21:05

Wolfie so impressed with all of you who have done it with young kids!

AnnettePrice Fri 17-Mar-17 21:22:44

OP, once you get your confidence, you could easily go to France for long weekends esp as your in the south.
The app "aires" is very good for finding places to stop with a camper van if you go over.

BiscuitMillionaire Fri 17-Mar-17 21:22:56

Yes I camped - in a tent - for the first time as a solo parent last summer (had camped before but with ex). It was fine, if hard work at times. Packing up at the end was tiring but I made the kids (11 and 8) help. If you're struggling to put something up some friendly nearby bloke will probably offer to help.

My 'cheat' for my own sanity was getting takeaways or eating out, not cooking every evening. In a campervan it should be a doddle.

megletthesecond Fri 17-Mar-17 21:24:23

Yes. One night, they were 8 & 6.
Stressful and exhausting. Over my dead body will we ever do that again grin .

WyfOfBathe Fri 17-Mar-17 21:26:54

Last summer two of my friends went camping together with their DC (age about 3 - 7). One is a single parent and the others' OH didn't come for whatever reason. From what I heard they had a great time! If you were worrying about coping, maybe you could buddy up with a friend with similar age DC?

At 8 & 13 I'm sure they'll be fine. Guides (10-14) can be taken camping at a ratio of 1:12, if I remember correctly.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:32:05

Steady on Annette that involves driving on the other side of the road and everything grin (but mmmm baguettes, croissants, vin rouge, fromage, I could be persuaded!)
Biscuitmillionaire definitely agree about takeaways and eating out. No washing up for one thing!

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 17-Mar-17 21:32:37

Will look at that app too, thank you.

KarmaNoMore Fri 17-Mar-17 21:32:58

Well, mine is not exactly the typical teenager. Doesn't watch TV, is not interested in Facebook, is practically a bookworm but misses spending time with his friends. He loved cruises and adventure holidays as a child ( he had been to 12 countries by the time he was 3) , but nowadays he can't be excited about trips.

Probably we all over did in in years past, I also hate going away nowadays but really fantasise with travelling again on my own

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