Camping alone with kids(29 Posts)
Any mums camped alone with kids? (tent as opposed to caravan) Thinking ahead to the summer holidays when my husband will still be working but I could take the kids camping on my own. I have a few niggly concerns about safety though, as I think I might feel a bit vulnerable on our own at night. If any of you have done it, have you any tips or advice?
We started in the garden and built up from there: friends’ gardens, family’s gardens then a campsite in our city, then another one a bit further until eventually we are going camping on a fairly remote island this summer!
My kids are 6 and 9 now. They were 3 and 6 when we started in the garden.
I refuse to let my kids miss out on things just because I ended up a single parent.
Take a bucket with you to save night time trips to the toilets. That way you don’t have to leave dc on their own in the tent.
I've done it. I bought a canvas bell tent for ease of setting up (though it's actually quite tricky and fiddly for me) and the DC have a blast. I find it less than relaxing, however, and have avoided taking them for the past few years! I have a comfy bed though so that helps.
Do it! Choose your tent carefully, buy a toilet bucket thing (I line mine with bags and Tesco value nappies - wee only though) and plenty of torches and lamps for nights. I bought 2 double SIMS, fleecy teddy toppers and fleecy duvets and the three of us snuggle in.
Me too - again was going to say to get a portapotty thing.and leave a glow stick next to it.
Done it a few times and love it! Kids fall asleep really easily after a camp fire. Bring a bottle of wine for a relaxing glass yourself when they fall asleep and then get an early night!
How old are your DCs? I've done it at varying ages but when the DCs are old enough to go to the pool on their own is really quite relaxing. I would suggest you go to a site rather than wild camping.
How do you manage when you want to take a shower? When we've camped before (with hubby) I liked to shower really early in the morning before the bathrooms got busy. I wouldn't like to do that if I was on my own and the kids were still in bed.
Go later and take them with you. Depends on their ages.
Ha- goose, I read that as "kids fall asleep really easily after a bottle of wine"
I've done it in the garden, so we could access loo easily, but I haven't taken them to a site yet.
Ive done it with mine, the last time i was also pregnant. I ended up buying a smaller tent that i could put up by myself. We were next to a river and it was all very stressful, even though I could rely on them not to go in. I bought them walkie talkies so they could have a wander or I could go do the dishes and they could check in. We ended up cutting it a night short due to inconsiderate campers partying all night, their dogs (on a dog free site) barking all night, and someone using a quad bike to go up and down to the loo in the night instead of the ooooh 3minute walk. Bunch of fuckers. Apart from that it was great!
Yes, ive done it since they were 2 and 4. Normally just on small campsites (less than 20 pitches) so I can keep an eye on them easily. It’s hard work when they are tiny as you have to go everywhere together.
- I had a tent that I could just about manage to put up myself. When they were wee, they had to stay in the car and listen to a story while I put it up. Now they get to ‘help’ by holding the pegs, unrolling the guys.
- Healthy eating goes out the window. We eat whatever is easy.
- iPads and headphones loaded with iPlayer for early morning wakers(an electric hookup is now a requirement!)
- I only go for 2 nights when I’m on my own. I start getting sleep deprived after that.
Find a site with a family bathroom. These are bigger, and so you can all just go in at once. I always take the youngest in with me, sort him out and have a quick shower myself. We go early too, when my eldest is still in bed and then I send him off once we're back. Works well. You'll find your own routine though. Hugely depends on age of your children.
Caravan and camping club sites have family bathroom so you can all go in together or even take in buggy while you shower. Worth a look?
Go for it with lots of torches and bag of cheap batteries.
Thanks girls for all your replies. Kids are 7. Any of you feel vulnerable/worried, etc being alone in a tent at night? Any safety concerns?
No, not worried at all. Our tent's sleeping area sleeps 3 (me + 2 kids). We all have compulsory wax earplugs and blindfolds 😂. Plus lovelt quechua extra wide camp beds with SIMs on top.
Kidss go on LH side. Anyone teying to get in would have to tackle my sleeping form first...
A really smaĺl, quiet site is probably your friend. If you are in south or south west london I have an ace suggestion.
All go to bed at same time, makes thi gs way easier. Toilet bucket so you dont need to leave the tent. Job done.
I have occasionally had a slight worry about whether we are safe but that’s just my anxiety and I’ve never had any problems! To be honest, people tend to keep an eye out for you, it’s very lovely.
Thanks everyone - you've all convinced me. I'm going to do it!
I've done it but with another single female friend and her son in their own tent next door.
I've never had any cause to feel unsafe at night, have only ever met nice people, nobody who's made me uncomfortable at all.
Like others said, choose a fairly small site, you'll usually get very friendly fellow campers
You will be just fine! I have camped all alone, just me, in a woodland campsite, and was perfectly safe.
Campsites are really safe places - you can hear other people snoring, so any yell for help would be instantly answered! I have never heard of anything happening to campers (tho' someone will now google and find a very very rare event).
Just think through how you will accomplish each task. Get the kids involved where possible and make it fund: joint trips to the washing up sinks etc. Keep catering simple and standards low . It is quite hard work camping alone and looking after kids.
Make camping an activity in itself, iyswim. 'When we are camping er do this' - give them roles and jobs. 7 year olds can definitely help with getting the tent up, bedding out etc.
Have something quiet they can do in the tent when they wake up early.
DD and I did it, when she was 10 and 11. She had been camping with Cubs (I'm one of the leaders) but DH won't camp anymore so we had a girls adventure.
If anything, it was better as she took on loads of responsibility - we were on a Scout site the first year, and she went off getting the wood all the time (we were allowed open fires) and water and I knew she was safe there to roam. We went to a public site the following year (can't go this year as her summer is totally booked up and Scout camp is 10 days - but hopefully again next year).
I have already done it a few times. My kids are having fun! Though to us parents it's a bit scary because we want them to be safe all the time. Just keep an eye to them while having fun as well.
My husband isn't a fan of camping, so I've camped quite a few times with the kids since they were 3 & 7, so the 7 year old was old enough to help with the tent and the little one was a "Wind Defeater" and had to sit in certain places to stop things blowing away. We tend to go for at least 3 nights because it is more work putting the tent up and down without another adult, down is worse, so for the effort I need 3 nights.
I'd echo what others have said about picking a small campsite, (20 pitches or less) that way you tend to get to know everyone at least by sight and you can see the kids whereever they wander to. They usually end up all playing in the middle of the field with the other kids.
I find campers are really helpful and friendly so when I was struggling to try to put an awning up (which was neither use nor ornament so a waste of time and effort) people came over to help me. I've always ended up spending the evenings talking & drinking with other people on the campsite too while all the kids have played together.
The bonus about not taking the husband is I can fit more things in the car.
This year we've booked to go back to a campsite we've been to for 3 years in a row already and I know at least 2 families from last year will be there at the same time.
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