The other day on a school run, when the kids and I were walking in the rain, rain coats on and still soaked through to the bone, Harry randomly said ‘I wish I was snuggled up in a sleeping bag in a tent right now listening to the rain’! His memories of rainy mornings spent under canvas are obviously very vivid and I totally got what he meant…
There are some people that pull a funny face when I tell them that we love going camping with the kids. Like a sort of dissaproving ‘why on earth would you like camping?’ kind of look! Don’t get me wrong, glamping is awesome and I would never say no to a yurt with log burning fire in it…but I’m talking about standard camping.
Both my husband and I have done our fair share of setting up camp, whether it be whist travelling, girl guides, Duke of Edinborough, festivals etc.. and when we had Harry, our interest in plotting under the stars in a field never diminished! Camping with children is GOOD FUN and totally inexpensive.
Aside from the novelty of sleeping under canvas in the outdoors, where you are breathing in the freshest of air, going to bed when its darker than dark outside, hearing owl and bird noises so clearly they could almost be in the tent with you, creating bonfires and playing ball games in your Pyjamas… these are the holidays that give you: real.quality.family.time.
Over the last few years, we’ve collected the essential camping gear we need which we tend to add to each time. We are however in need of a bigger tent as we seem to have outgrown ours already! We’ve only taken Stanley camping once, but now that he’s a walking, talking, maker of trouble kinda guy, space in a tent is kind of essential. Especially when its pouring with rain and you’re stuck in the tent until it subsides, space is needed for a handful of toy cars to be ‘driven’ around while mummy and daddy try and catch a few more winks 😉
We love nothing more than driving down to the South West, to be by the coast. But the cost of hotels and such accomodation can often stretch you and yet pitching up a tent in a site or holiday park is totally inexpensive, setting you back roughly £15 p/night. I’m not going to lie, camping gear plus all the additional paraphernalia takes up SPACE. Space in your house (we have it all squished everywhere!) and space in your car. We don’t exactly travel light either. We always take blow up beds, pillows, duvets, sleeping bags, battery powered lights, toys and all the essential kit.
Aside from your self-made accomodation, you can’t beat being in a field, so your children can literally throw on a hoody and wellies over their pyjamas, grasping balls and kites, and escape the tent for a good run and play. Meanwhile daddy gets the breakfast on the camping stove (sausages, bacon, eggs) and mummy walks to a nearby bathroom block to ‘freshen up’ (hairdryer’s are pretty basic most of the time and often have a pathetic ‘blow’!) and returns to put the kettle on.
Most campsites are open until the end of October, then close for the winter. We’ve camped out in all seasons. The days are long and fun because the children are alive and free. You get to witness sunrise and sunset on most days and as long as you’re equipped, you can get through any weather 😉