For some, the word camping can bring to mind a lovely, wholesome family holiday.
For others, the mere mention of a tent can make them shudder to their very core.
I’m afraid that I fall into the latter category; a combination of childhood memories and too-much-alcohol-not-enough-planning teenage festival experiences have put me off. However friends with young children had reported having an amazing time and as our previous foreign holiday experiences haven’t exactly been amazing, it’s an idea I’m coming round to, especially as we could even take the dog with us.
1) It doesn’t matter if it’s the height of summer, I’m always cold
My advice to anyone going camping is to take as many waterproof/toasty warm blankets as you can. Layers, so you can take them off in the morning when it’s roasting. And welly socks! Living with a Jude
Pack too much warm stuff and if you can, put it in a plastic tub. Nothing worse than sleeping cold and/or wet! Giving up normal
2) Having to trek miles in the middle of the night to have a wee is the pits
Sometimes you don’t get a chance to pitch your tent next to the loos and it can be a bit of a walk. That is my worst nightmare as I always wake up for a wee in the night (TMI?).
Buy a cheap portable loo to use at night. Raising Moonbows
Too embarrassed to pee in a tent?
I was most worried about peeing in the night as I was pregnant so I lined a bucket with nappies. Unfortunately we’d pitched by a flood light so you could see my silhouette squatting. I positioned a chair in front of it and took a book and positioned a chair so it looked like I had gone for an impromptu read in the middle of the night. I’m sure no one was fooled but I felt better. And another ten things
3) Tripping over guy ropes as it gets dark is basically inevitable
Even if you don’t completely take someone’s tent down, it can hurt! A torch is all well and good but if you’re carrying a wash bag and a small child, not so easy.
Buy a headlamp. Great for night-time toilet trips and any other wanderings about, and you can use as an easy reading lamp when in your sleeping bag. Wave to Mummy
And so stylish too!
4) My children will make lots of noise at all hours
…And I will have the burning shame of facing other campers. This does fill me with dread.
Camping is popular with families so campers tend to be a very forgiving bunch. I remember walking my screaming baby miles away from the camp in the early hours of the morning in the dark only to tell another mum in a similar position not to worry about her crying baby upsetting campers as we had all being through it. Most campers understand and are also great for helping you out if they can. Kate on Thin Ice
Don’t underestimate the magical sleepy power than the fresh air and running around all day has on children… The Incidental Parent
Might be wishful thinking, but you never know.
5) We’ll get bored
What on earth do you do in the evening? At least in a hotel you can have a drink, or watch TV, but what do you do when you’re stuck on a campsite without WiFi and the kids are asleep (if they are indeed asleep)? I can’t even remember the rules to rummy.
Go as a group- we love camping but pretty much never go on our own. Then you can share the cooking/washing up etc and someone always fancies a drink Bamm Boo
6) I always pack in a panic
And then forget something. Probably the tent.
Write an inventory well in advance so you can add to it, then tick everything off as you pack it. Mouse, Moo & Me Too
So what are the important things to add to the inventory?
Don’t forget tent pegs. I’ve done this. Take lots of wine. And take a duvet, best thing ever in the rain. Pass the Prosecco Please
Take wet wipes and extra socks. My Family of Roses
Take extra towels. They’re good for soaking up everything and often dry very quickly during the day as your tent will usually become a furnace. LesBeMums
Book with an electric hook up point and take a kettle…sod boiling water on a stove when you wake early and need coffee. Emmy’s Mummy
7) It’s a horrible way to sleep
8) …and it always rains
My favourite tip is to leave bubble mix at home. Apparently, bubbles destroy the waterproofing on tents and make for unhappy campers. Who knew? Mummy alarm
Don’t go for the cheapest kit you can find. Its cheap for a reason. Giving up normal
But when all else fails;
Don’t forget your sense of humour! The British way is to carry on regardless and that’s what you must do. Travelling with Leo
If that has convinced you to give camping a try, check out Halfords Guide to Camping. There is a lot of great advice in there whatever type of camping holiday you’re after, as well as some cracking places to visit. Halfords can be found on Twitter here and Facebook here.