Camping with children – a moment of magic or mayhem? We’ve heard lots of split opinions on the topic so decided to take our Little Ankle Biters away for a night sleeping under the stars in the great British outdoors… Ok, it was actually a very well organised camping night on the school playing field, but it was a great introduction for us and something we’ll definitely be repeating.
If you’re thinking of packing up the tent, sleeping bags and a good eye mask then we’ve got some ideas here to help keep you sane, the kids having fun, and all having a good night’s sleep. Obviously you don’t need all these things, and I take my hat off to anyone who camps as nature intended, but if you’d rather glamp than camp, then this is for you.
1. You’ll want to invest in a decent tent
I should start by saying I didn’t follow my own advice here and so you’re hearing this from someone who spent 24 hours stooped in a tent not really even big enough for little old me, let alone 2 little ones who fidget more in the night than I ever thought possible. I was with other, more organised, smarter parents than myself and had some serious tent envy by bedtime. So look for something with one or two (or three depending on your budget) sleeping areas and a separate ‘living space’ which will be great for storing the thousands of bags you’ll have for the ridiculously short period of time you’re there. Camping with kids isn’t a pack light affair. A living area will also be priceless if you get rain, and let’s face it, chances are it will happen!
Here are some great options from Camping World online.
2. An air bed is essential if you want a comfy sleep
Unless you’re a fan of sleeping on a cold hard floor, and hey each to their own, I’d definitely recommend getting an air bed (and a pump to get that bad boy up). You can get singles and doubles depending on the tent layout you go for and many start at very reasonable prices. Make sure you always give them a go before leaving to check for any punctures or issues with inflating. It’s also worth packing some ground mats or similar that you can put down in the living area of the tent for some added comfort and protection for your belongings.
Click here to shop yourself into a cosy camping experience.
3. It’s all about the lighting
Whether you’re looking to set the right ambiance or just want to make sure the 2am dash to the loo doesn’t end you up in A&E, lighting is another essential for a family camping trip. We took a torch that could be hung up in the tent and also carried to help guide the perilous journey to the port-a-loo. We also took some of our garden solar lights and popped them in the ground around the tent to add some lighting outside. Don’t forget to pack some spare batteries too!
To have a look at a great range of tent lights, lanterns and torches, click here.
4. A Cosy Seating Arrangement
Don’t forget some chairs and maybe even a table for putting food and drinks on, especially handy when you’re camping with children. We really like the picnic style tables with chairs attached which fold flat and are really compact too. Another great option are the classic collapsible picnic chairs with a drink holder in the arm.
Whether you’re thinking luxury or back to basics, click here to check out a range of furniture items.
5. The Family that Plays Together, Stays Together
A selection of outdoor games for the little ones (and not so little ones) will turn your camping trip into a fun and sociable trip, and totally tiring them out may help towards getting that good nights sleep. The possibilities are endless here, but some of our favourites are; a cricket set, scooters or bikes, football and travel nets, a frisbee, a small paddling pool if there’s a option to fill it, giant jenga, a kite, and a sports day kit.
The Entertainer has some great outdoor games, click here to shop now.
6. Snuggle up, baby
The key to a sound sleep in a tent is warmth. A good quality sleeping bag will keep everyone toasty throughout the night and even helps to keep fidgety little ones less fidgety. And sleeping bags are part of the camping experience, children will love the novelty of sleeping in one as well.
Sleeping bags come in adult and child sizes. To have a look now and buy online, click here.
7. Think like a Girl Guide and Be Prepared while Camping
Camping and enjoying the outdoor life can leave little ones susceptible to bumps and bruises. We always pack a mini first aid kit wherever we’re travelling, they’re compact, lightweight and get us out of lots of little scrapes and cuts. We like the LittleLife Family First Aid Kit which is £20.00 and includes; brave little star stickers, sudocrem, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, vinyl gloves, nappy sacks, micropore tape, antiseptic wipes, a range of dressings and bandages, plasters, safety pins and much more. Click here to get yours now.
Also don’t forget to pack… some marshmallows and sticks for toasting, a disposable BBQ if allowed, and loo roll! Have a great time.
We really hope you found this post useful, If you’d like to see ideas for days out with the kiddies in Buckinghamshire, please click here.