Camping can be a lot of fun for the family.
And a great way to have an inexpensive holiday. One of the best things about camping is that you can decide last minute to have a mini break.
We have some tips and advice on how to make your camping trip the best ever!
When planning your first camping trip you may want to stay a little closer to home. There is nothing worse than travelling several hours away to find camping isn’t for you. There are some great campsites in Kent including The Hop Farm, Thriftwood Holiday Park and Shurland Dale Holiday Park.
Choose a camp site that have good facilities and have a read of the reviews.
Do a little research on what is available in the local area so you can have a few day trips out.
Pitch your tent fairly close to the toilet block, but not too close. If you’re in the New Forest, keep your food well-wrapped because some of those ponies are big and not easy to shoo away when they’ve found your baguette. If you’re going somewhere windy (hellooo North York Moors) buy some extra big tent pegs to prevent a lift-off scenario. Helen Lindop
Take plenty of spare clothes being warm and dry really makes everyone happier. Becky Goddard-Hill
It can get cold at night so make sure you take a warm sleeping bag or even your duvet and plenty of layers.
Don’t sleep straight on the floor buy airbeds to sleep on. You will be warmer and much more comfortable.
If you’re camping with a baby then take a travel cot, they take up a fair bit of room but are a great place to put them down so they’re off the floor if you’re busy with other things. They also keep a mobile baby enclosed so they aren’t crawling off when you aren’t looking. Pippa Ainsworth
Book a table at a nearby pub for your first meal post pitching or take a homemade chilli to heat up with nachos type thing as you won’t feel like cooking. And take plenty of wine. Louise Edwards
Plan your meals in advanced. You may want to eat out a few times or cook every night. Check out what shops are close by before you go. If you don’t have an electric cool box and are away for more than a few days you may want to buy fresh food daily.
Buy your tinned food, cereal and UHT milk before you go away.
Travel with friends: It’s number one for a reason; if you can camp with others who have kids you instantly take away many of your problems by giving your children someone to hang out with. And when the kids are happy and off playing, mum and dad can drink beer. Or in my case, Pimms. Tara Cain
Make and freeze normal dinners like chicken curry etc then use them to keep milk etc cool before having very tasty dinners. Danielle Holmes
Take a lidded plastic box to store your food in. It will stop it get damp and eaten by animals.
Invest in a huge cool box if you can, (they are reasonably priced at camping shops) they are great for storing food out of the way of creepy crawlies and animal visitors even when your ice blocks have thawed. Jennifer Dixon
Invest in a gazebo or a tent with a porch area – you can leave muddy boots and wet clothes out there so they don’t end up making the main tent area filthy. You can also use it for drying swimming kit and cooking under if the weather isn’t great. Kate Fever
Pack well! Make a list and check it twice. Make sure you have your essentials like toilet roll, tent pegs, tea bags etc Monika from Mum on The Brink as The Ultimate Camping List on her blog and you can print it off.
Take a good non-stick frying pan and saucepan.
Pack baby wipes. Useful for everything! Kelly
Don’t forget your wet weather gear, even in summer you may need your wellies and raincoats. Also take plenty of plastic bags for putting wet and dirty clothes in and for rubbish.
Bring games to play at night and entertainment from the children. Ask them to pack a bag with books, a few toys and paper and pens. Handy if it rains and they are bored.
Limit tech time to mornings only, keeps them quiet whilst everyone else is sleeping and for the rest of the day you can enjoy doing ‘Family bonding’ games, walks and adventures together without the interruption of tech toys. Sabina Green
If you don’t have a camping stove, take a portable BBQ. Ban food and drink from the sleeping area. Kids will always spill it. Emma Susan Amy Day
As well as a first aid kit make sure you have an emergency kit like Jax. Think about what you might need to fix your tent and plug a hole.
Practise first. We’re going in 2 weeks, and this weekend had our practice pitching and then supposedly sleeping out. Except after 2.5 hours N had refused to sleep saying it was too scary. I’ve got 2 weeks for him to get used to it. So definitely practise first. Emma Tustian
Keep Doors Closed – You wouldn’t stay at home and leave all the doors wide open so try not to do the same when you camping (unless it is really really hot). Leaving doors open to bedroom areas not only lets bugs and creepy crawlies in, it also lets the warm air out and the cold air in. If you are having to go to sleep in a freezing cold then then you are going to have a bad night sleep. We usually keep the bedrooms closed all day and close off the living area around tea time. It helps us to keep the tent a nice temperature for sleeping. Denise Bell
Let them get dirty – I see so many parents chasing children round camp sites with wet wipes. Embrace the chaos, a little mud never hurt anyone. Alice Langley
Photo from Emmys Mummy from their first camping trip.
What are your top tips for family camping?