- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sled Dog Racing
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Camper Van Adventures
- Sailing Adventures
- Shetland Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- South West
- South East
- Channel Islands
- East Anglia
- North West
- North East
- South Wales
- Mid Wales
- North Wales and Anglesey
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Mainland Scotland
First Camping Trip
About 3 hundred years ago (!), pre-kids, Jon and I used to camp most weekends. We had a little 2-man tent that took 3 minutes to erect and some storage crates of camping kit we could grab in seconds after arriving home from work, sling in the boot with some clothes and climbing gear and be off.
Nowadays with 3 minxes, the only similarity is where we put everything: our 5 man tent takes at least 30 minutes to erect, it takes hours to pack enough clothes for us all, and we need quite a few storage crates of kit (2 ring gas stove, biiiiig frying pan, plates for 5, brew kit, etc).
We tried to go camping earlier in the year, but felt jinxed – twice after making firm bookings, it snowed heavily, and the time after that there were sudden floods in the area. Whilst that’s fine for adults or seasoned child campers, we felt it would be pretty miserable for the girls before we’d had a chance to brainwash them that camping’s fun. So it was with great trepidation that I booked a short trip at a campsite a few hours’ drive away – far enough that we had different things to see and do, but close enough to quickly return home if our jinxed visit triggered a surprise hurricane.
It’s probably no surprise to you that we actually had great fun! The spotless campsite (Deeside Holiday Park http://www.holiday-parks.co.uk/index.php?page=deeside) was busy but very, very quiet. Luckily we chose to camp our behemoth tent in the adjoining tent field that we had to ourselves, and which kept the squealing, shrieking, chattering and general minx cacophony to a minimum for the other campers.
The girls loved feeding the ducks in the safely fenced off duck pond and racing around the brilliant play area. It also made a fantastic base from which to explore Aberdeen and the east coast, which I’ll rave about in another blog post. But did we get any sleep? Em... no, not much!
In the last pic you can see 2 year old Mini helping Jon properly open the ventilation vents the next morning (oops), and that he already has coffee on the go: good man!
Some of the lessons we learned about camping with our 3 little girls:
- When you forget to bring cutlery and plates (!), a suitably minxy breakfast is instant hot chocolate and marshmallows.
- There’s no point trying to calm the kids down when it’s still light outside – they’ll bound around until they’re exhausted then finally drop down asleep mid-sentence.
- Very warm fleece PJs are a great idea for chilly nights, and they dry very quickly when you spill things on them...
- Stories on your iPhone minimise night-time book-packing weight.
- Give the kids torches to play with by all means, but don’t use fresh batteries – then you have a chance of them running out before morning and them actually sleeping
- Sleep deprivation will only get worse when camping – don’t even try to catch up on sleep.
- My essentials for a fun time camping: coffee, wellies, potty/bucket for night-time child use, coffee, real pillows, coffee, wipes and spare toilet roll, extra tent pegs. And don’t forget the coffee!