Last year Erin decided that she wanted to go camping and I was happy to accommodate this. As a tween and teen growing up, our summer holidays were always on camping sites in France and I have great memories of them. They were by far the most social holidays I have ever had. At night the adults would sit together drinking cheap wine and us teens would be off exploring the site. I made so many friends of all nationalities on those holidays and picked up many pen friends along the way. This was before social media so we wrote letters and some of those holiday friends became firm friends which I kept in touch with for many years. As a result of this, I have always been keen to experience this type of holiday with my family.
As I made plans for a summer camping trip with Erin I knew that I needed to be prepared and I turned to Halfords who have compiled top 25 campsite activities and given some in depth tips on spotting wildlife and becoming a stargazing pro. You can see their tips by checking out the Halfords guide to camping with the kids.
We invited our friends to come with us and even had a practice go at putting our tent up in the garden. This enabled Erin and Imogen to see the tent and understand what it was like inside. Our first camping experience was not wild camping as I thought that maybe too adventurous for our first attempt. Instead, we opted to camp at a festival and enjoy all on trappings of convenience too.
Camping Fail 1
Our first fail was assuming we could do a food shop as we got near the festival. However we lucked out as couldn’t find a near supermarket and therefore ended up buying from a local shop which lacked choice and was more expensive but we have learnt for next time!
Setting up camp was easy enough and we soon had our tent up and a gin and tonic in hand. The best things about camping are that it allows you to get closer to nature. The Halfords guide gives great tips on activties to try when camping.
Away from the light pollution of busy towns and cities, campsites provide the perfect environment for you and your little ones to make your very own makeshift observatory and see the stars for yourselves. We only see a fraction of what the skies have to offer, so camping trips are great for making sure your kids grow up seeing the real deal.
The girls were really keen to explore the sky and it is certainly a calming way to wind down at the end of a busy day.
Camping Fail 2
We choose not to cook on this our first camping trip but we definately will next time. We saw other people who had really good food plans. Some had pre cooked meals like a chilli which then just needed heating up. This was a clever idea and one that we will certainly use next time. I also missed my coffee and buying it at £2.00 a cup soon added up. Next time I will be armed with a kettle and be able to make a brew outside the tent. Halfords have put together some simple recipe ideas that are great for beginners like us.
Camping Fail 3
The weather was not kind to us this year and you can see why in my full post about Camp Bestival, but nevertheless it is important to dress for the occassion. Therefore you might notice that our girls are wearing Camp Bestival hoodies, because we might not have been prepared enough for colder evenings! We did have wellies but maybe not enough warm clothes! You forget how the temperature can drop at night. So despite the fact that we have been in a heatwave for a month we got all the rain and wind that weekend!
We are still taking it as a win
The camping trip went well and it is certainly something that we have learnt from and want to do again. Camping is ideal for kids and offers them a simple way of living that many children will benefit from especially now that they live in such a technical society. Switching off and reconnecting with nature can only be good for them. We just need to be a bit more prepared but we are already planning our next camping adventure.