Camping with kids…. four things you NEED to take!

festival tips for babies-toddlers

Camping with kids… love it or dread it? I LOVE camping with my kids, it might not be a relaxing break like staying in a hotel [though are holidays with kids ever that relaxing?!], but it is so much fun! Sleeping under canvas, cooking on a stove, leaving all the to-do lists behind, switching off and leaving the internet at home… it’s my idea of a perfect weekend!

That said, the key to a good camping trip with kids is to be prepared. A decent tent is obviously an essential, as well as something to sleep on, plenty of blankets and waterproofs [especially this year!], and tick repellents or other bug deterrents, yet there are a few other things I always take with us that help to make the weekend run smoother and make it as stress-free as possible.

  • Pop-up tent. While we have a huge family tent that we actually sleep in, I also pack a small pop-up tent. If it’s rainy when you’re pitching {or even if it isn’t} this is great to pop younger kids who can’t help set the tent up. I normally put my youngest in there, with a book or two, a drink, and a snack – it keeps him from being under our feet while we’re trying to get the tent up, and stops him from getting cross or upset that we’re busy or he’s getting wet. Once we’re set up, I use it as a storage tent – somewhere to keep tent bags, waterproofs, dirty shoes, food… it keeps the living space of our tent less cluttered.
  • Bag of toys/games/books. Pack a bag with a few {small} toys, a pack of cards or mini games [these orchard toy games are perfect], a couple of books, some paper and crayons and you can keep your little ones entertained when you’re in the tent. Great for early mornings, rainy afternoons or when you’re trying to cook some dinner
  • Food. And lots of it. I’m sure food is already on your list of things to take buuut… pack what you need, then double [or even triple it]. Kids and fresh air are a recipe for extreme hunger. I meal plan for evening meals, take wraps/salad/crisps for lunch, and cereal and pancakes for breakfast… and then add plenty of snacks. Fruit, cereal bars, flapjack, Nked bars, popcorn, extra wraps so we can make quesadillas for a late night supper…. Seriously, you don’t want to be stuck in a tent late at night with hungry kids and not enough to fill them up
  • Layers, layers, and more layers. Even if you luck out and get sunshine, it will still get cold at night. I’m a warm-weather gal, and once it’s cold at night I need all the clothes and blankets to keep me warm. layering is key at bedtime to keep you and your kiddos – PJ’s, fleecy PJ’s or a onesie over the top, super thick socks, a hat. My kids sleep in a sleeping bag, with a fleece blanket wrapped around them. I prefer a duvet – I put a fleece blanket on top of my airbed, add a fitted sheet, then sleep under a fleece blanket and a duvet. If it’s really cold we use hot water bottles too. Phew. It may sound over the top, but believe me, it’s worth it – cold kids will not let you sleep!

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