Friday 26 July 2019

Family Camping Essentials & Tips

This year we decided to bite the bullet and purchase a tent - it's something we've been talking about for the last couple of years but have never got round to actually doing it for one reason or another. I'm sure the idea of camping with small children is some people's idea of hell but some of my favourite memories are of my childhood when we used to go camping!

We got quite a good deal on a large 6 person tent from Go Outdoors - we spent a fair bit of time researching but it was good to go to the store and see for ourselves what they were like. It's a bit overwhelming with the choice of things to buy but we literally bought the tent plus a few items like campbeds, foldable cupboard and the all important drinks cooler. Since we bought the tent, we've been buying bits and pieces and it feels more manageable to do it that way rather than buy all of Go Outdoors at once!

It's a really good idea to put the tent up in the garden before you actually go away - it gives you an idea of how long it will take you and how straight forward it is. Although you can actually get self inflating tents these days if you're not too great with the traditional way!

With limited space, organisation is key - you might have to play a bit of car jenga but at least you will have all the essentials!

Setting Up

- Tent (this is the one we bought)
- Pegs, plus spares
- Groundsheet
- Mallet
- Carpet
- Porch (not essential but handy for extending your living space and useful if it rains!


- Air mattress and pump
- Camp beds (we're considering getting bunk beds to save room, the kids loved trying them out in the shop!
- Sleeping bags
- Pillows (you can get smaller camping pillows but you can't beat your comfy pillow from home!)
- Torch
- Head lamp (useful for nighttime toilet trips!)
- Spare blankets
- Fleecy onesies for the kids
- Clothing for all weathers, plus spares for the children incase they get wet/muddy/dirty!

Living Area

- Stove and gas
- Cutlery and plates/bowls/cups (we bought the infamous plastic set from IKEA that every parent seems to own!)
- Cooking utensils
- Tin foil
- Kettle
- Pots and Pans
- Cool box and ice blocks
- Washing up bowl, liquid, cloth etc
- Tin opener
- Lighter/matches
- Chopping board
- Black bin bags
- Camping chairs
- Fold out table
- Fold up shelves (really useful for storing kitchen bits)


You don't really want to be slaving over a hot stove for too long when you're away camping so it's good to pack a few meals that are quick and easy to prepare.

For breakfast you might be able to pick up fresh bits from the campsite shop (if you don't have access to a fridge) but you can't go wrong with scrambled egg on toast! The mini boxes of cereal are good for the kids too, along with longlife milk. I always pack brioche buns too as the kids are big fans.

We recently got sent some Shaken Udder milkshakes* to try out and these were perfect for our camping trip. Aside from being really tasty, they don't need to be kept in the fridge so are ideal for camping.

Lunch/Dinner wise, hotdogs are always a hit and can be easily made on the stove. A friend of mine always takes a big lunchbox of chilli to heat up on the stove which is a fab idea! We usually take a few noodle pots as these are mega easy - our faves are Mr Lees* and they are so tasty.

I usually try and take a few bottles of frozen made up squash too, not only do they double up as cool blocks but the children are more inclined to drink it if it's ice cold!


- Mini first aid kit
- Sudocrem* (The folks at Sudocrem have created a mini version,  "My Little Sudocrem" which is ideal for camping and can be popped in your first aid kit. I find it really useful as it can be used for a multitude of things - insect bites, sunburn, blisters, chafing!
- Insect repellant
- An abundance of wipes
- Toilet roll
- Some small games to keep the kids busy - we love Top trumps!

Now we have our tent we are planning to go a couple of times over the Summer holidays and I hope it's something the children enjoy as much as I did as a child!

*Contains press samples

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