Embrace family camping holidays
Keep an open-mind about camping under canvas this summer, writes
This summer, my husband and I are taking our son camping for the first time. At first read, that might sound lovely. You might even have let a little ‘‘nawwww’’ escape from your lips. But I ampetrified about the prospect. You see, our son will turn one while we’re away. What were we thinking?!
We booked our campsite way back in July. Bubba had been sleeping through the night regularly so we’d thought, ‘‘Yeah, we’ve got this.’’ Then teething happened and our nights have never been the same. Multiple wake-ups, inconsolable screaming, hastily made warm bottles and lashings of Pamol, all in an attempt for all of us to enjoy even just three hours of uninterrupted sleep.
My husband and I freaked out a few weeks back. Tent walls are not very insulated. ‘‘What if we become ‘that’ family that no one likes because we keep everyone awake?’’ we wondered. We even flirted with the idea of hiring a campervan (until we saw the prices they’re charging over summer). Now we’re embracing the inevitability of camping under canvas with a sub-one-year-old by being as organised as we can beforehand.
We don’t have a massive tent so we’re borrowing a friend’s. We need room to change nappies, prepare food and, oh yeah, sleep, so we’ve gone for one of those canvas mansions with three rooms and lots of space to swing a cat.
This might seem like cheating, but we’ve booked a powered camping site. No, that doesn’t mean we’re taking a microwave with us, although if we had more room in the car I’d seriously consider it. I figure having the ability to charge our phones in case of emergencies is worth the few extra bucks a night.
Our campsite features a basic but perfectly functional kitchen and bathroom complex, and because camping dinners revolve around nachos, spaghetti Bolognese, sausages and burgers, I’m planning on packing containers of freezable and fridgeable food to make cooking a little easier.
We’ve making sure we have camping-friendly versions of things bub uses frequently too. We’re not taking his highchair, but we are taking a mini camping chair. The same goes with nappy changes; a camping table can double as a change table if our backs can’t handle the ground. We’re swapping our ginormous stroller for Granny’s small pushchair, and we found a cheap portacot for sale on Neighbourly.
We don’t want to tempt fate but we’re prepping for rain. Raincoats, gumboots and brollies are non-negotiables, and if Murphy’s Law pulls through then the weather should be glorious.
Finally, we’re being openminded. Camping with a small child might be awesome, or it might be so awful we never want to go on a family holiday again. The opportunity to go on family holidays should be embraced, so whatever happens we’re determined to go with the flow and chill out. It’s a holiday, after all.
Go camping with the family to chill out and enjoy a new experience.