Saturday, 2 August 2014

Camping with under 5's - our first ever camp!

This week saw us go on our very first camping trip with S and J to North Wales. We had bought a tent off eBay and then bought the essentials ready.... we even had a trial camp in the back garden which was unsuccessful and very stressful.
 
I took to twitter asking for advice from experienced campers, and the feedback I got was....

"it will be different on an actual campsite"
 " Don't worry about bedtimes... let them stay up, they will sleep in"
 
So... I went and booked a 2 night trip to North Wales... a 90 minute drive, far enough for a holiday, but close enough if its a nightmare.
From experience of putting the tent up in the garden, we knew we didn't want S running loose, so Daddy loaded up the Lego movie for the girls on the IPad, and we locked them in the car whilst we got to work...
 
 
We did two trial runs in the garden so we knew what poles had to go where, and what order... it went like clockwork, and we wondered how it went up so quick....
 
 
It went up without a hitch... and the girls were soon out of the car... they immediately made friends with some children from another tent, who decided to come and take over our tent whilst still unpacking.... coaxing them out with bubbles and a football helped as their mum soon came over and rescued us.... leaving us to try and keep the girls entertained whilst we set the beds up...
 
 
...colouring books really did come in handy.... mummy and daddy even enjoyed a hot brew whilst they coloured. We then headed out or dinner and an evening stroll along the beach to help tire them out before returning back to the campsite.
 
 
We dressed the girls in the winter pyjamas, and popped fleecy socks and hats on too, as when we attempted the garden camp, it got so cold when the sun went down.... then it was time for hot chocolate and story time with Daddy....
 
Before tucking up.... S decided to strip the socks and hat off, but was asleep within 5 minutes... J took another 45 minutes as some boys were playing football right outside our pitch... at 10.30 I popped out and had a friendly word, and they soon disappeared leaving J to sleep in peace...
 
During the night, one of the tents on site had a night terror and the young child was inconsolable... and in tents... we could hear everything... I was just glad it wasn't one of mine... THEN... it woke S up... ARGH!!! Thankfully I was in her pod in the tent, so managed to reassure her very quickly before she woke up too much...
Daddy shared J's pod with her, and had the task to keep putting her in the sleeping bag that she would wriggle out from, and picking her up and back on the blow up mattress...she rolled off numerous times...
THEN... there was a snorer on the camp too.... is every camp site this noisy? Or did we just get unlucky? Just as I started to doze, the rain started.... that was the end of our sunny holiday. The rain was here to stay.
That meant in the morning our rainy day bag came out, and the girls chose colouring again...
 
Whilst we cooked bacon for bacon sarnies....
 
...whilst it poured it down....
 
After checking the weather forecast, we decided to pack up camp a day early as there looked like there would be a dry window, as didn't fancy putting the tent down in the rain. Whilst we waited for that dry window, we popped off to explore a welsh castle, before returning.
 
SO... our first ever camp was successful and we will be camping again next year, hopefully more often..... watch this space
 

If you are looking to camp with children under 5 for the first time I do have some tips for you:

  • pack rainy weather activities
  • Ensure they are in warm clothes, even if its hot at bed time
  • Relax with the bedtime routine, your all on holiday after all
  • Give them their own torch lantern... this was great! :-)
  • Pack a potty to save any middle of the night dashes across the field to the toilet block
  • If camping with electric, a toaster is handy, as its quick food for hungry tots.
  • If you have a carbon monoxide detector at home, pack it in the bag with you camping too....
  • Pick a quiet spot on the camp site if possible, away from taps, toilets and roads to avoid more footfall outside the tent.
  • Don't plan too big, too quick... small one or two nighters to adjust first, and possibly a garden camp, but I've not heard much success with these, but you get them used to the idea, and you know if you have everything,
  • Practice putting the tent up, so your quicker at assembly, and pack an activity or film to occupy the children whilst you are putting the tent up.
 

Binky Linky
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips they are very useful as we are taking our nearly 2 year old camping soon! I like rain but I'd prefer not to have it when camping so I don't think we'll go camping in Wales!

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    1. OO... where abouts are you going? Good luck. Wales is so beautiful, I think we just got unlucky, beautiful coast lines with rolling hills, :-) We found if we got stressed the girls picked up on it, so stay calm... lol! and most importantly... enjoy! :-)

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    2. Yes Wales is beautiful my sister used to live in North Wales so know it quite well but it did rain all the time! We aren't going far, we live in Norfolk and going camping for one night on the gorgeous North Norfolk Coast, it's for our little boys 2nd birthday & can't wait! Xx

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  2. You are brave, I have never, ever been camping, and certainly not with a child. But your tent looks fab and the kids look like they are having a great time.x

    #UKBloggers

    http://fashion-mommy.com

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    1. Thank you. I loved camping as a child, and its such a cheap way to explore the UK, so I am so glad the girlies liked it too. :-) Daddy enjoyed it too, but he is certainly a sunny weather camper lol! The tent is AMAZING... but due to the size, we are limited on campsites :-( something I never knew when we bought it. x

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  3. You must really love camping to brave it with little ones! I'm glad it was successful for you, the weather was lovely last week. The tent looks fantastic.

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    1. Thank you... I know we got really unlucky with the weather, but glad we had one evening of sunshine to enjoy the beach. :-) To be honest, I haven't been camping for about 15 years, and hubby even longer, so I am so happy it was a success. :-)

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  4. Oh wow, I'm not brave enough to take myself camping, nevermind two little ones! Hopefully next time will be a little more sunny!
    Love lucinda xx
    http://thefashionfictionary.com

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    1. Its not as bad as you may think... I say camping.. I actually mean glamping teehee... electric kettle, phone chargers, blow up beds... etc. :-)

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  5. Thanks for the tips. Very good read :-)

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    1. Thank you. Its little things we have picked up or was told about before going, so its handy for newbie campers.... :-)

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  6. Even though it rained it looks and sounds like the girls had a great time i have never been camping before but they are great tips and i hope you have a great time when you go away again #Binkylinky

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  7. Our twins are two and a half so I'm not brave enough to take them camping yet! Thanks for the tips. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

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  8. That tent is AMAZING! It is totally huge! I would love to do camping with my two. Maybe next summer when they are 2 and 4 - glad you had a lovely time xxx

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  9. I have never been camping, and if I'm honest I like my comforts far too much to think about it at the moment - maybe when kids are older! Some great tips to bare in mind and it looks like fun in your photos! #binkylinky

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  10. I have never been camping, it looks lots of fun :)

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  11. I'm very impressed by your tent - and remembering to pack pyjamas, you're already ahead of me. Generally, in life, not just camping.

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  12. We love camping but haven't been for a few years due to having the baby. We are hoping to go in October halfterm, reading your tips has been a great reminder as its been seven years since we went camping with a toddler! #BinkyLinky

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  13. We are hoping to camp with our 16 month soon. We have all the gear already but have been caravaning since I was pregnant. We were thinking of a night in Buxton to trial. Have visions of him escaping

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  14. Love this post! We did our first proper camp when my girl was 1 and have progressed year on year. I now take the two of them solo but have learnt lots on this journey. Camping is so special and can be magical. I love the pods and shape of your tent :)

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  15. Looks like you all had a great time! You are much braver than me.....I like my own bed too much....hehehe

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  16. What an adventure! A great tent and an impressive camping experience, what a shame about the weather though. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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  17. Lack of sleep is a killer isn't it. Did you do anything at night to stop the little uns waking up and wondering off? And sounds like at least you didn't have any sheep to go with it.

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  18. Sounds like a good starter camping weekend. About to head off on a 5 day trip 8 hr drive with 3 kids and a dog (2 youngest 5 and 3) in 97 degree heat! Hope it goes as smoothly. #Country kids

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  19. I think we stayed in the same camping site! Did we? Is this Beeches Farm? Goodness we went there too and my blog post is about our 2nd camping as a family =) #countrykids

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  20. This looks fantastic! We are camping at the weekend, our first this year with the kids a lot older - so fingers crossed it is a little less stressful than it was a year ago! :)

    Lovely photos :) x

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  21. Such a shame that you didn't have the weather! Hope it's not put you off.

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  22. Gorgeous sunset - and bacon? I'm in!! I have to admit my DOfE put me off camping for life - I'm such a wimp! X #countrykids

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