Preparing to camp

We’ve been on quite a few camping trips with the boys now and we’re slowly getting better at it.  I was reading a post on Bucket List Publications the other day.  Lesley was talking about how different camping with children will be and it is very true.  We  used to camp pre-children, but since they have been bouncing around we seem to have gathered an enormous amount of gear.  Firstly our tent got bigger, 2 man to 6 man size.

The beginning of last year’s May camping trip

We figured that with the beautiful, yet temperamental British weather we could do with having a bigger space to play if the rain curtails our adventures.  We also upgraded to a double burner stove, added shelves, an adjustable height table (perfect for sitting little ones at) and a tent heater. There’s all the usual stuff like cups, bowls, sleeping kit and chairs but they have all been doubled. I will quickly have to mention the ingenious Spork .  It’s a nice little design that means you don’t need so much cutlery, their lovely bright colours make them appealing for children too.  Here’s the mountain of stuff that’s piling up so far.

This somehow has to fit in our car.  Not shown is another two boxes of food, a cool bag, bikes, toys and passengers.  It’ll all fit eventually.

To make our camping trips a little easier I try to prepare some meals and snacks ahead of the trip.  The usual meals are chilli con carne and sausage casserole.  We take the chilli chilled and serve it with pasta or easy cook rice and take the sausage casserole frozen and let it slowly defrost for the following night served with smash.  I’m all for real, fresh cooked food, but it’s a completely different rule when camping!

This trip I’ve also baked some hob-nob style biscuits, 50 should keep us going. I also baked a Herman cake.  More about Herman cakes some other time.  Herman will go very nicely with a cup of tea in the afternoon and also a big slab with some custard will be just right for a pudding.

We take most food with us in a couple of boxes.  When the boxes are empty they are ideal for the little ones to have a bath in.  Some people use those plastic gardening tub trugs too.

Another preparation for our trip is planning days out, my husband usually does this.  We don’t have to do them all but it’s worth having a list there because when children need entertaining, they need entertaining NOW!

Here’s a list of things you may easily forget and wished you hadn’t:

  • A torch
  • Matches or lighter
  • Corkscrew
  • Crocs for in the shower
  • A sharp knife, these are good when children are around and limited safe places to store them
  • Tin opener
  • Water carrier
  • TEA BAGS (very important!)
  • Bin bags
  • Washing up bowl
  • Tea towel
  • Red wine x4

Oh is that rain I hear??