When you are trying to decide whether to brave your first Family Camping trip, there are a few key things that you need to consider. These tips apply whether you are deciding to try out Family Camping in the UK, Family Camping in Australia or even Family Camping in the USA.
NB This post has been created in collaboration with Gumtree
With camping a few key decisions on kit and some time spent considering what’s important to you and your family can make a huge difference to the enjoyment of the eventual trip itself!
1. Choose your Tent or Camper Van Wisely
Sizing up makes for a more comfortable experience, especially on rainy days. For 4 of you consider a 6 man tent/camper van and for a family of 5, try an 8 man tent/vehicle. The extra space is invaluable for the amount clothes/toys/food you need to take to satisfy all members of the family. There really isn’t anything worse than actually all squashing into the space, particularly if the weather isn’t kind to you all the time. If you don’t want to spend as much money as a larger tent or vehicle would command then why not consider buying second hand rather than buying a cheaper smaller one, sites like Gumtree have some great options and you can get some amazing bargains!
2. Choose your site wisely
There are as many camp sites as there are types of family. If you’re the kind of family that wants entertainment in the evening, then a field in the middle of nowhere won’t be for you. You’ll be bored and lonely. If you’re looking for a peaceful break, then obviously the opposite applies. Check reviews about the facilities; there are few things worse than filthy toilets with a newly toilet trained toddler. Few things worse than a site without any mobile reception with phone obsesses teenagers (albeit this is always a good thing I find). Most sites are well looked after and some have specific family bathrooms, but again do read the reviews.
Other things to consider: Do you want electric hook up? Is there a play area? Can you take a gazebo? Do they allow camp fires? Will the kids have space to play games? Is it near the sea or in the mountains?
3. Consider your Environment
When you’re camping you are more exposed to the elements than you might otherwise be in a hotel room with air conditioning and/or heating. Hotel rooms also usually have mosquito nets and screens on the windows too. Consider how hot it might be, and whether you need to consider mosquitos and bugs. If you’ve not got screens or nets then you might need to consider other ways of protecting yourselves such as using a mosquito repellant or specialised clothing that keeps the bugs away!
I wore this Bug Barrier shirt a lot whilst camping this Spring. It uses a clever material to repel the bugs and is rally easy to wear. Think about the other challenges your environment might throw up, do you need extra blankets or sun tan cream?
Do you need to take lights and torches to find your way around? I really like these products from Varta and use the torch for those late night toilet trips and the lantern style light to give us some light around the campsite too!
4. Write a Packing List.
We have an excellent packing list for camping on our site for a more structured camping trip with a previously erected tent, or another list here for a first time camper! Sit down before you go and think about all the things you might need having considered what type of camping you are doing, the facilities on site, and what the environment is going to be like.
The more organised before you go the better with camping I always find. It means that when you get there you can simply relax.
5. Have fun and relax.
It can sound like a lot of work getting ready for camping, and to be honest it is. But sitting around a BBQ with friends in a beautiful place, with the kids happily running around and climbing trees is worth it. Make memories of weekends under canvas together, exploring some amazing places and having adventures that you just can’t replicate at home or in a hotel.
If you fancy reading a little but more about Camping why not head over and read our post on 10 Things I didn’t know about Camping with Kids – it might make you giggle!