Kids and camping. Not two words that everyone enjoys being in the same sentence together. Especially not when the images that come to mind include early morning trudges across soggy fields to go to the toilet, being stuck for what feels like forever inside a small cube of flimsy material when it just won’t stop raining, and trying to keep all of the mud and all of the spiders outside. Because nothing screams relaxing family holiday quite like half term in a field somewhere in rural (read: free of any phone signal or wifi) Devon, does it? But if you want to read about what a terrible idea camping with kids is, and all the horror stories of other families camping trips gone wrong then you’ve come to the wrong place.
Because guess what? We. Love. It.
Camping as a child is almost a rite of passage. So let’s celebrate the sheer joy that comes from seeing our children free from technology, surrounded by nature, and eating and sleeping right on cue thanks to an abundance of fresh air. AKA, the dream. All we have to do as parents is plan the whole thing… and have a back-up plan, just incase. Easy!
Like any other holiday with kids, planning ahead is the number one piece of advice our poll of parents gave. Plan, prep and pack properly! From using clear plastic boxes with lids so everything stays dry and bug free, to having a practice run in the back garden, our families of happy campers have shared some brilliant tips, tricks and camping memories to make sure that your camping holiday is less of a holi-nay more of a holi-yay…
“So we had a trailer tent and went camping to southern France loads. (As an aside, I loved that I had my own zipped up section. I felt v.cool. Also loved the kids clubs). One time we went with my auntie and cousins (x2). They had one of those generic euro camp tents close to us — the ones that all look identical. So I was looking for my cousin one day, ran into their tent to find her but she wasn’t there. Because it wasn’t her tent. It was a different (identical) tent. Top tip — put a flag or something recognisable outside your own tent so your kids / their friends know which one to look for….” — Bex Goater
“The first time try to stay local- or do a dry run in the back garden before a bigger trip. Keep your expectations small and be ready to cut loose if it’s not working, it will still be an adventure even if it was only a few hours!” — Holly Vine
Spend time setting your camping area up in peace whilst other adults entertain the kids. String solar powered lights around to make the evenings cosy, and always pack extra blankets so the smoky campfire ones can stay out of the tents.” — Lizzie Abbott
“Pack a sick kit with plenty of wet wipes, disinfectant, kids meds, first aid box, extra bin bags etc. Plus vinegar sachets for wasp stings and toothpaste for bee stings.” — Ali Velarde
“Before having children I would never had put me down as a camper. My husband used to go away with his family all the time as a child and so we followed this when we had children. All the family would go, parents, brother and sister inlaws, cousins etc. Just to see the cousins altogether having fun, being able to run about freely with not a care in the world made it all worthwhile. Having emigrated to Canada just before the season started this year, I have to say it was probably one of the times where we missed the family the most, when we knew they were away altogether and we weren’t there! Definitely family times to remember and cherish. This is coming from a very non-camper pre kids!” — Sylvia Mould
“Do it in the garden once first…means they will sleep better wherever you end up” — Laura Bench
“Wine and lots of it!” — Jane Hudson Hunt
“I loved the odd food we ate because we had no fridge when we first started going — M&S beef casserole or curry from a tin mmmm” — Rebecca Fox
“Try to find a family friendly campsite. Here in Europe some campsites will state if they have a different section for the party animal generation. We’ve camped twice since we moved here. Our first time was a disaster, there were no enforced quiet times. Our kids couldn’t sleep because there was partying into all hours of the morning. We were exhausted. Our second time was so great. It was quiet from the time the sun set. And our kids slept ’til 8am. It was brilliant. So this is the first thing I search for when we decide to go camping.” — Juanne + Family
One final note…
Milestone Camping asks you to be aware of the natural habitats in which you’re residing, recycle where possible and leave no trace of your visit as you head off home. Happy environments mean happy camping.
Thought of something else you need? Check out our extensive catalogue of Milestone Camping products on Amazon, here.