A few years ago I put together what some useful tips for taking your family camping – it was at the end of our first full year as a camping family, and summarised a few of the things we learnt. You can take a read here: Fatherhood²: 7 Lessons I’ve Learnt After Our First Summer of Camping
Since then, it’s fair to say we’ve done a heck of a lot of camping as a family – and have even roped some friends into it too. Each spring and summer (and occasionally Autumn!) we take a number of long weekends at various spots around the UK – we even went to France with 4 other families and camped in Carnac, Brittany.
During the dozens of trips we’ve taken since that first post was written, I’ve been keeping notes of some other useful tips I’ve learnt – and I’ve now got enough for a whole new post! So, without further ado, here’s my follow-up list…
Pack only as much food as you need
I recently wrote a post on camping for Avant Homes (8 top tips for staycation camping) where I go into quite a lot of detail about cooler / cool boxes, so I won’t repeat that here. Needless to say, though, making the right amount of space for food is an important consideration – so put some thought into this before you go. If you’re really anal about it, plan your meals ahead of time (allowing for snacks and drinks too) and make sure you avoid taking anything you aren’t realistically going to eat.
If the weather is nice for you (as it was last weekend when we camped in Devon) you’ll want to avoid having a boiling-hot tent full of food which might not cope well with the heat – especially if you’re going to end up lugging it back home again afterwards.
Make an easy breakfast for the last day
If you’re anything like we are, packing up on the last day is going to be more than a little chaotic – so a bit of forward planning can make things slightly more bearable. Whatever you’re planning for breakfasts, make sure the final day is an easy one – we often take some pre-packaged French crepes, or cereal bars. That way, you won’t need to head off to the campsite facilities to do the washing up while you’re also trying to pack your tent. You can also give the kids a “help yourself” breakfast while you’re getting ahead of the game on the de-camping.
Replace the batteries in your solar lights
In my first set of tips, I told you that you can never have too many lights when it comes to camping – a statement I still stand by today. But doing a bit of maintenance on your lights before you go can make a lot of difference – with batteries making a particularly big difference!
Most solar lights that you buy in the shops will come with the cheapest, weakest rechargeable battery in them – so swapping these out and replacing them with better ones will increase your “light” time by masses. It doesn’t matter if they’re not standard size batteries either – you can get virtually any battery on Amazon these days, and whilst it might add a little to the cost of your light, it’ll make a big difference in the long run.
Take an axe – chop your own wood!
One of my favourite things about camping is being about to have an outdoor fire to keep warm with – and luckily, lots of campsites will allow you to have one. It’s worth taking a small hand-held axe if you have one though, as often the logs they sell you to use on the fire can be quite big and tough to burn.
Take some games for the kids
Whilst there’s a lot to do on a campsite for the little ones, you might want to take some games to keep them occupied at crucial moments – such as when you’ve arrived and are putting the tent up, and could do without them under your feet! If you think they’re going to want to play on screens (phones, tablets etc) don’t forget to take a portable charging bank for when the power is running low! We usually pack at least one football, a frisbee, maybe a swingball set if we can fit it in the car – whatever keeps your little ones occupied in the sunshine!
Consider taking a bucket for late-night wees!
Unless you decide to put up your tent right next to the campsite facilities (and let’s face it, nobody wants that) you might have a bit of a walk to use the loo. This walk can be even trickier to navigate in the middle of the night – particularly if the weather is anything less than perfect. So if you’re worried about late-night trips to the toilet block, why not pack a bucket to use in the night? We rarely actually use ours, but knowing you have it can give a lot of peace of mind!
Phosphorescent paint is one of my favourite discoveries of the past few years, and it can be a great addition to your camping arsenal. Why not paint some of your equipment to make it easier to find in the middle of the night? You could even paint your tent poles or pegs if you’re feeling adventurous.
So there we have it – seven more tips to make your camping a success. A big thank you to the folks at Euro Palace online casino games who provided promotional help for this post – always appreciated! Whilst I’m not sure how suitable the Euro Palace online casino games are for camping (let’s face it, we all get bored from time to time!) it might be something you check out in the planning stage!! Ha ha.