I have fond memories of going camping as a kid and when my two girls were old enough, and I’d convinced my husband it was a good idea, we purchased a second hand tent and off we went.
I must say though, our camping experience is a lot different to what I remember as a child. We are not quite at glamping standards but we can’t live without the electric hook up!
Last weekend was our first camping trip of the season, and we returned to a favourite place of ours – Pentewan Sands in Cornwall. So as I started to prepare the written lists of all the stuff we needed to take, I found myself thinking of what we have done over the past three years to make our camping experience easier.
- Lists, lists and more lists!
Alright, maybe not a tonne of lists (but I do love a list). About a week before we go away I start writing down what we want to take. I split it into sections and write lists under each section to help with the packing i.e. Clothes, wash stuff, stuff for beach if close by (wetsuits, buckets & spades), swimming stuff (not forgetting the goggles and floats), technology bits including chargers (don’t forget the chargers, likely to cause a melt down – from me!!), food/snacks/BBQ, things to sleep on and in, things to sit on etc., You get my drift! I find that once I start writing things down it all flows out, and as the week goes on I start to remember more stuff.
One thing I plan to do is create a master list that I can get out every time we go and tick things off. When I’ve created it I’ll share it.
2. Take the kids Trunkies
When we first started camping I used to pack both the girls clothes in our bag. By the end of the trip I was cursing about not being able to find the girls an outfit, or those 10th pair of clean leggings on our second day of camping! So on our next trip we packed a Trunkie for each for the girls. They both help to fill it – well I do the clothes & they go round finding other things to put in them! What it does mean is that when we need to find their stuff it’s already separated and easy to lay our hands on.
3. Pack a bag of games
Basically, when you go camping it rains! Sometime a lot, like it did for us last weekend, sometimes only a little. As you just never know with the British weather I like to take along a bag full of games that are easy to play in the tent. This time we took:
- Uno – you just can’t go wrong with Uno!
- Ludo – in the Frozen design, obvs!
- Happy Families – again this was Frozen style
- Jigsaw – which fits on a camping table
- Matching cards
- Sticker books
- Colouring books & pens
We also had iPads and Leappads too. I think everyone of these games got used during our trip, and it only rained for 24 hours! These games are also really easy to take with you when you go to eat somewhere to keep everyone occupied while you are waiting for food (all that fresh air makes you very hungry!).
4. Take a bag for the laundry
All that playing outside creates a lot of messy clothes, which is a lovely thing, but it is much easier and nicer to keep them away from the clean ones. We take one of those big plastic laundry bags and use that as our laundry bin. This also helps when unpacking when you get home as you know that the dirty stuff is all in one place and can go straight to the washing machine .
5. Packing a mobile kitchen
As I mentioned earlier we are not quite proper glampers but we do like to have a hot cuppa with a buttery piece of toast sat outside in the night air while listening to the rain drops hitting the awning! Over the past few years we have created a mini kitchen area that we set up in the tent. Along with a fold away table & cool box we have a plastic three drawer tower that is always stocked with everything we need.
The top drawer holds the plates, cups, bowls and cutlery the second one holds pots, pans for the gas burner and the long lasting food like ketchup, bottle of squash, peanut butter etc. And the bottom drawer holds all the things we need for washing up – bowl, washing up liquid, cloths, pegs, small dustpan and brush etc.
Having all this ready to go really helps when packing up and when we arrive at our destination. It also saves a lot of space in the tent, and we have somewhere to put stuff that we don’t have to leave on the table.
I totally meant to take a picture of this set up, but forgot! But if you want to see the kind of drawer tower we used click here.
6. Somewhere to store all the shoes!
What is it about when you go camping, you take everything to cover every weather eventuality! That includes a lot of shoes, boots, wellies etc. Once again a plastic flexi bucket comes to the rescue. When we pack the car we stuff it with the wetsuits and towels etc. But while we are away it becomes the mobile shoe store. It certainly helps to keep everything off the floor! Click here to see the style we use.
Now I could go on, but I’ll leave that for another post. Thought I would finish off by showing a few pics from our recent trip away to Pentewan Sands. This campsite is just awesome – right on the beach, got the best burger bar also right in the beach, play park on the beach (there’s a theme here), a great indoor swimming pool and soft play. They also have entertainment on in the evenings. It is the perfect place for everyone.