Having been brought up in a family of happy campers, it seems pretty natural to me to teach the small boy all about the mysteries of the dome tent and how best to bundle up sleeping bags. Due to my very bad back, camping is a harder option for us; but I’ve got a camp bed and extra painkillers, so nothing can stop us now! Is camping the best kind of holiday for children?
I have incredibly fond memories of nights spent under canvas; giggling away with my brother when we should have been sleeping; listening to the grown ups drinking wine around the barbecue and chatting late into the night; warming a kettle on the last embers of the fire. Lovely memories and something I’d love to share with the small boy. Camping is such an adventure, you don’t have to pitch your tent half way up a mountain either; a nice campsite with a power shower is still camping. Glamping is still camping.
To prepare for our first camping trip we took a look at what camping equipment we already had and thought about what we needed.
We have a few camping bits and bobs left over from our pre-baby camping days; a serviceable tent, a small camping stove, a range of camping pans and a handy lantern. Sadly the padded mat we used to use and our ancient sleeping bags have met an untimely end at the hands of whatever insects reside in our loft.
The sleeping bags would probably be horribly musty now and probably beyond the help of a good airing anyway; it’s no great loss, plus it gives the small boy the chance to pick his own, which will help him to hopefully take a bit of pride in it.
As an interim indoor option we decided to take his cosy Snuggle Sac. It’s not waterproof or really designed for proper camping, but it will keep him warm at night. When he’s a bit older he can upgrade to a bigger, more camping appropriate sleeping bag if he wants to.
We nipped to our local camping shop; picked up a fresh canister of gas for our stove, some extra tent pegs and some new camping chairs. Before we knew it we were good to go and ready for all kinds of adventures.
Is camping the best kind of holiday for children? I’d say so. We’ve taken him on lots of different kinds of breaks, but he loves running about, enjoying nature and being free. It’s worth roughing it for a few days just to get back to nature and to see the joy on his face when he paddles in a stream; or finds a beautiful spiders web.