The sun’s out, the school holidays are here – and chances are many of you will be going on a family camping trip over the next month or so. But with all the fun you’ll have and memories you’ll make, there are some practicalities you need to think about. Here are our tips for making it a smooth ride.
So for example: there’s no point packing 10 sets of shirts and trousers for a kid going camping for five days. They’ll get a bit grubby, but that’s half the fun of camping (for them anyway!). And there’s no need to load up the car so much it won’t move. On the other hand, don’t forget those domestic essentials: washing up liquid, toilet roll and tin openers, for example, are all priceless.
A good storage system is essential at home, and it’s no different when it comes to camping. The most useful storage areas in this case are bags – bin bags, carrier bags, food bags. Keep them well labelled (everything from litter to dirty clothes to toys), and you’ll keep everything safe and dry. (Here’s a little secret about camping: it always rains).
Nope, you’re not expected to serve up a beef Wellington every night – and you’ll probably end up going out for food more than once. But don’t forget that one of the great pleasures of camping is cooking on gas or flame – with even the simplest dish (beans a la tomato sauce anyone?) becoming something special. Stock up on tins, cutlery and plates, and a couple of good pans. And you can always send the kids to do the washing up after meals as a ‘treat’!
Your sleeping bag is one of your most prized possessions when you go camping, and you should treat it with the respect it deserves! It’ll be much pleasanter to crawl into each night if you give it a good airing every morning, getting rid of any moisture and bad odours. And you know how good kids are at making bad odours…
You’re on holiday, after all, and whatever mess you make while you’re on your camping trip, all you really need to do is throw away the rubbish, take down the tent, and give it a good shake! Just think – no polishing, no vacuuming, no ironing. And for now, just forget the sheer amount of washing you’ll have to do once you get home…
Image: Jess Mann