Thursday, 30 May 2013

Five go off to camp

Well, that's the plan, anyway. We've only gone and bought a tent! I've always wanted to take my little family camping - I had so many amazing family camping holidays as a child, touring through Europe with a small secondhand tent, and later in a plush eurocamp job. Nothing better than long days outdoors, cooking on a gas stove, playing cards by lamplight and sleeping under canvas. It has, however, taken me quite a while to bring the husband around to the idea. His only experience of camping hithertofore was a doomed tent-in-a-field week as a child with his own family, under the bossy direction of some die-hard no-mod-cons family friends. I get the impression that none of them ever spoke to each other again after that ill-fated 'holiday'.

After hours of research and interrogation of friends and family, we chose this family tent, the Vango Samara 600. It's enormous! We don't have the canopy, and I'm finding it hard to imagine how we could possibly need any extra space.

vango samara 600

When the tent arrived, nothing was going to stop me from pitching it straight away in the garden. I shrugged aside the warning that it was a two-man job and pitched in. I was impossibly red in the face when I went to pick the elders up from school that afternoon, but it was worth it. Of course, there's always the danger that the husband will say that I might as well pitch it solo every time now that I've proved how easy it is.

I would really love to hear your family camping tips if you have any - top campsites, essential kit, anything and everything! It's amazing what an evangelical bunch campers are, I've really felt that everyone I've spoken to genuinely wants us to enjoy camping. I really can't wait.

20 comments:

  1. I look forward to seeing what top tips people post here.
    We are about to take the plunge and buy our first family tent, however in our family I'm the reluctant camper! I just can't imagine how we will fit all that we need in the car and how I will organise it all in the tent when we get there, there aren't enough surfaces to put things on for my liking!.

    Happy camping!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should go for it! We had the best family holidays camping when I was a child. And I notice that there are a fair few cupboard/work surface/stove combinations on the market, you pretty much even take the kitchen sink nowadays!

      Delete
  2. bloody hell - that's a tent and a half! Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is it still up? You should spray it with water to check for leaks. Better to know now. I would suggest pitching it and spraying it before every camping season to check you remember how and that it's still ok.
    Take a brush with you to remove grass from the tent bottom when you fold it up. More food than you think you need (being outside makes you hungry) and lots of things to keep you amused when it's raining (we used to play many, many card games).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's down now, so fingers crossed the waterproofing does the job!
      My children are mammoth eaters, so I shall probably be catering for 20 rather than the 10 we are.

      Thank you for the tips!

      Delete
    2. I mean 5. We are not a family of 10, it just feels like it when I'm doing the family shop!

      Delete
  4. Oooh! We're campers - mainly because it allows us to control our own environment rather than looking for disabled-access cottages. And our tent (well, our first tent... we had to get a back-up because it was so pretty, um, I mean smaller) is even bigger than yours, and we are only four!

    One of our favourite sites so far has been this one - http://www.shelfordnurseriescaravanpark.co.uk/ - where we got to eat plums off the orchard trees for breakfast.

    My best advice is: as many layers under your bed as over it (it's the ground that makes you cold, not the air). I'm going to be contrary and say it'll probably not leak, and if it does straight out of the bag I'd take it right back. It should be just fine.

    If it rains we just go out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tent looks fab. Pleased to hear your stories of childhood camping. We used to spend out summer in Spain with a caravan, I have fond memories, never thought I would want to see the inside of a campsite toilet again but think it might be fun. Don't tell my hubby though, I'm trying to convince him 5* luxury is the only way forward. Best if both worlds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Becca-Lou! I'm not smart enough for the 5* thing, I'd just let the side down!

      Delete
  6. Ooo how exciting, we have 3 small children and an 8 man tent, if the weather is wet you will be so very glad of that extra space! Advice, if possible don't try and put the children to bed before it gets dark (you will only be irritated and disappointed that they don't sleep till dark! Look forward to hearing your adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We bought ours new big tent last year and as have of yet to use it - dam British weather!
    But we are veteran campers and trailers, we would never be without the following
    Kelly Kettle
    mini Portable BBQ
    full set of extra pens - the special hard wearering kind
    Wind strap. It goes over the tent to helps to stabilise in the wind.
    A good quality wind breaker.
    head limps
    a multi functional car charger with usb hook up as sometimes card games, reading, & drawing are boring if it does rain!
    Oh and one of the loo buckets as kids will go across park in middle of night.
    We also have put cheap rugs in the door way to collect extra feet moisture to save on clearing up after them!

    We have progressed to a small electric supply and a very good portable fridge. the latter also plugs into car, so cold drinks when out too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice list, thank you! I fancy one of those mini bucket barbecues. And definitely cards all the way (with something to pacify the three year old who isn't so good at gin rummy!).

      I know we will acquire a lot more kit as we go - dummy run is to be a mere 2 nights though, not too far from home, so we'll have a chance to work out what we really need.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My son's first camping trip was when he was 5 months old - he slept so well that trip. There's nothing like outdoor air for knocking the kids out cold.

    Hm, most of my camping experiences involved having to hike all my kit in to the site, so just being able to take a car these days feels pretty luxurious. A lantern-style torch, so that you can set it on the floor while changing etc. does make life easier. Take a mallet, in case the ground is hard. Several changes of clothes, unless there's laundry facilities, in case the weather's wet.

    A 'fancy' campsite, with very nice bathroom facilities is Ayr Holiday Park in St. Ives, Cornwall: you can walk to the beach, town etc. Might be good for a gentle introduction to camping. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I could have written this entire post! I loved camping as a child and it's taken this long (as well as quite a few disappointing self-catering gites) to bring 'im 'indoors round to the idea of camping. Someone's even given us a family tent, not as magnificent as your lovely tent to be sure but still, big enough for us. The only real tip that's stuck with me is from my Mum, 'take more socks than one family could possibly wear - it's all grand until you get cold feet'. Look forward to comparing notes at the end of the summer ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am sure you will all love camping once you give it a try, you just need some sunshine! We all love escaping for a few days with our tent. I would recommend all of the things mentioned above and also a pen and paper so that you can jot down the other things you need that will occur to you once you are there. A local trial run is a fab idea...we needed to return home for the tent poles on ours!

    ukcampsite.co.uk is a fantastic resource for all things tent-y and they have useful reviews of pretty well all the campsites in the UK and beyond.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We have a - some may say ridiculously - palatial tent, for our family of three! Oh, but the space... especially when wet outside. We camped last summer at the dreamiest of sites - riverside lakes in Dorset. Friendly and helpful owners, oh so clean and smart showers, large pitches surrounded by unmown meadow, pigs to be scratched (!), fire baskets, and every eve an ice cream van and a visit by the owner with a glow stick for children. We loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love a bit of camping - but I think we're going to go glamping this summer with the baby!
    We've been to Porthclais a couple of times which was amazing and is always easy for a quick weekend camp from South Wales. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. So... did you get eaten by the tent, or what? Come on, the suspenders are killing me!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, no, we survived the first camping trip and had a fantastic time! Thanks for the nudge, I must knuckle down and blog! :)

      Delete

Hi and thanks for stopping to leave a comment on my blog. I love hearing from everyone! I always try to respond to comments by email or visit your blog, but sometimes blogger doesn't provide me with these details, so you can always email me at angharadhandmade {@} gmail . com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...