Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On my heart: camping with kids

We are long time campers... We've camped in many places in Australia in a variety of tents and a variety of sites. Powered sites, unpowered sites, ensuite sites, remote bush sites, really remote bush sites and really really remote bush sites!

Our girls have both camped since they were 5 months old and have endured some Winter camping as well as glorious Summer experiences. 

This past weekend we took off to the coast and enjoyed two nights of relax along with friends and enjoying our beautiful 'Spring' weekend! 

I find the packing part can be a bit tedious and Friday was hard because the girls did not nap and my efforts at packing were constantly quashed!

We've generally always been able to bring the cloth nappies with us except for when we head out bush for extended periods. This weekend was a breeze and we brought back a small wash bag filled with nappies that are now clean and back in the drawer. So much better than convincing myself disposables would be easier - they wouldn't and that was 8 less nappies in landfill!

We recently upgraded to a camper trailer so we were happy to give that a test run on the weekend too! I'm hoping this makes our packing even easier as we'll now store much of our gear in there ready to roll! Bring on the organisation!
I'd love to know your camping with kids tips if you've got any?!?

Here's my top ten! (It got long!)

1. Do it. Don't let kids stop you from heading away camping. Start where you're comfortable and get more adventurous as you go! Glamping with power and toilets is perfectly acceptable!

2. Bring glow sticks - we pop them on our girls at night (necklace or bracelets) and they're easy to keep track of. Colour code your kids if you wish!

3. Accumulate gear slowly. It can be pricey to buy all the gear at once. Start with the basics and add to your collection as you go. Store gear well so they don't get damaged when not in use. eBay and gumtree (Oz sites) are great because you can pick up good gear from people who are no longer camping! 

4. Bring some of home with you. We took Miss Daisy's bed this time! Not the whole bed - her mattress and bedding (toddler size) and she was so happy! (We have the car to do this!) but also packed toys, bikes and books from home. 

5. Include kids. We love giving our girls opportunity to be involved actively in our time away. Collecting sticks for the fire, preparing food, washing up. All is fun while you're away!
6. Have good systems. We use plastic tubs to categorise our gear. Now we have the camper we'll fine tune this even more. Food prep box, ropes/pegs/poles, etc. Very easy when you know quickly where to find things!

7. Keep a list. We started to keep a list (in iPhone notes) of what we felt like we needed while we were away. This helped us to make our wish list and needs list for future trips! :)

8. Take good friends. We have such wonderful friends and family who we head away with regularly. Our best camping buddies love our kids and our kids love them! We're blessed to have two extra pairs of hands! xx

9. Do it! It's cheap (sometimes) and a great way to meet people! We've seen many remote places with our tent and 4WD. 

10. Not a tip but more a bit of anecdotal fun!! If you've read this far you're tops!
Do you think that setting up a tent is a significant marriage tester/builder?!? We've had some interesting tent pitching discussions!! How about you???

Tell me your best camping experiences. Or your worst??

And those great friends can take great photos. This beautiful Roo had a bulging pouch and a curiosity to my baby girl bounding around the beach. Very friendly! Thanks to PM for this great pic! Perfect day!