You can go camping with anyone; your other half, friends, family, kids, and even the dog. Children love the adventure of camping and it’s a really good way to get them outside.
How do I take my kids camping for the first time?
If you’re planning on taking the kids on their first camping holiday, it might be a good idea to have a trial night in the garden first. This will give you the perfect opportunity to test out your kit and iron out any issues before you travel. The little ones will see it as a great adventure. And when choosing your campsite, make sure you check that they actually allow children as not all of them do. And it should have plenty of facilities and activities to keep them entertained. Here are a few more things to consider when camping with children:
- Babies & Toddlers: Check you’re allowed to dispose of nappies on site, and make sure you use nappy bags to keep them contained. If you’re toilet training a child, take a portable camping loo or potty with you. If you normally use a buggy, consider switching to a baby carrier instead so you can take them on your hikes.
- Keeping warm: Tents do provide some warmth, but they do not give you the same level of insulation as you have at home. Dress children in plenty of layers, and have waterproofs handy for those rainy days. Opt for fleecy pyjamas at night, and consider a jumper or hoodie, and thick socks. It’s also useful to pack a hot water bottle too as even summer nights can be chilly.
- Staying clean: Load up on baby wipes for times when you need to wipe the kids down but won’t be able to give them a full bath or shower. Use hand sanitiser before meals and before they crawl into their sleeping bags. And don’t forget to pack the toothbrushes.
- Entertainment: Take toys and games they’ll enjoy playing outside, like water pistols, balls and bubbles. A colouring book is always useful, or why not turn them into little explorers, with a pair of binoculars, or their own little mini tent and camping set? It would also be fun to rent a boat or bikes for the day so you can go on a little adventure.
What do I need to pack for my dog?
There’s no reason why your furry friend has to miss out on the fun. Many people count their pets as part of the family, so it’s great to be able to take your dog on your camping trip too. Just don’t assume that dogs are allowed everywhere. Do you research and make sure you find a campsite that’s pet-friendly.
Here are some more tips for camping with your dog:
- Book a check-up at the vets: You can check your dog is healthy enough for the trip, and that they have enough flea and tick treatment. Also make sure you have the number of a local vet for where you’ll be camping, just in case you should need any treatment while you’re away. Make sure they are tagged and micro-chipped too in case they go astray so they can be returned safely to you.
- Pet first-aid kit: It’s useful to have a first aid book for dogs, as well as tape, wound dressing, cleansing wipes, a foil blanket and a tick picker.
- Portable food bowls: Pack fold-able or collapsible food and water bowls to save space, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking. And poo bags are a must for any dog owner.
- Don’t forget the lead: Even if your dog is comfortable off the lead, you should always have a collar and lead with you. You’ll want to bring a stake or something to put in the ground to keep your dog secure when you are busy cooking or eating. And take a towel for muddy paws so you don’t have footprints all over your sleeping bag.
Nothing will beat snuggling up with the whole family in a cosy tent. With our lives becoming more and more busy, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some much needed quality time together without the distractions of modern life.