Top Tips: First Time Family Camping

Written by Rachel Cave

Let’s go camping and enjoy the great outdoors,
Wherever you go there’s sure to be lots to explore!
If you’ve got little campers in tow who haven’t been before,
Here’s our handy list with all you need to know and more!

You don’t need to splash out on a holiday abroad to have fun. Stay at home and enjoy the British landscape with a family camping trip! Kids will love the experience no matter what, but we’ve put together a handy guide to make sure you all have the best time possible.

There’s nothing worse than getting to the campsite and realising that you’ve forgotten something vital for your trip! Make sure that, before you head off, you’ve compiled a handy list with everything you need and ticked off each and every one.

A basic list of essentials:

Check out our ’25 Brilliant Things to Make Camping with Kids So Much Easier’ blog post for useful camping products you may need to get!

1. Keep clothing simple and sensible

Whilst it’s easy to throw on some jeans and a heavy hoodie to keep warm, they take much longer to dry than lightweight layers or waterproof options such as jackets and trousers if you’ve been caught out by the rain. Denim is fine if you’re keeping close the campsite, but keep waterproof options within close reach if you’re heading further afield for a hike! Taking along two pairs of shoes – ones for walks/hikes and ones to slip on at the campsite is always a good idea too.

2. Stay close to home for your first camp

Whilst escaping to a remote location in the middle of nowhere with minimal facilities sounds idyllic, in reality being near a bathroom when nature calls and supermarket for any emergency must-haves beats all other options! Try opting for a campsite close to home for your first time camping, just in case you do happen to need to run back home if need be! Check out our blog post for family-friendly campsites in the UK here.

3. Plan entertainment

So, what do you do once you’ve set up your tent, everything is organised and your little campers are eager to get stuck into their surroundings? Plan walking, cycling or hiking routes in advance, as well as taking a look at what attractions and events are taking place nearby, to make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip… and earning your campfire dinner on your return! Bringing along some fun and easy-to-pack things to do is a good idea to keep everyone occupied too. For example, a ball, frisbee, colouring books, or notebooks for those looking to take note of what they discover nearby!

4. Prepare for all weather

If you’re in England, you’ll probably do this anyway thanks to our ever-changing weather. Pack jumpers for when they get cold in the evening and remember the suncream. Just in case! It can be a pain to take lots of clothing but you’ll be grateful you covered all eventualities. There’s nothing worse than a cold or sunburnt child!

5. Bring lots and lots of bug spray, repellant, and essential oils

No matter how “bug-free” you are told the area is, nothing attracts those little creatures like young blood! If your little one is unfortunate enough to be bitten by something, you can rest assured knowing you have everything you need to soothe the pain and itching.

6. Easy Snacks

While tent camping most of our cooking was done over the fire or propane stove. So think about that and if you want to start it up every time one of your little angels says “I’m hungry!” Bringing pre-prepared snacks will be a great time saver and you’ll thank yourself when your kids are suddenly “starving”!

7. Take extra-long marshmallow sticks

One of the best things about camping is roasting marshmallows. No matter their age, size, or heat of the fire, your little people will want to help roast their own! Keep the risk as low as possible by taking extra long sticks with you.

8. Take a potty

This is for those of you with smaller children, but not necessarily just those who are potty training. Late night toilet runs with little ones are never fun, so save yourself the journey across the dark campsite by taking a potty with you.

9. Remember their favourite blanket/teddy/music maker

Sleeping in a new environment can be both exciting and terrifying for children, so take a bit of home comfort with you. Not only will it help settle them at night and hopefully get them to sleep easier, it may also come in handy to cheer them up if there are any little accidents while you’re away.

10. Take your patience, patience and more patience!

Kids will be kids and you can only do so much. They will be loud, they will cause chaos, and they will get themselves and their stuff dirty! Especially right after a shower and you clean something. They will be themselves times 100! Even more outspoken, excitable, and uncontrollable!

What have you been up to? We’d really love to know! Someone else might love it, and really want to go! If you’ve got ideas, suggestions or reviews, you can shout all about it on whatever channel you choose!

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