Ever tried camping?

Camping is on the increase and a great short break for the whole family. Large size family tents are now affordable and have come a long way from the vision of camping in an A frame tent being held up with a stick and a piece of string. If you stick to the camping essentials, you really don’t need to invest in much at all. If buying a tent try not to get carried away and only buy as big as you need. The larger the tent, the more tricky it is for one person to put it up by themselves. Also, the larger ones are quite bulky when packed away and can cause storage problems when not in use.

The kids will love it. Going back to nature is really exciting for them, and the thrill of sleeping bags etc is just great. Campsites are very social places and the kids will make friends with fellow campers, and kick a ball around with your new neighbours. Many campsites are equipped with clean, modern, simple but functional facilities. It is possible to have a warm shower in the morning to start your day afresh. If you strike it lucky with the weather you could have a glorious weekend. Although, it does go without saying, do have some waterproofs in the car in case it rains.

Outdoor cooking can be really simple. Just think of a simple dish you prepare at home that would only require one saucepan e.g. a pasta dish – of course the simple option is to pop out to eat. Breakfast can be the full fry up or simple croissants. A multipack of mini boxes of cereal are great because the inner wax packet is waterproof - so pour the milk in, give them a spoon and breakfast is done.

See our camping checklist for the list of essentials when camping with the family.

Send us your top tips for camping with the kids click here.

First published 4kids Summer 2008