We are currently planning for another camping trip in the summer holidays, we first took the children camping a few years ago in the new forest with fellow bloggers for a bloggers camping event. I was convinced we wouldn’t like it as previously I had camped in the back garden with Paul and hated every moment of it, being slightly claustrophobic I couldn’t bare to have the tent doors closed and not being the at one with nature type I had to come inside for the loo a good few times (not that I would pee in my back garden that is but even the thought was horrid).
Seeing just how much the children loved it changed my mind, and of course the fact they slept SO well was a huge bonus. I actually slept well too, the fresh air seems to knock us all out.
Since then we have added to our camping equipment, purchased our own tent and each year our camping kit gets bigger and upgraded too. That’s the fantastic thing about camping, you can build up your kit as you go along – starting with cheap items and seeing how you get on with them and then change as needed.
Last year my brother made me an electric hook up cable (it’s rather handy having an electrician in the family) and it really made life easier. We upgraded our camping stove last year for a Campingaz double folding burner stove and grill which meant we could cook more than on our old single burner which in turn meant the gas went a little further as 2 parts of a mean could be cooked at the same time (chilli cooked on one hob and rice on another for instance), we have also added an Andrew James stainless steel electric double hob to our equipment recently which means if it is raining we will be able to cook in the tent, I also think we need to add an events tent or a gazebo for this instance too – but seeing as I am camping with my Brother and Sister-in-Law for our next trip I will be able to steal a small section of theirs I’m sure. On my have to buy list is also a camping kitchen so we can cook without the stove being on the ground and provide a little resistance from the wind, and also a folding table and chairs to eat our meals at.
We also have a 64 oz Hydro Flask which comes in very handy for keeping our drinks cool in the tent – it can get really warm in our tent in the summer months. The Hydro Flask holds a whopping 64 oz and not only keeps cold drinks icy cold for up to 25 hours but as it is insulated it will keep hot drinks piping hot for up to 12 hours. Hydro Flasks are BPA free and as they are made from stainless steel they are easy to clean and won’t transfer tastes. We also have the stainless steel cups to use with this – they are perfect for camping as can be used for hot or cold drinks and help to keep those drinks at the correct temperature for longer, and of course they are easy to clean and if and when the kids drop them it doesn’t do to much damage (always a bonus with young kids)
When cooking we always tend to keep it very basic and simple – hotdogs, boil in the bag rice, noodles, sausages. These are quick to cook and we know the kids will eat them but they do become rather boring so I have been looking for inspiration for quick and easy camping meals.
Here are a few of our favourites from fellow bloggers which I’ll be trying out when we go away:
Lauren from The Helpful Hiker has a downloadable meal planner which is super helpful and consists of three breakfast ideas and three mains along with a shopping list of all ingredients you will need – I particularly think the kids would enjoy the Broccoli Pasta.
Tami (Mummy of 2 + 1) has a lovely recipe for Chorizo and Baked bean Campfire Stew which sounds delicious and has only 2 ingredients which need to stay cold (Bacon and Chorizo)
Louise from My Gorgeous Boys has a very simple yet wonderful pudding recipe over on her blog – Chocolate Bananas, these are so tasty, we actually had them tonight cooked in the oven and I can only imagine they will be even tastier cooked on an open fire.
Jen (My Mummy’s Pennies) shares a video of her son cooking a Paper Bag Breakfast while camping which I think the kids would love to try on our next trip.
I think I will also cook and freeze some of our meals before we go in preparation this time, Bolognese, Chilli and Beef Stew, once cooked and frozen I can add them into the electric cool box and they will last the weekend and reduce our cooking time in the process leaving more time for family fun and games.