Going camping with the boys is something we had always talked about doing. However, I think I’d have easily kept it as something we just talked about for a couple of years before actually going for it. I loved the idea of it, being out in the countryside and getting back to basics but the practicalities of taking three children under five meant I kept putting it off. Thankfully, Millets got in touch with us asking if we were planning a family camping trip and suddenly I thought why not? It was the perfect opportunity for us to do something we had always dreamed of doing.
I booked us in on a small campsite hidden away in the hills of Conwy. We opted to stay for only two nights, I thought that would be enough but in the end we could have done more. I wish I’d gone for the extra night! The weather was with us and the whole experience was just wonderful. All the things I was worried about just melted away; I thought it would be a lot of work and it would be hard keeping an eye on the kids or keeping them entertained. None of that was true.
I would say we kept our equipment pretty basic. This was our first time and I didn’t want to go over the top. We had everything we needed and we were comfortable, however when we go again I think I can add a few more luxuries in! Our tent was an Eurohike five man and was great, it had plenty of room for us all to sleep in. It was all one big room for sleeping in with a porch which was better with the little ones as we were right there if they woke in the night. We took self-inflating mats, sleeping bags, two fleecy blankets and our pillows from home. We had two head torches and lanterns as well as glowsticks which the boys used as nightlights – a good tip from a friend! I took two picnic rugs and we set up one in the porch and one outside our tent which made it feel a little cosier. We set up a windbreaker around our tent and had our camping table and camping chairs for the evening – the boys loved their little animal ones. We had disposable barbecues to cook on in the evening, they did the job but I think I’d invest in a camping stove for the next time we go away. We did have our phones and I took the ipad, it wasn’t used often but it was handy for keeping the boys quiet early in the morning while our neighbours were still asleep.
There are lots of little things we took which were handy – kitchen roll, tin foil, cool box and freezer packs (our campsite had a fridge and freezer for campers use), wipes and hand gel, steripods (clip on protectors for toothbrushes), Muc-Off body cleanser, a flask, enamel cups, plastic plates, bin bags, matches, kebab sticks, marshmallows, citronella candles, carabiner clips, water bottles, pen-knife, books, balls and outdoor games, pack of cards, a face cloth and hand towel.
I got some great tips and advice from friends before I went and we found out a few for ourselves. We booked an electric hook up pitch which we hardly used but they tend to be the better pitches, closer to the toilet blocks. You don’t need any routine when camping, we ate when we were hungry and went to bed when we were tired. It is so light there is no point trying to get the kids to sleep any earlier than 9pm. The first night was a little disturbed and I felt like I was waking every hour but the second night the boys slept right through, all the fresh air really helps – we even woke before them at 7.30am. It does chill down at night even in the summer so take full pyjamas and bed socks, and cosy hoodies to wear outside at night.
We took so much food but it was mostly snacks, plenty of high-energy things like malt loaf and Clifbars and I had brioche and croissant ready for quick breakfasts in the morning. The glowsticks were great for the kids at night and we did take a potty for night time toilet trips but didn’t need to use it this time. I would highly recommend a few outdoor toys keep the kids entertained in the evening, we took a kite, bubbles, balls, bats. Most campsites allow barbecues as long as they are off the ground, we took a couple of bricks for ours. Most don’t allow fires but some rent out firepits – I’d love to do that next time and you must roast marshmallows! There are some great smores recipes on Pinterest which we will be trying out next time.
The very best things about it all was being able to totally switch off, we sat, we chatted and enjoyed each other more than ever before. Me and my husband commented on all the little things we noticed about the boys when there wasn’t any other distractions around. We were lucky to be in a beautiful spot, I was quite happy to just sit and look at the view. We could go for little walks down the country lanes and visit the local pub, we all loved the chance to be outdoors so much. Being able to wake up in the morning and just step out into a field was far more blissful than I thought it would be. That was the biggest thing I missed when we returned home. I would recommend it to anyone, even with young children, this was the perfect age for the boys to experience it as it was such a great adventure. I would do it all again without hesitation.
Have a watch of our video to see what we got up to while on our camping adventure and I have shared a few more of our camping memories earlier this week.
Millets sent us some camping equipment and a camping care package to enjoy on our first camping adventure.
All words and thoughts are always my own.