So I though I will give you guys some tips on camping and what we have learned through our adventures:
- Be well-set up, equipped with what you need. Some of the items we have found the most useful are a table that can be set up lower for the kids' height to eat on, a kitchen cupboard to pack out most utensils and food and a utensil hanger for knives etc, to be out of the way for little kids hands. The usual freezer, etc goes without saying. Our set-up is as follows: a big canvas dome tent (high enough to stand in) that we use as the kid's bedroom. In front of that is our extension part- a room that clips on the dome and is slightly bigger in size. Hunter and I sleep in it and we also keep our freezer and some general items in it like the laundry hamper etc. The extension has a little covered area in front of this and onto this we have a gazebo with sides that we use as the dining/ kitchen area and general living area.
|Our home away from home set-up.|
- Take toys, but not too many. I take one crate of Duplo - they all play with it and a little backpack with each child's specific favorites.including a drawing and colouring book and crayons.
- Bikes are one of the most important items you will have at a camping site. And the older they get the more independent they become.
- There are always bigger kids that play with the smaller ones at a camping site. A bonus, I tell you.
- Choose your site and camping ground with care - you want to be close enough to an ablution block, but far enough from the pool. And close enough to a good playground but in a secured fenced camping ground
|Wonderful playground in the coolest spot at Xaxaza resort in Mtunzini.|
- A potable DVD player is not only a bonus in the car but also in the tent for bad weather and tired kid moments.
- We make one "bed" for the kids by placing their mattresses and sleeping bags right up against each other - they feel safer and happier that way.
- After many options we are now sleeping on the new generation type stretchers and I add a thin mattress on top of mine. Those blow up mattresses - nope. No more inflating in the middle of the night for us.
- I use crates to pack almost anything for camping - including our clothes. No bags or suitcases. Crates pack and unpack easily and if you have a rain issue especially while pitching or break up camp, everything stay dry inside.
- I make one bag for bath time for me and the kids - a big back pack or gym bag in which I keep all the bath stuff, but can also pack new outfits and towels.You pick up one bag and off you go.
- Always take a multi size bath plug along. Many places do not have bath plugs if you want to bath kids. If there is not bath, small kids fit into big Coleman cooler boxes ;-)
- Teach your kids to shower asap - it will make your life so much easier.And to go to the toilet on their own.
- Take enough cable ties in all sizes - they can tie almost anything to anything.
- Buy the longest electrical lead you can find - we have a 25 meter one. A winner. Take enough multi plugs along to connect everything.
- Ziplock bags and black garbage bags are wonderful! They have a million uses.
Edited March 2014 :
Now that the kids are older we do somethings a bit different - I pack each kid their own bathroom bag - big enough for a change of clothes and a toiletry bag.
Also we choose our sites with different criteria - but that one you will figure out as you go along.