Let’s get this straight! This post is not for veteran backpackers or for people who have been born into camping.
If you’re still here, this is certainly for you.
As many of you already know we’re a family of three. We’re sharing the same struggles as any other family that is trying to strike the right balance between time and money. Our son is 7 years old now and we usually go camping or glamping 2-3 times a year.
You probably noticed by now, we love camping. But that is what makes it possible for us to afford to see so many places. Also for many other reasons.
Even if you have already decided that camping or glamping is not for you, try to hang around for the next couple of minutes. It will be worth it.
We weren’t born experienced parents and we never had any survival training. Everything we know, we have learned it ourselves and we want to share it with you. Our goal is to give you wings, in order to enjoy the so-called “simple” things in life.
( our little home in Scotland)
( Christian at the beach, doing what he knows best: playing with stones )
Why?… just a little story
I remember ( with a big grin on my face) the first time we went camping with our son.
He was 3 years old at the time. The sun was burning and it was unusually hot weather for England. We couldn’t find any available rooms and being on the road far from home, we quickly decided to get a tent.
That being said, that’s exactly what we’ve done. We went around the shops nearby and spent a bit over £200 just to get the minimum necessities for camping. It was far from luxurious. But we were so happy, being for the first time in the middle of nature with our kiddo. That’s easily one of the best experiences we ever had. We only had a cheap but good enough tent, 3 sleeping bags and a kettle…pretty basic ha?!
The first day we got there, the campsite seemed abandoned. It was just us and another tent. The heat wave came unexpectedly. I guess not many people have thought of this possibility. I remember Christian, our boy, running naked in the field. He was part of the picture…sunny day, green grass, sheep on the hill and a small inflatable pool ( that explains why he was naked). Also, the reason for our back pains for carrying so many buckets of water to fill it up.
It is very funny and just now I realize the way we as adults, see things completely differently.
Let it go!
From chatting with other people, I concluded that we often refuse this option of accommodation for one big reason. Guess what it is?! We are worried and we fear for our children. Worried that they might fall sick or get bored or be outside their comfort zone( Have a look at how many free or cheap activities you can do in Cornwall).
There is undeniable proof that we as humans are incredibly adaptable. Kids, even more so. In addition to that, children seem to enjoy more being outside once they break out of their shell( if they have one). It’s hard to believe they’re going to enjoy playing with water, sticks, mud, climbing on a tree, building a den or spotting wildlife more than living in a cosy hotel room. Yeah, right? Who would believe that?
(Christian’s cousin enjoying his first day ever camping …)
I can’t recommend it enough, leave any fears behind and get the whole gang out at least once a year. They’ll be ok, I promise you that. I believe it will make you see life completely differently.
( Christian making friends and exploring a stream nearby the campsite)
(Try doing this in a hotel’s posh fountain…let the dog go in too…)
Camping or glamping?
I have to tell you that we are the wild camping type. But we have been glamping a couple of times and our stay was absolutely luxurious. You get a proper bed, heating, rugs, cupboards and wardrobe…like for example a gipsy wagon. They call it glamping, I call it a mini flat…as sometimes you have everything. Why choose it over regular camping? Probably because you haven’t been in a tent before and you wouldn’t like to try it just yet.
If the thought of waking up somewhere in a forest, where deer are licking your windows and birds are giving you a free ticket to their concert sounds endearing, then follow my posts as I’ll try my best to give you the whole “know-how”.
(Our favourite way to cook …Smoky!)
A very beautiful campsite in the UK that I would like to recommend, is this one in Devon Ashbourne Woods
This campsite has it all. From a wild and wide forest where the kids can run, play hide and seek, lovely and friendly owners( they allow campfire), close to the beach to the cosiest little houses they use for glamping.
Initially, I wanted to make a list with our camping equipment but I’ve decided to make a video for you so you can have a proper peek. That’s exactly what you should take it as, a peek, inspiration and not a must. You can start with the basics, probably cheap gear and then slowly try to invest in a better one over the years. That’s one of the reasons why I chose winter to write about this. That is cause it’s a brilliant opportunity to buy these stuff on sale. I can tell you there are loads of shops having all their camping section on sale with massive discounts. And this is why you don’t get it in the summer.
Tips & tricks
Another tip, I suggest you use some of your old kitchenware as cooking equipment. Things like metal garden mugs, picnic plates and utensils, old frying pans ( preferably iron ones without plastic handles), your nana’s kettle (vintage ones are the best). This way you can save a lot of money. All you have to buy are some matches and yes…almost forgot, send your little ones to find kindling wood, as most sites allow this.
As you can see I’m always multitasking: singing, cooking, praying…and the list goes on!
If you prefer something more like a holiday park, I suggest you do your homework before. And one of the things to start with is to go on a camping show.
It’s generally cheap, it’s fun and it can be a day out for the family as they are humongous and it does open up your mind. It’s basically the place where you meet with the right person face to face. Either the owners of different campsites or people that manage different holiday parks. You can get discounts, book in advance, find out what facilities they have, how well equipped are they for kids( playgrounds and different activities to keep your little ones entertained). Also, it’s the place to meet representatives of campsites from abroad ( Spain or France) whereas normally it would be a lot harder to have a chat with.
There is one coming soon in Birmingham UK this February. So, click the link and book your tickets. We’ll be there!
Caravan and Camping Show here
If you don’t manage to go to one near you, don’t worry! We will make a summary for you, get the best tips and the best places for a family.
Please share with us your camping experiences. If you have any! Also, feel free to ask any questions. There are no silly questions. So, if we catch your interest and you want to find out more, we’re here. Just a few clicks away.
See you soon!