4 articles Tag camping

Five Top Tips For Family Festival Fun

Family Festival FunImage via Unsplash

It’s a huge part of the summer experiences – festivals pop up around the entire country, covering every topic from music to food to literature to wellness and more, so no matter what you’re into , there’s a festival waiting to be discovered – for you and the rest of the family too! Once solely the preserve of groups of friends, festivals have evolved to become a part of family life too. With kid-friendly entertainment, activities such as face-painting, storytelling and drama workshops, they are now a must-do summer event. But if you’ve never done a festival before or if you’re a seasoned pro of them but are contemplating your first one with kids in tow, what do you need to know in order to make the experience swim rather than sink?

Organise Your Travel

It’s always a good idea when going to a festival with your small humans in tow to ensure that travel arrangements are sorted well in advance. Whether you’re hiring a camper van for the week, driving in a family car or travelling on the train, it’s always better to time your arrival a little on the early side. That way, you can claim the best camping spot. The worst part of any festival experience is generally the lengthy queues to leave the site and traffic on the roads surrounding, so consider leaving a little before the stated finish time to beat the rush and make sure that you don’t get stuck in a gridlock with tired and fractious kids to entertain.

Create A Packing List

The number of essentials you need to keep children happy and comfortable can be huge, so packing lightly or spontaneously is definitely a thing of the past. It’s a better idea to follow a family festival packing list to make sure that all the bases are covered. Remember to include items such as baby wipes (even if your children aren’t babies, there’s nothing better for taking care of sticky hands and wiping them down), lots of high factor sunscreen, waterproofs and wellies, hats, sunglasses, packets of tissues and insect repellent. Remember that concerts can get very loud, so bring ear defenders for young children or you may find yourself having to look up Miracle-Ear’s tinnitus treatment. Remember that kids can be less tolerant of discomfort and go for a level up on what you may normally have opted for – some extra blankets, inflatable pillows and foldable camping chairs can go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.

Overpack On Snacks

When blood sugar levels drop, that’s when kids can get extremely fractious, so it’s a good idea to overpack on healthy snacks. The food available at festivals can be quite unhealthy, with a lot of fried or sugary treats on offer – and while the occasional ice-cream is more than recommended, to stop costs mounting up and keep energy levels steady, take healthy snacks along as well. Dried and fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and packets of vegetable crisps are all a good idea, and you could also try involving the kids in making some homemade low sugar granola bars to take along. Pack plenty of juice and give the whole family reusable metal water bottles which can be refilled on site to stay hydrated.

Layer Up

With the weather being so unpredictable, even safe bet packing can go disastrously wrong, and even outfits which are suitable for the sunshine during the days can get too chilly when the temperature drops in the evening. Rather than taking up lots of room with bulky jumpers and thick coats, go for a mix of light layers, for yourself and the kids. Pack things like lightweight fleece jackets, compact ultralight down top layers and thermal tights and tops which are warm but non-bulky and can be layered under or over more summery pieces if it gets colder. Don’t forget the waterproof items as well – children can quickly get cold and miserable if they’re not dressed right for the conditions. Take lots of spares as well – all that running around outdoors means that kids often get through more changes than they ordinarily would.

Get Yourself A Trailer

Taking kids to a festival means transporting a lot of stuff – be it camping equipment, supplies or even the kids themselves when little legs get easily tired. A lightweight, foldable trailer can be a lifesaver in many circumstances, as it’s easy to take and provides instant transport or even an impromptu napping spot. It means that when you leave your tent, you can carry all your supplies for the day with you and not have to keep heading back –  cool bags, rucksacks, kids things and an umbrella for shade or showers can all go with you.

How To Give Your Camping Trip a Glamping Makeover

GlampingHaving been subject to a pair few camping holidays in my time, I think I can safely say that though it’s very enjoyable I’m often found in an incredibly uncomfortable setting! Whether the tent is too small or the ground is lumpy, hard and damn near impossible to sleep on – camping has never felt like a particularly luxurious holiday.

Well, what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be this way? What if you could have the fun of camping in the great outdoors while keeping some of the creature comforts that a night in a nice hotel would give you? Well – you can. The answer? Glamping!

So, kick back, relax and enjoy this article all about tips for turning your boring old camping trip into the glamorous glamping experience it truly deserves to be!

Kick the food into fifth gear

Here are three words that epitomises every camping trip: mini sausage rolls. Everyone stocks up on awful supermarket cheap packet food because its less fuss, but it doesn’t have to be this way! If you plan ahead and prepare your meals before you set off on your journey then all you have to do is reheat them and boom – gourmet meals on camping chairs. The BBC goodfood website have plenty of delicious camping meals to choose from that will set your taste buds alight.

Say no to tiny tents

Want to know the biggest lie in the camping world? “This tent is big enough for two people.” Two fleas more like. Whatever number you are quoted for people a tent is supposed to accommodate, cut it in half. There’s nothing worse than sleeping in a cramped space. You can even go that one step further and sort yourself a nice spacious wigwam tent, perfect for becoming the envy of the campsite.

Don’t take it lying down

The ground that is! I hate sleeping on hard ground because you’ll wake up feeling like you’ve been beaten with a sack of rocks in the night. Invest in a sleeping mat, or better still, line your entire tent with a really thick duvet and your back will definitely thank you in the long run! Don’t forget to pack your pillows either, they’re easily forgotten and it’s no fun resting your head on a pile of folded clothes!

Add some outdoor ambiance

You’re all set up, but everything looks a bit… plain. You should add some character to your campsite so you can get some feelgood vibes going. Adding fairy lights or candles (for the outside – NOT the tent) can give your home away from home that lovely music festival feeling.

Make sure you’re not disturbed

Camping is notorious for late night/early morning noise distracting you from your much-needed beauty sleep – so block it out! Wearing some ear plugs or even an eye mask will make a huge difference when it comes to nodding off – and staying there.

If you have any suggestions for how to glamp up your life then feel free to comment below!

Sweet Burritos (Camping Recipe) – #campfirecooking

When I was a kid, the vast majority of the holidays we went on were of the camping variety. The south of England is pretty packed with family-friendly places to camp and on years that we couldn’t afford a big holiday, we’d still get taken for the odd night camping here and there, which felt like such an adventure. Unless you’re camping on a  site with great facilities, campfire cooking can take some thought and preparation – it’s unlikely you’ll have refrigeration beyond a cool box (which doesn’t stay cold forever) so finding food which won’t perish without a fridge is essential.

Just recently, Simply Hike got in touch and asked me to create a campfire cooking recipe. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I’ve been eating a low carb diet for around six months now, but I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to try to make something sweet, decadent and TOTALLY off plane! Here’s my recipe for sweet burritos:

Sweet Burritos #campfirecooking

Sweet Burritos (Recipe) - #campfirecooking
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A sweet take on a burrito
Author:
Recipe type: Campfire Cooking
Ingredients
  • Flour tortillas (I used special ones with a foldable end)
  • Bananas
  • Mini marshmallows
  • A bag of giant chocolate buttons
  • Tin foil
  • Cast iron pan
Instructions
  1. Place your pan on your campfire or camping stove and allow it to get hot
  2. Tear off a strip of tin foil which is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper
  3. Place your torilla on the foil
  4. Peel a banana and place it in the middle of the tortilla
  5. Sprinkle mini marshamllows down one side of the banana
  6. Line your choloate buttons along the top of your banana
  7. Wrap your tortilla, remembering to fold the bottoms in first to create an enlosed pocket
  8. Wrap your tinfoil tightly around the burrito and place it in the hot cast iron pan
  9. Cook it for a minute at a time on each side, turning frequently
  10. You'll know it's cooked when you give the burrito a squeeze and it feels squishy inside!
  11. Eat around the campfire!

Sweet Burritos #campfirecooking

This is honestly the sweetest, most indulgent thing I’ve eaten in months and it was SO worth it! It’s the perfect dish to top off a whole day of camping and will definitely help you to drift off into a cosy slumber when you crawl into your tent at bedtime. And don’t worry about all of the calories, because you’re bound to burn it off with all of the walking/tent erecting/other activities you’ll do whilst on your camping trip! This recipe can also just as easily be made a home on the hob, so don’t feel like you have to wait to make it!

Do you have a favourite camping recipe? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.

 

Preparing For That Family Camping Holiday

It’s always a good idea to provide variety for your family, particularly when it comes to holidays. As they say, travel broadens the mind – and getting your kids off to an early start in that respect is a great idea. That adage applies equally well whether you intend to holiday at home or abroad. But at home, there are particular favourite holidays which really work wonders with the whole family. Camping is one of the most popular choices for many families – and it’s not hard to figure out why. Provided that you are graced with some decent weather, camping can really be a memorable experience. For families in particular, it can do wonders for bringing everyone together. However, if you want it to be a successful holiday, then you need to prepare. Preparation is the key to success in everything, family holidays included. Read on now to find out some top tips for being as prepared as possible for your camping holiday.

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Get The Right Gear

As with anything, it is a really good idea to have the right equipment for the job. This ensures that you don’t come upon many nasty surprises later on. You can’t prepare for every eventuality possible, of course. But what you can do is prepare for most of them. And to do that, you need to get a little clever with your planning. Some of the camping gear is obvious – things such as tents and sleeping bags are a given. However, which type to get is another matter altogether – and something which is up for much debate. Ask people who go camping regularly, and they will all have different responses to give you. Ultimately, what is important is that you research the products thoroughly. The last thing you want is to find that you do not have everything you need.

When it comes to buying a decent tent, space is the priority. Other qualities – like being waterproof – are more or less a given. But if you do not have enough space for all the family, it is a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t matter how close-knit a family you are, in close quarters things can get tense. So treat yourself to a tent which is slightly too large. You may well be glad that you did.

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Plan It Out

You can, of course, just go where the wind takes you and see what happens. There is something exciting about this, and much to be gained from it. However, when you are taking the whole family camping, it might not be the best idea. With a whole family event, it is probably best to plan it out in as much detail as possible. In all likelihood, this will save a great deal of trouble for everyone involved. There is really only a limited amount that you need to plan – but make sure you do, and you’ll save yourself a headache.

The most important thing is to plan the route there and home. Don’t forget the second part – many people do, and it makes getting home that much more stressful. That’s the last thing you want after a nice holiday with the family.

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Check The Car

Speaking of being on the road, it is probably a good idea to check your car beforehand. This is especially important if you are going on a long journey. For example, if you will be going to the other end of the country, then it is best to take a lot of care with your car. This is important for a number of reasons. The most important – and most obvious – is that you need to take care of your family. The last thing you want is for there to be a road accident or something of that nature. Even just breaking down can be a real nightmare; best to avoid it altogether.

Check the oil and water levels, and top them up if necessary. You do not want your engine to burn out when you are halfway to the campsite. While you’re at it, check your Bridgestone tyres to see if they need any more pressure. At the same time, check the tread. If they have worn down, consider replacing the tyres.

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Do A Test Run

Finally, remember that going away with your family can be a big event. For that reason, it is probably worth doing a test run first. This can be as simple as going to a local campsite and staying for one night. Or you could just have a night in the garden. Testing it out in this way is a great way to iron out any kinks – while having fun with the family!