For some families the most difficult decision they have to make all year is about where to go on holiday. As the family expands and gets older, everyone seems to develop their own idea of what a great holiday means to them. For example, mum might be a fan of a country retreat, dad might want to chill out on a beach in the Caribbean, one child might want something exciting where they’re entertained every moment of every day while the other child might fancy a more cultural break based on a city they’ve heard about in school or seen on the television.
Obviously, you’re likely to struggle to find a location that fits all of that criteria – if you do, please let us know because you’d be doing parents around the world a massive favour – so it’s all about finding something a bit different that you may never have tried before, something like camping.
It’s the kind of holiday that can bring a family closer together, spending time as a family doing a variety of activities as a group that you wouldn’t ever get to do in a hotel or villa. Before you do that, however, you need to make sure that you’ve got all of the essentials and the All Round Fun camping equipment and accessories page is a good example of where you’ll find everything that will make the trip a successful one.
The first and most obvious piece of equipment you need to organise is a tent. There are a variety of styles available from simple pop-up, one-man versions for individual campers, right up to huge family-sized tents with designated bedrooms and even ‘lounge’ areas that are large and comfortable enough to stand up and even sit around together if the weather does take a turn for the worse. Whichever model you choose is going to be down to your budget but it may be best to start out small and relatively inexpensive just in case it turns out that camping really isn’t for you and your family because it isn’t for everyone.
You also need to think about your sleeping arrangements. While many will already have sleeping bags stashed away in the cupboard or shed from previous sleepovers, it’s always good to find some way of staying off the ground when camping so that you get a comfortable – and dry – night’s sleep. People regularly forget that they’ll be sleeping on the cold, hard ground when they camp and it can lead to a poor night’s sleep as well as back and neck problems. For that reason it’s important that you look into a camping bed that pops up and provides you with the framework similar to that of your traditional bedframe; or invest in an air bed that inflates and deflates when you want it to, giving you a comfortable mattress that will fit neatly in your bag or car when you don’t need it.
A camping stove is another great idea – and an essential one at that! It doesn’t matter how long you decide to go away for, it’s always good to have the option of a hot meal available to you. They don’t have to be huge family barbecues, you can get perfectly adequate stoves the size of a laptop that will allow you to cook using a small gas bottle so you can have a bacon sandwich in the morning or boil up some pasta to keep you all going.
The most important tip for any first-time campers, however, is to make sure that you try as hard as you can to have fun and enjoy your surroundings. The great outdoors is just that – great – and you can’t see just how amazing it is when you’re sat on your sofa or jetting off to the other side of the world. The UK is full of some amazing countryside and coasts, you just need to get out there and explore them!