Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Camping Adventures ..... 2 kids, 2 adults .... no car - A packing checklist.

Please note this picture is
from a camping trip WITH a car!
Impossible I hear you cry.... and you know what that's pretty much the reaction I always receive when I mention it..... which is why I am even more determined to make it work lol.

I'm not mad or crazy, we're only planning 2 nights not a week but if we can go on a caravan holiday with a weeks worth (plus extras)  of clothes etc for 2 adults and 2 children (right from when they were babies) then I am pretty confident we can do 2 night camping.

We have the tent (bought last year on a really good offer) including airbeds (4) and sleeping bags (4).  over the last year tho the kids have got new sleeping bags (Spiderman!) which are smaller and lighter (bonus).

We made the decision to have a real 'basics' camping experience.  Personally I would have happily taken the tent up a fell (like when I was at uni) but apparently you aren't supposed to do that any more so I looked around for a 'real site'.  As we don't have electric hook up facilities we don't need an electric pitch (please don't die on me phone/ camera) and I wasn't paying for a cable just for phones and cameras, not to mention their weight.

So far I have filled a large case, a holdall on wheels and we are planning on having a 30L rucksack each for clothes.....

So you can ignore all the "what you must pack for a camping holiday list"  .... I refer to one in particular here - one that I am sure all camping parents of children will have looked to for guidance ..... netmums!
Apparently all the below are essential to successful camping ....

Things that we have packed from the list.....
Mallet - for hitting the tent pegs into place - ok I'll give them this one, it is pretty essential and we have packed one.  + spare tent pegs!
Torch - for lighting the way to the toilet block at night! - we've got some really lovely mini ones including one that glows in the dark so you can actually find it!
Lamps - for some light in the tent - we have a battery operated strip light.
Antiseptic wet wipes - for feeling clean after a day on site - we have a pack of wipes from B&M which are fab as they are flushable.
In-tent entertainment - think board games, books and portable video games - we've got a copy of The Faraway Tree, colouring books, a brilliant pizza game, I-Spy Camping and crayons.
Towels - take as many as you can - we have 2 microfiber ones that fold up really small but are fab (I've been told).  TBH hubby is the only one bothered about a shower, me and the kids will probably just wipe down  :)
Cash - if you're staying somewhere quite remote be prepared!  - I'll give them this.
Map of the region - the campsite may also have useful local information - yup, I'm getting one of these today.
Plenty of warm, waterproof clothing - even in the summer - we are taking 3 sets of clothes each for 2 nights (it's all there's room for) and a coat.
Matches & batteries - always good to have to have in emergencies! - I've packed spare batteries, no need for matches

Things we are planning on buying and binning when we get there (cheap from a local Asda or similar).
Comprehensive cutlery and crockery - including a sharp knife  - plastic! cheap!
Washing-up liquid & sponge - and a bowl, though you can wash up directly in the sink
Plenty of toilet roll - though most camps supply it you can never be too sure!
Bottled water - always good to have to hand
First Aid kit - including plenty of plasters, anti-histamine, pain-killers etc

Things we will buy and bin if the need arises - have you seen the weather forecast for Alton?
Insect repellent- keep pesky mozzies and other nasties away
Sun lotion & sun hats - vital for little kids who'll want to spend all day in the sun  

Things that there is really no room for on a camping trip by train for 4 people.......
Pillows/quilts/blankets - for added comfort and warmth  - we went for good old fashioned sleeping bags!
Pump - for blowing up air-beds or inflatable mattresses - we are taking camp mats - lighter than airbeds and a pump.
Fold-up chairs - for tent-bound evenings if it rains - it's called a floor/ groundsheet.
Wellington boots - absolutely vital for all the family - a great idea in theory, pretty difficult in  principle.
Buckets and spades - if the beach is close by - we'd buy some and donate to the camp site if the need arose.
Washing powder/tablets & pegs - camping seems to generate a fair bit of washing
Potty - don't forget the potty if you've got little children! - trekking to the toilet block at 3am in starlight is the best bit about camping.

Mobile phone charger - easy to forget but useless having your mobile without it  - not much point with no electric hook up.
Gas for the stove - buy this when you buy your stove. Some sites will sell gas too  - we have bought a stove but having looked at the awful weather for the 3 days we are away it is doubtful it would get used so we're going to leave it behind...... what will we do for food - see the next post.
Pans/can opener/corkscrew - and of course other eating and drinking implements  - we will buy some paper/ plates and cups locally (cheap) - see above.
Carbon monoxide detector if staying in a mobile home/caravan/boat etc. - tent - no gas :)

Things the list has forgotten
Your child's best teddy - woe betide the mummy/ daddy who forgets to take baby hedgehog or cat with them for snuggles at night.
A camera to capture all those special camping moments.
A day rucksack for days out so you don't have to take the big camping one.
Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
Prescription medications
Toothbrush, toiletries
train tickets (if pre-booked)
Attraction passes/ tickets (if pre-booked)


  1. I think you have thought of just about everything!
    Good luck & happy camping x

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