July 20, 2020

Image source: @deancothill

“It’ll be fun”, he said. This was a few years ago, when my husband decided to convince me that camping with our two young children would be a great bonding experience as a family. Now, my experience of staying in a tent was for music festivals in my varsity days, so I realised my packing essentials would expand far more than just a change of clothes, a toothbrush and some wet wipes. We planned our first camping trip back in start of summer in 2018 and have camped quite a few times to make the most of each summer season. Over time, with each camping trip we have learnt a few tricks to be organised to make the most of our outdoor adventures. 

Camping equipment and food

A good tent would be the obvious first choice when planning a camping trip, but equipment like a gas stove, a sleeping bag and a cooler box are what we deem essentials to make your outdoor holiday that much more enjoyable. We store these items in two crates at home so it’s easy to pack the car when we feel like going away at the drop of a hat. Braaiing is the simplest option for supper most nights and having easy snacks, like fruit and chips, on hand to keep the children’s tummies satisfied also helps. 

Clothing

We opt to camp in the summer months, and no matter how hot it can be during the day, the nights still get chilly. It is always a good idea to pack easy, comfortable summer outfits for the day but don’t forget the warm clothes too! A fleece jacket or a warm puffer will do the trick and would be key to pack them in for the whole family. Keep a standard list of clothes and toiletries (and beloved teddies for the little ones) to pack for each family member so that you don’t arrive at your destination and yell, “I forgot my tootbrush!”.

Entertainment

When you’re out in nature, you really don’t need much to keep little ones occupied. Choose camp sites that are kid-friendly with a water area – a dam, a swimming pool or a river. This will keep the children entertained (and cool) for hours on end during the hot days. An easy walk or hike to a pool is a fun way to burn some energy so remember to pack in durable walking shoes to keep those little feet supported and durable. A pool noodle and a bucket with a spade are also simple toys to bring along on camp to encourage the fun.

Camping really doesn’t have to be met with the fear I initially had when my husband wanted to get our family to enjoy the great outdoors. With a few simple tricks to keep the packing effort to a minimum, camping can really be the most enjoyable outdoor adventure you and your family can experience together!


Written By: Carla Nicole Sissing 

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