One of my more questionable ideas this year was to take the children camping. Camping reminds me of my own childhood - a wet and windy week in Wales, yet somehow I still look back on it with great nostalgia, so much so that I am determined my children should experience camping for themselves and it goes without saying, there needs to be at least one torrential rain shower so they get to know that pitter-patter sound of raindrops on canvas.
Mr M and I have been camping many times over the years, so we've got a fair bit of camping paraphernalia but we've not yet tried it with our children and I fear this is a whole different ballgame. I can't say Mr M was over-enthused at the prospect of forking out on a family-sized tent when I first broached the idea of camping, but when the very kind people at Vango sent me a tent to review for them, he couldn't refuse and is now positively excited about our forthcoming trip.
The new tent is a beauty and I'm giddy about having such a lovely spacious tent for our holiday (there will be a full review and post-holiday breakdown - in more ways than one no doubt - after we've been on our trip in a few months time). The children are as excited as excited can be about camping. Sure, take them to Disneyworld and they can muster a smile, but camping? The thought of camping has them jumping up and down on the spot. We've promised torches, new raincoats, backpacks, BBQ's and copious amounts of Top Trumps tournaments.
After literally weeks of scouting for a campsite that put a big tick in all our boxes I finally found what I was looking for and booked a lovely looking site in North Devon so we're all sorted with tent and location. I dragged Mr M to two large camping stores at the weekend (have to say, he didn't take much dragging) where we longingly stroked camp kitchens and fridges, lanterns and tables with adjustable legs, and I had a realisation. MR M! WE'RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER
Oh dear. I think I've actually gone camping crazy. I need to list (of course I do) and prioritise what we need to buy. It definitely involves the matching windbreak to go with our tent (I'm such a sucker!) and will involve some sort of kitchen/washstand type contraption but I need your help...
Seasoned campers! What essentials do you need for camping with children?