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10 things we won’t camp without

We’re gearing up for a camp with Millets later this summer, at Gradbach in Staffordshire. I remember the area well from my Year 4 residential, and it is also near our new house. Millets have challenged us to create a #homefromhome while camping, which got me thinking about what makes a tent a home!

We’ve had a campervan and a caravan, but we lent our tent to someone years ago, and haven’t seen it since. So when a new tent arrived, thanks to Millets, the kids were begging to try it out and ended up spending most the weekend in it in the garden.  I’ll share more when we camp in the summer, but first impressions are good, the Eurohike Rydal 600 is a six person tent with a removable room divider in the sleeping area, so good for both family camps and sleepovers. We love that it is tall enough to stand up in, with a big living area and a breathable, blackened sleeping compartment which let less light in, and lots of handy storage pockets.

Mr G and I easily put it up in 25 minutes too…and Mr A and I took it down in 15 minutes.

Camping out in the garden is a brilliant way to practice camping, perfect your packing list, and even give older kids their first taste of sleeping out alone. If the tent falls down, the temperature drops too far, the airbed springs a leak, or the dawn chorus wakes you up too early, you can creep back inside to your bed. However, cheating aside, the real advantage of back garden camping is being able to experiment and test all your gear works. All your home comforts are on tap, so you can work out exactly which ones make the biggest difference when it comes to camping away from home. Here are our home comforts we love to take camping:


Making S’mores over the BBQ or fire pit is a massive part of camping for us. So packing digestive biscuits, marshmallows and kebab sticks (or finding sticks) is a must.

Pillows, duvets and blankets

I’m not a fan of sleeping bags, so if we can fit in our duvets we will. I also like to take a fleece blanket for everyone, they are light and warm and easy to dry if they get wet. This was the set up when we glamped at Camp Bestival, I haven’t quite replicated this when camping ourselves, and wouldn’t recommend white sheets for a camp, but you get the idea – how inviting!

Head Torches

Hard to lose, hands free and a great way to keep track of kids running round a big field as the dusk sets in – glow sticks also serve a similar function, but are less environmentally friendly.

I’ve also been known to flip out if I wake up in the pitch black, so I sleep with a head torch wrapped round my wrist. Head torches are also great for…


When we had a caravan the kids loved the excitement of the book drawer full of special books that we stored there. Camping is a time to unplug a little, and I love having a little extra time to read myself too.

All the things to make a cup of tea

A cup of tea when camping takes on a whole new significance. It can make or break a morning, and that first cup of tea, when the camp is first set up, is legendary.  Set up your camping stove in the back garden and make sure it works, and that you have packed for every family member’s perfect cuppa, there is nothing worse than discovering you don’t have everything you need to make a cup of tea when camping. Hot chocolate is always a kid pleaser, take travel mugs, they are great for avoiding spills and will save you making the inevitable second cup you always need when camping.

Hot water bottles

Going to bed with a hot water bottle makes such a difference, the temperature can really drop at night and it feels so good to have a warmed up bed.


Teddy bears are the equivalent of glamping home comforts for kids. When you are camping in the back garden you can easily transport all your teddy bears, while they can’t all fit in the car on a proper camp. So if they want to bring 5, that’s ok, as long as there is still room for my favourite blankets and cushions.

Wine and chocolate

As long as you have these any camping disaster can be averted. I like red when I am camping, because it doesn’t need chilling, I also I find it hard to drink too much of it, and the last thing you need in a tent with children, is a hangover. It also goes brilliantly with chocolate.


A little really goes a long way when it comes to camping entertainment.  Most of the time kids can find their own games outdoors with too much prompting, but small card games like Uno or Dobble, bedtime stories, pen and paper, craft kits, a small box of Lego are great if it rains. Simple outdoor things like bats and balls, bubbles, frisbee, rocket launcher, swing ball, bug hunting kits, fishing nets are great for creating amazing outdoor camping memories.


Wet wipes and pocket tissues. Faceprint.


What are your camping home comforts?



  1. Sam | North East Family Fun Blog
    08/05/2017 / 1:37 pm

    I call myself a camping veteran but I’ve never actually made s’mores! I aim to rectify that this year. For me, wine is a definite must-have.

  2. 08/05/2017 / 8:50 pm

    I absolutely loved this. There is no chance of getting my husband to go camping but I’m still hoping he may one day change his mind. I loved camping as a child – and this sounds like your children are having THE BEST camping adventures x

  3. 11/05/2017 / 6:46 am

    Your plan to organize camping out in the garden seems perfect. You are well-prepared and brings all of necessary things. You had a nice camping home, Penny!

  4. Penny Alexander
    11/05/2017 / 10:50 am

    I loved your post on camping tips, wine stayed with me funnily enough!

  5. 11/05/2017 / 11:02 am

    I’m with you on duvets over sleeping bags – sleeping bags are very no choice sort of option.

  6. susannabritmums
    11/05/2017 / 11:40 am

    Yup s’mores are a must! (Now I want to go camping)

  7. 11/05/2017 / 12:43 pm

    Great list there Penny! Totally agree on the hot water bottles.We have sleeping bags as well as duvets and blankets.

    I can’t wait to get camping again this year – I love recreating the basics of our home in a field! x

  8. 11/05/2017 / 1:14 pm

    Camping is something I have never done and not sure if I am built for it lol. My kids and hubby would love it though

  9. 11/05/2017 / 1:38 pm

    We have only been glamping and not full on camping yet but eveything for a cup of tea was absolutely a priority!

  10. 11/05/2017 / 5:45 pm

    Those smores look amazing! Whilst you’ll never find me camping – I have to admit this looks idyllic… x

  11. 11/05/2017 / 8:28 pm

    I am OK with camping as long as I am warm, well fed and have my cuppa!

  12. craftsonsea
    12/05/2017 / 10:06 am

    Oh that looks brill – we used to camp a lot but recently have been doing glamping instead because I couldn’t face how long it took to put up the tent with the kids! Will have to have a look at this!!

  13. Cass@FrugalFamily
    16/05/2017 / 6:48 pm

    I’m all about the pillows and the blankets x x

  14. 24/05/2017 / 10:38 pm

    I’m more of a glamper, but if I did camp, I’d need something to make coffee with .

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