After owning a VW and a caravan, we’ve come full circle this year and returned to tent camping. We had an amazing weekend at Embers camping earlier this year, and totally loved the Millet’s blogger camp last weekend (pictured above) and I can’t wait to share that next week. Before I do, I thought I would start with some camping must haves as we have been sent quite a few gadgets and products to test this summer and have now picked out our favourites.
Firstly our tent, as people have been asking on instragram, is a six man tent, but perfect for the four of us for a weekend, festival or shorter trip. The two sleeping compartments have blackout which is a genius invention, who wants to wake up with the dawn when you have been up late telling ghost stories round the campfire? It’s a Eurohike Rydal 600 and last time I looked was reduced massively to £199 at Millets. I love the storage, it makes it really easy to keep track of all the little things that make camping with kids easier, so here are our must haves…
I wrote this post about how forgetting insect repellent actually ruined a holiday for me so now I am never without it when we travel. I loaned my Jungle Formula out loads to others during a travel influencers’ conference in Menorca recently and I’ve also travelled with Jungle Formula to the Caribbean and Africa in the past. It’s often essential in the UK too, our last camping trip was by the river and the midges were out in full force in the evening and repellent also came in very handy when we went to the nature reserve at dusk to see barn owls being ringed. I have been really impressed with the Jungle Formula kid’s range too.
My youngest hates any kind of lotions on his skin so the slap it bands to place around the wrist were a brilliant discovery for him. The bands lasts for up to 2 weeks and I was impressed they kept him completely bite free. You can see them in action in the video, they loved the slap it action! My daughter wore the band and the kids’ Jungle Formula lotion which is DEET free. She only suffered a few bites on her forehead where she tells me she forgot to apply the lotion.
Suncream and Sunhats
It is so easy to forget these, but being outdoors all day means covering up is really important. Our tent storage pockets make it easy to keep track of essentials. You can check out some Sunsense products in the video, Australia’s number one brand, the Sport formula looks great for active days and is transparent and light so seems promising for kids who don’t like suncream.
For rubbish, wet clothes and muddy boots, also brilliant if you need to pack in a hurry or leave when it is raining.
Headtorch Or Glowsticks
Although a child with a head torch on can get a little dazzling they are a brilliant way to give them independence while being able to keep track of them. Camp sites are a brilliant place to teach kids how quickly it goes dark and how that can be disorientating. Coleman make head torches with some seriously nifty features. You can wave your hand in front to cycle through light modes and light intensities, Coleman BatteryLock technology means the battery doesn’t drain when it is not it use and Reax auto-adjusting, light-sensing technology, adapts the beam pattern to the surrounding environment and needs of the user.
Chocolate, wine, marshmallows and chocolate digestives are a must have for us!
EQUIP make large size all over body wipes which are great for a camping freshen up. With coconut extract for cleansing, aloe vera for soothing and organic Karanja nut glycerin for moisturising, they are lovely to use too.
These Varta lanterns were a big hit with the kids. The orange light attracts 60% less insects and makes a subtle night light for kids, or people like me who can’t sleep in the dark. You can also choose a white light and it can be hung upside down as a lantern in the tent. Full demo in the video.
Perfect for keeping them snug at night, harder to lose than a hat. Check out the Berghaus snuggly neck fleece tubes in the video too, from Millets.
Doormat and Carpet/Picnic Blanket
Helps to reduce mud and damp in the tent and signal to kids that shoes come off in the tent. Picnic blankets or tent carpets are brilliant too, they keep the tent sung. Take one to put under your airbed too, I discovered they help to prevent your airbed absorbing the cold air from the ground. This one is from Joules, adds a bit of glamour to our camp and comes with a matching cool bag (both from John Lewis).
It is easy to forget to keep hydrated when you are busy having fun and getting water involves a walk to the tap, water bottles and a big container for water are a green option, we found this child friendly water dispenser in Tiger for £5. The table clips were from a camping shop and can hold cups, but are great for keeping all kinds of things from blowing away.
This is a genius piece of kit from Muggi.co.uk, for transporting or keeping stable those morning cups of tea or the all important bedtime hot chocolate. Brilliant also for transporting china or pottery mugs in the car, because I do love a proper mug for my cup of tea! Top tip – make a flask or large travel mug of tea and then pour into a proper cup – one to wake you and one when there’s the perfect moment to savour it – one cuppa is never enough when camping! Our red travel mugs are Thermos, from John Lewis and keep drinks piping hot for 7 hours.
First Aid Kit and Medicines
Someone is guaranteed to need something at some point, hopefully just a little plaster, but the last thing you need is a drive to the chemists.
I’ve shared a post about our car travel items recently, but hadn’t managed to get a shot of travel Battleships in action – we love this game, also from John Lewis. Dobble, cards and Uno are also great portable games that appeal to children of all ages.
Hot Water Bottle
Great for snuggling up at night, again, the flask comes in handy for keeping some water in store for this!
See the products in action, plus some extra gadgets that only feature in this video. Thanks to Mr A for being a fab hand model, and making me realise how much I had missed with some of the gadgets the first time I picked them up!
Photo credits – top image, Millet’s own photographer, all other photos P Alexander.
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