Just some ideas to make your camping trip easier. Don’t forget the Big Uborka Giveaway! A copy of The Camper Van Cookbook for the best tip left in comments by 14th August.
- Store food that doesn’t have to be kept cold in disposable or collapsible containers, as you will have less of it by the end of the week. A banana box is good.
- Two-litre water bottles are easier to fill and to pour than large water containers. You will have to go to the tap more often, but that’s often quite a sociable activity, or something you can send the children to do.
- Take two ice packs for your coolbag: one in the bag, one in the campsite freezer. Swap daily. Keep your coolbag in the shade, and not in the tent.
- Shower in the middle of the afternoon when there are no queues and plenty of hot water.
- Keep a folded tea towel in the bottom of the coolbag, which otherwise collects a pond of smelly water as your ice pack defrosts.
- Make tent etiquette rules very clear to children: keep fly screens zipped up (especially for the bedrooms); no shoes inside the tent, or have a ‘wet’ area and a ‘dry’ area, particularly if you’re suffering from copious rain. We use an old bathmat by the tent door.
- Have two mallets, then both adults can peg out the tent together. This helps to keep your base square.
- Rely on a nice middle-class guidebook or website like Cool Camping. We have Cool Camping for Kids and it has been mostly reliable. Family campsites often provide ample playmates for the children.
- Handy, but not essential kit, includes self-inflating mattresses, which are reasonably comfortable; microfleece towels which take up less space than traditional towels; inflatable pillows, but take pillowcases because they smell a bit plasticky, or stuff clothes into your sleeping bag cover; aluminium tent pegs rock – Pete loves them; flipflops are good so you can hop in and out of the tent without putting shoes on each time, also nice if the shower floor is a bit skeffy; duct tape; clothes pegs; fairy lights.
And here’s how to arrange your bin bag – peg between two guy ropes so it’s open; peg closed at night. The black bag was supplied by the campsite; normally I’d use something a lot smaller, like a supermarket plastic bag.