We are a family who camps over Easter. I’m looking forward to camp fires, quiet days, beautiful surrounds, no internet, starry skies, the chance to put on a jumper and watching the kids get back to being kids. I embrace camping. On a certain level. You see, I prefer my camping on the glamping side.
Here’s how to make your camping trip into a glamping trip.
Your mates. Camp with friends. Friends with kids (if you have kids). Friends who are very organised, generous campers who always remember the things you don’t.
Your dog. Take your dog with you. Read the Techie Camper guide on how to go camping with dogs, and you’ll be able to bring him/her along without a problem.
Your bed. The key to having a great camping holiday is being comfortable and comfort is paramount when you are trying to catch up some sleep. I have found that having the mattress off the floor makes a huge difference and you can pick up relatively cheap stretchers at Kmart. We use an air mattress and fill it each morning – an extension cord for the pump to the car has been one of our best camping purchases. We also pack a spare air mattress. Yes, they come with repair kits but have you ever tried to find the leak on air bed? We use proper sheets and open sleeping bags as blankets. And bringing your home pillows goes without saying.
Your chair. Our camping experience changed for the better the moment reclining chairs came into our lives. Those babies are the most comfortable things you will ever sit in. And camping really does involve quite a bit of sitting. I invest in sitting.
Your coffee. Our lovely friends bring along their Nespresso machine (I’m not the only glamper in the group) but we also make sure that good espresso is never more than a quick drive away.
Your reading. While doing all that sitting, you can catch up on those books you have been meaning to read or indulge in some magazine time. Buy a few things you don’t normally read and treat yourself. Or head to the library and take out some magazines. If colouring is your thing, do that. Or crosswords. Or card games. Or crochet.
Your drink of choice. Get your beers and bubbles on ice and within easy reach. Have a seperate Eski just for drinks and use dry ice as well as party ice to keep the whole shebang cooler for longer. So that you don’t have to interrupt your busy sitting schedule to buy more ice. Cut garnishes like mint or lemon and keep in zip lock bags in said eski. Bring nice glasses. Maybe not the crystal. Definitely remember the bottle opener.
Your ambience. You know what’s lovely when you camp? The lack of light pollution. Having said that, a few fairy lights never hurt anyone and they do add a certain sparkle at twilight. You can get battery operated ones these days.
Your nosh. We eat like kings and queens when we camp. Sometimes it feels like the whole day revolves around what we will eat next. There are second and third breakfasts. There is always an antipasto platter in the afternoon and a huge shared feast at night time. Sharing the cooking so that one family cooks per night gives everyone a break and saves on Eski space.
Your bathroom. Check out the amenities before you head off. Most camp grounds have pretty good bathrooms these days, particularly the larger parks. Have a ready-packed bag or plastic basket with towels and all your bathroom stuff. Remember the shower thongs.
Your view. Position is everything. It’s a great idea to check out grounds before you stay to get a feel for where the prettiest views and most private sites are.
Your kids. If you travel with friends, the kids will look after each other and tire each other out by playing outside all day. If your kids are old enough, consider putting them into their own little tent near your own. The brilliant thing about camping is that the kids are actually ready for bed pretty early in the evening, allowing you to get back to that all-important sitting.
Hmmm, maybe I’m actually really looking forward to the sitting.
If you’re wondering about what/how to pack clothes for camping, you could read this.