Eight tips that will make  your family camping trip stress-free

If you are braving the outdoors with your family this summer, fair play to you. Maybe you and your brood thrive amongst nature and long to sleep beneath the stars. However, if like us you are totally winging it, you might find some reassurance in this list: Here are 8 tips for your family camping trip.

1. Pack outfits, not individual items of clothing

A great way to organise your kid’s clothes is to pack entire outfits. Grab underwear, socks, a t-shirt and jumper and roll them into trousers or shorts, tucking the loose sides in. You will end up with little parcels of outfits ready for each day. This is also one way to avoid spending time choosing outfits – something no one wants to do in the confinements of a tent.

2. Pack for all kinds of weather

Who are we kidding? There is no such thing as summer clothes this side of the Atlantic. Wellies or hiking boots are just as important as sandals and runners. Sun cream and fleeces might be needed on the same day. You can never have too much stuff on a camping trip, especially when you have the car to pack – sure, isn’t that the whole point of camping?

3. Consider the tent a no-shoe zone

This needs no explanation as to why especially if your stay-cay will be a sandy one. To help with this, find a large bucket or storage box and use it to pack some of your loose camping supplies in the car. When you have arrived at your destination, unload the contents and use it as a shoebox that sits right at the entrance to the tent.

4. Forget cups, choose bottles instead

Kids + tent + cups of water/juice = disaster. Reusable bottles are best for travel anyway, but they also reduce the risk of in-tent spillage by like a million per cent.

5. For dry firewood, place timber under your car

If your kids are of an age where you think they can handle being around a campfire safely, they will be so excited to collect firewood and roast marshmallows. One way to ensure that a rogue shower doesn’t spoil your plans, is to store all the wood you gather, under the car to keep it nice and dry.

6. Mark the guy lines of your tent

You know those lines that fit into the ground to steady your tent? Well, someone WILL trip over them during a midnight toilet trip. A great way to save you some tears (at best) or a trip to the A&E (at worst) is to mark them with something colourful and soft. Swimming pool noodles have been noted to work well for this if you wrap them around the spot that needs to be avoided.

7. Everyone who can use a torch should carry one

Hear me out. I know you’re imagining a light display in the tent at 5 am, performed by the designated messer of your family. However, if you are the only one with a light on your phone, you will end up doing EVERYTHING yourself. Every request for food, water, tissues, jumpers and snuggly socks will be on you. This is your holiday too, so best equip your kids as much as you can so you can actually relax for five minutes.

8. Whatever you do, do not forget the First Aid Kit

You will need plasters at the very least. You may also need insect repellent, antihistamines, burn cream, antiseptic wipes and pain killers. Sun cream is a must, obviously but you should throw in some aloe vera or after sun as well. It is much better to overpack than to under pack when it comes to camping accidents.

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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