Top tips for a happy camping holiday
If you are contemplating a camping trip but are nervous of having a disaster, read our top tips from seasoned campers, and you will feel confident that you have every scenario covered!
This is the bit that generally puts people off (oh and the unpacking!) so the trick is to make it easy on yourself. Make sure you download our Camping List. As you assemble everything, tick them off your list.
Find a space to put all your gear as you go and then once you have it all start packing the car, pod, trailer etc. That way you can work out your space better.
When you unpack, try and put everything in the garage or shed in the same place - then it's easier to pack next time.
Try to pack light - it's ok to wear clothes for a couple of days in a row when you are camping. If you are camping by a beach in summer hopefully the most worn item will be togs.
If stained clothes bug you, pop in a bar of stain removing soap.
This is one thing you can't do anything about once you are there, so keep an eye on the forecast and cut short your trip if there is a particularly nasty spell of weather coming. Having said that, it's realistic in New Zealand to plan for a couple of days of bad/wet weather so pack raincoats, gummies and lots of coloring in, games and books. If it's warm and raining, send the kids out in it anyway, they will only get wet (and muddy)
This is the curse of camping - the walls of a tent are not sound proof!
To maximise sleep, take earplugs and help the younger children put theirs in. Also make sure you have plenty of bedding to sleep on, especially if you are camping in colder areas. Air mattresses and stretchers can get particularly cold underneath and no matter how much you have on top, if its cold underneath you will be cold.
Kids are king
One of the best things about camping is that the kids can help out with the chores - and what's more they seem to like doing so! Make sure you take a big bucket for the dirty dishes with a handle on each side so 2 kids can carry it easily - and send them off to the camp kitchen to do the dishes. If there is a queue for the sink so much the better - they might make friends!
Easy meals are the ticket when camping - and easy meals means the kids can help, or in fact do the whole meal if you plan carefully. They will need help with the gas cooker but other than that, grab your book and a glass of something cold and supervise from afar. Check our camping meal planner.
The kids can also take the rubbish to the bins, escort younger children to the toilet, buy the bags of ice, get the paper - and enjoy their daily treat of a 50c mixture from the shop.
If you are wanting a lie in, set up a breakfast box. Put all the cereal in it, along with the plates, glasses and cutlery the kids will need and leave it somewhere easy for them to get at.