camping with family

28 Jun Why I Love Camping With Family – A Customer’s Story

AA customer, Jennifer Browne, shares her experiences of camping with family and offers some top advice.

Camping with family started for us only as recently as August, 2015.  We were invited to visit with friends in the U.K. but were told once the flights etc. had been booked that we would be spending 2 nights camping as a group in Forest of Dean in Wales. We were told not to worry as we knew they were experienced campers who would show us the way and had everything we’d need for the experience. I was so reluctant to camp because I had never done it before. The thought of sleeping in a tent with only a thin piece of material separating me from the elements did not immediately appeal.

However, my family and I took to it like ducks to water and how things have changed. I now love camping and so does my family. What’s not to love; the outdoors, the easy way of living, the peace, the memories for the children. You just can’t beat it or put a price on it.

Equipment is everything

As soon as we got home we bought our first tent, an eight man Vango which has so far proven to be a very good family tent. As our experiences of camping have evolved and so has our equipment list. We bought the matching awning for our tent which is very handy for rainy camping trips. You can take off wet rain coats and wellies in the awning to avoid getting the tent wet. Our most recent purchase was the camping fridge.  It’s so handy and I would totally recommend it.

camping with family

When it comes to camping with family, your equipment makes the difference between a memorable experience or wet, cold and miserable days that no one will look back on with fond memories. As such I would recommend the following items to make your tent feel like that home away from home:

  1. A ground sheet. It provides an extra layer of protection for you and your tent from the ground. It will also help lengthen the lifespan of your tent.
  2. Picnic blankets or carpeting for the floor inside the tent for extra comfort. There’s nothing nicer that sitting down and playing a game of cards with the kids last thing before you hit the sleeping bags.
  3. Blow up beds. We found that once you can afford the little bit of extra space these take up, then they’re a must have item for the best night’s sleep.
  4. Some compact fold up chairs.
  5. Sleeping Bags. Invest in a good quality sleeping bag for that extra sleeping comfort. Just check the season grading on the bags.  Generally a season 2 bag is great for spring/summer and provides that extra warmth for those cooler nights.  We even brought our own pillows – great comfort for the kids to guarantee a good nights sleep.
Preparation is key

When preparing for your trip, get each family member to pack their own rucksack so they know where their own belongings are. This is great for teaching the kids to look after their stuff. Everyone knows the main things to bring camping, the tent (a good start), sleeping bag, chair, plate, cup, spork and a flash light. After that you’re into the luxuries.

Going on so many camping trips you get to pick up ideas weather it’s bringing new equipment or putting up or taking down the tent.  It’s very much a team effort.

Camping highlights

When camping with family, there are some amazing experiences and adventures to be had and every family or couple should take what they want from camping. But, the best things for me and my family about camping are:

  1. Escaping the busy day to day life to the peaceful, quite country side.
  2. Learning to appreciate and experience the outdoors.
  3. Spending true quality time as a family.
  4. Having fun cooking outdoors.
  5. Learning new skills.
  6. Doing it all on a budget. Camping is very affordable.
camping with family
Recommendations

Finally, our most memorable trip so far was to a beautiful four star campsite in Co. Wexford called Morriscastle Strand Holiday Park. When we arrived, not knowing what to expect, we were met by friendly staff who managed the family run site since 1969. The pitches were well layed out and sheltered, the facilities were top notch and spotless and best of all, the beautiful beach and sand dunes were right next to us. We have had some great trips so far and we look forward to trips that are yet to come.

With thanks to Jennifer Browne, an AA Car Insurance and Membership customer,  for sharing her camping journey and giving us real insight into  great tips and benefits of camping.

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Mary-Lou Quinn
louisem@theaa.ie