Equipment

This section of camping with kids is about the camping equipment you might want to think about. A tent isn't mentioned as it is assumed that you either have one, know what you want or are borrowing one for your first trip(s)

Probably top of the list of kit (if you have room) is get a portaloo of some kind. The cheap ones start at about £ 20, the nice pump action ones a fair bit more, but they make trips away with toddlers and older kids (not to mention lots of adults) so much more 'convenient'. They can be ideal for a quick wee break on long trips if you can get at it in the car too

Duvet and pillows from home can be nice and familiar at the end of the day, but if you need something less bulky then help them pick their own sleeping bag. A hot water bottle and favourite cuddly toy is also worth having handy for bed time. Don't worry too much about it being warm enough, unless you know your little one feels the cold (or the nights are chilly) they will be fine in pyjamas and a typical kids sleeping bag (with some blankets on hand). If you only have adult bags take a skinny one and tie a cord or belt round it 18" (45cm) or so from the bottom so they don't dissappear inside in the middle of the night. A picnic blanket or rug in the sleeping pod makes the floor warmer, especially if they roll out of bed. Self inflating mats can make a big difference to comfort and convenience over airbeds, but dont worry if you dont want to spend that much yet - if they are tired enough they will sleep anywhere

If yours are too young for sleeping bags and self inflating mats then some parents swear by the inflatable toddler camp beds that little ones cant easily roll out or there is the lovely LittleLife travel cot that comes with a SIM all of its own

It is great if you have a tent with dividing curtain (for younger ones) as you can deal with them in the night without getting out of bed. Seperate pods work better when they are a bit more grown up as everyone values a bit more freedom and privacy. If you are concerned about late night escapes put a bell on the zip pull with a key ring loop

If you still need bottles and sterilisers then you might want to get electric hook up kit and pay a little extra. Some people manage with their gas stoves but having the microwave handy is very useful (if you are lucky the site will have a microwave, many of the family oriented sites do these days). Once you are past the baby bottle stage then a decent suitcase stove or proper bottle gas set up will do everything you need

Favourite food are always comforting but oven chips and Pizza can be tough on a single burner, so have a think / chat with the little ones and pick things they will really enjoy. Stuff like the 8 pack of mini Kelloggs cereals were always a treat on our trips as kids, as were bacon and egg butties (or even fish finger butties) instead of a proper lunch. If your kids love toasted things as much as our kids then the folding single slice toasters are good (but not the hopeless 4 slice pyramid ones). Ready made pancakes in the fying pan are lovely too (or home made if you have the kit and patience)

It can be nice for them to have a torch each too, if nothing else you can have hand puppet shows late into the night. And getting some cheap solar fairy lights for inside the tent at night not only looks brill and gives you a funky night light it means a middle of the night wee can be sorted without torches

As ever, if you have any ideas or thoughts to share please to get in touch