Monday 29 June 2020

Bring Camping Adventures to Your Garden this Summer with Millets!

**AD - Review**

We brought our first family tent around two years ago now and enjoyed our very first family camping trip shortly after. Now I won't lie, I took quite some convincing to actually get a tent and go camping but seeing how much the kids enjoyed that first weekend had me totally hooked. 

It's more than just camping though isn't it? Its the chance to take away all the tech and distractions, a chance to bond as a family and chat away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. It's having that little bit of freedom to run around bare foot on the grass and play games for the kids, to be free, to laugh and for the grown ups to join in too!

After that first camping trip we have made sure to enjoy at least one camping break a year since then and this year was going to be no exception... well until lockdown came around of course. We were very sad about having to rearrange all of our holidays this year but we all understood why this had to be the case and of course everyone's health is the most important. 

BUT we didn't want to let a thing like lockdown ruin our camping fun... so when Millets offered to help us recreate all those magical family camping moments but from the comfort and safety of our own back garden the kids (and I!) were super excited! So we thought we would share how we got on, some of our favourite products and of course some top tips for a family camp out in the garden. 

Those who have been camping will know that putting up a large family tent can take a little while but Millets have a great range of pop up tents including the Eurohike POP 400 DS that we used for our garden camping. They are sturdy and strong but pop up in a matter of minutes with minimal effort and just a few poles to put in place. Me and my husband put the one above up in about 6 minutes between us and that included pegging in the guylines too! Pop up tents are a great alternative to larger tented poles for short weekend breaks or garden camping as they are quick to put up, easy to put down and a fraction of the cost a poled tent too!

Of course we padded our tent out with plenty air beds, sleeping bags and pillow too, because as anyone who has been camping will tell you, once the sun goes down even on the hottest day it can get more than chilly through the night. The kids really like the cocoon style sleeping bags as they can get right inside and snuggle down, the top part of the sleeping bag almost acts like a baggy hood and they always look so cosy inside. You may not think you need it but take extra layers and warm sleeping bags as the nights will be cold. It's also worth packing a few extra torches for late night toilet trips or for when little ones get worried about the dark as it can be very dark in the night. 

What camping trip would be right without a good barbeque though right? I think a barbeque is the only time my little ones ever eat all of their tea and ask for more! Luckily there is a huge range of portable camping barbeques available so you don't have to find a way to bring along your huge barbeque from the garden! Although of course if you are camping out in the garden you could always use the larger barbeque if you wish. The handy portable barbeques from Millets are perfect for those on the go as they fold down so small, in fact they are so easy to put up and down they are perfect for pulling out for tasty smores and toasted marshmallows on an evening too. 

If a BBQ isn't really your thing or you are looking for something a bit quicker and easier to eat then a picnic is a great option and a great way to take advantage of being outdoors and enjoy the sunshine outside whilst you eat. You could even give your picnic that extra special feel with a picnic set which contains everything you need for a picnic including plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins and even a chopping board! All then contained in a handy backpack so you can bring it with you wherever you go. 

Of course if you are camping in the back garden you can just nip into the house for things like the fridge but if you are planning a camping trip its worth thinking about how you will keep food cold. The last few times we have been we have opted for a large cool box packed with ice and have just used it for essentials like milk and shopped each day for the bits we need.

As most parents will know, when you holiday with kids you pack extra clothing, towels and shoes than you think you will need right? Well when it comes to camping, pack that and then a few more outfits too! Kids seem to be a magnet to dirt and water, especially muddy puddles and if you are camping you may not be able to wash clothes as easily as you think.

The most important thing to remember about camping though is to have fun! To let go off your worries, your routines and just enjoy being back to basics. Once you learn to let go and just enjoy it, embracing the mucky feet and late nights and instead embracing the pure laughter and actual conversations that will happen you suddenly realise why so many people fall in love with camping, just like us!

Here are some top tips from other fellow campers to help ensure your family camping trip goes smoothly whether that's getting away to go camping or just a family back garden camp out. 

- Laura from Five Little DovesTake slippers for inside the tent. It’s nice to have something to keep their feet warm and also keeps muddy shoes out!

- Emma from Ready Freddie GoWe always take flip flops for showers and toilet blocks - easy to get on (with no fiddly laces for night time)and store as well as keep clean.

- Tina from Mother GeekDon’t take bubbles - they reduce the waterproof barrier on tents and lots of tent people get grumpy if they see them in use.

- Mandi from Big Family Little Adventures If its a large site, take a flag to put on the top of the tent, so that its easy to find if you have older children who need more freedom, also grab a pool noodle and cut it into smaller pieces to put around you guy ropes to stop people tripping over them at night!

- Michelle from Time and PenceA portable DVD player can be great for days when the kids wake up super early to help keep them quiet and for when it’s raining heavily outside so you can all snuggle up and watch a film.

Do you enjoy camping holidays or have you ever camped in the back garden? If you have any top tips (or questions) pop them in the comments below.


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