Spring is in the air and with spring comes the easing of restrictions. With foreign travel a distant memory I am looking forward to a summer sleeping under the stars. Last summer we only managed one camping trip as all of our festivals were cancelled but we absolutely loved it. It was the first time we had done actual camping rather than just festival camping and it really changed our thoughts on it. Camping as a family is a great experience and one that I think every family should try but it can be a little daunting. Hopefully, this article will help you choose the perfect Caravan and Motorhome Club site and give you some advice on what equipment you need.
Choosing a campsite
The key to a great camping experience is definitely finding the right campsite and with so many to choose from it can be a bit of a minefield. For us, it is important to be in a great location for exploring whilst also being a child and dog-friendly campsite. The Caravan and Motorhome club have sites all across the UK and although the name can be deceiving this includes over 80 sites that offer tent camping holidays in the UK. Electricity and hot showers are included with all tent pitches and although being a member of the Caravan and Motorhome club comes with lots of benefits you do not need to be a member to be able to stay on their sites.
With sites all over the UK they are the perfect base to explore and with sites close to theme parks, National Trust properties, beaches, castles and more. We have stayed on a few CAMC sites including staying in one of their cosy camping pods in Brighton and in the Aldershot Experience Freedom luxury Glamping pods which was a great base when being a tourist in London.
The hardest thing about planning a camping adventure is choosing which site to visit. We are in the process of planning our summer camping trip and we can’t decide between the beauty of the Welsh mountains, a pitch alongside a Scottish Loch or taking a ferry across to the Isle of Wight. As well as a longer camping trip we will probably add in a few short notice weekend trips to some of the campsites within an hours drive when the weather is on our side. The great thing is once you have the right equipment you can go whenever you want.
When it comes to choosing a tent we originally opted for cost over comfort. As we were only using our first tent for festivals I didn’t really take much else into consideration, something I totally regretted. When looking at a tent I suggest a full sealed unit this means that the elements and condensation do not get in as much. I would also opt for a tent bigger than you need and one that you can stand up in. Our original four-person tent had two separate rooms at either and an open area in the middle but it was still far too small. We now have a huge 12 person pop up tent which is probably a bit overkill but we love it and when you are going to spend a fair amount of time in a tent then space is everything. We also take a gazebo with us which we sent up as a kitchen area. This helps to protect the stoves from the wind and is a convenient place to store all of the equipment. At some campsites, you do need to pay extra for this but it is certainly worth it.
My other recommendation is a fairly new revelation for us and one that does take up a fair amount of room but I definitely suggest you take your duvet. Sleeping under your duvet rather than in a sleeping bag makes the whole experience better. A top tip is to use vacuum storage bags for pillows, duvets and clothes. It is easy to pack these using the battery-operated air pumps that you use for air beds. I have previously written about other camping essentials that you can pack so it is worth checking that out.
If you are not yet ready to venture into the big outdoors then why not join in with the Annual Big Little Tent Festival organised by CAMC where you can set up a tent at home this Easter Weekend and join in a huge range of activities.