Are you trying to decide if camping with the kids would be a good option for your family holiday? Perhaps you’ve been spending more time outdoors in 2021 and have enjoyed getting acquainted with the countryside. Or maybe you’re drawn to the cost-effectiveness of camping. There are so many wonderful aspects of camping with the kids. Yet, if you’ve not done it before I can see why you might be hesitant. Will the kids be bored? Will there be enough to do? Will it be horribly uncomfortable? Don’t worry, I’m here to tell you honestly why camping has been such a wonderful part of my family life and address those concerns. Here are just a few of the great reasons to take your kids' camping:
Boredom Comes Before Adventure
We worry so much about the amount of time our kids spend on technology and the internet is filled with guides on what to do with the kids and ideas for daily activities. So many in fact that we are often led to believe we must keep our kids from being bored at all costs. Now, I’m by no means suggesting that camping is boring. However, without the crutch of technology and the TV remote within reach, our kids are forced to find their own adventures. Camping with the kids is a great way to reacquaint them with their imaginations and bring them back to being inspired by the simple things in life. Whether that’s splashing in puddles, climbing trees or helping you get the campfire going (safely of course). After a day of exploration and watching the kids make their own fun, we love to tell stories around the campfire. With all that fresh air and the built-up sense of adventure, they’re more than ready to weave their own tales as we toast marshmallows.
Our children’s generation are likely to be the ones who sort out the total mess humankind has made of our natural world. Rightfully so, many of us are encouraging our kids to be aware and considerate of the environment. At school, many are learning about the ways they as individuals can live more sustainably. It’s not easy to stay engaged with such a vital cause though if we’re not connected with it personally. Camping with the kids can really help to show them why it is so important to live in the most eco-friendly way possible and grow to respect our beautiful countryside. In addition, nature has been proven to be so important in wellbeing. Time spent in natural spaces has been shown to reduce stress as well as improve our physical wellbeing.
Quality Family Time
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with family film nights. These are a staple in our household. However, it’s important to spend time talking with the kids. They change so much so quickly, finding new interests and forming new opinions. Camping gives our family a real opportunity to spend time together without distractions. I always return from our camping breaks feeling, admittedly exhausted, but also like I’ve got to know my kids a bit better and they’ve got to know me better too. My hope is that this quality time spent together in their younger years means they will always feel they can come to me to chat or share any concerns as they get older, and life might get more confusing for them.
No Tech, No Distractions
Yes - I know it’s scary. A weekend with minimal technology is a frightening concept. However, we’ve even got to the point where we pack an emergency phone charger only for emergencies. This goes back to the value of proper family time without distractions, as mentioned earlier. And technology is the biggest distraction of modern living. It’s often so infiltrating that the bleep of an email or WhatsApp message is groan-inducing. Yet, it’s still impossible to ignore. I’ll be honest, going without technology for a weekend is actually something us grown-ups need more than the kids. Especially as many of us can’t avoid spending our working week in front of a computer screen. So it can be really empowering and refreshing to get away from it at the weekend and out into the landscape instead of down at our phones. It’s also important for us to set an example for the kids for whom we are limiting screentime, but it’s easier to do this outdoors in a setting so beautiful that your Instagram feed just can't compete.
Low Cost And More Comfortable Than You May Think
Camping is so much cheaper than other holidays and weekend breaks. I’ve always been a camper myself so I’m used to pitching up a tent and know what to pack to make my trip comfortable. Yet, I understand that less seasoned campers may worry that it’s not a proper holiday without a luxury hotel. 2020 has been a very interesting year (to put it kindly). Restrictions on travel and social distancing have led a lot of non-campers to try the experience. What we’ve found, through running our Bell Tent business, is that our customers are often surprised at just how comfortable and even luxurious camping can be. Ok, so we want to get back to nature and all that, but no one wants to be cold at night or worry that the tent might blow away or leak.
The easiest way to ensure this is to invest in a decent tent. After years of camping, I’ve found cotton bell tents the best, which is why we've made them our family business. What's great about these more eco-friendly tents is that they’re quick to put up, spacious, tall enough to stand up in and they’re so resilient if you look after them. They circulate the air really well and are super at protecting from the cold. You can even fit camp beds in them if you’d rather that than blow-up mattresses.
No matter which tent you choose, staying on a campsite is so much more affordable than a hotel. Of course, like any holiday place, there are cheaper more basic ones and there are ones with better facilities and even on-site activities. So you can decide just how rural you want to be. Pitching up can cost anywhere from a £3 per night to upwards of £40 according to Out and About Live
Less Planning and More Last Minute Getaways
When you own your own tent it gives you great freedom to pack up and head out to the great outdoors whenever life gets too much. That sounds like a very single person thing to say and it’s true, it undoubtedly works for singles and couples, but it also works so well for families. When I start to worry we’re not spending enough time together. Or when one or more of us is too stressed out about one of the many little things we concern ourselves with, I can pack us all up and take us on a break away to get some perspective. There are no hotel booking, passports or trips to Primark for ‘holiday clothes’. Never mind saving up for months, going without to have one weekend in luxury. No, we’re away and spending time together with no unnecessary fuss. For me, that’s what camping is all about. A holiday is an opportunity to spend time together, see the best parts of the world and grow closer while escaping from the pressures of modern living. You see how camping ticks every box?
If I’ve won you over, check out our bell tents. And if you’re still not sure then why not try renting one and going for a short break to see if camping might be a family holiday for you? Let us know what you most love about camping with the kids in our comments below. Wishing you the very best times in your camping adventures!