Our Camping memories with the kids – plus 10 tips for first time campers

We used to love camping when the kids were little, but for the past few years the tent has stayed in the loft. I fear that camping may not be the same when the teens realise that a tent does not come with a PS4 and superfast broadband. In this post you will find 10 tips for first time campers, as well as some of our camping memories.

We started camping when the kids were 3 and 6, and we have many happy camping memories. Our camping experiences were definitely a learning curve, and with each trip I learnt something new. The most important one, ALWAYS pack a corkscrew for your wine, yes a HUGE error on my part. Here are some more tips that worked well for us during our camping years.

Think about what tent you want

Think about what kind of tent you want and the size. A huge tent may be great for your family, but how long does it take to put up? We went for a Vango Icarus 500 which was super easy to erect. Less time putting it up means more time sitting in the sunshine drinking wine.

Vango Icarus Tent

Pillows for camping

Try and take your own pillows if you can squeeze them in. Camping pillows are rubbish (though fine for little heads), and I guarantee you will get a better sleep with your head resting on your own pillow.

Camping pillows

Tips for first time campers

Pack dark clothes for the children. I made the mistake on our first trip of packing lovely little pink outfits for Katie. HUGE mistake, they were rotten within 5 minutes of arriving.

Don’t buy expensive camping carpets. Picnic blankets work just as well.

A bucket is a must when you have children (and husbands lol), for those middle of the night wees. Turn your bucket into a deluxe toilet, by adding a padded toddler training seat. Believe me it works, and far better than paying upwards of £20 for a camping toilet.

As with any holiday I research until I find the right one. Camping is no exception, and I can highly recommend UK Campsite for site reviews. Any mention of dirty toilets and it’s a definite no.

Think about what you want from your camping holiday.  There are literally thousands of sites in all corners of the UK, ranging from full on entertainment, to camping in a field with no facilities. We always looked for somewhere that had a playground, clean toilets, and a site that allowed open fires for toasting marshmallows at the end of the day.

Camping fires

It goes without saying that you need to pack for all 4 seasons. It WILL rain and waterproofs and wellies are essential. And with the rain comes mud. Believe me THIS was a joy packing it all away.

Camping mud - tips for first time campers

Camping in the rain

Crocs, whilst not the height of fashion, are ideal camping footwear. Trudge through the mud in them, pop them on for late night toilet visits, and even shower in them.

Nothing beats cooking in the outdoors. Yes you can spend vast amounts on camping kitchen equipment, but we made do with 2 of the portable gas stoves which were fine for us.

Camping stove - tips for first time campers

Cooking outdoors

Writing this post has made me realise how much I miss our camping days, and I am so glad we took the kids when they were younger. The days of letting the kids run around in the fresh air, toasting marshmallows, and then putting our feet up at the end of the day. Happy camping memories


I hope you enjoyed my tips for first time campers. Please feel free to add your own in the comments section below.

5 thoughts on “Our Camping memories with the kids – plus 10 tips for first time campers”

  1. We haven’t been camping since before we had the boys but we’re hoping to give it a go this summer – we’ve got the same tent as you too I think!

  2. I am sure you will create lots of camping memories with the boys Sarah. The Vango Icarus is a fab tent, really easy to put up and put back down again x


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