Camping has always been a bit of a dirty word to me. I’m not great with the “great outdoors” in fact, I am that person that would much rather be sat in a luxury hotel, enjoying a glass of something while tucking into good food that I could guarantee was going to sit on my hips like a clingy toddler.
That really was the truth until recently anyway. Recently I’ve seen so many festival posts from fellow bloggers, especially kid friendly ones and, if I’m honest, I’m a little bit jealous. I would really like to go camping now with the kids, their enthusiasm for being outside, especially Reuben and forest schooling, have had a huge impact on me. The great outdoors has made it’s way into our hearts of late, especially since the arrival of Yoda (who has his own instagram… yeah, I went there) and I really do think that the boys would get such a kick out of being outdoors over night. That being said, I’m not really one to test my theories (which have been known to go epically wrong) without a back up plan. So, tent? Check. Sleeping stuff? Check. Marshmallows for roasting (priorities and all that jazz)? Check.
Now we’re clearly set… where to camp?
The answer is simple: In the garden.
It might seem really daft but the summer holidays is the perfect time to try out something a little different and I mentioned in my holiday bucket/idea list that I wanted to do some camping, but with a 3 year old and 5 year old I didn’t want to fork out a hefty campsite fee and find that half way through the first evening Toby bellows out that he “wants to sleep in a big bed because the savage animals might get him” (We have developed a thing for Zootropolis…). The garden it is then.
Turns out, it isn’t just me who has been bitten by the camping bug. The RSPB have just finished an event called The Big Wild Sleepout last weekend, where they encouraged thousands of families just like mine to head out into the garden and rock out the tent life. They offered families the chance to pitch up at one of their reserves or in their own back garden but now that the event has passed they have stressed this isn’t something that you can only do on that one weekend!
Right now it’s summer, so we have a plethora of things to discover in the back garden, but what about Autumn, Winter and Spring? Every season offers a different opportunity to discover new things, from the delights that we will see at this time of year such as bees buzzing around in the still light skies at 9pm and the butterflies that are fluttering around after the sun starts to go down all the way through to the wonderful opportunities to star gaze before bed in Autumn when the sun leaves us that little bit earlier.
We’ve also had to contend with some pretty shoddy weather of late, which is all the more reason with little children to give camping a pop in your back garden before you head out into the great wilderness (or, you know, a camp site…). Rain can make a hell of a noise on a tent so little ones are easily nervous, BUT with the house LITERALLY a stones throw away they will be even easier to convince to stay outside and if they suddenly decide the the bug hunting was fun but the wonderful wilderness is not for them past 11pm, bed is just upstairs.
We’re going to give camping outdoors a crack this weekend – a weekend later than the RSPB because, well, we’re late to everything nowadays – and with it we’re going to be trying out all sorts of things from bug hunting, LATE night star gazing and even cooking our own camp fire food. Bring on the smores, holiday diet be damned. Lastly, this fills me with absolutely 0% dread because Edith will be going upstairs to her own bed and I will have the monitor firmly located within signal range so there is no panicking that everyone in the confined space will be woken up when le boobie is demanded.
Have you ever camped in the garden? Or been camping with tiddlers?