If you follow @intrepidbebe on Instagram you’ll have seen how much I enjoyed our recent Camping trip. Our little family (dogs and all) benefited so much from getting back to nature, and spending some quality time together. I won’t pretend I wasn’t apprehensive about Camping with a two year old, but she had the time of her life and was a star.
So I thought I would share with you the eight reasons I think all families can benefit from a few nights under canvas!
Under each reason I’ve shared an example from our trip (just in case you need any additional convincing).
1. You’ll come together as a Team
Camping promotes team work. From constructing the tent, to collecting fire wood, there’s roles for everyone. Children of all ages benefit from feeling valuable by contributing to a group. There’s a great sense of achievement when you’ve produced a meal as a unit, and even setting up camp becomes light work when you share the roles.
The look of pride on Intrepid Bebe’s face as she carried fire wood back to camp, and unrolled sleeping bags was priceless.
2. It’s Educational
Camping is a fantastic environment for learning. Once you start to take in your surrounding, inevitable questions arise- what that flower? Which bird makes that sound? How do fires work? Children thrive with the freedom and Independence camping offers them. And surely learning how to cook the perfect Marshmallow is a right of passage?
What’s that Mummy? What dat noise Daddy? The questions came in thick and fast, and I think she has easily added ten new words to her vocabulary this weekend.
3. Reset your Body clocks
Natural light and dark does wonders for your sleep cycles. Free of that iPad glow, your body will thank you for going back to nature and letting sunset dictate bedtime. You know those alarm clocks which gently get brighter- this is Mother Nature doing exactly that.
Intrepid Bebe is a notoriously terrible sleeper, but once it was really dark in the tent she very quickly went off to sleep. And we saw seven am which honestly never happens at home!
4. Camping is great Exercise
Forget a weekend in Soft Play (some would add ‘hell’) to ware them out. Setting up camp requires some muscle, and then there’s all the exploring to be done. And if you’re an avid subscriber to Slimming World, try a weekends Camping for a workout- plus there’s no 9pm chocolate run available.
From jumping in puddles (yes there was some rain- no camping trip would be complete without it surely?), to snapping logs for the fire, or walking through the woods, it’s a great way to get moving. And intrepid Bebe didn’t demand the IPad once, she was too busy exploring from dusk till dawn- maybe that explains the sleep?
5. Accessible to all
Camping is such an affordable option, pitches can be found for less than £20. And whilst you may think the kit is a big investment if you’ve never been before, I bet if you put a Facebook shoutout to borrow a tent you’ll have no problem. And stores such as Mountain warehouse offer sleeping bags for £15- or just take your duvet and blankets!
We already had a tent, and I was determined to keep the trip simple-I am not a fan of unpacking. We managed to put all our things into one large rucksack and then grabbed a frying pan and a couple of plastic plates- no flash equipment required!
6. Enjoy your own backyard
Camping makes you appreciate the beauty of your own home. I think it’s ingrained into this culture that ‘the grass is greener’ (I’ve written about being an ex-expat here). And a place in the sun and all the other holiday shows have a lot to answer for. There’s so much beauty in our own backyard. There is a campsite in every County in the Uk, and I’d speculate there’s one within an hour of most of us.
Our weekend was spent just 50 minutes from home but was truly stunning and a part of the world I was totally unfamiliar with. Yes I love International adventures, but more and more so I am appreciating being a ‘tourist at home’. Plus no long flight is always a bonus (especially when travelling with a sleep thief).
7. It is the ultimate slow living mini break
Camping is the ideal way to make your family SLOW DOWN. From hectic schedules taking kids from activity to activity, not to mention work and school. In this fast paced world, slow is not something most families would feel describes their lives. Camping gives you a chance to sit back, be present and enjoy your beautiful family. Without distractions, it’s far easier to be mindful and focus in on the bird song you might typical overlook.
Mindfulness is an ongoing battle for me, I really struggle to do one thing at a time, and be present. But camping gives me this space. And at one point I just sat back (in my hammock of course) watching my husband and daughter and felt so proud of the Family we have built.
8. It creates time
There’s no need for sightseeing or making plans around Kids Clubs or Cabaret Shows. Nor hectic schedules moving from place to place. There’s time and space to reconnect. Catch up, ask the questions, LISTEN to your kids. There’s no distractions, no household chores or DIY to do list.
Life had been feeling a bit hectic for us, since ummm, aprox the day before my Daughters birth?! Lately, with my Husband doing some long hours at work, and tag teaming Parenting. Not to mention a renovation project for a home, there’s always a lot to do list. We have a lot of travel coming up this month, and so easily could’ve decided Camping was just too much. But it was exactly the tonic we needed. 48 hours of family time left us feeling really refreshed and ready for our upcoming adventures.