As you’ll probably know by now, we love camping! Most of the time it’s just the two or three of us. But once a year there is a big bank holiday trip, with the in laws and a lot of friends. This year’s group was slightly smaller than previous years, but there were still around 25 of us taking up half the field. It was a new site to us, in Llanelli, and it had a lot of facilities (pool, play area, park etc) but it needed a LOT of ‘polishing’ so it wasn’t exactly our favourite place, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
In past years we’ve had a fancy dress theme; pirates, school, Romans. And a big ‘sports day’ with lots of different events; tug of war, long jump, ‘shot put’ and it’s always a lot of fun, probably even more for the adults than the kids as we’re in teams and it all gets very competitive!
This year though, for many reasons the whole weekend was planned later than usual, a lot of people were unable to make it, and it was decided there was no theme or games this year. We were just going to enjoy the long weekend ‘winging it’ for activities and no enforced fancy dress. Although we still managed to have a minion, Spiderman, super man and a ninja turtle…guess we were kind of super camp!
We also joined in with a fantastic idea from the Caravan Club, The Big Little Tent Festival, which encouraged everyone to pitch a tent in their garden and have some outdoor fun. First of all I was almost disappointed that we’d be away actually camping, and thought we couldn’t join in, but then they explained that the festival is to take place wherever you are. So we sent off for our festival pack, and decorated our little camp site with a flag, bunting, and sticker and got to wear our festival bands, just like a real festival! The kids really enjoyed it, and so did the adults! We played music to really get into the festival mood. I hope it’s going to be on again next year; I’ll be looking out for it and planning for it a bit more in advance, with more activities.
We were really lucky to have added a new item to our kit list for this trip. As you may have read, the last time we took G camping wasn’t exactly successful. The fresh air and running around did not ‘knock him out’ at bedtime as expected, and the light evenings and early sunrise certainly did not help! The lovely people at Snooze Shade sent us their newest product, the Snooze Shade for cots. We’ve used the shade for a pram since G was very little, last year summer was a lot better and it was invaluable. The fabric on all items is light and breathable, but does an excellent job of keeping the light out.
If I’m honest, G still didn’t sleep well over the weekend, last time it was badly timed teething, and this time was a badly timed tummy bug! I won’t give you all the gory details, but a dodgy tum resulted in the worst nappy rash G has ever had. It was horrific! So sleep wasn’t exactly plentiful, but I can be certain that this time that it wasn’t the light that was affecting him. The shade was also great for keeping the cot cool.
It always frustrates me trying to dress G for sleep when we’re camping. He’s a pretty warm baby anyway who doesn’t like a lot of layers and will never keep a blanket on (thank goodness for sleeping bags!). The temperature is obviously cooler when sleeping alfresco, but what I always think of is when the sun comes up early in the morning and starts heating up the tents. It becomes almost green house like in our tepee tent! This also doesn’t help with G sleeping in the mornings; if he’s layered up he gets much too hot and restless. So it becomes a delicate balance of too cold at night or too hot in the morning.
Well we found that the shade keeps the cot consistently cool, not freezing, but it the shade inside keeps the heat from hitting him in the mornings. This means I can layer him up to go to bed and know that he won’t overheat in the morning. It’s fantastic!!
It was also invaluable for an afternoon nap on Saturday. The weather was lovely (for a change!) and the tent was hot and humid. We’d left the shade unzipped from the morning, so the cot had warmed up too. G didn’t want to settle in there for a nap, and I didn’t love the idea of him napping somewhere so hot. So we pulled the cot out into the field, parked it up slightly away from the main action, popped the shade over G, who was happily snuggled up with his bottle, and he slept there quite happily for almost 2 hours!
Can you tell I’m in love with it!?
It wasn’t the easiest bank holiday weekend we’ve ever had, but we still had tons of fun! G got to run around and join in with the big kids, which he LOVED. Especially when the big girls took him around the big kids park when we went out for Sunday dinner. After 17 hours of straight rain from Sunday to Monday, I made a promise to G, that he could use his new wellies properly, and go for his first ever puddle jumping adventure. It just cemented for me how much G loves outdoor activities, and that I definitely need to get him a waterproof suit for the winter and go on lots of adventures in the rain. And that I really need to get myself a pair of wellies…fabric boots do not cut it, and are still drying out from last weekend…oops!!
What did you get up to over the weekend? Was camping a feature for you?
Mrs H xxx
*Disclaimer: I was sent a Snooze Shade for travel cot, for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.