In the final part of my family camping trilogy (following 10 tips for camping with the family and 10 games and nature activities for family camping) I couldn’t forget about our favourite camping hacks!
I’ve split it into our 10 family camping hacks plus 5 products we think make camping trips easier with the kids.
We are definitely no camping experts and have been learning what works best for us along the way, so if you know any more, please let me know 🙂
10 family camping hacks
1. Roll up your outfits
Roll up an entire outfit and it not only saves space in your bag, but also means you’re not rummaging for pants/socks/trousers etc etc on cold mornings in the tent! Don’t forget your packing checklist!
2. Use a car boot tidy as tent storage
We have a foldable car boot tidy in the entrance to our tent – one side holds the toys and the other holds all our shoes. It keeps the tent tidy, stops mud being trailed around the tent, and Lily know exactly where her toys/shoes are. It can then be collapsed flat for storage after!
3. Prep your meals at home
Prepping your meals at home saves you taking all those utensils you don’t need for food prep, saves you time and hassle on the campsite, and if you freeze it all before you go, it’ll be ready for the next day after you arrive too, while keeping everything cool in the cool box – win win!
4. Take the middle out your toilet rolls
Take the middle out of your toilet roll and squeeze the roll flat – it saves space and works the same way!
5. Use a picnic rug instead of expensive camping carpets
We have a thermal picnic rug for camping that rolls up and was half the price of a camping carpet. It keeps the cold air from coming up through the floor, makes our tent more homely and a more comfy space to sit too, indoors and out.
6. Use a picnic blanket under your air beds
While you’re picking up your insulated picnic blankets, pop a second into your basket for the bedroom! It’s great for under your air beds to stop the cold air coming through underneath them – especially if they’re likely to deflate a bit.
7. Pack a hot water bottle!
Our hot water bottles come on every trip – they’re especially great for pre-heating sleeping bags, and wrapping your pyjamas up so you have warm pyjamas on those chilly evenings.
8. Get yourself a door mat
We use a cheap rubber doormat that rolls in with our tent in the bag, but they’re a great way to stop mud going in and out of the tent, keeping everything as fresh and dry as possible.
9. The camping toilet – life changing!
I don’t know how I camped without a camping toilet before. The amazing Camping With Style has a great guide to help with choosing the right camping toilet, however we settled with a simple bucket-style loo. They’re not the most luxurious, but when you (or your kid!) needs a wee at 2am, there’s no more trekking across to the portaloos in the dark and the rain!
What’s more, I tend to camp solo with my daughter, so leaving her in the tent on her own isn’t an option. I don’t want to wake her in the night, so this backup is definitely a life changer!
10. Use a garden trailer – especially at festivals!
“Festival trailers” can cost a great deal of money, but we use a folding gardening trailer that we bought in the off-season sale. They’re amazing for lugging your stuff (and kids) from the car to your pitch, particularly when you’ve a long way to walk at a festival. Again, being solo with a small kid means this is genuinely the easiest way to get set up (and most fun for Lily too!)
Our top 5 family camping hack products…
1. Bundle Bed
The Bundle Bed is flying high at the top of my camping wishlist – a complete high-quality, roll-up bed, including mattress, duvet, pillow and bedding and is suitable for both adults and kids. It rolls up into one easily-portable bed that’s 60cmx30cm, meaning you don’t need the hassle and space for separate air beds, sleeping bags, bedding, pillows etc etc – it is all there for you in one bundle!
Find out more about the Bundlebed here
2. Kelty Bestie Blanket (gifted for review)
We were gifted a Kelty Bestie Blanket thanks to Little Trekkers and loved it so much that we now have three! They are super warm and roll up small into a sleeping bag-style bag for easy transport. We keep them for emergencies in our car boot as well as great for chilly evenings on the campsite and for extra warmth in bed too!
Find out more here
3. Vango Radiate Sleeping Bag Heat Mat
Worried about being cold when you’re camping? Look no further! Vango have launched the Vango Radiate Sleeping Bag Heat Mat, which simply slides into your sleeping bag and has 4 different heat settings to warm it up! It slides into any sleeping bag and can be placed anywhere you like!
Find out more here
4. CarGoSeat (gifted for review)
The CarGoSeat is a fantastic, safety-tested booster seat for kids that is also a STORAGE solution! Lily keeps her outdoor games in there, such as a skipping rope, small ball and velcro catch pads, so they’re always in the car ready for a campsite and stored in one place too when we’re in the tent! It has wheels to pull along and also acts as a great seat for the campsite too.
Find out more here
5. Nom Nom Kids reusable food bags
Our Nom Nom Kids reusable food bags are fantastic for storing food when you’re away camping – especially our first night picnic and individual cereal portions too! They’re also great for camping leftovers to use the next day. Once used, you simply store them flat and they can be reused again and again!
Find out more here