I’ve been sharing some of our camping experiences with you this last month; 5 Things to See in Co. Donegal, and 5 More Things to do in NW Ireland. You might just be fooled that I’m a big fan of camping…but I’m really not. I do it out of love for my family because they wanted to go camping and were so thrilled that I was given a chance to review a tent last year, which was a learning experience for us. So, to help please us all, I tried to make our camping into a slight glamping experience.
How did I glamp up our campsite?
As this was our first big camping experience, I didn’t want to go all-out (and I couldn’t afford to do that, anyways) in case it turned out that the family didn’t enjoy camping at all.
1. We have a super-large family tent (the Helsinki from Skandika – affiliate links are included in this post). And it has enough space for all of us to sleep in the ‘bedroom’ and keep our extra-important items dry back there as well.
2. What are those extra-important items, you ask…..well, in my world, that means BOOKS and games! I turned a cardboard box onto its side and it became an instant bookshelf to hold our nature books, novels, board games, and binoculars. All within easy reach and organised.
3. Phil purchased a small camping fridge for us to keep in the tent. This kept our milk and a couple of other small items cool and close to hand.
3.5 We also sprung for electricity to keep the fridge running….as well as using it to recharge my camera batteries, of course!
4. For our 9th anniversary I gave Phil a wicker picnic basket (willow/wicker is a traditional 9th anniversary gift. It looks great, and it came with plates, wine glasses, and cutlery for 4. It helped give us a sense of class as we ate on crockery and enjoyed some sparkling juice during a special steak dinner.
5. I already had a sleeping bag back from ‘way back when’, and the rest of the family also wanted the sleeping bag experience (the kids slept in their sleeping bags for weeks before we went camping), but as I always run on the cold side (yes, that’s a hot water bottle you also see), I made sure to take extra blankets to keep warm and make our bed look less like a teenager’s sleepover party.
6. Phil sourced some double-size air mattresses – in fact this did make me feel a little more ‘at home’ as for a year I did indeed use a queen-sized air mattress when I lived on my own!
7. I picked up a couple of £1 battery-operated lanterns to give us a cozy atmosphere when the sun went down.
8. Kallista and Tristan made the table a beautiful bespoke vase with glass markers and filled it with freshly-picked flowers.
9. The beautiful beaches within sight of our front door certainly gave a luxury feel to our trip.
10. The most important thing that made this camping trip feel like home was the love I felt from my crazy family!
And how did the week go? Yes, it’s official, Phil and our children all loved the week we spent camping, and they’re all looking forward to going again (maybe I shouldn’t have made things so comfortable – I’m a victim of my own success!). So I’ll see what I can think of and source over the next year to improve upon this year’s trip. I’m thinking fairy lights and a boot mat for the front door.
Do you go camping with your family? Do you rough it, or glamp it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!