Glamping! Welcome to the world of ‘glamorous camping’ or as I like to call it ‘getting to sleep in something resembling a bed whilst still being able to make smores on an open fire camping’ Holidays with kids are always – how can I put this nicely – not what they used to be? Gone are the days of leisurely breakfasts; mooching around the local town; and generally anything to do with a slower pace of life. These days it’s all about fast, quick let’s get them dressed; fed; changed; somebody needs a biscuit; a wee; a cuddle; blah, blah, blah. But I think with a change in mind-set (and a promise of evening wine) you can jump in and grab the adventures with two or preferably more hands. Here’s our experience of glamping!
Compost! Aaaah the horror! This was one of the things I was trying to avoid whilst searching for somewhere to stay, however lack of sleep and/or mental capacity meant that I booked one with compost toilets. On the morning of holiday departure I remember this sinking feeling of ‘oh bollocks, does it have compost toilets?’ Too little, too late stupid brain box.
In the end the toilets weren’t actually too bad, we brought the potty for the toddler so encouraged her to use that; mainly due to an irrational fear of her falling down into the mounds of poo and blue. Mounds of poo and blue where avoided on all counts, thankfully; another top tip would be to take a peg – for your nose.
The shower situation was one all encompassed wooden room with hooks and a shower head. Tricky to know who to shower when and in what order as the girls are normally used to baths, this is how it played out;
- Daddy in shower
- Pass naked baby to daddy for quick rinse whilst undressing toddler
- Mummy whizzes baby back to hut to dry/dress whilst daddy washes toddler
- Later, mummy showers in peace whilst listening to chaos reining in the hut, la, la, la! (how did I swing that one?)
Worked pretty well and everyone was dressed by about 11 (despite being up since 7, why does everything take so long with kids!) – winner!
The hut we were staying in had gas stoves (ooooh fancy!), so we cooked breakfast inside, made packed lunch or ate out and cooked dinner on the fire pit outside – the exciting bit! Our toddler is pretty nonchalant about things being hot (!) so this was initially challenging, but she soon understood to keep the @~%$£ away from the fire. Husband manned the fire pit and took great pride in getting bleary eyed from the smoke and burnt here and there from the various cooking challenges- scout pride I think. We ate well – mushroom risotto, corn on the cob, we made bread twists, veggie smores, banana pudding, veggie sausages. Can you tell my life revolves around food and eating?! Toddler declared sausages burnt and mainly ate cereal, bread and biscuits but that’s pretty normal and a regular occurrence at home. Top tips: Plan easy meals and take lots of snacks; hungry toddlers are akin to rabid beasts, and if someone can’t get the fire started quickly heads will roll if raisins are not produced pronto.
Toddler loved messing about in the foresty location, talking to flowers, making beds out of big bushes, and collecting twigs – so that was fab. Baby, however, is seven months, at the rolling and being pissed off about not being able to crawl stage. I had brought a blanket to put her on while outside, but as the ground was really hilly and uneven I couldn’t find anywhere to put her that she wouldn’t go rolling off into the distance from; so she had to mainly be carried/put in highchair which she was pretty mad about. Just went out and about as much as possible to keep her entertained and us sane.
I’m a breastfeeding mum who is pretty happy to whip it out anywhere. I don’t use a cover but am discrete and I figure if you don’t like it, don’t look – simple! So in that respect feeding was fine, but I found getting comfy a bit more tricky with a baby who likes to be fed a million times a day and whose favourite sleeping surface is mummy’s chest <3. Feeding whilst sitting on picnic style furniture for long periods of time left me with a numb bum and the mattress on the double bed – as it had to be folded away – wasn’t the most comfy of things: again numb bum. So next time I would take some sort of comfy-making apparatus – perhaps a pillow or camping chair.
Sleeping- aka bedtime
Our hut consisted of one couch-come-single bed on one side; with another single bed above that dropped down; with the other side housing the dinning seating area which turned into the double bed (magical)! Sleep is always a bit of a palaver in our house (holla?!) anyway, so our expectations of getting any sleep whilst in a new place were pretty low. The first night I fed the baby to sleep in the double bed whilst husband convinced the toddler to sleep, then fell asleep himself. The second night we got both kippers to sleep and sat up to read. I would call that a success! Oh, obviously there’s no elecy, but we did have some solar powered lights; so kept a small one on all night so toddler didn’t freak, and so I could see the baby to feed her!
Overall we had a great time, lots of challenges, but aren’t there always with two mini emotional creatures. If you’re expecting a break, forget it but if you’re expecting mucky outside adventure family fun then go for it! Finally you know it’s all been worth it when you ask your toddler:
Mummy: What was the best thing about camping?
Toddler: *pauses to think* the biscuits