Camping Under The Stars

The face of camping has changed beyond all recognition. Once the area of Boy Scouts and outdoorsy types, camping is now an increasingly popular way of holidaying. Fun family breaks and great value for money. There are no delays at the airport, or long transfers, or even longer check in’s.

Camping is a truly unique experience. So why not trade in the hustle and bustle of the city, for a relaxing night underneath the stars?

Camping With Children

For many people this might invoke images of dread – all the worrying, the sleepless nights, the mess! Camping with children, even at a very young age, can be a very special time and one that will be remembered and talked about for years to come.

Worries and concerns are natural, especially if you are camping with very young children, but don’t fear. Below are a few tips and pointers that should help you prepare, and remove some of that stress.

Safety:

  • Avoid pitching your tent near any open water, any rocky areas, as well as potential hiding areas; a woods etc. 
  • Ensure that you feel comfortable with your neighbours – if you don’t, don’t be afraid to move to another camping holiday. You’re that to have a good time after all. 
  • If you are having a fire – always make sure it is supervised. 
  • Portable cribs are a great idea, for keeping your child enclosed, whilst you are pitching or striking your tent. Or even if you are busy cooking. A fantastic alternative solution is to purchase a tent that has a mosquito net, which can be zipped up so that you can still see your child. 

Sleeping:

  • The key here is to ensure your child is warm and comfortable. If you have a problem of your child screaming through the night, and you have a car – try taking them for a drive – until they fall asleep.
  • If it is possible, try and keep similar sleeping routines to those as when you are at home. 
  • An issue that some people encounter is difficulty in trying to get your child to sleep in a full sized sleeping bag, and you may worry about them sliding down and being smothered. An option is to try and get an infant’s sleeping bag before you go – there are many different styles to choose from. Check some of them out here.  Another alternative is to make sure they have winter fleece pyjamas, as well as a hat and lots of blankets – with a foam mat underneath them to keep them warm. 
  • Some parents recommend sleeping in the same sleeping bag as your infant. 
  • If there are two adults in the tent – a good idea is to sleep either side of the infant. Just to ensure they don’t roll towards the edge of the tent and get cold.

Dirt:

  • Inevitably your child will want to explore! Part of the fun and learning is to taste and cover themselves with earth, mud and whatever else they can find. Really all you can do is: 
  • Take lots and lots of baby wipes. 
  • Bring a bucket or tub for sponge baths.

Finally:

  • Essentially you don’t need to, or shouldn’t have to pack lots of toys. There is so much to do in the great outdoors, that there should be plenty of activities to fill the day. A bucket and spade for making mud castles could prove useful and maybe a couple of cuddly toys for comfort.
  • It is important to make sure you pack many different outfits. Preferably ones that aren’t precious and are easy to clean. From personal experience…KEEP A SPARE CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR THE JOURNEY HOME. 
  • If you have a car to pack everything in – it will make your life much easier. However don’t let this put you off; many adventures can still be had – with the bare essentials. The key is to forward plan.
  • Above all else enjoy the experience!

Cooking whilst you camp – Toasted Muffins with Honey-glazed Bacon & Eggs

The first recipe of the series is Breakfast Bagels

Serves 2

Ingredients 

1 tbsp olive oil

6 rindless unsmoked bacon rashers

1tbsp clear honey

85 g/3 oz canned sweetcorn kernels, drained

2 small tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

4 eggs

2 muffins, split, toasted and buttered

salt and pepper

Instructions

Place the oil in a non-stick frying pan and warm over a campfire or BBQ. Gently cook the bacon until lightly browned. Turn and cook on the other side.

Slightly warm the honey and brush each rasher lightly with it. Cook the bacon for a further minute or so until it takes on a slight glaze. Remove from the pan and wrap the bacon in aluminum foil to keep warm.

Mix together the sweetcorn, diced tomatoes and chopped parseley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry, poach or scramble the eggs, as your prefer.

Serve the honey-glazed bacon and eggs on the toasted muffins, topped with a spoonful of the sweetcorn and tomato mixture.

Cooking whilst you camp – Breakfast Bagels

The first recipe of the series is Breakfast Bagels

Serves 4

Ingredients 

4 large open- cup mushrooms

1/2 tbsp olive oil

4 eggs

4 bagels, halved and toasted

Salt and Pepper

 

Instructions

Remove the entire stalk from the mushrooms.

Cut out a small hollow from each stalk using the tip of a small sharp knife to make room for the egg to be added.

Place the oil in a non-stick frying pan and warm over a camp fire, stove or barbecue. Add the mushrooms 2 at a time with the hollowed side facing up. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes turning once until the start to soften.

Crack an egg into the hollow of each mushroom, season and cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

Serve the egg-filled mushrooms on the toasted bagels.