For Wild Night Out 2018 I invited my friends and their babies round to our house for a camp-out. It was the first camping experience for my 6months old son, Jackson. In all six babies and toddlers had their first camp-out - Jackson, Ruby (3yrs), Brook (5months), Thomas (4yrs), Freddie (5months) and Ellie (6yrs)- along side more experienced kiddy campers Seb (4yrs), Amelie (5yrs), Eva (7yrs) and all their parents.
What I learnt from the experience:
the thought of camping with a baby is intimidating. You imagine no sleep and no creature comforts so potentially a miserable disaster.
I’m not the only one intimidated, I’m an experienced camper who loves to camp, so if I find it scary then others must too.
the reality is much more fun.
Babies (or at least the ones I’ve met so far) sleep better under canvas, maybe its the fresh air, maybe its the natural sounds of the night (we are lucky enough to live in Exmoor National Park so its the sound of tawny owls and barn owls) but we all got a decent night’s sleep (relatively speaking for any new parents)
There are some top tips I will be using this Wild Night Out when camping with a (now) 18months old:
the baby sized netted tents are perfect as camping cots
baby sleeping bags are great indoors and outdoors
pop-up beach tents are great for creating shade anywhere
camping in your garden (or a friend’s garden) is a perfect introduction to camping with children
water/mud slides are great for the slightly older kids (and adults) and are practically free, you just need a hill
Like most things, you can make something new much more complcated and intimidating in your head than it really is, so best to just give it a try, it will work out. And if you camp in your garden you can always bail out in a sleep-emergency. This Wild Night Out I can’t wait to try some new camping adventures with Jackson and our guests.
Now we’re making Wild Night Out an annual excuse to get friends and family around for a camp-out. I’ll let you know how we get on
Belinda Kirk, Founder Wild Night Out