Morgan (38) is looking forward to camping with his wife and two girls aged 3 and 5 again this summer. After camping for the first time last Easter he shares his top survival tips.
TIP 1: Borrow gear you don’t have
“When we went camping at Easter, all we purchased was a tent, camping light and air mattresses. We borrowed chilly-bins, tables, chairs and a cooker off a friend. This year we will buy a few more things until we build up a full camping kit.
TIP 2: Have a practice run
Before we went away, we put the tent up in the backyard to check all the pieces were there and to give the kids a practice run of sleeping in a tent. That night we cooked dinner outside and roasted marshmallows.
Tip 3: Plan for the car ride
At Easter, we went camping at Kai Iwi Lakes up north. In traffic, the road trip was about four hours. We got bored of eye-spy after about 10 minutes. This summer we are going to Waiheke on the car ferry, so we will bring snacks, colouring books and maybe a card game for the ferry ride.
Tip 4: Camp near other families
We lucked into camping next to another family with similar aged children. After the first day, our oldest (5) had made a best friend and from the first thing in the morning would announce she was off to play with her new best friend. Also, other families are more forgiving of a 6am wake-up hour.
Tip 5: Torches for all
Friends of ours had been camping with similar aged children, and suggested we get them torches or a night-light. We found a couple of cheap torches which the kids played with both night and day, but it kept them amused and stopped them from getting scared in the night.
And lastly, a top survival tip – bring wine.”