We spent the last week in a field camping with family. It’s been our longest stint so far – we usually manage about 3-4 nights maximum, but this year because of last years lack of family get togethers we all decided to brave an entire week.
It started off with the usual mayhem. Just trying to get packed for the 5 of us is nightmare enough but Big Crock (the Mr) was at the mercy of obtaining a negative covid result, so the holiday was very much in limbo. We were cutting it fine – the test to release occurred on the Friday and we were due to pitch up on the Saturday….Luckily all was fine, the test was negative, so we could go about our business covid-less and fancy free.
Waiting on the results meant that we joined the rest of the clan much later on in the day. Our tent had been sent up the day before so I could squeeze more essential supplies into our car (an ice bucket, beers and a lot of wine) so when we arrived team Crocker had rallied around and erected our tent. Turns out they had battled torrential rain and extreme winds. Thank goodness for us we didn’t have to deal with that shit show we just got to reap the benefits!
The first few nights of the camping trip we endured the worst weather that we’ve ever camped in. The combination of rain and wind was extreme, we had everything that you don’t want on your summer holiday: epic rain storms teamed with thunder and lightening and so much wind that it felt like you were going to take off any minute. Alongside this the various kids each took it in turns to have several meltdowns at bedtime. They at least alternated their ear piercing screams (to a silent campsite) between the different branches of the Crocker families in attendance. No one was safe and it was a total roulette as to who’s kid would be next.
As well as the twilight meltdowns we had beach days, wet days, steam train days, eat too much days, drink too much days, tired days, wired days and lazy days. We really crammed a hell of a lot into the week and the kids had the best time – adults included. It is always mad as hell getting us all together and it is so nice that we all still make the effort to gather. This year was particularly poignant, not just because we had had to postpone last years annual get together because of covid; but because this was the first holiday without Grandad in attendance, his silly songs, puppet shows and bedtime stories were so missed but he would have loved seeing us all together battling the elements.
Our final night was spent watching the most spectacular meteor shower, the annual Perseids that happens every year in August. Luckily the final few days had been glorious and that particular evening although cloudy to start, saw the sky suddenly clear to reveal the most spectacular shooting stars and comets trailing across the sky.
If you haven’t tried camping with the family I would highly recommend it. It can be tough, it takes a bit more effort but it is so much fun.
Here are a few things I would HIGHLY recommend. My short but essential list to camping:
- Have an outside area that you can all gather under. You don’t want to be in lockdown inside your tent – we were leant a gazebo which if we had gone without would have left us all isolating in our various tents not being able to hang out.
- Get a small tent that the kids can essentially use as a play tent – I referred to ours as the “fuck off tent” – you don’t want a hoard of kids going in and out trashing your tent because they are bored and want to hang out in the tent.
- Get a grandma on site renting the farms cottage – I know, I know total camping fraudsters!! We cheated this year as grandma had the base camp….we now don’t want to go camping without a dishwasher (or a grandma)
- You will want a pair of sliders for the shower – no matter how good the facilities are you gotta get your feet in them sliders to shower!
- Invest in a decent fire pit – most sites will not allow camp fires but a fire pit is a must. What’s camping without roasted marshmallows??
- Keep your alcohol topped up, and keep it chilled! The biggest tip to surviving a camping holiday and a week with the family is to remain at a steady merry throughout.