I have recently returned from Gruff’s very first camping trip!
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I will use this post to share our photos, what we got up to and of course, any tips I have for you regarding camping with a little one!
We were headed for Abersoch, a coastal town located on the llyn peninsula in north Wales. It is about a 2 hour drive along the A55, luckily for me, Gruff really isn't bothered by car journeys, in fact he slept the entire way there!
We spent the morning ringing round various campsites before we had left, it wasn't quite the summer holidays and it wasn't a weekend, so we were able to book in with zero hassle. It isn’t uncommon for campsites to run out of pitches during the summer season, so it is always worth ringing ahead (not like us)
The campsite we chose was called Trem-Y-Mor and you can visit their website by clicking HERE. The site was about a mile from the town, and overlooked the sea. It cost us £10 per night per person, so just £40 for the whole trip. Which is quite a bargain! The site had an onsite shower and wash block, fridge and food prep areas, and also washing machines and tumble dryers (which we didn’t use, but ya know, could come in handy for those staying a little longer)
We arrived on site around 7pm and got straight to work! We cracked open a Strongbow each, Gruff crawled around and the tent was erected in record time!
So here is my number one tip - the travel cot is your friend, seriously, a travel cot is practically a play pen. Gruff was more than happy chilling in there whilst we got cracking on the tent, the dinner etc. The mesh sides means that a breeze can still get through, and the baba can still see all around.
The first evening we just chilled at the campsite, I can’t stress enough how wonderful the location was. We let Gruff crawl around for a while, he loved exploring around the grass, and of course climbing on anything and everything.
Monday night’s dinner was a beautiful meal of hot dogs!! We went for easy to make meals rather than exciting. However I don’t know about you, but I think hot dogs are just IMMENSE . You can buy 2 tins of hot dogs for a pound, so not only yummy, but very cost friendly too! We used a little gas hob, to heat the pan. Which wasn’t as easy as we had hoped, we needed help from the family camping next to us to get it going!
As the sun began to set it was time to get Gruff down to sleep. Or at least chill out a bit. We moved the travel cot into the tent porch area, and got him all cosy in his PJ’s. He was far too excited and although there were no grizzles he didn’t fall asleep until midnight! Trust me this is rare for G! Once asleep I moved him carefully into the tent.
The next morning it was due to be the hottest day of the year so far. Good God they were correct. Not even 8am and we were awoken by the rising temperature inside the tent. To say it was like a green house would be an understatement. The beach was about a 20 minute walk from the campsite, so we set off just before lunch time.
Essential baby beach list (for the hot days)
- factor 50 suncream
- cold water
- talc - to dry skin to remove sand
- sun hat
- something to create a bit of shade
- full body swim suit
- waterproof nappy
- normal nappy
- wet wipes
Do you know what you shouldn’t take??? A rubbish stroller. WHY?? I will tell you, IT DOESNT GOD DAMN MOVE IN THE SAND. I have never been so stressed in my life. I’m not a fan of the heat, I’m not a fan of sand, so trying to move a pushchair in sand in the heat? Yes I can promise you I was not happy. Maybe consider taking a baby carrier, or a wagon for beach visits? Or maybe a pushchair with decent size wheels. If you own a Mamas & Papas swirl stroller DO NOT take it to the beach.
So the day on the beach wasn’t ideal. The temperature was hitting 30, and I have zero interest in lazing about catching a tan. In fact I spent most of the time worrying about Gruff. It got to the point where he had to go in the sea! Much to his joy, he loved it! Sitting on the edge as the waves came in and splashed his toes.
We left the beach around 2pm to head into the town. Luckily the town was only a short walk from the main stretch of beach. We wandered around the town and stumbled across a bar called Zinc, it was fast approaching the hottest hour of the day so we stopped here for a few pints and Gruff was able to sit in the shade to cool off.
As the heat died down we decided it was safe enough to walk back to the campsite with out risking being burnt to a crisp! That evening we had our BBQ, just a cheap disposable one, and some burgers. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think you can’t go camping without a BBQ! Admittedly our food came across more well done than we had hoped, but at least we knew it was cooked!
Whilst the BBQ was heating up it was time for Gruff to have a cool down, the facilities were excellent at the campsite however they didn’t really have anywhere we could take gruff for a dip. BUT then I remembered our beer bucket! Best little bath ever, the big man loved it
After dinner we had showers, Strongbow’s and called it a night. I think the combination of the heat and all the walking that day had taken it out of us! Luckily Gruff was flat out by 8pm that night.
So here are my best tips for taking a baby camping.
- pack more clothes than needed, both warm & cold outfits
- use the pre made formula bottles
- take the travel cot! thank me later
- use a small gas cooker to heat water for bottles/jars
- TAKE ALL THE SUNCREAM
- dont expect their sleeping pattern to be normal
- take a tub for washing/keep beers cool
- ditch all the toiletries, we just used an all in one fun bar from Lush
- pack extra wet wipes, they will be used for everything
- if you still sterilize bottles take cold water sterilization tablets
- a portable DVD player or YouTube vids could come in handy to get them to sleep
- For colder places, snow suits could make good sleeping bags
That’s about all I picked up! We will 100% be taking Gruff camping again, so of course I will share any more tips as I go along. Our next stop will be festival camping! Look out for the posts in the next few weeks which I will be discussing all the prep for both of us.