With little over two weeks until we hit the road our thoughts are turning to packing up. This time, not only will our minibus be packed full of our usual travel luggage but we’ll also be squeezing in a few extra items to see us through a few days of camping as we complete our journey. Here are five things we won’t be leaving home without:
Skandika Nimbus 12 Berth Tent
This 12 berth tent is spacious and roomy even for our family. Do be aware though, that at 630cm x 760cm it might be a little too large for some campsites during high season, so make sure you mention mention its mammoth size before you book your pitch. There is a handy porch area to the front of the tent and three sleeping pods which come from the main centre area. The tent comes with colour-coded fibreglass and steel poles which makes setting up easy. It also boasts plenty of useful additions including mosquito mesh both in the sleeping pods and at the main entrance, a handy lantern hook, storage pockets and a repair kit, and the groundsheet is also included meaning you have everything you need for a large family or group getaway in one handy bag! We were very kindly sent one to take on our travels but you can buy the Skandika Nimbus 12 berth tent from Amazon for under £400.
A dozen of them, in fact. For the younger children we will be taking a selection of Skandika Vegas Junior sleeping bags and Andes Pichu 3 season sleeping bags. The Vegas Junior sleeping bags measure approximately 170cm in length and contain a 300g/m microfibre filling. They come in a ‘boy’ option or ‘girl’ option which really are just different colours (blue outer and orange inner for boys, and green outer with red inner for girls), and right/left zip fastenings. I can’t see why there ought to be a boy/girl preference for either – one sleeping bag is as good as the other regardless of the gender of child that will be sleeping in it. That aside, these have already been tried and tested through various cub and brigade camps and have done the job quite favourably, keeping the children warm and toasty in cooler temperatures. The Andes Pichu (am I the only one that wants to say ‘Pikachu, GO!’) has yet to be put to the test but as it contains the same filling I expect it to perform as well as the Skandika. The Pichu isn’t as long as the Vegas bags however, measuring a whole 10cm shorter, but it packs up extremely compactly which is always a bonus when space is at a limit.
Slumbersac Sleeping Bag
Tim has only just turned 2 and is an extremely restless sleeper which means that any chance of him staying put in a sleeping bag is minimal. We decided to opt for Slumbersac’s winter sleeping bag with sleeves which is the perfect solution for babies and toddlers who just won’t stay under a duvet! With a 3.5 tog rating as well as a range of lower tog values, plus sizings available from baby through to 10-year-olds, we thought this was the ideal way to keep Tim snug and warm during our camping trip.
Heat Holder Socks
I hate feeling cold. I mean I absolutely hate it. We are huge fans of the Heat Holders range so we’ve stocked up on a couple of pairs each of Heat Holder socks to keep our toes snug and toasty. Heat Holders don’t just stop at foot-warming socks but now have a range of hats, blankets, underwear and more. Check out the Heat Holders range here or grab yourself a chill-beating pair of Heat Holder socks on Amazon here.
Trangia 25 Cookset
As our camping will consist purely of stopping over to sleep and rest before heading off early once more, we don’t plan on doing much cooking along the way. Food will be the handy, picnic type rather than anything that needs cooking up and serving on plates but a cup of tea will be much needed, no doubt. Rather than travel with no cookware at all we decided to opt for the Trangia 25 cookware set comprising a stove, two pans, a kettle and spirit burner which will do the trick. At just £56.00 for the lot, we felt it was excellent value for money from a quality name.