If you want your kids to enjoy the great outdoors, just what should you be investing your hard-earned cash on?
Keeping your kids warm and dry outside
A cold and wet child is one that won't be keen to go with you the next time. Fortunately, there are a few options to help prevent this from happening.
Yes, the sound of "Thermal Underwear" might bring up visions of your Granny's clothes, but these are essential if it's cold out... but it doesn't mean you need to raid your Granny's wardrobe. Look out for kids’ Merino base layers. Merino is a type of wool that provides excellent natural insulation, as well having other properties such as wicking and bacteria control. A layer of Merino leggings and top underneath your child's clothes will help keep their little bodies warm.
You can't keep your kids warm if they are wet; keeping them dry is essential. While I'm sure you've got your kids a good coat, don't forget their legs. Waterproof over trousers not only keep your kid's legs dry, but they also help cut down on the amount of washing you need to do if it's muddy. Don't forget their feet too. Kids shoes are not always the most waterproof, though you can get kids walking boots these days. However, if you just have wellies, invest in a good pair of welly socks for them so that their feet stay warm, as wellington boots are not always that well insulated. You might also want to look at Muck Boots or Bogs Boots, who make insulated waterproof boots for kids. We've tried both of these options and can vouch how good they are.
Getting the right Sleeping Bag
If you are off for a night or two under canvas, don't skimp on the sleeping bag. Yes, you can get some cheap sleeping bags, perhaps with their favourite Disney or TV character on, but these tend to be great for sleepovers at their friend's house, and not so warm when sleeping out in a tent. Instead, invest in a real sleeping bag. These might be a little more expensive but are not that much more money. If you buy something like the Outwell Convertible kids sleeping bag, it can grow as your child does, so you get use out of it for more years.
Insulate underneath their sleeping bag
Another top tip is to make sure you insulate well under your kids sleeping bag. At home, you might throw an extra blanket on top if they're cold. However, when camping, you want to put that extra blanket underneath, as most of the cold comes from the ground below.
Keeping them entertained
When we go camping or away in the caravan, we do like to avoid the use of gadgets to keep the kids entertained. One of our best evenings is around the campfire making up campfire stories (tip: you can get our free Campfire Stories book by clicking here). Unfortunately, not all campsites allow campfires, but being together in a tent or caravan is a good opportunity to play some more traditional or modern board games. Uno and Qudo proved a good hit for us this summer when touring Europe with our caravan.
If your kids must have the gadgets to keep themselves entertained, then a few items we've found useful is a charging hub that cuts down on needing to take a lot of different chargers that need to plug into the tent's EHU or the caravan, and a MiFi box.
The MiFi box provides us with a mobile WiFi. And yes, you need to take out yet another SIM subscription, but it does mean you can get internet services at a lot of campsites that don't provide any. Good enough for your kids to keep up to date on Snapchat streaks or whatever they are into!
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