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Subject Topic: Weekend camp - kids, school, work?
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Message posted by Mandsjh on 06/4/2012 at 7:51am
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Mandsjh
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Wonder how others with kids and jobs manage to get on with shorter camps.

Fridays we are tied to school finishing at 3pm, hubby home at 5 (he has a 1.5 commute). So setting off Friday is not ideal as it takes us a min of 1.5 hrs to get anywhere decent and it's a bit late for setting up with kids in tow. this means setting off Saturday and only getting 24hrs which just isn't worth it.

Similar issues for bank holidays, setting off on the fri makes it too late. Going Saturday means all the best pitches have gone and we end up on slopes etc.

Sadly we live in north lincs which is great for commuting and has lovely villages BUT it's 1.5 hrs to places you might want to spend a weekend - dales, moors, peak district, east coast (nicer bits).

We have a week in June and 2 weeks in aug booked but we would really like to get some weekends in too. Should we give up? Anybody know of any nice sites in humberside, south Yorkshire or north Nottinghamshire? Would bring the commute down to 45 mins!

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May 2013 - somewhere in North Yorkshire
August 2013 - Hidden Valley, North Devon

Message posted by brickiemum on 06/4/2012 at 8:48am
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we have similar issues. I have seen us pitching at 6pm on a Fri with hungry, tired kids, wondering why we are bothering lol.
Some sort of compromise has to be made..

1) get hubby to take half day on the Fri and set off straight after school?
2) don't venture so far to somewhere more desirable, stay closer to home but get more time camping? (there are always local things to do that you overlook)
3) go for sat night only but really restrict what you take and therefore cut down on pitching time. Get pitched and set up an hour after arriving and just make the most of it.
4) find a site for bank holiday weekends where you reserve a specific pitch for the Sat and Sun night, therefore you won't end up on a slope?

Message posted by shirleys on 06/4/2012 at 8:54am
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On our weekenders we usually pack everything on thursday night in the car, then as soon as I get home on a friday we set straight off. as the nights are getting lighter we tend to get to a site in plenty of time and pitched before it gets dark.

If you drive why not pick hubby up from work and continue on to a site then at least thats 1.5 hrs not wasted waiting for hubby to get home.

Another option is if you take the tent etc to the site a partially pitch it on friday lunchtime then get kids and hubby

Phil



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Phil + Shirl

Message posted by ANGEDAWS on 06/4/2012 at 9:37am
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I think finding a site closer to home is the key, there must be one somewhere! Have you used the map search on here? If we are just doing a weekend I dont mind how close to home I am because its more about the camping than the local area if you know what I mean.

Its also possible to go on a Friday night if you are really organised. Have something you can chuck in a pan and heat up for tea, take some snacks for the kids and maybe have a weekend set up with a smaller tent and less kit.

We sometimes do this and I feel a bit sorry for hubby. He rushes home from work then has to grab a cup of tea and a shower while me and the kids are pacing up and down then he drives us to the campsite and does most of the work putting the tent up. Good job he loves camping as much as the rest of us!

Message posted by Mandsjh on 06/4/2012 at 10:14am
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Thanks for the ideas folks - glad it's not just us!

DH is a contractor so paid by the day - no pay if he's off work or a lot less pay if he take a half day so kind of ties us.

Like the idea of reserving specific pitches - will research that.

We have campsites within 5 mins of home! Maybe we should bit the bullet and go for one of those and just stay on camp for the 24 hrs if weather really good.

We are lucky to have so many national parks within 1.5 hrs and visit most weekends for the day just nOt practical for a weekender......will keep working on it!!

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May 2013 - somewhere in North Yorkshire
August 2013 - Hidden Valley, North Devon

Message posted by mazza79 on 06/4/2012 at 10:15am
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there's plenty of site withing 20 miles of doncaster and a few with decent reviews
try here

Message posted by daveslisa on 06/4/2012 at 10:29am
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This one?

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/reviews.asp?revid=9632

has a link to their website too......looks as if a lot of work has gone on but the downside is a 10am departure time!



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I am who I am

Message posted by victoria1 on 06/4/2012 at 10:34am
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I would go for the closer to home idea. You might be pleasantly surprised and if it's a choice between going for the weekend or not I know I'd choose to be closer to home.

Preparation is key. Have all ready in the hall for packing from the night before. Have dinner pre-made, something like a chilli that you just need to heat up. It'll save you running off the campsite again for a takeaway or having to start a meal from scratch.

Flexibility is key too, be prepared to postpone if the weather turns bad. During the latter part of the spring and summer I usually have a few camping things already in the boot of the car so if I make a last minute decision because of a good weather forecast then I add to it and off I go.

Message posted by TraceyD on 06/4/2012 at 11:37am
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We don't do weekends either, maybe if we had a smaller set up, but with the stuff we have it's just not worth it, minimum I would do is 4 nights, 3 at a push.

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May - Leekworth, Middleton-in-Teesdale
July - Fforest Fields, Builth Wells
August - Yapham Holds, Pocklington

Message posted by clunty on 06/4/2012 at 11:39am
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We regularly camp close to home because of this, would rather do this than not camp and anywhere is a change of routine! It also means you can spend some time driving around locally to find sites you like the look of.   My work takes me all over Herefordshire and Worcestershire and gives me the opportunity to scout out suitable locations. It also means we can nip back home to feed pets.

Message posted by LittleRuby on 06/4/2012 at 12:00pm
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We nearly always camp close to home (within an hour), i'm self employed too so can't take much time off.
Due to picking a campsite near i usually head off with daughter and dog at 3pm and hubby comes along later.
It doesn't matter to us now where we are we are still getting a break and my daughter gets to make new friends.
We are leaving now for a weekend and back Monday and the site is only 35mins away

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"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring -- it was peace."
--Milan Kundera

Message posted by lizex on 06/4/2012 at 12:07pm
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We do weekends. I'm the main worker, so I either join the family by train in the evening and they pick me up at the station, or I take the afternoon off. Even if your hubby's a contractor, he's got to have time off sometimes
I used to be a contractor and the extra money I made meant it was easier to have holidays

We've also found a site about 30 mins away that suits all our requirements and is easy to get to practically at the drop of a hat.

Liz

Message posted by the-laughtons on 06/4/2012 at 12:34pm
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I completely understand your dilema, Mandsjh. We don't take the children anymore, yet still we find it difficult to get away for weekends at the drop of a hat. We have to book time off work in advance, so can't just go when the weather is good. The key is to find a decent site under an hour away. Then having all the gear ready packed in the car on Thursday, a 'heat up quickly' supper ready made, a reduced amount of equipment and a quick to pitch tent. I know thats alot to organise, but if you can, it is possible to be on a site and pitched and settled before 7.30 ish, with a glass of something in hand and you are starting to relax!
Or take a very reduced set up and go early on a Saturday morning. Out of the main season most sites will let you stay on Sunday until the late afternoon. And you do feel like you have been away.
The downside is all the packing away once you get home. It feels like a lot of bother for such a very short camp.
But its better than not going at all.

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Sarah

Message posted by pingvin on 06/4/2012 at 12:49pm
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Go for it!

I do a lot of weekends with my 2 kids.

I prepare a meal Thursday night, if it rains on Friday we just eat it at home...

We set off Friday after work/school. We use local campsites, and it is astonishing how many local attractions we discover which we never thought of before!

Staying close to home means also the girl's Dad (we are divorced, but good friends) can pop in on a Saturday and see the kids (he usually brings a barbecue, so he is a popular visitor with me, too!) .

We don't go to the big "child friendly" campsites with lots of entertainment, the kids can entertain themselves with a football, or make friends with other kids around while I relax with a cuppa and a good book... Using more "primitive" campsites also means we normally don't need to book beforehand.

We use those of my tents which are easy and fast to pitch, when it's a weekend in good weather, we don't need the big tent.

I always keep some boxes and bags ready with all the stuff that can be packed beforehand, for example we have wellies, soap, paper towels, games, toys only for camping use. After a year of camping I now have an idea of where things fit best in the car, so packing goes a lot faster.

My only problem about weekends is that I hardly get the car unpacked before the next weekend - never mind - makes preparations for the next weekend even easier!

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Proud owner of Karsten, Tipi, Belle, Giraffen, Hyacinth, Poppy, Apfel, and two nameless small Lidl-tents... no... I'm no addict... ;-)

Message posted by DOZY on 06/4/2012 at 2:02pm
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We don't have any campsites locally to us, so it is generally about 1 1/2 hrs to travel. I am jealous of anyone that has a decent campsite within 30mins of their house.....

What we did last season was that I drove me and the kids to the site straight from school on the Friday and set up. Then waited for Mr Dozy to drive to us after he finished work .... generally arriving between 8 and 9.

We saw a few other families doing this also. It did mean the kids had their bikes as Mr Dozy brought them in his car along with some 'bits'  that i had packed in his car which wouldn't fit in mine.....obviously very necessary.

What normally 'spoils' or 'dictates our weekend camping is my sons sport commitements. he usually trains on a Saturday with a match on a Sunday.

This is why I am so excited I am picking up a new (to me) tent this weekend. Perfect for just me and my daughter- for those quick weekend trips.



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DOZY

Life should not be measured by the amount of breaths we take but the moments that take your breath away.

Message posted by cathyh on 06/4/2012 at 11:00pm
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We use a local site - 15 minutes drive away. I go Friday morning and get set up, have a leisurely brew and walk the dogs, then go home and pick up the kids from school. Husband joins us later if shifts allow, but often it's just me and the children. Once on site we could be anywhere - it's just nice being out in the open, playing some ball games and letting off steam. The campsite is very basic - we only really need a field and a loo!

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