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Subject Topic: Camping alone with toddler?! Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Twixthecat17/5/2016 at 6:20pm
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We love camping and would love to plan a short trip, but hubby is working away a lot in next couple of months. I'm more than capable coping without him normally, but not sure about camping with just me and a 2 1/2 year old.

Has anyone any experience?! I could definitely put our little 2 man tent up on my own, and might even be able to manage our 4 man with a bit of practice. But it's doing it on my own and with an excited toddler in tow I'm not sure about.

What potential issues may I have not thought about camping on my own with a toddler?!

Message posted by seanfdh17/5/2016 at 8:13pm
Outfit:  Robens Fairbanks Coleman Phad X3      Location:  North Devon
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Mainly logistics I'd think. Cooking/washing up/washing etc.
Are you likely to end up having to go to bed very early if you're sharing a sleeping compartment?

Message posted by Twixthecat17/5/2016 at 9:28pm
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I hadn't thought about the washing up - that's one thing he isn't very patient with! Cooking I think I could cope and washing we just do together! He's a good sleeper, so I think I could sit outside and read for a bit before going to bed. But thinking about it I'd definitely need a bucket in case loos were more than a moment away!

Message posted by romany girl17/5/2016 at 11:16pm
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You could of course do a 'quick camp' for the weekend, no need for cooking or washing up, something like fresh baked bread and honey for breakfast, sandwiches or a shop bought salad for lunch, maybe a takeaway in the evening, or a main meal in a supermarket type cafe earlier in the day, and plenty of fresh fruit and cakes for snacking?

Use disposable plates and take plenty of kitchen roll and antibac wipes for wiping down a chopping board and prep knife, so no need to carry lots of dirty pots over to be washed up. Take plenty of bottled water or soft drinks with the 'drink from the bottle' type caps, and treat yourself to a nice coffee whilst out and about.

We used to do this regularly when we were younger, and found it good fun as we could be packed and on the road within an hour of deciding to go somewhere, and no need for loads of gear or lengthly set up time once on site.

Julia

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Message posted by miss baritone18/5/2016 at 7:02am
Outfit:  Sterling Excel 520     Location:  hartlepool
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I camp with my 3 year old nephew regularly. I normally cheat and set my tent up first, then his mum drops him off at the site. He's pretty good about playing with his toys while I cook and wash up. I'm not strict on bedtime I put him in his jamas around 6.30 but let him play round the tent until he's tired and he usually goes to bed voluntarily around 8.30. Bucket loo during the night is a must. The only thing we sometimes have problems with is when I go to the loo. He sometimes has temper tantrums about coming with me, but obviously I can't leave hi m u supervised.

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Message posted by sam7hh18/5/2016 at 7:34am
Outfit:  Vango Da Vinci 500     Location:  North Kent
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I am sure you would be taking his buggy, pop him in there with a new toy/food treat while you pitch. Let him help with the washing up, or again pop him in his buggy. Buy a lidded nappy bucket for night time loo trips, you would need to use it too if you don't want to risk leaving him when he is asleep. Like others said, plan a short trial trip, I am sure it will be fine.

Message posted by purplebean18/5/2016 at 1:19pm
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I think it would depend on how good the toddler is at obeying orders. I know when we camp there are times when it is hard to do a job and watch a child. If you think they wil do as they are told and not wander into danger then it will be easier. Personally I would use reins and fasten them to my belt when I needed to make sure they didn't run off. We used reins until our son was 3.5 and we could pretty much trust him to do as he was told.

I wish he would do as he was told now 😂

Only you know your child and how they will react, it is doable if you plan carefully :)

Message posted by JasonAndclare18/5/2016 at 2:16pm
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I took my eldest "backpacking" last year when he was 4 - a little older than yours, but faced similar issues. We took a train to the New Forest and walked to a Ashurst Camp Site from the nearby station.

We were limited as to what we could take as we were carrying everything, the only toys we had for him were his favorite ted, some pens and paper and a pack of cards (to play a game of our own devising called "highest number").

We were away for two nights. I had hoped we'd be able to go for a walk and explore the area but it was hard work to get him to leave the camp site. We spent most of the time in the tent drawing snakes and ladders boards!

Pitching and taking down went fine - we took a spare picnic blanket and he sat on that drawing or playing with tent pegs while I did most of the work.

Toilet / shower trips were done together, though we pitched very close to the toilet block and I felt comfortable popping off to the toilet by myself once he was asleep.

I pitched the tent with a tarp to one side. Once he was in bed I sat under the tarp reading.

Cooking was done using a small gas stove - with strict instructions not to touch. Washing up was a "team" effort.

We're hoping to get out again this year, we're got some new lighter weight equipment and he'll be able to carry some of it now.

Message posted by Twixthecat18/5/2016 at 2:33pm
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Now a quick 'cheat' trip with ready prepared/ easy to make/ no mess food sounds very do-able! If I stayed local and found a friendly site I might be able to pop down put the tent up while he was at nursery in the morning then take him down later. I can take the tablet/phone with Cbeebies App and should be fine while I got food etc done. A lidded nappy bin as a wee bucket sounds a great idea. I was wondering if I could get away with just his potty....

Right next on my list are choosing a site and practicing putting the tent up on my own. Thanks for the tips :-)

Message posted by Andie2052119/5/2016 at 12:10pm
Outfit:  2007 Outwell Nevada L     Location:  Liverpool
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Also car seats are useful to keep them strapped in as you can take them out the car in them and they can watch what you are doing. I took my little girl who was 4 a few times last year and I am ccontemplating if I should take my 3 year old twins as well this year. I fear that might be a bit more of a stretch!

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Message posted by RachlN7619/5/2016 at 10:50pm
Outfit:  Vango Maritsa 700; Isis 600 + canopy     Location:  Manchester
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When my kids were little, they did best if they had 'jobs' to do. So one would be the 'peg elf' and have the very important job of handing out pegs. Then they'd have to 'set up' the bedrooms.

Key was giving them something to do that would take quite a while, but keep them interested, and in roughly one place!

I would hope if you were on a site with others, you might get offers of help too. I know if I saw a mum putting a tent up on her own with a toddler - I'd offer to help.

Message posted by ANGEDAWS20/5/2016 at 11:01pm
Outfit:  Coleman Mosedale 5     Location:  Northern England
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I have camped on my own with my kids and I think if you an experienced camper you will be fine. It pays to be a bit more choosy about your site and your pitch. I always preferred to be around other people when I was the only adult.

I do remember once deciding to have a bbq and once it was lit realised I needed the loo. Major dilemma as I didn't want to take the kids to the toilet block and leave the bbq unattended but I couldn't leave them alone with a lit bbq either! I had to cross my legs for ages before approaching another camper and asking for help!


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