I raised my children on my own from the time they were 5 and 3 years old. I had been a camping enthusiast since my teen years and always wanted to introduce my own children to the experiences and joy that can come with nights under canvas after days of exploring.
I must admit it took me a few years after the divorce to really find the confidence I needed to take the kids on the road on my own. My parents were always worriers so they would always see the threat of something rather than the opportunity. I guess part of that wiring got installed in me without me really having control of it – so I had to battle with the fear part of me and find the fire part of me to put my ideas of adventure into reality.
Over the last 17 years there has been many adventures to share with you and with that the learning that comes from years of planning, buying, testing, travelling and dealing with two wee people and the challenges they bring!
First step is to acknowledge that you are able to cope. You’ve coped with birth, their first illness, their first tooth, their first accidental bump off the furniture, the first tantrum or screaming fit whilst you tried to get served in a shop! Whatever happens, you have dealt with a lot of stuff so far and you can totally do this with a bit of planning and prep!
- Baby steps: Let this first big adventure be a wee adventure
Do some research and choose a place that is close enough that if the weather turns or the wee people don’t like it or get a temperature you can handle it easily and head home. As a back-up – also do some research on a local reasonable hotel just in case you need to bail on the canvas and get some creature comforts until you get good at this stuff!
- It is all in the game: The fun can start long before you get there
Okay so remember you have loads of life experience and are smarter than these wee crafty folks who want to be involved in everything! Get their wee brains busy with planning, maps, picking out holiday wear and stuff to take. It makes so much more sense to involve them in this process instead of trying to get these tasks done whilst trying to keep an eye on where they are and what havoc they are causing in a different room!
FOLLOW US TO CATCH ANOTHER POST ON THE TASKS/GAMES THAT KEPT MY WEE FOLKS BUSY AND HAPPY ON OUR TRAVELS.
- Equip and Rehearse: Know the four cornerstones of good camping/travel
Years of this stuff has helped me to realise that there are four things that I will never compromise on now:
- Footwear – waterproof, well used, solid with a good grip
- Clothing – layers, thermal, breathable, windproof, waterproof
- Bed – comfort, warmth, easy to get in/out of, easy to pack and move
- Tent – suitable for trip (size/compartments), floor space, height space, erection, dismantling
Research your equipment well… look at quick construction, easy erection, solid and sturdy equipment that will last for many adventures. Whatever your budget – try to spend as much as you can on the quality of your tent, your sleeping equipment and waterproof clothing and footwear. With these four cornerstones sorted – trust me, everything else that goes well is a bonus! I’ve been battered by Scottish weather in poor quality tents and best quality tents and the difference will be a ruined holiday or one that you can talk about as a great experience – I remember a holiday on the cliffs or Durness far north of Scotland, with winds and rain that felt like the world was coming to an end and my tent didn’t budge – safe and snug whilst listening to hell breaking loose outside and many campers bailing out and heading off.
I WILL BE DOING TENT, BOOT, CLOTHING AND BEDDING REVIEWS IN OTHER POSTS SO PLEASE FOLLOW US AND SEND US YOUR FEEDBACK!
- Destination Anywhere: Finding the adventure for you!
We have camped all over Scotland and Ireland and spent time in Wales, Lake District and Europe. We have used the smallest wee cheap tents and established camping organisations. I’ve probably had and used regularly at least 10 different tent brands over the years and feel confident to know what works for us. I’ve also done lots of research over the years about what kind of holiday works for us. This has resulted in striking a balance between the needs of me and my young wolf cubs. They are both very different in their interests – my son being a lover of history, books, art, nature and my daughter being a lover of outdoors, sports, nature.
Have a think about the kind of things you as a family might want to do and what works with your budget. If you plump for a campsite – is there local swimming, library, supermarket, food options, beaches, forests, museums – outdoor activities/indoor activities. Is the terrain good for bikes/mobility? If the weather turns foul do we have options? Are there any local events/days that might make the place too busy or as busy as we like it to be?
I WILL BE POSTING A FEW DETAILS OF THE CAMPSITES AND PLACES TO VISIT IN SCOTLAND THAT WILL HELP NEW ADVENTURERS TO SCOTLAND!
- Remember it’s Your Holiday Too
I can’t stress this enough! When planning my first adventures the planning, tasks and ensuring the wee people were happy were my only priority. As I got older, I realised there was a person going on holiday that took up no space at all. Until it dawned on me that if I knackered my wee wolf cubs out adventuring, I too could curl up with my favourite book, a cup of lovely tea, or sit out and noodle with my guitar or watch the sunset or stars while I journaled about the days or thoughts or future adventures. I am also an amateur photographer so I have let my passion for this also become part of my adventures, so when my kids were rambling and chattering away I was taking photos of nature and wildlife, making sure I found my own happy place!
I am just starting out as a blogger and would love you to follow and comment on anything you find on this site – tell me what you would like to see more or less of and share your own stories or tips for folks and I’ll add them to future posts!