How to Go Camping With a Reluctant Partner

How to go Camping with a Reluctant PartnerMy camping days began when I was seven years old, with a musty old frame tent and weather so cold the liquid gas bottles froze solid. I was not deterred; I went to the USA with Camp America when I was in my teens. I hiked up mountains with sleeping bags in backpacks and didn’t miss my hairdryer at all. So, when my children were born, I expected them to be able to enjoy the freedom and excitement of camping. Unfortunately, I had a reluctant partner. Here is my experience on how to go camping with a reluctant partner:

Camping May Seem Like a Difficult Task

The first time I mentioned it, my husband looked at me in horror, ‘We can’t possibly! We have children!’ He explained how we wouldn’t be able to wash them, feed them properly, keep an eye on them and relax at the same time. After much coaxing and reassuring, we drove for 3 hours to a beautiful camp site on a cliff top overlooking the north Wales coast. The site was basic, but it had clean showers and toilets.

Some Recommendations When Camping

The children were both restrained in the car, watching in amusement, while we put up the tent. It was a very basic one, recommended by a friend who had struggled with complicated dome tents which took a day to erect. Beds were simple foam mats with sleeping bags.

The only cooking device was a Calor gas burner, suitable for boiling water for tea. The kitchen was comprised of a plastic bowl each, spoons, cups for us and spill-proof beakers for the children. The only food we took was cereal and milk in a Thermos flask, plus snacks and fruit. (There is always a friendly pub or tea shop for dinner!)

We found that a large washing-up bowl is essential when camping. It can be used for carrying dirty dishes and fetching water and also as a storage container inside the tent. We didn’t miss the dishwasher; we had nothing much to wash. Less is always more when you are camping. The other essential camping accessory is a packet of wet wipes, whether you have children or not. With these, you won’t miss running water. They came in handy for wiping hands before eating and for getting grass stains off knees.

Camping Isn’t Difficult, It’s Surprisingly Simple.

My reluctant husband spent all day romping around the wood, fetching water, lighting the stove and enjoying his new-found freedom. He didn’t look at his mobile phone or open his laptop. He didn’t worry about the kids wiping their shoes or sitting properly at the table.

At the end of the first day, my husband lay in his sleeping bag listening to the wind rustling in the trees. The children were fast asleep, exhausted from running around fields in the fresh air. We had eaten fish and chips by the sea and enjoyed a glass of wine under the stars.

‘It’s not so bad, is it?’ I asked him.

‘No, but do you think we could buy some of those folding chairs for next time?’ he replied.

Author: Claire Bassi

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