I say yes, but admittedly I am the idiot who once took a bike to the South Pole. Still there’s a lot to be said to going back to basics. You just need to be willing to let go and chill out if the baby in question is found crawling around in the mud eating leaves. (I am pretty sure foragers would just call that fibre!)
I was brought up in the middle of nowhere, literally surrounded by fields on all sides. So city living is taking a bit of getting used to. Which is why my husband agrees to us running back to field and fells whenever we get more than a day off together.
Of course I want to tell you camping with kids involves “chucking a few things in the car and away you go.” That is a lie. I have been lucky to do some pretty adventurous trips and I have learned the hard way that successful camping rarely happens off the back of a whimsical impulse. You need to plan. Work out what you need to take and put back anything you simply want to take. The less you take the easier it is!
We totally cheated this time out and booked a cabin in the woods near Windermere. It was April so we expected it to be chilly and yes we had a monumental thunderstorm but other than that is was glorious! So warm I swam in Windermere without a wet suit for the first time this year. (Never do that without saying where you’re going. Those lakes get deep quickly and sometimes cold water shock is delayed).
The tricky thing with babies and travel can be sleeping arrangements, but if you’re camping (take an air bed) and you don’t need to worry about travel cots etc because they can’t fall far from an air bed!
Always have a bobble hat to hand for the middle of the night. Stay near a proper camp site so you can wander over to their shop for emergency supplies.
My kids are one and two years old so they are not yet old enough to tell me they want to be on an I pad or at their mates, until that inevitable day arrives I will milk every second of their childhood. I love that my toddler paddled naked on the shores of Windermere for hours. That our baby crawled around in tree roots try and failing to pull each one from the ground. The youngest is teething so I wandered around the woods with him in his carrier from 4am until about 6am with my Dad. I think i stumbled on one of the best views of the lake, as the sun rose we watched geese and ducks on the waters edge. Sounds idyllic? Don’t forget this experience was born out of a hysterical one year old screaming in pain! Bless him and thank god for his insomnia!
For me fires make a camping trip so invest in a good camping fire pit. You can get small, easily cleanable portable ones and don’t forget matches and a fire lighter. (It’s ok Bear Ghrylls won’t be watching you don’t need to spark a flame from twigs).
Live in trackies, take a waterproof and expect to sausages and beans for breakfast dinner and tea! You may smell and your fingernails will be filthy but that coupled with waking up to woodpeckers and watching my kids climb trees, throw stones and do all the things kids in those famous five books do is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Quite simply life is better when you’re surround by greenery.