This was the first time I'd taken the tiddler camping, so wanted somewhere nearby in case it all goes wrong, but (on advice of friends) avoiding the 'back-garden idea' so it's NOT so easy to pack it all in and watch cbeebies!
I'm pretty happy to lug the trailer around packed to the gills, but was grateful for the 8 speed Alfine when the whole shebang was fully loaded, plus panniers and tent on the rack!
Dad's bike and trailer on the only easily rideable part of the BOAT :
Camp was set up in the beating sun - whilst this happened, Miles seemed to entertain himself by being the feral child of the site - wandering into other tent areas and chatting to the happy campers! Within a few minutes he'd already played with a few different groups of kids.
Tea eaten, the kids basically played in the 'special den' they found in the woods for a few hours.
A little LED light was most necessary to be reading Thomas books to..
Breakfast was had in the veranda - Dusty (Museli) and orange juice.
Like all things with kids, particularly a very energetic and danger seeking toddler, the 'relaxing nature' of camping isn't quite 'so' once you are fetching kids out of piles of stingers, or untangling them from barbed wire, but once I'd 'let my hair down' and went with the flow, we had a great time!
Things I've learnt from this, which (if the wife allows) I'd like to take into a multi day tour with Miles..
-Toys and books are probably as valuable as fancy lights and 'all the gear'
-Bring a pump that will work on ALL your valve types...
-Even if the site's only a few miles away, it's still quite an adventure getting there fully loaded up!
-An alfine is a cracking hub gear, but don't underestimate the LOooooow gearing you'll need dragging tonnes of camping stuff up hills - I think I need to drop about 8-10 teeth on the front chainring as I was only ever in gears 1-4 the whole time. I could have done with several lower gears.
-Bring lots of blankets as my little one for some reasons refused (sub consciously) to stay in the sleeping bag!
-The thing that makes camping with kids most fun and easier for adults, is surprisingly, more kids - they behave better around other kids, entertain themselves more, and a generally happier.
Happy kids = happy adults!!
I really would like to go for a multi day adventure in the next few months - will liaise with local riding buddies and see if i can find any takers as it really would be a barrel of laughs with several dads and kids getting muddy in the Sussex countryside!