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Have you ever thought about taking your twins camping?
Well, people said I was mad camping with twins for 9 days at just 2.5-years old, but the truth of the matter is; I am a lifelong camper, it’s in my blood. I travelled outback (and I mean outback) Australia for 9 weeks in the back of a truck, so I thought, a bell tent in Wales, how hard could that be? I am fairly confident it wasn’t the camping that people were so horrified by though, it was the camping with twins for all that time. I have to admit, the strength of people’s reactions put the wind up me but the camping trip itself (despite 8 of 9 days being torrential rain) went really well. I have about a hundred tips I could share with you for camping with twins but for now I am going to talk about sleep and then I will follow up with some more tips shortly!
If you want your twins to sleep when camping, they need to be warm.
- Buy good quality and buy adult size. Buy decent stuff that they can grow into and that is good quality, so it lasts more than just a couple of years. We all know the little blighters just keep on growing and the technical specifications of things like adult SIMs and sleeping bags are pound for pound so much better than children’s ones.
- Buy adult size and tie the bottom of the sleeping bag up with string (or in our case a spare guy rope). The closer a sleeping bag is to your body, the warmer you will be so tie the sleeping bag off a few inches below their feet to retain warmth. Do NOT buy a mummy style sleeping bag. Although this would make sense due to the above, my experience is that children do not like the restriction of these types of bags and a square one tied off is much better. Go for at least 3 season sleeping bag and make sure it’s machine washable if you can (most are these days). We were recommended these which have a zip off layer to make them a 2 season if it gets hot. As well as the above, the Snuggle Sacs are a great extra layer or for the early evening.
What to sleep on
- Airbeds are by far the coldest type of bed to sleep on and for this reason I would not recommend ready beds despite huge accolade from many parents. Choose either a decent camp bed or a self-inflating mattress (SIM). My experience of camp beds is that for kids to be comfortable they usually require a SIM anyway, so this is usually a better way to go in the first place. The higher the cm of the SIM the warmer and more comfortable they tend to be, so we went for a 10cm. They roll up not that much larger than an airbed (A similar size to a roll mat) and don’t tend to get punctures like airbeds do. They have foam inside them so are warmer than airbeds. We bought these which worked really well and I would highly recommend. The Snuggle Sacs are also great for children as an extra layer or fine for the highs of summer. You can find these HERE.
Clothing for sleep
- Invest in some thermals and buy the right size. Thermals (just like sleeping bags) keep you warmer the tighter the fit to the body which means that if you buy a size up to allow room for growth your child will actually be colder. We put ours in a vest, fitted thermals and a fleece over the top. They slept all night.
Sleep promoting extras
- Buy a foil backed picnic blanket (not the crunchy foil blanket as this will be noisy). They are about a fiver off eBay. Put this under the SIM. This will prevent condensation and insulate from the ground.
- Pop into a charity shop and buy a wool blanket. We picked ours up for free and popped it on top of the SIM under the sleeping bag. It stopped the sleeping bag slipping around and also provided another layer of insulation. Ours was a double so we just cut it in half and put one on each SIM.
- Take hot water bottles. These have been an absolute game changer for us when camping. Fill them up half an hour before you put the kids to bed to warm the beds up (we also popped their pjs in to warm up). They will be snuggly. Obviously be careful to get a decent cover for them and check the temperature when you add your small person to the sleeping bag to prevent scalding. We moved bottles to in between the two layers of the sleeping bag when we put them to bed. Another advantage to that particular sleeping bag.
So now you know what you need to do to get some sleep whilst camping with twins, which in my opinion is vital, you can relax a little about camping with toddlers! But look out for the second part in our camping series which is coming soon!
So who is this keen camper?
Camping with Twins is a guest post by Katie Flaxman from www.katieflaxman.co.uk.
Katie Flaxman is a mother to her 2.5 year old twin boys. She lives in the Essex countryside with her husband. She is a writer, poet and children’s author who is due to release her debut children’s book later this year. Check her out at www.katieflaxman.co.uk or follow her children’s picture book blog on instagram @katieflaxmanwrites.
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