It’s such an amazing camping experience when the weather is great. Everyone relaxes, the children entertain themselves, birds sing and the sun warms our backs. There’s very little work to be done and it’s fantastic value for money as we don’t have to go to an attraction or visit something as there are loads of free entertainment just outside. However, it doesn’t always turn out the way we hope and although some tricky weather isn’t a bad thing, when it really turns nasty over a long period of time we really need to prepare for it.
We’ve camped through rain storms, burst river banks, thunder and lightning, and hail storms. In fact you name it and we’ve pretty much experienced it! On one trip water came up through the ground into the tent and the camper van was dripping on the inside from condensation. It even sank five inches into the mud and was a whole heap of trouble getting out! Those cold gloomy days of non-stop heavy rain were the type that made us swear we would never go camping again, and it didn’t help that the kids were frantically running around us in an attempt to entertain themselves and let off steam.
Since then we’ve always packed a rainy day emergency pack, which is a box full of activities and entertainment that keep the kids happy for hours and definitely help bring a better camping experience in bad weather.
Always Plan Ahead
First of all you should make sure you always plan ahead. Think about taking a couple of activities from book like Making Stuff For Kids or The Rainy Day Book (we love this one just for the cover!) and some of the materials you’ll need to do the activities. There’s nothing like settling down to be creative with the kids when you’re all snug and warm and you can hear the rain hammering down outside.
Make A Story Bag
The other thing we like to do with the kids is have a story bag, which has to be packed with the right bits and pieces before setting off on the trip. Our glittery colourful bag is full of small toys and trinkets. One person gets to start by picking an item out of the bag and coming up with the first bit of a story based on that item. Then when they’ve finished they pass the bag on to the next person who picks another item out and shapes the story around that. You get the idea. It’s creative, brain taxing, gets the whole family involved and best of all its free as it is made from an old bag and bits and bobs just lying around at home. The only thing you need to add is your imagination!
Collect Puzzles And Games
Puzzles and games are perfect for keeping everyone happy for hours and for those who haven’t heard already, there’s a new kid on the block that’s challenging the famous rubik cube to a puzzle duel. It can hypnotise the player and observers and eat the hours, with the only problem being having enough to go round. Just look at this…
It’s called the Neo Cube… or Neodymium Magnetic Magic Balls Puzzle Cube to be exact. It’s fascinating and there’s a huge and growing community of people challenging each other to make new and individual shapes. There’s nothing like a challenge to keep the kids happy (or dad for that matter!) and comes highly recommended from us for the really bad weather days.
But that said, don’t ever forget the retro Rubik Cube for a rainy day. It’s been as successful as it has for a reason… it’s amazing! For younger kids there’s the 2x2x2 Rubik Cube Puzzle and for older kids there’s the Original Rubik’s Cube. Also, if you have the room, you might want to think about packing the even more retro board games like Connect 4, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders and Cards. With all of this it really couldn’t be easier to deal with hours of rain and gloomy weather!
Collect Free Books
One of the things we rate very highly is the digital reader. In these gadgets you can store your entire digital book collection and a heap of FREE books made available from authors who just want to get their work out there. In fact you can store enough books to keep any bookworm busy during bad weather. You could even try out the kids novel Beach Potato from Sarah, the Creator and Writer of Inspired Camping.
This really is an amazing digital age! You can go for the Kindle, iPad, Nook or any other digital reader. If you haven’t used one before then we would really recommend you get one for your next camping trip with the kids. It’s worth getting even if it only comes out for the holidays as it saves packing all those books. The biggest bonus is when it’s time for ‘lights out’ you can carry on reading your favourite novel without disturbing anyone… with only the hoot of the owl for company! Now that’s happy camping!
Photo Credit: Roy Riley