Well we survived! and more than that guys, WE LOVED IT… I kinda thought that we would but camping is so our thing. It brought back so many memories of when I travelled and camped as a child, how my parents did it with five children i’ll never know, but with two it was a breeze. Oh don’t get me wrong, late nights watching movies into the dark and playing with new-found friends on the campsite playground until slightly tiddly parents remembered to call you in, certainly made for quite a few squabbles and grizzles but the good far outweighed the bad that’s for sure.
We actually were pretty well prepared too, I really thought we would have forgotten something but my master organising skills meant except for a brush and shovel and forgetting to fill the gas bottle, everything went smoothly, and these were easily rectified too being a hop, skip and jump away from Russell township.
It was all about team work when we first arrived to our site, firstly get small children introduced to the playground so we were guaranteed an hour’s peace to get the main tent up which was the Kathmandu Retreat 280 and it was truly awesome.
It was very straight forward and to be honest hubby did most of it single handedly while I put together our stretchers and the camp kitchen.
It was easily roomy enough for the four of us with two separate rooms that could be shut off if you wanted and if you had older children or got some rain on your trip and wanted to turn one into a playroom, it would be perfect for that. We just left it all open as we were outside for most of the day doing fun trips or sipping wine. We each had a sleeping bag from Kathmandu and we brought along our pillows and a sheet for our blow up mattress. I found that the Roamer Double Campbed (aka stretcher) with a mattress on top added that little bit of luxury and comfort for Mum and Dad.
Ok, so now for my top tips that we learnt along the way and a few things that I did to make camping smooth sailing.
Pack light, I managed to pack all our toiletries and clothes into one bag so we didn’t take up a tonne of space in the tent. I had one extra bag with all the togs and towels etc that we left in the boot of the car. I packed one small backpack each for the kids with a few of their favourite toys and one plastic tub with some activity books, felts and a board game but they actually spent most of the time in the playground or a newly made friend’s tents.
We took a chilly bin to keep drinks and food chilled and filled it with salt ice that lasts 3-4 days and left this outside the whole time. It was great to have our own Gasmate burner and we cooked up one-pot easy-wonders such as pancakes for breakfast and sausages with bread for dinner, but the campsite also had a kitchen and BBQs if you wanted to get more creative.
Pack a brush and shovel and EARPLUGS.. they made sleeping a breeze! The children each had a torch that they loved taking to the movie nights over at the playground and heading home with them in the dark and our large Retreat Lantern was a must, remember to battery them up before heading off.
I also have to give a huge ups to the Top 10 Russell, what a spot. Just a quick stroll in to town and the amenities were top-notch, I would highly recommend a stay here if heading north. The movie night’s were a hit as was the awesome playground, we will be back!
Thanks to the team at Kathmandu.