camping preparations - Bubbablue and me

Camping preparations second time round

We might only have our once a year camping trip, but it creates great excitement. Mainly because we’re going with friends again – I know the OH would never get that excited about a holiday.

Back in February, N and I went to the camping and caravanning show to get a tent upgrade. One new tent and five months later, it’s been unpacked from its box to make the most of a warm dry spell to practise pitching it. Camping preparations are a go.

I’m always impressed at being able to put a 5 man tent up on my own. Although there’s always one pole that I can’t quite put the little ‘key’ up into. Hopefully with a friend at the campsite with us, it’ll mean we’ll be able to slot in that last bit.

going into the new tent

Of course N got excited trying to help, putting in tent pegs and sorting out guy ropes (in the wrong directions). I’m in love with our new tent. It took a lot of research and shopping around to decide after being a bit disappointed with last year’s purchase and it not having the full sewn in ground sheet as I’ expected. The tent looks like it’s massive, but it’s going to be so much more suitable for what the 2 of us need , and how we’ll use it.

vango icaro tent set up

I chose the Vango Icaro – known by different names depending on the retailer it’s sold through It’s got 2 bedroom areas, a living area and a small extra porch. The plan is to sleep in one room, us the other for storage and then have the living area for relaxing in.

making himself at home in the tent
Making himself at home

Previously I’d bought a universal Vango tarp but it didn’t fit on the old tent, and I can’t get it to stay on the new one. So I’ll be selling it on, or trying to use it as a shelter about picnic tables.

After we’d put up the tent, even the OH came out to see it. He’s not a camper but he did admit it was quite relaxing lying in it, listening to the birds. I still don’t think he’d ever go camping off the farm.

trying to get dad out of the tent
Get out dad!

We’re catching up with our camping friends this weekend to make plans and hopefully work out if we can share the load. I think we’re all getting excited…and praying that we get dry weather for the week we’re away. We did one day of horizontal rain last year, preferably never again.

At the moment though, my main concern is finding all the booking details, deciding on some places to visit while we’re there and how I’m going to fit everything in the car. I don’t really want to buy a roof box and then have to store it afterwards, but N will be really upset if we can’t take his bike with us.

Are you camping this year? How do you solve the ‘fitting in the car’ issue?

camping preparations - Bubbablue and me

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  1. Awww that tent it awesome! We haven’t been camping as a family yet and I do want to do that at some point. 🙂 Was it you that said going camping in Woolacombe in Devon? xx #countrykids

  2. What a fantastic tent! I haven’t been camping since I was a little girl and only back in Africa. We as a family have never been camping, but I have a feeling my girls might not take to it. I hope you have a wonderful time camping.xx #livingarrows

    1. So sorry popping over from #CountryKids and not living arrows. Xx #CountryKids

  3. I want your tent!! It looks amazing! I’m not quite brave enough to take my 4 month old and 2 year old yet but it’s on my to do list. I still feel like I’m chasing sleep and not sure I want to chase my sleep in the outdoors just yet!! I may have to peruse your other camping posts first! xxx #countrykids

    1. I don’t think I’d take a baby although friends did have 1 year olds with them – made easier by having lots of older kids and adults to help out. So many people do though, and I think it’s the just walking to toddler stage that’s hardest because you can’t just let them roam compared with babies who don’t go anywhere.

  4. What an awesome tent! We haven’t yet taken the children camping, though I am determined to do it soon. On our last trip (some years ago now) it rained horizontaly the entire time (it was August). The campsite flooded, the car got stuck and I have never seen the dog so miserable, and I vowed never to do it again! Though now I am beginning to change my mind! I really hope you get good weather when you go. Have a great time! #CountryKids

    1. Ah yes, I’ve experienced that rain and flooding while camping in Wales as a child. We had 1 day of bad rain last year, so hoping this year will be all dry

  5. Ooh this made me miss camping! We have this massive tent but with just one room inside and a porch space outside.

    Lovely tent and looking forward to reading about your camping experience which I am sure will make me jealous =)


    1. I can’t wait to go again. We loved it last year (posts on the blog from back then), but yes will definitely be blogging about it again.

    1. First time is a bit scary. We went with about 7 mums and all the kids – great to all get stuck in together and help out, rather than having to go through muck ups just with the family.

  6. Fabulous! We’re off tomorrow for a few days of camping, our first trip this year 🙂 I think we might have the same tent…! Pretty sure we have a Vango, and it has the same configuration of rooms, but my husband is the researcher and camping equipment buyer in our house! Hope you get good weather, would you believe it looks like we might get rain!?!

    1. Probably is the same. They seem to just call them different names depending on the retailer/country. Fingers crossed for good weather. Hope your rain hols off

  7. What an adventure to take your little one on! The closest we came was a tent in our Nana’s back garden. I can see the appeal (in nice weather!). We’ll do a sun dance for you 🙂

  8. That tent looks huge. I am in awe that you can put it up on your own. I can take a tent down by myself but putting one up is impossible for me.
    I hope it is dry for you when you go camping.

  9. That tent looks huge. I am in awe that you can put it up on your own. I can take a tent down by myself but putting one up is impossible for me.
    I hope it is dry for you when you go camping.

  10. That tent looks huge! So much fun. I must admit I have never done the whole real camping with kids, just clamping but they enjoyed that #countrykids

  11. That tent looks huge! So much fun. I must admit I have never done the whole real camping with kids, just clamping but they enjoyed that #countrykids

  12. That’s an amazing tent!! You could sleep a whole army in there!! I’ve never had great camping experiences, but I know my girls would love it. Hope you have lots of great adventures in this one!

  13. That tent looks and sounds amazing – we’ve only ever had tents with just one sleeping area and have yet to brave camping with the kids but will have to get one like this if we do! Hope you manage to fit everything in the car and have a wonderful time 🙂 #countrykids

  14. We’re massive fans of camping! Just recently been to Blissfields festival and our next camping trip is to Jimmys Farm and Camp Bestival! Can’t beat falling asleep outside 🙂 we have a similar tent it’s a Voyager 6 and is massive 🙂 #countrykids xx

  15. The tent looks fab! We have just bought a tent and are hoping to camp for the first time this year. Hope you have a great time! #countrykids

  16. I will take the kids camping at some point. Last year we “camped” in a camper van but the kids want to stay under canvass this year. Enjoy your break and don’t talk to me about how to fit everything into the car! #CountryKids

  17. We love camping so it’s always good to meet fellow family campers! I’m glad you’re impressed by your new tent after being disappointed with your last one – it can make such a difference to the overall experience. I hope the rest of your preparations go well and you enjoy your trip. We’ve been a couple of times this year with our 2 year old and our 9 month old baby and head to a festival in about three weeks time to so we can’t wait to get the tent out again.
    Potty Adventures

    1. Thanks David. Wow, I’m not sure I’d have taken N when he was younger, although 2 of the mums coming camping with us had 1 year olds last year, and they’re coming again this year. I think with a lot of family/friends around to help out and other kids to entertain the older ones, it does make life easier when you’ve got young one with you. Enjoy your next camping trip

    1. Buy a roof box is my advice (and eat out a lot). We’ve only got 2 of us, but once we’ve got table, chairs, tent, windbreaks and all the other paraphenalia, there’s no room for anything.

  18. That tent looks awesome! Camping preparation can be a daunting task. I always forget something essential. I don’t think there really is a good way to pack the car. Every summer, I go camping with my son and a friend who has four boys. I have to shove things in every available space and put a cargo carrier on top. Have a great time on your trip!

    1. Blimey, that’s a lot of people and things to pack in 1 car. I just find I never manage to pack light. We end up taking everything possible and then still find stuff we need while we’re there.

  19. Fab tent! We spent last weekend in our tent when we went to a friends huge party in the Midlands. All of us with kids brought tents and stayed on their land which meant we could dance all night long!

  20. This tent looks amazing. It really does look spacious and I’m super impressed that you can put it up on your own. I’d have thought all tents came with sewn in ground sheets these days, sounds like it is worth doing the research and making sure it does as you expect. Happy camping!

    1. I thought exactly the same, and the website stated that. My brother has the smaller version of my old tent, and his velcros together at the overlap, but mind didn’t fix. But yes, if the poles are in well enough, it’s easy to put up. Luckily because N’s version of helping to hold a pole is to wander off. This one’s great though, so we’re looking forward to going.

  21. We’re off camping this year. I think every time we go, we have a new solution. With 3 children and two dogs it can be a challenge. No bikes ever make it! Hope you have fun and the weather is good. #CountryKids

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