Author: Jenni from Big Vans, Kids and Camping
So, you’re thinking of going camping, but are you crazy considering it with twins, triplets or more?
Short answer…….NO YOU’RE NOT!!!
You are definitely not crazy, in our opinion, if you are organised and have thought it out, then it’s definitely a winner. Camping comes in all sorts of forms and doesn’t have to mean a tent, and why should it be any harder than someone else taking their children. If you are keen then we say “GO FOR IT”!!
Here are some of our tips.
What age is best
We often get asked how young our kids were when we started taking them camping and if it’s possible to be too young. If you are confident to take them camping, then do it.
We have always travelled with our kids and have never really considered having twins as being a barrier to doing so. Yes, when they were babies, and toddlers it was a little more challenging in some respects but with organisation and planning it is totally worth it! We also think starting them young has made it easier because they are used to it and now travel quite well (most of the time).
Where to go when camping with twins or triplets
Wherever you like….. we are so lucky to live in Australia where we have some of the most amazing places to visit, from bush, to beach and rivers to farms and everything in between. Firstly, consider what sort of experience you would like, what age your children are and whether it would suit them.
For example, our ID twin girls are nearly 5 and our son is 6 but so far we have avoided the river because, well managing 3 very young kids near water just seemed to spell disaster in our mind, especially as one of the twins is like a magnet to water. They are getting older so we are considering it but, even now if you say to her, don’t go near the water, she just can’t seem to help herself.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to stay in caravan parks or free camps (both have their good and bad points with kids, but this might be another blog). We absolutely love free camping especially if you go to places that are really open as the kids feel like they are free (even though they aren’t because you can see them) and they can explore without you hovering over the top them.
If you are new to camping consider somewhere close to home so you can test the waters first before venturing too far, and to try out any new equipment.
Challenges of Multiples Vs Multiple Children
We have always tried not to let having twins (plus 1) be any different to a family who just happens to have 3 children, but the reality is, it is different! Once the children reach a certain age it becomes less of a problem when camping. But when they were babies and toddlers (and sometimes now) there are certainly some challenges, like sleeping arrangements, getting around and what to take?
Sleeping arrangements when camping with twins or triplets
This is always an issue with most families, who sleeps where and how everyone will fit etc. But when you are camping with twins or triplets it adds an extra layer of frustration. If you have older multis you can’t just say the oldest gets the top bunk, and if you have baby multis do you need to take 2 portacots and the list goes on. Sleeping arrangements will also depend on what type of accommodation you have.
Unfortunately, I can’t help you sort out fights with your older multis but here are some tips for those with younger ones.
Tent or Camper Trailer
If you are camping in a tent, you need to consider how much room you have. Do you really need a portacot or 2? You could potentially fit 2 children in one portacot (obviously following SIDS guidelines), but they take up a lot of room, or maybe you could take bassinets but they are bulky to pack. A great way of sleeping toddlers and babies is the baby pop up tent beds, they are portable, take up less room and it keeps the bugs off as well. We used one in a tent for our son and it was brilliant.
If they are a bit older then sharing a double blow up mattress is always a great idea, it’s easier than taking single ones, and if the kids are small enough you can fit three sideways across it. If sharing, we use separate sleeping bags, that way they aren’t stealing covers.
Caravan or Campervan
We are lucky enough to have a caravan now which is a triple bunker, so we have lots of room for sleeping and everyone is separated, but not all vans have that. There are so many different options for caravans and camper vans so it might be a bit of trial and error for you. A van that we used in the past had a double bed at each end and we slept the twins sideways across one with, separate bedding and a bed rail attached to stop them falling out. There was also a single bed for our son to sleep in which we also attached a bed rail to. Most importantly consider safety and ease of access when deciding how and where to sleep babies and kids!
In our current van, who got which bed was decided by me, our son was the oldest so he got the top bunk and the twin who required the most attention during the night got the bottom bunk because it was easier for her to get up if she needed or for me to sit beside her on the floor, and the other twin got the middle bunk. Now, that is their bed and there are no arguments.
Getting around when camping with twins or triplets
Getting around while away, do you need a pram, what other options? With multis this is a real consideration as you can’t just pick up one baby/toddler on your hip and off you go, you have 2 or more to consider?
Where you are going and staying, and how much room you have in your car will have a big role to play on whether you take a pram/stroller with you. Some people can’t get by without one, so you’ll find room if you need it. We only ever took a pram once and never again. It was too bulky, and a lot of places we went we couldn’t use it anyway, so we used baby carriers instead. If at any point all 3 kids couldn’t walk, hubby would tandem carry the twins and I would carry the toddler.
Once they were able to sit, we would sometimes take the twin bike and our son would have his balance bike, was much easier than the pram, stored better and they enjoyed it more. Because he was close in age to the twins, sometimes he would ride it too and we’d baby wear one of the twins if needed.
What to take
This is always a challenge and again storage space, size of car and type of accommodation are your biggest considerations. There are so many things you could take, but, planning first will minimise how much you take with you, remember less is better. Can you use one thing for multi purposes, eg can a storage tub also double as a bath and place to wash clothes, can you use a beach towel as a blanket on the floor, or for extra warmth on the bed at night or the rope that tied stuff down be used a clothes line etc
Highchairs……. Do you need it, do you need two or more? Well this is up to you and again space limitations and type of chair will help you decide. We had some great ones where the legs came off and stored inside the base and you could also strap it to a normal chair or shorten the legs and most importantly was easy to clean so we often did take them.
With regard to packing for kids (includes clothes and toys) and how much food to take I have other blogs specifically related to this so feel free to head to my page to read these.
Camping with twins or triplets has the same rules as parenting multis:
- Trust yourself, you can do it!
- Be organised
- Have rules.
- Expect the unexpected!
I could go on and on about camping (or glamping) with kids but we’d be here forever, that’s why I have a blog page, so please check it out and follow us on Facebook and Instagram and feel free to ask us any questions.