I have been bitten by a bug. Well, it's more of an idea of a bug at the moment but it's burrowing deeper and deeper... ugh that's actually a gross analogy... particularly when I think about it in relation to what it is I want to do.
You see, I want to go camping, so I'll stop talking about bugs right now before I put myself off!
Is camping on trend right now? Or am I just tuning into camping things because I want the girls to experience it for the first time this Summer? I seem to be seeing things that are inspiring me all over the place.
Part 1 and Part 2 of an epic family trip by Heather at Moonshine Junkyard which not only gave me the camping bug but also the road trip bug... and almost (almost) gave me the new-baby-bug (seriously cute babies over there. Oh, and landscapes! I can't even begin tell you how amazing the landscapes are - go look!)
I also love this adorable Paper Reservation by Kate at Kate's Creative Space that might just assuage the urge to pack our bags and sleep under the stars until the weather gets a bit better...
Though, inspired by Office Mum, I've even been looking up 'glamping' options around the country too, which look like they could be enjoyed at any time of the year.
I also found a great list of campsites all around Ireland on travel writer, Pól Ó Conghaile's blog and there are a few that sound perfect for what I'm looking for.
Devo, on the other hand, is not. Oh, he's all in favour of the idea of the girls experiencing getting back to nature, of course - he's just not in favour of actually doing any of the camping himself. In fairness to him - he's 6' 4" and never fits in tents comfortably. Nor does he enjoy sleeping on the ground very much. Not that I particularly love it - but I did quite a lot of camping when I was growing up and have a fond nostalgia for it. I even lived in a tent for a month once - but that's a story for another day. Most importantly, perhaps, I am also the kind of person who can sleep anywhere - as long as I am relatively warm and dry.
So, I'm considering letting Daddy off the hook on this one and having a girly camping trip. Luckily, a dear friend who has already experienced camping with her three girls (10 year old twins and a 12 year old) has said she'd love to go with us. I think it will be a lot of fun. Even if it's a disaster we'll still have a laugh, right?
And then I look out the window and remember that even though it's warm and sunny today, yesterday it was bucketing down all day. Camping in the rain is kind of horrible and there is no guarantee of dry weather in Ireland EVER.
And then I start adding up the costs. I don't have a tent yet, or really know what kind of stuff I'll need to get through a few nights under the stars with smallies.
I'm not going for full-on wilderness for a start. We will be in a campsite that I'm assuming will have basic amenities like showers and toilets and maybe even cookers. (If we can survive a few days of that we will be doing well, I think!)
So, I'm trying to make a list of things I'll need. I want to add it all up, you see - because sometimes these things add up to a lot. It might even work out to the equivalent of a holiday home rental in a the countryside where I can get back to nature AND sleep in a nice soft bed AND not have to bring everything including the kitchen sink.
So what do I really need for a few nights in the semi-wilderness?
Maybe you can help? Do you like camping? Have you any tips for me?
What camping essentials can you not live without?
What should I know about camping with 4-year olds?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!