page contents PART 2: How to camp/glamp in style | mummy rates it

My last post talked about our favourite places to camp/glamp in the South East of England. Now I thought I’d share with you some of the little extras that can take your camping experience to new heights – tents, campers and blow up mattresses oh, and some stylish wellies. Yes, even up to your ankles in mud you can still look and feel the biz.

Baker + Bell bell tent on, camping story

First things first you need to think about where you’ll be laying your head. Lots of sites offer pre-erected yurts/bell tents and even gypsy caravans and the like – fantastic for their comfort and the fact that you can just rock straight up and get about sorting out the camp fire. However, if you want to buy your own accommodation you might like to consider one of Baker + Bell’s very cool Bell Tents, £299. They look very spacious and you can cosy up the insides with bunting, rugs and even get one of their camping doormats, £18!

PART 1: Family friendly sites for campers/glampers
PART 3: What’s cooking for campers/glampers

Glamping story on, doormat by Baker + Bell

Alternatively you could consider arriving in your accommodation. As a family we can not speak highly enough of our Mazda Bongo – or Bingo Bongo as we like to call it. I’ll admit, it’s not as ‘pretty’ as the lovely VW Camper but as our day-to-day vehicle it is very reliable and spacious. When we want to go camping we rock up and press a button and the top opens up and turns into a bedroom. Downstairs the back seats fold down flat making a double bed. We also put up an awning for us to sleep in. Very comfortable, easy and the kids love hanging out it in. I’ve slept upstairs in it at festivals (when the kids aren’t with us) and I have to say it’s very nice and dark up there so you get a really good kip. It also has a very handy window (with pull-down blind) which is great for people watching.

campsite at st justinians
Picture thanks to Murky1 @

Now that you’ve sorted out where you’re going to sleep I suggest you look into what you’re going to sleep in and on. For me it has to be a really big, thick sleeping bag. My one comes with a hood for extra cosiness. I also recommend that if it’s chilly you go to bed in socks and a hat and always wear thermals and pyjamas (did I really mention style when referring to camping?!) All this lot will keep you toasty and if you get too hot the hat is easy to take off. My husband, on the other hand, prefers a very thin sleeping bag which he leaves undone and throws over him like a duvet. We both sleep on a blow-up mattress – none of those thin ones where you can still feel every lump and bump and the kids sleep on smaller blow-up versions. I hasten to add that the picture below is NOT us. I have to use Flickr pics at the mo as I’ve just upgraded to a new laptop and don’t have access to my own photos – what a cheesy shot!

Cheeky product packaging
Picture: edmittance @

Ok, you’re all snug as a bug and sorted however, you still need to consider what you’re wearing in the wild outdoors. Unless it has been very dry (and let’s face it that’s unlikely) you’ll need some wellies. I have a pair of Hunters that are fab. Worn with some nice long socks underneath they are comfy and keep your feet warm enough even at night. You’ll also need some sort of waterproof, warm jumpers, jeans and T-shirts. Remember to use the layering technique – taking things off if you get too hot – and you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget the kids will get in a terrible state so make sure you’ve got plenty of spare changes of clothing.
Hunters Wellies CARNABY BOA boots
Picture thanks to love Maegan @

Make sure you’ve got lots of wet wipes, sun cream, black bin bags, sunglasses, sun hats, towels, bottle/tin opener, torches, things for the kids to play with like bikes, balls, bats oh, and lots of blankets and soap and you can’t go wrong! (Yes, you will have half your house in the back of your car). If you have forgotten something no doubt someone in your group will have it or you can ask other campers – they’re usually a friendly bunch.

Coming soon: Campfire cookery – recipes and shopping lists.


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(6) Readers Comments

  1. Hmm, some great ideas of what to bring. I just dont get camping, but i know we are going to do it kater in the year, and Im sure the girls will love it.
    I nearly choked on my tea when I saw the two people on the blow up mattress, very funny!

    • Oh dear, I know you are not alone. As I said to you on a Twitter we have friends who don’t like camping for fear of missing hairdryers and the like. All I can say is that it does grow on you and you start to really enjoy it. It wears the kids out, is good-old fashioned fun and when the kids have gone to bed it’s lovely sitting around a fire chatting. I must say even the little touches like using blow up mattresses and making sure you’re warm make the difference. Being cold and uncomfy is miserable. Fill the car up with as much as you can and take deep breaths! By the way, some other friends of ours who were new to camping went over the Bank Holiday and camped in -3C – now i wouldn’t even do that!! Michelle x ps: instead of hair straighteners maybe try out some fishtail plaits or cowboy hats. x

  2. Noooo to camping. Give me a nice hotel anyday!

  3. Would that be a hotel with Roger Federer?! (farfromhomemama wrote a great post about him today and included some links to him having the giggles although that’s not the only reason she likes him!)
    Have you ever tried it? Your son would love it – it’s great for exhausting them…… You can get some very nice glamping experiences which are near to hotels yet in the open. Take a look here and tell me you’re not tempted to sleep the night up a tree….!tag-glamping

  4. So nice to come across a fellow Bongo-er! It is tops isn’t it? It works and has added mod cons like, air con and automatic blinds and that fab auto roof. Wish it wouldn’t bleep so blinking much though. Ours bleeps when you unlock it, bleeps when you try and start it too long after you’ve opened it, bleeps when you start it (the coolant alarm), bleeps when you reverse and bleeps when the roof is going up. Can be a tad embarrasing, but we still love it. Our whole family shouts Bingo, Bango, Bongo everytime we see another bongo!

  5. To all you doubters!

    Really, give it a go. My husband and I have been glamping now for years and we are hooked. We have a 3 year old boy who also loves it. It means we can go where we like and we are off on holiday almost every sunny weekend (Ok not many of late!)

    Once you have invested in the tent itself (ours is a 5metre bell with zipped in ground sheet to keep unwanted visiters out), there is only your pitch per night left to pay, which means many more holidays for your money.

    Invest in a blow up mattress and a stove for morning tea and that is your essentials out the way. You can bring all your usaul creature comforts from home-
    Favourite bedspread, rugs e.t.c

    I have a transit van so I throw the whole mattress with covers straight in the back as well as my lads bed. I also bring a little coffee table to make it really homely.

    I love decorating the tent differently each time. I might go for a Morrocan theme one weekend and shake it up a little with some country twee the next. We have a tea light chandelier as a centre piece which gives off a lovely warm glow.

    The end result is always spectacular. It’s yours and it beats a boring hotel room every time!
    Check out my website for ideas
    The website is in early stages, but I will be uploading photos of various themes and ideas very soon to inspire others to give it a go!

    Happy glamping!

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