The morning after a family wildcamp can be a bit of a trial if you don’t have a plan. You probably won’t have got as much sleep as normal and neither will the kids and you have the task of getting everything back into the rucksacks and finishing your trip hopefully on a high. We find it easiest to have a clear plan as a family of who is doing what, making sure that we all help to get stuff packed, us dressed and the tent down without any fallouts.
With any luck, you will have chosen a good weather weekend, so it will hopefully be dry outside, making the process easier, if not then do what you can to minimise the time your children are stood around in the rain doing nothing!
Having clothes somewhere easy to find helps minimise faff getting everyone dressed. If the tent is a bit cosy, take it in turns, unless you can roll outside and get dressed there. There is nothing worse than trying to get your t-shirt on while your kid is wiggling their bum in your face trying to get their trousers on! Cue half-naked hysterics!!
It’s always a nice feeling to move about a bit after a wildcamp and stretch those limbs, making sure everyone’s warm too. Getting straight out of a tent and then sitting outside can feel cold very fast in all but the nicest of weather. If the weather looks a bit grim, have a wet weather breakfast option planned, possibly a flask filled with hot water from the night before for a toasty cup of tea first thing in the morning.
Being able to stuff sleeping bags, mats and clothes into a few drybags makes packing up everything but the tent easy and organised. Remember compression stuff sacks are great for large sleeping bags as you can just shove the bag in, and squash it small after.
Taking down the tent
Taking down the tent is almost the last step. Try to get everyone involved in taking out pegs, shaking the flysheet dry and making sure it doesn’t blow away if there is wind. It is worth having a few practice goes at packing your tent back into its bag as manufacturers often make these tight which can be a trial when the tent is a bit damp and not as tightly rolled due to rougher ground. An option is to separate the poles and simply stuff the tent into the tent bag rather than trying to neatly roll it.
Leave no trace
Once the tent is packed and everything shoved back in the rucksacks take a minute to all check over your pitch for missing pegs and litter, spreading any twigs back over the area if you cleared it the evening before. Try to leave the pitch so that no-one would be able to see that you have just camped there.
Sometimes we find that starting the walk out can be the hardest bit, as children have already used up energy and enthusiasm helping pack and can be sluggish and distracted, to begin with. Take your time, trying to find things that might interest your children, such as wildlife spotting or route finding. We find that normally after about 20 minutes of walking we all get into the swing of it and it’s all good from there.
Hopefully, these tips will have given you some pointers as to what we find works to make family wildcamps go smoothly in the mornings so you get back to civilisation with smiles all round and great memories of the family adventure you have just had.
Please do consider supporting the Love Her Wild community by becoming a Patreon! Not only will you be helping women in accessing the outdoors, but there are great benefits including giveaways and access to an exclusive newsletter.
Stacey loves spending time outdoors with her husband and 5yo son wildcamping and munrobagging as often as they can. She’s also frantically working on converting a van so that come the summer, she and her family can hit the road for 4 weeks with a fundraising adventure in mind.