Summer Holidays Blog Series – 2 – Camping

CAMPING HACKS WITH GUEST BLOGGER SAM SWANN and a exclusive peek at two recipes from The MasterPlan!


Camping is a bit marmite, isn’t it?

I’m in the ‘love’ camp – pun intended – but even if you’re not a happy camper, there are still loads of useful hacks from camping that can translate into busy every day life with kids.

Tunbridge Wells family camping blogger, Sam Swann @living_the_swann_life, makes family camping look easy, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes in behind the scenes. I asked Sam to share her top ten tips for camping:


  Preparation and organisation before you go. Eg: check weather in case you need suncream and wet weather gear, which is what this summer is turning out to be like. Prep food by chopping vegetables and putting them in pots/bags ready to cook (onions, peppers, chorizo), measure out portions of rice and pasta.

– If you are taking cereal buy the small multipack boxes, then in the mornings you just add milk to the plastic bag in the box and then there is no bowls to wash up afterwards.

– If camping with friends, make a chilli or curry before you go so you just have to heat it on the fire for the first night.

– Pack easy snacks for kids to pick at during the days, such as oat bars, ready made pancakes, pre-cut carrots and cucumber.

– Take garlic powder and dried herbs as they are easy to store and don’t take up too much space.

– Always take wellies, even in summer, as the grass is always damp in the mornings.

– If you are using a new tent or gazebo test it out before you go so you know how to put it up and how it works.

– Always have a supply bag of extra bits you might need, eg: duck tape, extra tent pegs, super glue, extra guy-rope or string.

– A pen-knife or sharp knife to cut sticks to toast those all important marshmallows.

– Take card games, such as Uno and Top Trumps. (we never go on a trip without these packed).

– If you want a fire, check website of where you are staying to make sure you can have one, as some sites you are not allowed fires or even BBQ’s.

– Take plenty of hand wipes and anti-bacterial gel as sinks may not be close by. And don’t forget to take some toilet roll.

Huge thanks to Sam for these sage words. It took me a long time to remember to pack wellies on every trip – dewy mornings still take me by surprise!

Find her at and @living_the_swann_life for more of her adventures with her bright green T25 named ‘Bella’.


Now, if you’ve been following me lately, you’ll see that two important things are happening in my life right now. In the immediate, I’m away camping in The Netherlands – cooking up a mighty storm, if I do say so myself! And, on the simmer, I am on the brink of launching The MasterPlan, an 8-week meal plan for busy families. The meal plan contains rapid recipes and recipes with hacks for batch cooking so that you can feed your family delicious and nutritious meals without chaining yourselves to the hob.

So many of the recipes in The MasterPlan are perfect to use in a camping situation because they are so minimalist! When we’re away on holiday, we don’t want to spend our lives walking to the washing up station & besides, we only have a tiny fridge and a couple of rings on a little hob, so our cooking plans have to be as simple as possible.

But that doesn’t mean we have to eat beans on toast every other day!

Here are two ‘rapid recipes’ from The MasterPlan that work brilliantly when you’re away camping or only have a few minutes to get a meal on the table:



I made this tasty curry with chicken and rice on our first night on this trip at the request of our 6yr old.


This is such a winner when you’re in the market for some simple store cupboard pasta with a twist.


So, there you have it. Hacks and a couple of insanely tasty recipes to get your summer moving along with a swing.

The MasterPlan will be launched 9th September in time for the new term! So, watch this space or sign up to my newsletter to get a reminder in you inbox.

Vaarwel from The Netherlands 🇳🇱