Whilst we’re totally on board with the idea of sleeping under canvas on a family-friendly glamping holiday, our kids have been pitching the idea of a more rustic overnight trip: camping in Singapore! Yep, our little Scouts and Girl Guides are twisting our arms to persuade us to head outdoors on an al fresco camping trip where nature is our neighbour, and campfire tunes are our game. We’ve found the four camping sites around Singapore where the whole family can get cosy together under the stars and pitch a tent for a weekend packed with adventure…
East Coast Park
We all know that East Coast Park makes a great family day out, so why not extend the fun to an overnight trip? But before you pack up your sleeping bag and marshmallows for toasting, make sure you apply online for a camping permit through NParks. Once you have the official stuff dealt with, head over to areas D or G of the park and set up your family base for a back-to-basics kinda adventure full of sandcastle building, BBQ dinner, adventure playgrounds and water sport activities: and that’s just for starters!
West Coast Park
Head to the wilds of the west for a family camping trip that’s low in cost but big on fun when you pitch a tent at West Coast Park. Kids will be nicely worn out for a peaceful night under canvas after running riot around the eight playgrounds dotted about the park. We’re talking a spiderweb maze, Ninja Warrior style obstacle courses and even a flying fox – if that doesn’t tire the little campers out, then we don’t know what will! Don’t forget to apply for your permit before you set up camp at Area 3, and book a BBQ pit too if you fancy flexing your outdoor cooking skills.
We love spending as much time as possible at one of our favourite pockets of green, Pulau Ubin, so are definitely on board for a night or two under the stars listening for the sounds of wild boar and resident macaques. Head to Jelutong or Maman Beach to pitch your tent for the night, and although permits are not needed, you’re advised to let the officers at Pulau Ubin Police Post know you’re there. They will also provide a quick brief on the all important dos ‘n’ don’ts of camp life on the island. Prepare to be a tad stinky by the time you return though: there are toilet facilities around the campsites, but no showers! We’re pretty sure the kiddos won’t’ care… And what it lacks in washing facilities, it deffo makes up for with a peaceful kampong style life.
Pasir Ris Park
Fuss free and fun-packed are what it’s all about at Pasir Ris Park, and with playgrounds for kids of all ages, an enormous mangrove trail, water activities galore and even the chance to try a spot of horse riding, camping overnight will extend the adventure pitch perfectly. You’ll need a camping permit before you head to areas 1 and 3 of the park where camping with a sea view is what it’s all about.
Where to buy your camping gear
This place is perfect for the more serious campers amongst you: you’ll find top quality gear not just for camping, but for all manner of outdoor pursuits including climbing, skiing and hiking.
Campers’ Corner, 51 Waterloo Street, #01-01, Singapore 187969, t. 6337 4743; www.camperscorner.com.sg
As the name suggests, Outdoor Life is the place to head for adventures in the great outdoors. Camping goodies include everything from tents to sleeping bags, insect repellent to knot tying kits (yep: that’s a thing apparently).
Outdoor Life, Wheelock Place, Novena Square and Plaza Singapura locations, t. 6904 4726; www.outdoorlife-pte-ltd.webshopapp.com
Grab all the gear you could ever need for your camping expedition, and also pick up fishing equipment if you fancy catching your own dinner too: Nalno has you covered for all things camping and angling.
Nalno, Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road, #02-207 Singapore 199583, t. 9129 2725; www.nalno.com
Schedule plenty of time for a trip to Decathlon: you might think you are heading in just for camping essentials, but you’ll end up browsing this huge sports emporium for hours. Expect bargains galore on pretty much everything you will need for your adventure except the kitchen sink. And maybe even the kitchen sink.
Decathlon, City Square Mall and Bedok locations, 6225 4773; www.decathlon.sg
With prices for a four-man tent starting at under $60, and sleeping bags coming in at under $20, Giant is the affordable option that isn’t going to blow a hole in your camping budget. They even sell airbeds for those of us who fancy adding a tiny bit of luxe to the whole back-to-nature experience…
Giant, locations throughout Singapore, www.giantonline.com.sg/catalog/camping-needs
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