Newbie camping

(21 Posts)
twitchypalm Thu 25-Apr-13 14:10:10

Hi all we have just bought an eskdale 10 birth tent got it on a really good deal. We have never been camping with the dcs before. Looking for recommendations of must haves to take with us and reccomendations of places to go. Dcs will be 9 and 7 we are looking at last 2 weeks of august. Tys

Laquila Thu 25-Apr-13 14:15:07

I love camping!!

Stuff to take (although obvs depends on where you're going and how much cooking you'll be doing)

Head torches
Loo roll and small packets of tissue
Plastic ziplock bags (for food, wet clothing, all kinds of stuff)
Citronella candles, potentially
A couple of those flexible plastic trugs
Water carriers/bottles
Teatowels

I could go on but maybe best to ask whether yu're going somewhere hot and will be doing a lot of self-catering? Are you driving there?

twitchypalm Thu 25-Apr-13 14:24:11

Thanks for reply yes we will be driving wil be uk based this year i should imagine. So hot weather is dubious lol. Will be cooking breakfast in morning and as some meals i should imagine.

twitchypalm Thu 25-Apr-13 14:24:50

Thanks for reply yes we will be driving wil be uk based this year i should imagine. So hot weather is dubious lol. Will be cooking breakfast in morning and as some meals i should imagine.

twitchypalm Thu 25-Apr-13 14:36:38

Opps sorry for double post on my kindle.

Laquila Thu 25-Apr-13 15:07:11

In that case you'll need some kind of cooking system - we have an old-fashioned meths stove with a very battered set in tin saucepans that all fit together into a little bundle - ideal for two people travelling abroad in hot weather but not great for a family in the UK, potentially getting rained on! I'm afraid I can't really advise on other types of cooking equipment but I'm sure someone else will be along to do so. (I'd a imagine a two-ring gas burner would be your best bet.)

If you're driving then I always think it's worth filling up the car with really comfy bedding - we use the self-inflating camping mats that roll-up small, then take an old duvet or two to lie on (groundsheet underneath prob essential in the UK). We have a double, sleeping bag but take plenty of pillows and extra blankets if we're in the car.

You'll probably want folding chairs and ideally a folding table - to my mind the separate camping-type chairs and a folding table are more versatile than an all-in-one table and bench set thing.

Kitchen-wise I'd take a few Tupperware tubs as well as loads of ziplock bags, a chopping board, a couple of knifes and plastic spatulas, cutlery, plastic plates, bowls and mugs/glasses, couple of scouters and dishcloths etc.

Easy camping meals are (obviously!) one-pots and things you can fry, so, a few ideas:

sausages with the prepared polenta that you pan-fry
omelettes/scrambled eggs
any kind of one-pot such as curries, simple casseroles, risotto
"Treat" meals like fried potatoes with garlic and grated cheese etc
Fried cheese and ham sandwiches
Tinned things like baked beans, spaghetti & sausages etc
Ready-prepared soups
Chilli

Blu Thu 25-Apr-13 16:53:49

A 'butchers hook' for hanging over the shower and toilet doors. Then out your clothes / towel / toiletries in a plastic bag and hang from butchers hook. It is surprising how many campsite showers have no hooks, or the bench to pput things on gets soaked by the shower, or there is no dry spot to put your stuff on.

Flip flops. For manky shower floors, and also you need easy on and off shoes when hopping in and out of the tent all the time.

Dustpan and brush - for when you haven't taken your shoies off and the tent is full of grass, dried mud and crumbs.

What sort of camping do you envisage? Sites which are quite 'wild' and allow campfires but usually do not have a playground / club house and bar / pool, or a holiday park type site with those sorts of amenities and the possibility for an electric hook up? (EHU)

Blu Thu 25-Apr-13 16:54:48

Your tent sounds huge, but a gazebo or tarp can be handy for cooking in the wet or sitting in in the shade.

DeepRedBetty Thu 25-Apr-13 16:59:25

I like the single ring stoves that come in a little suitcase, and are fuelled by small canisters that fit down the side. Beats faffing about with a calor bottle. I have two. I found that my old camping pots and pans were not big enough for enough pasta, fry-up etc for two hungry adults and growing children, so take pots from the kitchen.

I've got a low barbecue with a tripod grill hanging over, this doubles nicely as a campfire on sites that don't allow them.

You will need long sticks and marshmallows to go with this grin.

DeepRedBetty Thu 25-Apr-13 17:04:47

The Eskdale ten man... was it seriously cheap from Go Outdoors by any chance? If it's the one I'm thinking of, it may only go up and down two or three times before the poles snap. However, you do need to put it up and take it down in the garden. My Zenobia 6, we took the risk and went to the Lake District the next day. Where we discovered that the pack contained the outside of a Zenobia 6, the inside of a Sahara 6 (a completely differently shaped tent) and no pegs or poles at all... Luckily I'd thrown three of the 2 man tents from the festival going selection in just in case!

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 25-Apr-13 17:13:51

Love the butchers hook idea, Blu. So simple but would save so much grief! I am definitely bringing a couple with me to Forgewood next weekend. We need a thread for ingenious solutions to camping-related problems. If I can think of any (apart from yours obv) I will start one.

Twitchy palm, I have found camping way more relaxing since I invested in a cheap but sturddy bucket and some poo powder (you can google it) for night time wees. Line the bucket with a biodegradable bin bag, scoop in some poo powder and voila, no more night time treks to the loo. Sounds grim I know but the poo powder acts like cat litter and solidifies the wee into a gel and neutralises odour. A miracle.

And means you can drink way more wine before bed :-)

DeepRedBetty Thu 25-Apr-13 18:43:58

I'm off to google poo powder (and then wipe Search History).

DeepRedBetty Thu 25-Apr-13 18:46:41

Fourth result down is a bit of a brain bleach needed but otherwise mostly safe, although rather American... must be UK suppliers somewhere!

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 25-Apr-13 18:57:52

I second the flip flops for the shower (shudder)

Use UK campsite to find somewhere to go, you can narrow it down to what facilities and area you want then look at the reviews - ive found them to be pretty accurate.

We have a gas barbecue in a case which to be honest if we were pushed we could use for a bit of normal cooking if we wanted.

If you dont want to take up space in your car for a water carrier we occasionally buy a 5 litre bottle from the supermarket and re fill it - obviously we take our large water carrier for longer holidays.

DeepRedBetty Thu 25-Apr-13 20:35:44

Second UK Campsite website, I've checked out sites I've been to and found it pretty accurate.

I've given up Camping and Caravanning Club membership, although their club sites are always immaculate loo wise, it's become too heavily dominated by the caravanner's interests. It's infuriating that on so many sites, the area nearest the loo/reception complex is smothered with hardstanding pitches with hook-ups, which you then trek through in icy gale force winds with added hail at 7 am, knowing that every one of those bastards in their snug caravans has a nice Thetford Cassette bog built in and doesn't NEED to be nice and handy for the utilities...

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 10:08:30

MummyPigs - re butchers hooks - of course they are also great for hangng non heavy things from bits of the tent, or from a line slung between two trees, or whatever.

A wonderful little gadget, the butchers hook. I started using one in the showers of my local gym, and then for camping.

MummyPigsFatTummy Fri 26-Apr-13 10:18:08

This is the link I think we used DeepRedBetty: http://www.epsgoggles.com/products/viewproducts.php?cat=19. We haven't needed to buy any for ages. It does laast a long time which is good as it is not cheap. I haven't dared click on the fourth link - it look so innocent though?

Blu, I have slipped a few butchers' hooks into our camping box already after your first post. Finally, a new camping gadget which doesn't cost a bomb - in fact, free from the kitchen!

MummyPigsFatTummy Fri 26-Apr-13 10:18:40
twitchypalm Fri 26-Apr-13 10:31:47

Wow thanks for all the reponses i could get on last night to read them. Deepredbetty yes the erskdale was from go outdoors do t like the idea of it only last 2 or 3 trips though after spending out on it.

Thanks for the tip re butcher hooks going to buy them Have looked at the 2 ring camping stovez. Off to buy a roof box today. Any more tips greatly recieved thanks.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 15:38:15

Check this 2 ring stove bundle with the gas bottle and regulator.
You can buy the older model of these cookers much cheaper than this, but they don't have this nifty fold-out mechanism, and if you go for a cooker with a proper gas bottle, you ned a regulator, and the gas bottles can be expensive.

Or use a single ring burner in a case that runs off the widely available aerosol type cannisters.

gerbilsarefun Fri 26-Apr-13 15:54:11

One thing I wouldn't do without is my duvet. We sleep on airbeds on an opened up sleeping bag and are lovely and warm. We love the camping and caravanning club certificated sites. These are small and basic and the ones we have been to have been quiet. Worth the membership fee. IMO. I'm loving the idea of poo powder (sad, I know) this year I want a basic portable toilet for night time emergencies.

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