what are the top tips for a successful camping trip?

(172 Posts)
Wolfcub Sat 27-Jul-13 12:08:20

After nine years I've finally convinced dh to try camping. He's discovered modern tents hmm and has been very excited buying a tent and things to go in it. He has real issues with public loos so for our first trupr I've booked a site that won loo of the year! ds and I are very excited and I'm not worried about us but I want to make sure the trip is a success so that we all have a great time. what are your top tips for a great family camping trip?

Goldmandra Wed 31-Jul-13 21:44:51

If you're there too long for the wine to stay frozen have a coolbox rather than a bag and fill it with a bag of ice from the local supermarket every other day. Brilliant for keeping your wine and beer milk and sausages cold.

Take a couple of extra fleecy blankets to go over anyone who's cold and to sit on in folding chairs in the evening. You can get surprisingly cold sitting drinking wine on a thin sheet of fabric late into the evening.

Get glow-in-the-dark or fluorescent guy ropes (or tie tapes/ribbons to the ones you might trip over) and a few pegs to keep the towels on them while they are drying.

Head torches are great for children who want to read in bed.

Put things away for the night before it gets dark.

Hang something on the tent that makes it really recognisable for the children. You can get flags which work well but anything bright tied to the top will do.

No drinks inside the tent.

Take antibac wipes or baby wipes. Great for cleaning messes of any sort off anything.

Don't forget the mallet for the tent pegs.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 31-Jul-13 21:58:07

"Get glow-in-the-dark or fluorescent guy ropes" It's no good. Kids will still trip over them. Likewise with stove. Where ever you locate them the bloody kids will decide that that's the best place to play some ball game where you can't catch the ball and you must run towards the stove. hmm

Anyone with tips on how to repel kids from stove and guy ropes short of attaching same-pole magnets on them?

If you're going for airbeds get singles for you and DH so you don't bounce each other when you turn over. Stick a blanket under whatever you sleep on (and in partic if on a thermarest) so you are insulated.

Goldmandra Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:48

It's no good. Kids will still trip over them.

Very true. Children will also always find the one tent peg not fully buried in the ground with their heads when they do trip.

More visible guy ropes do help adults though, especially once the wine has defrosted and been consumed to prevent it from going off grin

I am afraid we have fairy lights on outside our tent (solar) so we can aim in the right direction when we go for a midnight wander to the loo block!

Goldmandra Wed 31-Jul-13 22:11:49

Anyone with tips on how to repel kids from stove and guy ropes short of attaching same-pole magnets on them?

I find telling them to stay nearby because we're about to eat usually guarantees to keep them as a safe distance.

BTW walkie-talkies are great for finding/communicating with wandering children and they can usually be charged in the car.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 31-Jul-13 22:20:22

Goldmandra you are a genius. I'll try that.

KnappShappeyShipwright Wed 31-Jul-13 23:31:49

Other than a tent big enough for all of you (good rule of thumb is to add the actual number of people and add 2 or 3 - we're a family of 5 and are comfortable in an 8 berth), I'd suggest adding microfibre cloths to the list to use instead of a teatowel as they dry in no time.

Another suggestion to throw into the mix is trugs - we take 2 small trugs, fill one with dirty washing up and carry to the sinks, use one as a washing up bowl and the other to hold the dry stuff, when you've finished rinse the washing up bowl and put the dry trug inside the wet trug.

Furball Thu 01-Aug-13 06:56:32

A towelling bathmat makes a really good absorbent door mat and can just be chucked in the washer when you get home ready for next time.

FourArms Thu 01-Aug-13 08:29:13

Electric blankets have been life changing for camping this year. Normally I lose a lot of sleep to cold and end up achy & tired. Current set up of campbed / Dozer SIM / elec blanket has sorted that. Too hot for sleeping bag now, so sleep with it opened out.

And the DSs love putting on prewarmed PJs smile

pussycatwillum Thu 01-Aug-13 08:51:18

Wolfcub we've been to Golden Square. We've just sold our tent (Grandparents in our 60s) or we'd be booking to join you wink.

Tigerblue Thu 01-Aug-13 09:20:30

If it's raining, waterproof trainers and plenty of socks. If it's sunny, sun hat and sun lotion.

It's worth taking a couple of small games for fun outside (ball, bowls, swingball, bat and ball) and inside (like cards, paper for hangman, small pocket sized games) which are good if the weather is bad and you're stuck inside the tent.

Keeping warm at night is essential. Take your winter weight pyjamas and have a warm top. If you haven't got sleeping bags, take as many quilts as you can in the car as these can be used underneath and on top. Airbeds are good as they get you off the cold ground.

If rain is forecast, a couple of coat hangers are helpful as you can hand wet coats from these in the tent/car rather than have them on the back of chairs.

Foodwise, I take cereal and longlife milk, crossiants, quiche, prepared salad, cans of tuna and baked beans, as well as flavoured coucous which you can just add water to. The key is keeping it simple.

I have to say I didn't enjoy my first camping trips much, but we worked out what we really needed to take camping and got a better tent, and now nine years later we love it. Have done three short camping trips already this year and have another one coming up. Have fun.

TheSecondComing Thu 01-Aug-13 09:54:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GladitsnotJustMe Thu 01-Aug-13 10:58:41

I second the pre-made meal to take for the first night. I usually do this with a Spag bol / chilli / curry that you can just add to some rice or pasta.

I also pre-make something and freeze it, helps keep stuff cold on first day then it's good for the second day.

We swear by those sachets of Latte or hot chocolate - just add boiling water and they're lovely.

Sandwich wraps can be rolled up and frozen - take up less space than a loaf of bread and will last longer.

Tinned rice pudding - dead easy to heat up, lovely and warming on a cold evening. Add to it one of those single portions of jam in a sachet that you get steal from hotels and it's yummy!

SuddenlySqueamish Thu 01-Aug-13 11:53:54

Take fewer clothes than you think you'll need except pants and socks, take lots more of those than you think!

Also you can get big incense sticks that stick in the ground, they are amazing for keeping flies away. We just got back from Cornwall and were eaten alive by horseflies before we remembered we still had some incense sticks in the bottom of the camping box from last year, those and a fire when it got to early evening when there are more flies kept us sane and from clawing our skin off.

Also take cold beer/wine in the cool box for when you've finished putting the tent up and settled in. You will definitely have earned it!

shewhowines Thu 01-Aug-13 11:58:31

I was going to say single airbeds to stop the bounce.

Make sure you will not be cold at night. Just a sleeping bag doesn't cut the mustard for me (although milder night at the moment so not so important). I need a sleeeping bag, duvet plus thick jumper and socks,normally.

A childs potty or bucket to avoid the middle of night tramp across wet grass to the loos. I couldn't "do" camping without this.

SuddenlySqueamish Thu 01-Aug-13 12:17:59

Oh yes definitely agree with the single airbeds thing. My DP and I used to have a double but he's a good 3 stone heavier than me and so I used to end up rolling in to him because the bed was lower on his side and would be bounced all over the place whenever he moved! We got singles last year and it's much better!

Also re cold at night, a hat is the single best thing to keep you warm. Even in full clothes, I still get cold without a hat. A simple snug wooly one works best.

pussycatwillum Thu 01-Aug-13 12:19:53

Freeze small bottles of semi skimmed milk to use as icepacks.

Elouie Thu 01-Aug-13 12:43:26

We don't take air beds, but the key to a warm nights sleep is having rubber mats underneath you to insulate you from the ground. You can get roll up mats from camping shops, although we've got some half inch thick mats that OH found somewhere, and I have never had a bad nights sleep.

madhairday Thu 01-Aug-13 14:50:47

Onesies are good for dc at night.

Crocs - take off inside tent.

BABY WIPES - we don't have little ones anymore but get through so many wipes camping - would be lost without them

Disposable BBQs

Lightweight raincoats - we tend to take layers of clothing rather than cold weather clothing as well as summer clothes - so just add fleeces and cardis to the pile of summer stuff.

Definitely thick socks for night, and hot water bottles.

I also like my winter boot slippers on an evening.

Fleece throws a must - good for sitting around in the evening.

Those hangy up things which usually hang underwear from washing lines - hang them from a gazebo/inside the tent with tea towels, cloths, swimming stuff etc. Very handy.

Gas heater is a must for us and makes things cosy at night.

Games, books, colouring stuff etc.

Love the freezing wine idea, we're off on Saturday so will be doing that. We also freeze some bottles of water for the first day, they are great when setting up and having the annual argument

We do cheat a bit though as we have a folding camper rather than a tent. Love the whole thing though.....let's hope for sunshine this week.

Rowlers Thu 01-Aug-13 15:11:26

We have 2 single blow up mattresses which zip together -think it's Campingaz who make them. Here.

charliepop Thu 01-Aug-13 16:22:49

This toaster is fab.

HorseyGirl1 Thu 01-Aug-13 16:38:24

Don't go? :-)

allmycats Thu 01-Aug-13 16:46:59

Good airbeds, own pillow, pee bucket (for in the night) - table/tables for in sitting area of tent. 1 of those camp canvas pantries with hard top for stove. Electric hook up cable and small electric heater/kettle/toaster/light.

Strong pegs/hammer/extra guy ropes

Avoid sites with a 'club house' on like the plague

123rd Thu 01-Aug-13 16:49:12

Defo freeze a chilli or spag Bol sauce and sausage bacon to keep for a bit longer in the freezer bag. (We never have electric hook ups) I always take a little dust pan and brush just to clear out the grass -and ants-each morning. Baby wipes. I also have a little trio of those mini travel bottles into which I put washing up liquid , cooking oil and shampoo/body wash. Also dry shampoo is fab. We picked a a couple of head torches from The Range which are very handy.

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