Is your camp now perfect for you? Pease share!

(19 Posts)
HexBramble Sun 31-Aug-14 21:26:41

We're selling on our 4 year old Royal Athens. It's fab, safe, strong and in top nick, it's just too big now.

Plus, and I am kicking myself for not taking more notes, pitches at the site in France were just more practical. So many comfy pitches, with outside yet covered dining areas, but the Athens is too bloody massive to add an awning or side covered area.

If you have pics, then I would LOVE to see your pitch, be it with campfire or Cobb, EHU or Kelly kettle, bunting and/or fairy lights. Help me out here!

Cheebame Mon 01-Sep-14 11:07:11

If the tent is already big, why would you want to add awnings etc?

(Left my camera at relatives on way home from last trip so no pictures at the moment - sorry!)

newnameforanewstart Mon 01-Sep-14 12:44:11

Um - I´ll have a dig through and see if I have any pitch photos for you.

BUT we have a HUGE tent - Outwell Bahia 7 and loads of pods. So its probably not really what you are looking for, a few things we do do though / have made over the years.

Bunting but I sewed it with a channel in the top eg take long piece of fabric fold in half so you have a channel in the top inserts bunting pieces into the open side and stich together, then tread guy ropes through the channel and you have an instantly recognisable tent - sad maybe but true!

I took old glass jars (all sorts) and solar spike lights, take the spike off the lights and insert the light part into the jar and glue the solar battery top to the top of the jar - iyswim? Then attach any form of hanging that you like or not as the case maybe. Dot these around the out side of the tent - I often use mine to hang from a tree (if we are near / under one) or as a path to the tent, or inside the tent etc. etc. they recharge in the sun and you have nice easy lighting. Like this

For the kids bed rooms, I use white fairy lights and paper cups - cover paper cups in fabric or buy coloured paper cups and attach to lights, hang up and the girls love them.

For cooking which I do a LOT of - love cooking and use a dutch oven.

I use tick tack pots which are cleaned and then a marker pen to write on the name of the herb / spice and then I can take loads of herbs / spices without it taking up any room.
A plastic over the door shoe organiser is now the kitchen cupboard / draws one pouch for folks, knives, spoons, grater, etc. etc. - takes up no room when we travel and keeps everything sorted and straight when we arrive.
A Stanley 4 in one work station is my kitchen transport - we fit everything in it - and we take a lot of cooking stuff. We cleaned the labels off and decorated it with stickers and then covered in sticky backed plastic (blue peter style or what!) so it is colourful and not so big and black. Super easy to transport - due to the wheels doesn´t take up a lot of room in the car and everything is in one place.
A bungie cord makes for perfect storage of kitchen roll, tin foil etc. etc. under the cooking table.

Clothes storage - cheat, put everything together, put the t shirt open on a flat surface add folded trousers leggings etc. knickers and socks. fold the whole lot up and roll together so only the t shirt is showing, secure with an elastic band. We took plastic storage boxes from IKEA and decorated them with colourful sticking tape, etc. etc. then each person has there own box in their room with everything in it as a table. The look really colourful too and oh so practical.

We take the foam puzzle floor tiles to line the kids floors in there bed rooms - softer to sit on play on etc. etc. and look colourful.

I made up camping bed pods - which have become a massive hit. several pillows and make your own colourful pillow cases or buy them. Sew each pillow case to the next one along the long seam. Then sew Velcro down the under side. Put them on top of camping bed and sim for a great nights sleep or use them on the floor to read etc - the kids love them! we use big black bin bags and sit on them to get the air out then tie up and they don´t take up much room in the car.

We do camp ALOT and for LONG periods sometimes!

HexBramble Mon 01-Sep-14 21:54:07

new name, what AMAZING ideas. I feel rather chuffed that you have shared them with me.

Can I ask what a Stanley 4 is? I've googled but with no luck.

Cheebame - the space inside the tent was huge and wasted tbh - where we needed th space was outside so we could actually have out table and chairs outside to eat - and leave them there. Our tent is so big though, that it takes up ALL the bloody pitch!

lavendersun Tue 02-Sep-14 10:23:31

Ours is perfect for us and can’t think of anything we want to change, have been doing it for a very long time though and usually camp for in excess of two months a year so we have had plenty of time to refine it! Depends what you want though really - I don’t do bunting/fairy lights or EHU!

We have a Hago kitchen (made an oak worktop out of oak floorboards some years ago). Two plastic boxes for non-cooler food which stay in our barn for the season with bits and pieces in them, just topped up before each trip. Coolbox, plastic box of cutlery/utensils and another of cookware/plates/cups etc. Changed our plates/cups/bowls etc to Tatonka stainless steel stuff this summer and really like it. I bought a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker for camping a couple of years ago (not at all like the scary one my mother used when we were kids) – great for making warming food, I like to cook whatever it is for about ½ the cook time under pressure and then 30 mins or so with the lid off so that things reduce and the flavour concentrates (and it doesn’t taste like school dinners).

Table and stools under the canopy unless the weather is vile when we bring it inside. Lafuma make lovely chairs and stools for camping.

We have one of those rectangular Weber BBQ’s that is now about 12 years old and looks like new so would recommend that.

Cook on a two burner stove generally - also have two Trangia kits for cold weather camping and when we camp in our ridge tent.

We have two Feuerhand paraffin lanterns which give a lovely light (also have those Black Diamond lanterns in case we need anything extra). We have a campfire box that we bought from a canoe shop in Canada but enjoy the the light from the lanterns so much that we rarely light a fire (lazy) these days.

Pett toilet - I think there are cheaper alternatives these days but have had it years.

Clothes stay folded in our individual bags that are on the floor at the side of the tent (as it is a pyramid it makes good use of the space). We put those weaveatex carpets down to protect the groundsheet and then three huge rag rugs down on the top of those.

All we have inside the tent generally are two beds, dog bed, loo and clothes bags plus my daughter’s chair and a small side table (usually crammed with lego), unless it is horrible then other things come in from outside.

I bought some brushed cotton duvet sets/sheets/pillowcases, cut the seams open and sewed buttons on the inside of our sleeping bags at the very top. The opened out duvet covers create a top and bottom sheet inside the bag - means that you get ‘clean sheets’ every time you camp and that I don’t have to send our massive sleeping bags for washing very often.

We are very organised (husband’s influence mainly!), we have a small multi compartment zip bag for things we wouldn’t leave in the tent so the (world band – v good for Europe) radio/headlamps/black diamond lantern etc. go in that in the car when we go out. We have a plastic box in the trailer for the lanterns/Trangia/fuel/cleaning stuff. The BBQ/charcoal has a zipped canvas bag so that things stay clean in the trailer.

Honestly, sometimes I think we are too organised but having a trailer and a barn to store everything in means that we can be ready to go just with packing our food and clothes. Anything that could be affected by moisture is stored inside but the trailer is half full of the other stuff.

Photos of kitchen/under canopy.

Pixel Tue 02-Sep-14 20:28:15

We've got a trailer but don't seem to fit in half the stuff you lot have! We are just thinking about 'downsizing' some things to make packing easier. For example our Vango table is very nice but the hinges are starting to go so we might replace it with a smaller one next time as we don't really need a huge table. It just ends up as a dumping ground for 'stuff' that I have to move when I want to do the cooking angry (mind you was very handy this year as we shoved everything on top of it when it was raining so hard we had a river running through the awning). Also we take a lot of cooking utensils but don't end up doing much proper cooking now we have ds (asd) who is quite difficult to cater for, so we might cut down on that. I'm hoping if I can create enough packing space I can have a moonchair wink.

hettie Wed 03-Sep-14 15:14:20

We have a car the size of a golf plus roof box. With 4 of us this isn't huge amounts of space for kit. Virtually anything we have purchased has been bought to be light/small for max function. We have a robens horizon 6 and bought a gelert side porch this year. Plus kampa kitchen (can't remember which one) and a decathlon table with stools. We all have SIMs and dh and I have small helinox chairs. We have a small but great icebox (from Waeco's cool ice range) and pans and dishes that all sit inside one another...
Over the years we have bought/replaced one or two things every year. I think this year was the year we reached camping nirvana....grin

Ledkr Wed 03-Sep-14 19:13:50

I have small van with double bed in and another in pop up roof for kids.
Awning attached then gazebo next to awning for seating area, buggy, toys BBQ etc. this is usually strung with fairy lantern lights.
I have two rings in van but mostly cook on BBQ and single camping stove outside.
I have collapsible fabric boxes for stuff.
Electric cool box.
Electric light and battery lanterns.
Porta potty.
We keep our clothes in our bags even for four week trips.
We also lock valuables in van when we go out.
We use sleeping bags and take our own pillows.
Every year I add something else.

Ledkr Wed 03-Sep-14 19:14:52

Nice flooring is next.
Mine brings me out in psoriasis!

HexBramble Wed 03-Sep-14 19:25:47

Ledkr, what flooring do you have in mind? The foam
Squares and rag rugs sound good...

HexBramble Wed 03-Sep-14 22:47:54

Lavender - what tent do you have?

Ledkr Wed 03-Sep-14 23:33:23

No idea. I love the foam squares idea but not hard wearing enough for main living area but defo need something.
I've got a type of camping carpet but I burnt a hole in it with the hot pan!!

lavendersun Thu 04-Sep-14 05:43:00

Hex - its a De Waard Albatros. Nice tent but their customer service has been absolutely pants. We bought it before the season, they forgot to send various bits in the original shipment and even worse sent bits where the zips don't match. Then did nothing with the parts we returned for two months - I got a bit cross last month. They sent replacements a couple of weeks ago .... that still don't fit.

Lovely tent - the sale of our old tent almost paid for it - but I sort of wished we had gone for something else because the long drawn out process of trying to get it to work has been (and still is) a complete pain in the arse.

HexBramble Thu 04-Sep-14 18:23:42

Blimey Lavender - that's poor customer service. I really need to get looking but not sure when the best deals are to be had now. We definitely won't be needing a family tent til next Easter at the earliest so have time on our hands.

Planning on pitching up our Athens and giving it a good clean and
Rub down before selling it next spring.

lavendersun Thu 04-Sep-14 18:50:08

Hex - in hindsight I would have gone for another Cabanon - their big pyramid plus canopy is about £1,500 which abound half of the cost of the Albatros.

We heard from them today after chasing them again - our e-mails have not missed their attention (but they haven't bothered to reply), they agree that we should have what we paid for - a £3k tent that works. They are trying to decide how to proceed but .... the best part .... "I will need extra time though, and we will not get it well until the end of the camping season", and they may have to recall the tent.

So, just to recap we paid a lot of money for a tent in April that doesn't zip together and we will have to wait until October or whenever they consider the end of the camping season to put it right.

It might be a nice tent but we have always had nice tents and to be honest nothing is nice enough to put up with this sort of service.

I wouldn't recommend one based on my experience - very disappointing indeed and whilst I like the tent I know that I would have liked the Cabanon too. I have had four Cabanons and never had any grief!

ThatBloodyWoman Thu 04-Sep-14 18:56:28

We're not perfick yet, but we got us a big tent and an excellent van for transporting us,it, and the dog.

HexBramble Thu 04-Sep-14 20:23:37

Any more pics anyone?

hillbilly Thu 04-Sep-14 20:54:27

It may not look fancy but it has everything we need :-)

hillbilly Fri 05-Sep-14 17:09:41

So, we have a Outwell Oakland XL with side extension.
Sleep - vango 7.5 double for us, Hi Gear SIMs for the kids. Sleeping bags for all (duvet for us in France). Hot water bottles, thermals and onsies.
Rugs on the floor when I remember.
Massive coolbox. Chairs.
Quecha lanterns, purple fairy lights.
Vango kitchen storage with a single gas burner.
Campfire grill.
Stovetop espresso maker and proper coffee.
Wine.

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