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To ask if it is possible to go camping with out a car?

(22 Posts)
StickEmWithThePointyEnd Wed 07-Nov-12 18:31:46

And a toddler.

Are there campsites accessible by public transport? How much gear could dh and I carry and would we be lacking in loads of things we would need?

I have never camped before, and everyone talks about how cheap it is for a holiday, which is what we need at the moment. However we may not have a car come new year and I don't think camping will work without one.

whois Wed 07-Nov-12 19:03:48

Yes but you and DH will need to be able to carry a fair whack of stuff.

Try Edale in the peak district. Lovely area and loads of campsites in an easy walk of the train station. Many are specifically family friends and have decent showers.

I think for a weekend, eating out in pubs you could go without a car. For longer that would work out expensive.

You need:
Sleeping bags
Roll matts
Clothes/towel/wash stuff
Anything your toddler needs
Picnic rug v useful

If going by car I would add
Cooking stuff
More games for kid eg football
Air mat rather than foam roll mat

whois Wed 07-Nov-12 19:04:44

Obviously you don't need duvets-what was I thinking!

DP and I do always take one if we go in the car tho

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 19:05:23

Josie Dew did it cycling.

shewhowines Wed 07-Nov-12 19:05:33

Youth hostels?

Ephiny Wed 07-Nov-12 19:12:18

I have done backpacking and camping without a car so it's definitely possible, BUT this was not with a toddler. I guess it depends how much extra stuff they need.

IME it helps a lot if you get the small-packing/lightweight versions of everything though - tent, sleeping bag, mat (Thermarest do some fantastic ones that are warm and comfy but pack very small), stove (the Trangia is ideal IMO).

I was going to second the Edale suggestion as the campsites are so near the station and it's a lovely area for walking. Not sure there's much stuff for children to do though.

(you know there's a Camping topic on MN? This is not really an AIBU...)

VivaLeBeaver Wed 07-Nov-12 19:15:59

I saw someone in a campsite on the outskirts of Tenby who were carless, a couple with a toddler and a bell tent! If they could do it anyone could.

They'd come on the train from London and then taxi from the train station.

HELPMyPooIsStuck Wed 07-Nov-12 19:42:55

You need some of those vacuum bag things to suck the air out, my mates back packed around the world and swears by them.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Wed 07-Nov-12 19:47:13

A camping topic? Whoops, I'll go and find it then sorry grin.

Lots of walking and outdoor space is pretty much ideal for my toddler and I think I'd start with a weekend and see how it goes. I'm glad to hear it's not impossible and thank you for all the recommendations!

BeyondGoesOffWithABigBang Wed 07-Nov-12 20:35:12

I've camped without a car quite a few times, yet to try it with the toddler and baby (will be two toddlers now by the time the weather is nice again! God, thats a scary thought grin )

doublecakeplease Wed 07-Nov-12 20:46:37

Me and Dp have done it many a time (pre dc though so won't have needed as much stuff) BUT we have super lightweight everything - tent weighs very little etc. this + massive rucksacks made it doable - even travelled the country by train for 3 weeks, camping for 1 week, in early pregnancy.

Is DC still in a buggy? Means you could pile it high?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Wed 07-Nov-12 20:48:07

No, I would never contemplate it unless I was doing a proper hike (which I would def not be able to do now because I am too old and too fat - mainly too fat).

joby21 Wed 07-Nov-12 21:10:57

My OH and i have spent the last ten years camping without a car. Admittedly we have no toddler but am ptegnant with our first and planning on going with the baby as soon as it's big enough!

There's a brilliant campsite just outside Hope and would also recommend edale. We have a lightweight stove, sleeping bags, inflatable pillows, fleece blankets and backpacker airbeds. Love camping!

KatyS36 Wed 07-Nov-12 21:24:50

Yes it is possible. I've done it pre DC.

I reckon it would be fine with DD if we allowed for a taxi from train station to campsite, but, if I'm honest, much harder on a bus or walking.

Campsite would need to be near a food shop too.

Good luck


RuleBritannia Wed 07-Nov-12 21:26:10

What about a motorcycle and sidecar?

whois Wed 07-Nov-12 21:52:45

Or get some of those luggage wheel things people use when going to festivals. People walk miles and miles over mud with 100 cans of cider plus all camping kit, so I reckon your be ok the half mile up paved road from edale station :-)

If you don't already have the camping kit it will be a reasonable outlay the first time you go. Maybe start asking for bits and pieces for birthdays and Christmases?

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 07-Nov-12 22:54:28

I think you are bonker camping in the winter brrrrrr.

whois Wed 07-Nov-12 22:55:36

I assumed this was forward planning for the summer...? Don't go camping over the winter it will put you off for life!

sashh Thu 08-Nov-12 00:44:12

Don't forget to have a look at youth hostels, they have family rooms now and you don't need to take as much, no tent and no cooking equipment to carry.

youngermother1 Thu 08-Nov-12 01:10:29

Only cheap if you do it often - the kit can be expensive and you need to get a decent amount of use.
With a toddler, i would youth hostel insted

psynl Thu 08-Nov-12 06:52:50

I support the edale suggestions. I camped there lots with a dc from age of 6 months to 2 years (when we got a car). It's an easy walk from station. We went with minimum stuff - small 2 man tent, sleeping bags and erm that's it! Food can be an issue - we went to the cafe for a big breakfast, bought snacks for the day and went to the pub for tea. There is enough there to keep a little one occupied for a weekend - easy ish walks, sheep spotting, stream paddling and there are a couple of playgrounds with equipment. HTH

Ephiny Thu 08-Nov-12 07:25:14

Winter camping can be fun, if you're well-equipped, but not necessarily for your first trip and with a small child!

Yes Hope is lovely too, nice pubs and cafes in the village. I think it's a bit further from the station, but perfectly walkable, and it's a bigger village than Edale with more going on.

Forgot to say, both Hope and Edale (or anywhere along the Hope Valley or Settle-Carlisle rail lines) are great because you can use the train for day trips to the various towns and villages, and also you sometimes can walk one way and take the train 'home'. They're not the most frequent trains so you do have to plan, but I remember them being pretty reliable.

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