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I bloody love camping it is cheap * it is fun and im going tomorrow

(130 Posts)
LEMtheoriginal Fri 10-Aug-18 06:32:37

Up until three years ago holidays were what other people did. We had taken dd2 on 3 holidays in her ten years. One was a sun holiday the other paid gor with tesco clubcard vouchers in budget caravans. Then she went to school and holidays were even more out of the question due to holiday companies cashing in on draconian rules regarding absence from school.

Fast forward to now and ok our financial situation has improved and we go on holiday at least twice a year. Next year we are planning a trip abroad.

Why? Because one Sunday we were bored and decided to just look around the local camping shop. We bought a tent! £250 and we have a holiday home dont mention the hundreds since spent on stuff we probably don't need and we set off on our first adventure. 3 nights an hours drive away. DD was either 9 or 10 and she cried all the way there because she was scared of sleeping in a tent. Within ten minutes of setting up she was off exploring and made friends and that was it!

We are very British and often return to the same place but tomorrow we are being adventurous and going to north devon instead of south grin We are taking our bastard dogs who i wont leave with anyone because one is a little gobshite and i dont trust him not to bite someone else if they piss him off and we will set up our little holiday home. Its a last minute booking and im a tad dubious but come evening I'll have had enough gin not to care if we are huddled in our tent in the pouring rain, playing cards or god help us, board games.

The next day we'll put on our waterproofs and head off to explore. We'll clock up a few miles i daresay and visit alot of pubs. My diet and liver wont thank me blush if the weather improves dd will go swimming itherwise we'll find some dramatic coastline and look for interesting stones. If the rain clears well sit around the campfire and roast marsh mallows and ill read my kindle because my phone battery will have died. Dd may be a bit sulky about hers but i wont care because work wont be able to call me because someone has screwed up in the lab hmm

Dd will be hoping to spend time in the play area and meet other kids her age (doesnt always happen) there a river/stream to paddle in.

The dogs will be alternately ecstatic and muserable.

I will be happy as larry because my holiday during peak summer time will have cost £223 for a whole week. My anxiety after about day two will cut me some slack and I'll be able to face whatever shit life throws st me on our return.

Whats not to love?

Mallowmarshmallow Fri 10-Aug-18 06:35:53

That sounds quite wonderful. I'm in the 'building up the courage' stage of a camping journey. I know the kids would absolutely love it....I'm just not so sure I would...!

Loopytiles Fri 10-Aug-18 06:37:01

Hope you have a great time!

It’s not that cheap though IME unless you: (1) minimise camping accessory purchases - have never experienced consumer envy anywhere else as much as when camping! Eg electricity, stove, pans, table/chairs, mattresses, car storage for all the stuff (roofracks and trailers aren’t cheap!). (2) eating out a lot. (3) expensive outings to avoid rain.

Loopytiles Fri 10-Aug-18 06:40:47

I don’t like camping, and don’t consider it a holiday for me. Agree it’s great for DC - and adults who enjoy it, like DH - especially if other accommodation isn’t affordable.

Things not to love: exposure to weather (heat, rain), some campsites (especially with eco or chemical toilets and few or no showers), some other campers. No easy access to food or hot beverages unless weather OK or you can drive somewhere to buy it. Mud. Packing / unpacking all the stuff. Putting up and taking down tent.

DH and DC love it! Sadly for me.

Loopytiles Fri 10-Aug-18 06:41:39

Oh, no refrigeration!

testingmitb Fri 10-Aug-18 06:42:02

Camping's great isn't it? We haven't camped with the children any longer that two nights at a time, but the freedom to just throw stuff in the car and get away for a bit is brilliant. Where we live (not UK) there are loads and loads of free camping spots, with running water, fire pits, longdrop portaloos (always cleaned and maintained with loo paper inc.). In fact there is a whole website dedicated to being 'out in nature' that shows all the wild camping spots, and log cabin shelters. Sometimes you have to book and there might be a nominal £3 cost per person per night but it's mostly free free free. We have just had a night away so that we could be nearer to an attraction for a day out. The site we stayed at had three log cabin shelters, two fire pits, picnic benches, running water, portaloo (with a little electric heater for wintertime!) and even a horse 'hotel' (it's on a well-known hiking and riding trail) and hooks for those with hammocks. There was only one other group there, two blokes on a hiking tour. We'd have spent at least £80 for a night's B&B accommodation. Carry on camping!

Enjoy your week, I'm well jealous!

Bbbbbbbb2017 Fri 10-Aug-18 06:42:52

I thought i was alone in loving it :D i take my 3 and 1 year olds every other week on my own

LEMtheoriginal Fri 10-Aug-18 06:43:42

I wasnt sure. My only camling exler5was when i met dp and we went to a festivalrun by hells angels and i git pissed ans spent the evening sat with a load of german bikers because i couldn't find my way back to my tent. Dp found me eventually and 25 years later its a dim and distant memory!

I honestly love it and would choose it over a hotel any time. Its part of the holiday rather than just a base. It IS cheap - where can you go in the uk during the summer holidays for less than a grand these days?

My best bit is about 4am laying in my tent - under my own duvet. We sacked off the sleeping bags. Listening to owls and creatures outside the tent.

Polkapjs Fri 10-Aug-18 06:48:21

I love it after 3 years of moaning. I don’t love the packing and getting a tent dry if it rains and would only go in a big group but it’s so relaxing and the phone detox actually really helps mood

testingmitb Fri 10-Aug-18 06:48:59

For all those saying about the range of facilities being less when on holiday, check out some of these European campsites. We were shocked the first time we camped abroad being used to the UK version of campsites with cold water showers and mucky loo's. In fact, the last time I camped in the UK, the pitch we were given was on a bloody slope.

See these, for example

Family bathrooms, kitchen blocks, power showers, fresh bread ordered for breakfast, swimming pools and playgrounds on site. It's another world.

LEMtheoriginal Fri 10-Aug-18 06:51:22

Loopy - yes! Tent envy is a thing! I reckon weve spent around a grand on camping stuff but that includes the tent and quite expensive top box for our car (love ebay) but we have all we need now. We don't NEED anything else...but im dreaming of a polycotton steel poled luxury tent hmm oh and a camping kitchen with integrated cupboards and a calorgas cadac stove. Dp says we cant have anymore because his skills at car tetris are tested enough as it is!

But still all of that is covered by the savings on one holiday.

BikeRunSki Fri 10-Aug-18 06:53:23

I love camping, love, love it. So do the dc. DH hates it. We haven’t been as a family for a couple of years, although I am a Cub leader, and the dc and I have all been on Cub/Beaver camp.

HelpmeobiMN Fri 10-Aug-18 06:56:29

Sounds delightful and I hope you have a wonderful time!

I love camping too and have done so in some of the most spectacular places on earth. There is nothing like unzipping your tent and seeing the deserted white sands of Calgary bay on Mull stretching in front of you, or cooking halloumi kebabs over an open fire while watching a pair of golden eagles on a thermal. It’s magic!

User5trillion Fri 10-Aug-18 06:58:51

We love camping, although have a tiny campervan with a driveaway awning. I sleep in the awning with 1 child whilst hubby is in the van with the other.

We too are heading to north devon but not for 2 weeks. There is NO WAY we can afford a holiday abroad and the kids are too young to appreciate it.

The kids have a sense of freedom, make friends and I get to read books! Even washing up and trooping to the showers is fun for them.

I think it can be costly our costing £300 for a field with electricity. We cant afford to eat out but will have a few days out. I LOVE north devon and spent my own childhood there. Have a fab time!

Metoodear Fri 10-Aug-18 07:00:33

Of course it’s cheaper we have just come back from France

Euro camp it cost 280 for camping for 4 for the week the cheapest shaky would have been 800 pounds not including ferry crossing or food

Camping is always cheaper than staying in the same place in a shallot

our initial spend on our tent and kit was £800 in 20011 and we only up grade Whalen somthing is broken or damaged so we have had our tent for about 7 years and holiday about 4 times a year we would not afford this if we didn’t have a tent we’re off to JUST SO FESTIVAL NEXT WEEK their own yurts are about £500 on top off the £300 you pay to get in other wil be paying near enough a grand we’re paying 300 much cheaper

LEMtheoriginal Fri 10-Aug-18 07:02:35

@User5trillion any recommendations for places to visit near ilfracombe? We have dogs so its always outside

Metoodear Fri 10-Aug-18 07:02:52

Als when it rains the kids don wellies and their rain coats most five star camp sites have in door bits when you say camping think most people think bear grills style

We have a sofa beds a cooler and oven a mini fridge the kids have ready beds

Metoodear Fri 10-Aug-18 07:03:33


Loopytiles Fri 10-Aug-18 07:04:56

It is only cheap if you go often enough to get value out of the spending on the stuff (or borrow it) and minimise spending while there. Easy to spend £00s quickly eating out.

A hotel or rented apartment is just as much part of the holiday as a campsite, not “just a base”. Campsites can be great for DC roaming off, having time outdoors and so on, if weather is OK and you’re comfortable with this (when sites are large).

Hollow laugh to “just throw stuff in the car”!! DH has a camping box all packed but lots of stuff needs to be done in preparation like packing right clothes / shoes and buying bits and bobs like gas. You need storage space for the stuff, both at home and en route.

To camp in summer you often need to book sites and pay up in advance, then get no money back if you cancel (eg weather forecast), which is fair enough as the site owners need to make it viable but isn’t exactly spontaneous.

arolam Fri 10-Aug-18 07:05:00

I love it too! I've taken my 3 little ones on my own a couple of times because dh hates it! Best going with a group though, for company.
I'd love to try France in the next couple of years. Not so much a Euro camp, though that may be good when kids are older. Just a nice wild place with a toilet but a good likelihood of warmth and sun..!
Op I'm with you. Camping is ace!

tomhazard Fri 10-Aug-18 07:07:37

I can't stand it. I wish I did as I can see the attraction and adventure of it but I hate it

LEMtheoriginal Fri 10-Aug-18 07:08:03

Thanks for the links they are giving me goosebumps

Loopytiles Fri 10-Aug-18 07:08:42

It’s cheapER than other options (other than staying at family/friends’ houses), but not cheap, per se.

It cost us £220 for three nights camping for five this summer at a popular site in new forest area, with hot showers and a good toilet block, but no “five star” amenities (eg indoor space). Probably spent around £300 on food and outings. 1.5 days heavy rain.

Soomanybooks Fri 10-Aug-18 07:10:55

We are braving camping this year for the first time with kids aged ten and five. We are going for three nights.

The only holidays we ever did was camping when I was a child. Given my dad it was a fraught experience. But I followed my mother's only piece of marital advice: don't marry a man like your father. So, I'm hoping this will actually be fun.

Notquiteagandt Fri 10-Aug-18 07:11:26

Love the smell of a fresh morning mixed with sausages cooking

That to me is camping. Love it!

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