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Camping virgin needs help!!!

(33 Posts)
HenniPenni Mon 01-May-06 10:50:08

We are considering buying a tent and would appreciate any help with what we would need.

we are a family of 5 and at the moment we are considering the sunncamp oasis 700 or a Vango vista 800dlx.

As we are complete novices we really haven't a clue as to what we would need in the terms of equipment etc. Although we do know that we want a tent with a sewn in groundsheet!Any help, advice etc would be greatly appreciated. thankyou.

HenniPenni Mon 01-May-06 10:52:51

doh, it's a Vango Vail 700, not a Vango vista!

Lucycat Mon 01-May-06 11:09:36

Henni, there are some tent threads at the top of active at the moment, how can we help?

HenniPenni Mon 01-May-06 11:20:10

What sort of basic equipment do we need to get started? e.g. do we need sleeping bags or can we just use our duvets? Is it best to get some sort of blow up bed? Do we want a fridge or just a decent cool box? etc, etc

Blu Mon 01-May-06 11:26:07

Hi HenniPenni.
Yes, unless you are very brave and spartan, youdefinitely need blow-up beds. We have the ones where you get two separate panels in a double mattress.
In summer, you could easily manage with your bedsheets and duvets, if you don't want to splash out on everything at once. But bags are good for kids because less risk of the duvet slipping and them getting cold.
Fold up chairs are good, esp with a holder for your glass. We manage without a table.

You need a two ring gas cooker, minimum, I would say, but we manage with a cooler box rather than a fridge. (which are a bit weedy and car battery wouldn't stand it).

HenniPenni Mon 01-May-06 11:31:53

Cheers Blu, don't think that we would be going till 6 weeks hols so could manage with duvets etc- will get kids sleeping bags though.

Do you know how electric hook up works, the tents that we have seen both have this, would it be possible to rig some sort of lighting up? (two of three kids scared of the dark!!)or would it just be suitable for electric kettle?

Lucycat Mon 01-May-06 13:13:12

If you want to get yourselves a sleeping bag then this one from Argos is good value, we got it last year and we were like toast!
Being Kingsize, means you can fit a small child in too if necessary!

An ehu is great, if you can afford to splash out on this one then it's worth it. We run a kettle, a bulkhead type light, small coolbox/fridge and a fan heater .

We've also got a Ready bed for the 2 girls (with sleeping bags inside!) and one for us too, Tesco were quite cheap for them last year. They mean that the dd's don't roll off them and down the hill!

suzywong Mon 01-May-06 13:15:02

oh blimey, MB I do see what you mean now, it is a bit tiresome isnt' it?

Blandmum Mon 01-May-06 13:16:57

Dont get a double matress, or every time your parter turs over it is like a life on the ocean wave!

We also prefer two sleeping bags since dh is a sweat moster and seldom needs much to keep him work, and I need lots of heating!!

We have tried air beds and find them too soft, we prefer a camping bed, with a crash mat for extra insulation....they are too cold on their own as they lack insulation.

jamsam Mon 01-May-06 13:22:10

if you need a list im sure we can all knock one up..try the scout homepage for great lists of camping essentials..

Lucycat Mon 01-May-06 13:24:49

someone been dissin' us mb?

I'll have em wiv a tent peg!

Peachyclair Mon 01-May-06 13:47:14

Go onto uk campsite and search on the message boards for the tents you fancy- we eliminated several that way.

we take chairs, cooking equipment, sleeping bags (ready beds for the kids with extra blankets), crockery and the basics but do keep it to a minimum for space. Ideally, we'd take a table also, and maybe electrric hook up and a PC for mumsnetting

maybe not

Skribble Mon 01-May-06 21:57:41

I see a lot of campers set up with a gazebo in front of the tent, means you have somewhere to cook, eat and stand up in. I bought a few folding tables from Woolworths half price at £12.45. Light weight but sturdy.

I agree if using camp beds or even inflatable beds use a rool mat on top as they are freezing underneath.

I am a woose the last time I was under canvas I had a folding bed (more guest bed than camp bed) with 4 inch proper foam mattress on top along with a fan heater on constant, I sleped wearing thermal underwear head to toe in 5 season sleeping bag- that was in July. If you are wondering what the 5th season is, it is Scottish Easter Holiday .

snowleopard Mon 01-May-06 22:05:20

The only good camping is what my friend calls "real camping" - i.e. featuring every luxury you have at home! Blow-up mattresses (given that proper mattresses are hard to transport ), nice sheets and big fluuffy duvets and real pillows! (But agree sleeping bag good for kids.)

A disposable barbecue makes a good camping cooking option.

HenniPenni Tue 02-May-06 12:30:15

Thanks for all the tips, is the Ready bed suitable for 5 and 8 year olds or would we be better getting sleeping bags?

Thanks for that website Peachyclair, have looked at it and seen a thread that's about the tent we decided we must be a sign!!

Blandmum Tue 02-May-06 12:34:32

I would go for a sleeping bag......particularly if you have a child who still has the odd 'accident' at night. Much easier to wash a bag, than a bag and a ready bed.

Also people say that the ready beds are not that warm

HenniPenni Tue 02-May-06 12:39:52

Thanks MB, they both are dry at night but you never know!

earthtomummy Tue 02-May-06 12:57:30

We camp with our 3 under 5s and 2 of them hate the dark, so we have a big battery powered lamp which we hang from the dome top and it goes onto the low light output switch which is just enough to appease them. Also useful is one of the fold down table and attached chairs (if your kids can siton backless chairs) and a camp kitchen table - ours folds down into a flat pack briefcase sized bag and is useful to keep the cooker off the ground and has another layer for food prep and another for pans etc - really useful. We've gone to sleeping bags for all - v. reluctantly cos of the space duvets take in the car.

Peachyclair Tue 02-May-06 14:03:34

my kids have had the readybed but the 6 year old is moving up to a sleping bag this year, and they don't have accidents. I do make them wesr hats / jumpers in bed too though, too many memories of horrid cold campinga s a child, so that probably makes up for it.

We're getting the adult double readybed shortly.

Lucycat Tue 02-May-06 14:09:05

We have both ! sleeping bag inside the ready bed so they don't roll off the airbed! oh and a plastic backed picnic rug underneath the airbed for warmth.

Peachyclair Tue 02-May-06 14:16:54

oh that's easy enough Lucycat

it probably helps if you have a SIG too (see! see! I have learned the anachronisms, I am a TRUE CA<PER!)

Lucycat Tue 02-May-06 14:26:24

We don't have a sig - I like grass! but i do put the zip pulls up at the top of the sleeping compartment so the dd's can't escape

I wasn't going to talk camping today, but need to cheer myself up - dd's not got into the nursery that I wanted for next year, so I'm cross/gutted - a bit hormonal all mixed into one!

Peachyclair Tue 02-May-06 14:43:51

Yeah I'm abit like that too Lucy- got back from A&E early hours with ds's, then had exam today. Went along shattered (3 hours sleep), sat it then he announced he had decided not to count results towards our degree, it was 'for fun'. So the lazy ones who stayed in bed were sensible after all. So focusing on FUN today!

Lucycat Tue 02-May-06 14:48:41

are the ds's ok?

Lucycat Tue 02-May-06 14:49:20

lecturers are laugh a bloody minute aren't they?

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