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Be gentle - what would it cost from scratch for me and DD to go camping?

(17 Posts)
inneedofrain Thu 02-May-13 15:00:52

Hi All

I used to camp with my parents as a kid and haven´t been in years. We sold the tent when I was 16 or 17 I think and it was ginormas! Had to be put up at the end of season to dry and waterproof, had to find 6 guys on the camp to help lift a leg each etc.

I was thinking the other day it might be nice to take DD camping on my own (DP hates hates hates camping) so it would be a nice mummy and DD thing only.

I have nothing with the acception of
a car,
my 4 season sleeping bag.
Freezer box (ice tecky don´t ask why I own one when I don´t camp)!
Camping stove and all necessary pots pans, cutlery, plates etc
A pop up thing you fill with water with a tap on the bottow
Camping laterns
Camp chairs and table

So maybe not nothing!

What would it cost from scratch to get set up? and recommendations for tents, bags etc etc, with links if possible (pretty please?

Oh and am I insane for even thinking about doing this? is it possible on my own to pitch etc? Will people still help out?


Lovecat Thu 02-May-13 16:12:45

you've got loads! smile

If you're worried about putting it up/down on your own then I'd either get a bell tent or a larger pop up, budget permitting. We have a bell and I can put it up on my own in 20 mins (and am a shortarse). Get a tent at least 1 person bigger than your group as the bedrooms tend to be snug. Or get a bell and have loads of inner space. We have vango 3 season bags and they're wonderful, but I also go to bed in a woolly hat and thermals with a hot water bottle as I'm a chilly mortal!
You'll also need something to put your bag on, we have 10cm multimat SIMs but DH prefers an air mattress - although he doesn't feel the cold like I do! grin

inneedofrain Thu 02-May-13 16:58:04

Thanks I don't really like pop up tents, I think I could managed to pitch etc on my own( can you still park next to /near pitch) I suppose I was worried in case I got stuck. But I am sure someone would help if I did

I need an attached ground sheet ( bug phobia)

Do you still need to put a ground sheet down under tent?

blueberryupsidedown Thu 02-May-13 17:27:12

we do, we still put a ground sheet. I like tents with a porch area to leave bags etc. Personally I like those tents as if it rains you can still prepare food/cook etc. But I don't know about karrimor. We're on our third Vango tent, but a bit more pricy. And def a couple of sleeping mats. We're old fashion and still use the foam ones!!

hz Thu 02-May-13 18:33:18

I think the bigger quechua pop ups are ideal for camping by yourself and they have a sewn in ground sheet. Although bell tents are of course lush too, but more expensive if you decide you aren't so keen New mumsnet guide lines say I'm allowed to post a link to my blog (a camping blog!) if it's relevant to the thread and I recently wrote a post on easy to erect tents wittily entitled 'Getting it up!' so here it is!
Sounds like you have all the most important stuff, just sleeping mats my vote always goes to a good quality SIM and a bag for your DD. I would suggest don't buy a kids size one, they will grow out of it before you know it. Buy an adult size one and if it feels too roomy at the bottom just tie something around the bottom to make it shorter. Apart from that just what ever luxuries you fancy!

fossil971 Thu 02-May-13 19:25:26

If I was you I'd go for something like this. Pop up tents are much talked about but putting 3 poles in only takes 5 minutes and whatever tent you choose will still have pegs. At that price you could get the awning too.

That sort of thing are easy to put up and down and light to pack and carry.

If you are devoted to a sewn in groundsheet (SIG) I would get a footprint groundsheet to keep the SIG clean. Otherwise packing down can involve ages scraping mud off the underneath of the tent. (whereas a separate groundsheet you just fold muddy side in and lay it out at home for a couple of hours).

If you are starting from scratch cut to the chase and get good sleeping bags and a good thick SIM. Then you will be warm and comfortable in any tent.

The thing is if you love camping you can always upgrade to a bigger tent but the other stuff you tend to hang on to.

DaveMccave Fri 03-May-13 11:28:31

A lot of campsites offer tent hire which they put up for you before you arrive, for a very small fee. Might that be worth a try for the first few trips?

hillbilly Fri 03-May-13 12:54:50

Ahhhhh hz, that's YOUR blog. I love it. I'm a bit obsessed with camping and DH won't listen to me sept - April!

Blu Fri 03-May-13 13:13:15

I think Fossil's suggestion of a simple tunnel tent is a good one. You don't need a complicated multi-room tent for you and your DD, but do get one you can stand up in.

You can easily pitch and strike a simple tent on your own, I have done it many times. and even 4 year olds can be helpful, holding a pole, holding a corner, or whatever, and enjoy being part of pitching the tent. The hardest thing on your own is folding the tent up. Observe carefully as you unpack the tent how to re-fold it - take pics with your phone! Then re-fold it exactly as it was - otherwise getting it back in the bag can be the hardest thing! When I camped on my own with DS when he was small a helpful person always came over and helped if i was in difficulty folding it up.

Pop ups have the advanatage of not needing folding, in which case something like this could be perfect for you. The only issue being that the porch doesn't have a sewn in groundsheet, but that shouldn't be a big problem. I have the older model of that tent and in a wet weekend in a wet summer it just meant that the occasional slug came in. To the porch, not the sleeping part.

hz Fri 03-May-13 16:04:49

HI hillbilly - yes it's me! So glad you enjoy the blog! Fortunately my DH is as obsessed as me - mind you can't say we actually camp in the colder months. Just research campsites, eye up camping stuff and lurk on forums like this until there is a hint of warmth in the air!

inneedofrain Fri 03-May-13 19:44:58

Thanks All

Ok, I think I have been checking out the tunnel tents and I should definatly be able to put one up my own. My old family tent was a tonne and took up the whole of the boot, hence why I was a little worried, but then I remembered that I had a very light weight igloo for a while when I was doing the tours etc. I´m sure I will probably fall back into it after a couple of goes.

I was just wondering what about the evenings? DDs not very old and normally in bed early. Am I going to borded stiff on my todd do you think?

My BIL is selling their tent and has offered it to me for DD cheap. Its Blinking huge which may be a problem I suspose. Is there any reason I can´t buy a second hand tent? They are pretty avid campers, but he says the tent is in very good condition, no rips, tears etc?

Sorry for the 101 question.

hz Fri 03-May-13 20:08:56

Unless your little one is very good at going to bed in very different, exciting and probably rather light circumstances they probably won't be going to bed as early as usual! If you are lucky, on the second night they will be so exhausted bedtime will be slightly earlier...After that I would suggest perfect time to read a good book, have a couple of glasses of wine and a reasonably early night - chances are DD will be up early too! On the plus side the more times you go the more they become accustomed to the exciting new circumsantces and the more likely they are to go to bed at a reasonable time!
regarding second hand tent - no reason at all not to get second hand one, very good idea especially if you can trust the condition! I reckon if you used to love it (camping) you will still love it!

FannyBazaar Fri 03-May-13 22:09:53

I camp on my own with my DS and have been since he was 4. He is well trained in assisting even if it is just to hold a pole for a minute. We have a little 3 man tent, lightweight with a tiny porch, we don't usually travel by car so have to carry everything.

I take books to read in the evening or a film/music/books on the iPad (if I can charge it easily) but find that DS tends to be in bed later and I enjoy the rare early nights. I also make friends with others around so often have someone to sit out and talk to. I do remember the first trip, fearing DS asleep at 7pm and me feeling bored on my own but I've enjoyed our trips.

Blu Fri 03-May-13 23:06:49

I think a Blinking Huge tent could be a problem, yes.
Could you try pitching it in their garden to see if you can do it?

The tunnel tent that Fossil linked is only £99 and has loads of space for 2 of you. Hi Gear get good reviews on websites such as CampsiteUK, too.

When I went on my own with DS when he was small, I would sit and read (the little 'Tiny Lights' are great to read by as an alternative to a great battery-guzzling lantern), or occasionally chat to people in a nearby tent. I just enjoyed the quiet, the moonlight and the relaxation.

Blu Fri 03-May-13 23:15:00

This? Vango are good tents.

fossil971 Fri 03-May-13 23:16:10

DH and I camped a few times with his family's old canvas frame tent - tents have definitely moved on in the last 40 years! Too-big tents are a PITA and unless they are quite heavy duty, can tend to blow over in moderate winds.

What takes time with tents is pegging down all the edges and guy ropes - the Blinking Huge tent will have loads of them. It will also be an unmanageable octopus of fabric and poles in all directions. Honestly it is very liberating to camp light.

YellowDinosaur Fri 03-May-13 23:30:08

I've been on my own a couple of times now with my sons who were aged 4 and 6 on our last trip.I have an Outwell fusion 400 which us fab - it is a pop up but has a sig. I bought a cheap ground sheet from go outdoors to put under it.

Regarding the evenings the boys stay up a bit later then we all go to bed early and I read my kindle for a bit. Its really relaxing and I love it

About kit I think all you need is a sleeping bag for your dd and something for you both to sleep on. Aldi do fab cheap sims for about 15 quid each which I couldn't recommend highly enough.

Go for it!

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