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Help please.

(10 Posts)
poorbuthappy Tue 21-May-13 21:41:37

We have camped previously.
We would like to camp more often but there are a few things which I need help with before we start going more regularly.

Beds- we took airbeds and duvets last time. What should we be using to get a good nights sleep? (Yes me and dh will have wine, 3 kids won't grin)
Is a porch worth the money? I am thinking it is but just need a push to buy 1.
Ridiculous question: how do you arrange/keep track of clothes?

I'm sure there are more questions but can't think of them at this minute.
Thank you wink

hz Tue 21-May-13 22:09:12

Hi Poorbuthappy, a good nights sleep is of course the golden grail of camping and everyone is different. However, I would suggest some good quality, resonably thick SIM's (self inflating mattresses) for you and your husband and some slightly less good quality ones for the kids. In my experience kids will sleep on pretty much anything as long as they are warm enough. Air beds are the devils work in my opinion, they deflate, you get wobbled around and they are cold. But some people love them so I guess go on how well you did with them last time. For me a decent pillow is a must and I would get the kids 3 season sleeping bags (get adult ones not kids ones, they will quickly outgrow kids ones, if any of the kids seem a bit little for the bag just tie something round the bottom to make it smaller - tip given to me by camping shop man. As for yourselves, a double sleeping bag is an option or your own individual bags, less romantic but easier to be cosy! However, mummy sleeping bags are very restricting. Some people don't mind this, I can't bear it. Infact, I have recently had the revelation that I sleep much better under a duvet. But it is much more bulky. Also take extra blankets, you can never have too many blankets! I fear I am giving you more questions than answers - but sleep habits are very personal.
As for porch, depends how big your tent is and if you are intending to camp whatever the weather or just stick to fair weather opportunities, and also how long you intend to go for! Extra space is always nice but think about how long it will take to get it all set up. Excessive pitching and striking time can quickly put you off the whole thing! But if you are going for more than a few days the extra space will probably be worth it.
Clothes - this is an interesting one, I look forward to seeing what others suggest. I pack all our clothes in one big holdall but put them in seperate plastic bags within that. When camp is set up I get the individual bags out and am militant about putting the right clothes back into the right bags. It mostly works!
Hope that helps a bit! I'm sure there will be loads more advice forthcoming!

Quenelle Wed 22-May-13 09:29:13

We prefer real pillows and a duvet too, with open sleeping bag underneath for warmth and three quid Ikea fleece blankets over the top if needed. Vacuum bags are very handy for packing duvet and pillows up small.

I bought the huge foil backed picnic blanket that somebody else on here found in lidl last week . Only nine quid and big enough to carpet our whole bedroom.

Try a decathlon tarp as cheaper alternative to porch.

Have a huge holdall for all our clothes. Haven't found anything better yet.

Also plan to buy a set of polls

poorbuthappy Wed 22-May-13 10:30:23

I think we are going to buy camp beds. I can not sleep on the ground. I get cold just thinking about it.

Glad other people do the same with clothes. It was one of the reasons why I couldn't imagine camping in southern France for 2 weeks, I can't get my head round how to organise clothes. Obv 2 nights away is fine, out of 1 bag, into another. But 2 weeks? confused

I suppose the porch thing depends on whether or not we can get one for our tent. Its a few years old, but suits us, so off to google now.

Thanks both, now seriously considering a few nights away next week.

Quenelle Wed 22-May-13 11:15:06

"Also plan to buy a set of polls"

I have no idea what I was even trying to say there confused

Hope you have some good weather next week poorbuthappy.

hillbilly Wed 22-May-13 11:17:42

I think I would agree with Quenelle about the tarp idea. Also you can pitch it away from the tent and cook under it if you use a stove. We have a side extension on our tent which works well for us as we use it to store coolbox, hamper, table with all our crockery, cups, cutlery etc and we also have our single burner camp stove which tbh is only ever used for the first cuppa of the day and (before anyone asks!) is at the outside edge of the extension.

Clothes - now there's a tricky one. Me and the kids have a holdall and DH has a rucksack. But that is for 2 night away. Heaven knows what I will do this summer when we're away for 10 days! I like a tidy tent but it's probably not going to happen.

We have Gelert pod sleeping bags which are very wide, but in warm weather I would def prefer a duvet.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 22-May-13 11:42:42

Nothing to add re sleeping really. However, clothes-wise, we bought one of those collapsible shelving unit things which come with a carry bag. Ours has four shelves I think so is quite high. Each person gets a shelf for their clothes and (as we are only 3) I use the extra one for towels etc. I bring our clothes in separate bags so it is easy to divide the clothes onto the shelves when we arrive.

The unit is quite high so the top is good for keeping things out of reach of DD (3). We have a bell tent so I lash the unit to the centre pole to stop any tipping. You can get similar units which are low and long though which would be less tippy.

If you are getting one, I would recommend the ones which fold out (like this: rather than ours where you have to slot poles into plastic caps, like this:

The former look a lot less of a faff to put together and one of our plastic caps already has a split in it.

hillbilly Wed 22-May-13 11:55:46

MPFT - do you know the folded size of the Vango shelving unit? I can't find it anywhere when I search.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 22-May-13 13:02:42

Hmmm no I don't, I am afriad. A similar looking one from Outwell (the Bermuda) has folded dimensions of 61 x 14 x 78 cm apparently, so they might be the same?

We have the slot together one and, from memory I reckon it would be similar to the Outwell dimensions above (maybe a bit thinner).

hillbilly Wed 22-May-13 13:22:38

Thanks - just trying to see if I can justify it for our trip this summer although I think a food storage cupboard with mesh front might win given that I'll need to keep the French bugs out of food. To hell with tidiness grin

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