Complete camping virgin needs a master class on the basics.(134 Posts)
I have a tent. That is it. Want enough stuff to go camping with DH and DCs (6,4,2) for a couple of nights, locally, to start with whilst we find our camping feet.
What do I need? (On a budget ie as cheap as poss)
I assume something to sleep on and in and something to cook on and eat off?
My irony is also restricted in a mummy sleeping bag
I got dd a square mummy bag from snugpac for her birthday. Think it's a 2-3 season and packs up beautifully small and was not too £££.
Sleeping- we use a airbed on top of a picnic blanket with a fleece sheet on top, then duvet and sleeping bag and hot water bottle. Roasty toasty.
Cooking... I do just fine on a cheapie £10 stove thingy with one ring, and a kettle. On a week long trip I take two ovens.
EHU- I get the hook up- usually £3-5 a night more. The EHU is about £35 from amazon. I use it for blowing up the airbeds, boiling a cheapie kettle (fiver from Morrisons), charging phone and ipad etc. Yes I take my ipad camping. SUE ME!
Oh, and I also use plastic stackable boxes with lids, not bags. One for kitchen stuff (stays in loft, never unpacked- plates, cutlery, chopping board, knives, etc). One for our clothes. One for everything else. Fits well in the boot, easily organised. I let DS take a rucksack with toys and games of choice.
Things to remember: mallet, carrier bags (useful for bin/wet clothes), baby wipes (for people and things!), toilet roll, towel, washing up bowl + liquid, lots of snacks! Oh and a light of some sort.
There's a great list in the travel section of mn which is pretty comprehensive OP.
I'd def get mummy sleeping bags, you can tighten them right in round your shoulders which keeps you much warmer.
Thanks again. Am writing all this down in my camping book. I'm going to be the best organised virgin camper ever!
These sleeping bags are great OP www.vango.co.uk/range/aurora-comfort-double-grande.html
With loads of room. I've just linked to this years model but if you hint around online you can get older season ones with different colour cheaper! I hate feeling claustrophobic in sleeping bags and this was the widest I could find.
It can also tighten around shoulders, head etc but probably wouldn't be as warm as one that is super close to whole body. It is warm though, especially with a hot water bottle at my feet!
After doing a quick two minute search here is older season vango sleeping bag at almost half the price to the current seasons one! www.camperlands.co.uk/vango-sonnogrande-sleepingbag.html
I really rate the Vango Nitestar sleeping bags - we have adult and kids ones. If buying adult get a left and right and you can zip them together to make one big bag!
We always take a portable DVD player for when the kids wake up a the crack of dawn (aka 6.30 like they do everyday in life!) We charge it off the car battery the night before and it gives us at least an hour's peace when it would be too early to get up and start making breakfast.
Home Bargains have a some camping stuff in - I got an LED tent light (runs off 4 AAs) for £1.99 recently. Took it camping last weekend and it was good.
I too use a box for kitchen stuff but use big blue ikea bags for everything else. I find it fits better in our car as we can squish it all about a bit!
I use fabric laundry bags with drawstring tops to store all our clothes in.
My tip is to get into pjs before tea and put clothes on top. Then just take clothes off to get into your sleeping bag in toasty pjs. Also means not having to find pjs in the dark after a bottle of wine. Was very pleased with myself last summer in the freezing cold.
My advice? Consider a nice villa in Majorca ...
We religiously camped, year in year out til about 3 years ago when we went 'you know what? We're tired of battling wind and rain. Let's get some guaranteed sun'....
It's a pity because I love camping but the reality is, we feel we can't 'risk' wasting our valuable family holiday on a rain driven field on the edge of Dartmoor.
Another essential for us is a couple of cheap doormats, keep them in the porch or outside the door, stops it getting too muddy on the bits that are being walked on all the time. Small Dustpan and brush for getting all the bits of leaves etc out of the tent before you put it away is v. useful too.
We take glowsticks, you can put one on the outside of the tent to help you find it in the dark and have one inside for a tiny bit of background lighting. Also headtorches are useful for reading and going to the loo at night. Also a pair of crocs, you can slip them on and off easily and it doesn't matter if they get wet or left outside.
I'm camping again this summer for the first time in 8 years! The weather better be nice to me.
If you have a smaller tent, that you have to kneel down to get into, then a cheap doormat (one designed for outdoors) is essential so that you can kneel down on it to get into the tent rather than on the wet ground.
If you tent has fitted groundsheets, either throughout or just sleeping compartment, then it can be useful to buy a cheap extra groundsheet to fit the footprint of your tent. this means that
a) when you pack up
in the mud and rain the bottom of your fitted groundsheets are reasonably clean and dry for rolling up in the tent bag - even if you have to get the tent out at home to dry out it is a whole lot easier to do if the fitted groundsheets aren't that muddy. The cheap loose groundsheet is much easier to hose off and dry than one fitted to a tent.
b) your fitted groundsheets are likely to last longer and not get worn where they've rubbed against a stone etc.
Take something to carry water in - even if it is just a large 2-4 litre bottle of mineral water. It stops you having to go to the tap every time you need to boil the kettle or give dcs a drink.
It might be helpful to have a plastic box just inside the door of the tent and make every one put outdoor footwear in it to stop mud and wet getting everywhere.
Wetwipes/babywipes - lots of them - quick cleanups without having to trog to the loo block.
Groundsheet or waterproof picnic blanket for sitting on outside.
Either lots of old supermarket plastic bags or a roll of bin bags. You will get through loads more than you think as you will probably want to get rid of rubbish every day rather than having it mouldering in a corner. They are also good for stashing wet/muddy clothing that you are not going to do anything with till you get home.
Pillows - I know they aren't for the camping hard-core but I think they make all the difference to a good nights sleep.
Matches, a couple of spare tent pegs, tin opener!
Oh and if you tend to wake up when it is light then you might like to think about a sleep/eye mask as the tent lets in loads of light and dawn is ridiculously early
as will the waking times of your dcs be!. The birds can be incredibly loud too and will compete with your children for the privilege of waking you up at silly o'clock !
Comfy Track suit bottoms and sweat shirt to sleep in (for me and the dcs), Fleeces to wear in the evening and early morning even in midsummer, cool bag, plenty to read.
Better and cheaper (tried and tested) wee device for both sexes:
Small bucket-shaped receptacle (pound land etc do small storage tubs, of the kind you might buy for kids pens/lego). Line the inside with a carrier bag, then z fragrances nappy bag, then open out a cheap nappy (or line with a couple of value range sanitary/incontinence pads.
The wide rim enables you to squat quite easily (in fact you don't really need to squat, just place it between your legs and bend your knees slightly. The nappy absorbs the wee and means it's not sloshing about, then you simply tie the bag and dispose of it the same as a baby's nappy sack (this is essentially what it is, just with grown up wee!). We keep an empty bucket by the door to this nappy sacks in at night, but you could just leave it outside thd tent and get rid in the morning.
If you are looking for a traditional sleeping bag then I would recommend the Outwell Lux 3-4 season. Its about £60 but totally worth it. I enjoyed camping much more with it than last year in a 2-3 season mummy shaped bag.
I would also get fake crocs for everyone. We all wear either those or wellies when camping. Easy to get on and off when nipping in and out of tent, great if you are on the beach.
I'll add a tea towel and washing up liquid
because I always forget them
All the things already said.
It is horrible to be cold at night so take more than you think you'll need. I'm looking forward to wearing my onsie camping this year as it seems tailor made for camping. Execpt for the tail. I've taken my duvet for the last couple of trips but now I'm looking for a cheap smaller one just for camping. My kingsize is a bit too big. (So lovely to use it though!)
Wet = Cold. Keep a special dry change of thing to wear only in the tent in the evening/night. Wellies in the morning.
Sometimes you just want to get fuel inside you for little effort. Have a couple of meals where you can just add water and heat. Pasta with a jar of pasta sauce, or flavoured rice or something. Even Pot Noodles!
A note pad. Make a note of the things you wish you had and keep it with your tent for the next camping trip.
Make your first camp within a short distance of a big camping shop, and take plenty of money.
Great wee tips thanks! So basically a potty with nappy bag then nappy, wee, tie and throw. Easy!
Still need cheaper sleeping bags - need to buy 5 and just can't stretch to £30 ish each.
What about a portable BBQ? Or is a ring enough?
not strictly necessary but I always take hideous knitted poncho-great to wear in a sleeping bag as it stops cold air coming in when you turn over and empty wide necked fabric conditioner bottle in lieu of chamber pot. also a trug-them handy rubber bucket things, I find are more versatile than plastic washing up bowls.
those very, very absorbent cloths that suck up loads of water. great if your tent leaks. Ask me how I know this.
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