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1st time family camping hol - top 10 camping tips please

(28 Posts)
plim Tue 11-Jun-13 14:14:14


We are braving a camping holiday at gwithian farm in Cornwall for two weeks in July. We are a family of five and have only been camping at festivals before so are complete rookies! Firstly please can I ask your top ten tips / items to take with you and secondly any tips concerning gwithian farm or area would be much appreciated.


morganster Tue 11-Jun-13 14:33:17

The bits I often forget but then regret are:

clothes pegs
a bucket to take the plates to the washing up place
enough lighting
mallet for getting pegs in ground
bin bags
waterproof slip on shoes - e.g. flip flops or crocs
extra blankets
enough pillows

It sounds lovely, I hope you have a good time.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 11-Jun-13 14:49:39

Other than the obvious (tent/sleeping bags etc) and in addition to morganster's list above:

- Head torches for each member of the family
- Thermal underwear for sleeping
- A bigger tent than you think you will need and/or an awning/tarp/event shelter to provide somewhere to sit and eat/cook etc if it is raining
- self inflating mats to sleep on or, if you take airbeds, a blanket or something insulating to put between yourself and the airbed to protect you from the cold air
- a football and some games for rainy days
- full waterproofs and wellies/sub screen and hats (easy to forget)
- a windbreak to protect you and your cooker from the wind (will save a lot of time and gas)
- if your campsite does not allow fires, a portable firepit to make one in (with aluminium foil to protect the ground) - if you sit around a fire at night you will be less likely to go to bed cold and more likely to sleep warm.
- a bucket for night time wees (with or without something like poo powder (google it) or cat litter to absorb it).

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 11-Jun-13 14:52:04

PS - the bit about the fire is from recent bitter experience at a festival where we didn't have a fire - we couldn't work out why we were freeezing in bed each night, which we never usally are when camping, and came to the conclusion we had got cold into our bones, as it were, due to lack of fire.

Slubberdelatrinae Tue 11-Jun-13 15:10:29

1) don't cook inside your tent.
2) if you have those spindly shitey little pegs chuck em and get some whopper pegs, or better still some delta anchors.
3) Safety first #firebucket
4) wipes are your friend
5) so are crocs
6) use all the guys on your tent even if ther's not a breath of wind when you pitch
7) tents are not soundproof. At all. Even a tiny bit. Argue/have the sexy-time silently
8) put your pjs on under your clothes before the sun sets.
9) gininatins
10) monopoly deal card game.

plim Tue 11-Jun-13 15:11:57

Ha ha slubber! Love it thanks! Please any more tips these are great!

TheSecondComing Tue 11-Jun-13 15:12:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

reelingintheyears Tue 11-Jun-13 15:14:07

HaHaHa TSC,i was just coming to write wine and beer and a warm dry sleeping bag with a good airbed. grin

reelingintheyears Tue 11-Jun-13 15:20:59

They are the bare essentials,i would also take enough money to eat out regularly,you get bloody sick of cooking in a field and then nagging the kids to do the washing up.

And don't leave your full make and bag and wash kit including electric toothbrushes in the toilet block.
I found the above and had a nose after seeing them hanging in there for days. sad for the woman who had left all her fairly expensive make up behind and would only realise when she got home.

reelingintheyears Tue 11-Jun-13 15:21:45

*make up bag

TheSecondComing Tue 11-Jun-13 16:30:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 11-Jun-13 16:36:30

However, if Cointreau is not your bag, see above re bucket wink

thequietone Tue 11-Jun-13 16:38:01

1. Newspaper - lots of it. Use it for putting wet wellies on by the "front door" entrance. For making fires, for drying tent before packing away. You can never bring enough!
2. Wipes.
3. Wine.
4. Your own toilet roll
5. Lots of extra layers.

It's going to be SO much fun! Just reluctantly returned from camping for the second time at half term. I still miss it sad

BerthaTheBogCleaner Tue 11-Jun-13 16:39:07

Top tip is get warm before you go to bed. If you go to bed cold you're going to stay cold. Putting on your pjs under your clothes in the evening is popular. And ten layers on top and, if possible, a nice campfire/ gas heater / bbq to get warm at.

And then get a decent thermos flask and fill with boiling water last thing at night. Early morning cuppa with no faffing waiting for a kettle to take 3 hours to boil.

Take a folding crate/box and put it in the mouth of your tent for everyone to throw their shoes in. If you've got room, a chair next to it for everyone to throw their coats on. Otherwise you'll spend a fortnight picking up coats and tripping over shoes.

How old are your children? If tiny, take waterproof all-in-ones. If a bit bigger, make them wear shorts and wellies at the first sign of rain.

Take bacon. Bacon sandwiches cure all ills.

Obviously you're going to have blazing sunshine the whole time and none of this will be relevant smile

reelingintheyears Tue 11-Jun-13 16:42:44

MummyPigsFatTummy yy to the bucket,failing that behind the car if it's still dark. grin

plim Tue 11-Jun-13 16:55:50

Brilliant! Husband said he's taking his cognac - I can't drink as on medication sad

Can you buy double sleeping bags? We have a 4 year old 7 year old and 18 month old. The 18 mth old co sleeps from about 1 am!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 11-Jun-13 17:28:19

Double sleeping bags do exist and if it is just for you and an 18 month old it might be ok. If you try to share with another adult, personally, I think you end up feeling like two puppies in a sack. I always have to open one side up to get free and then end up freezing.

Our 3 yo co-sleeps too hmm so we just take the superking duvet from home and all sleep under that - nice and toasty.

MinimalistMommi Tue 11-Jun-13 17:31:42

Just have one tip:
Hot water bottle.

Skimty Tue 11-Jun-13 17:40:53

We have a co-sleeping 2 and a half year old and we have Glert Sleeping Pods which fit us all in.

usualsuspect Tue 11-Jun-13 17:42:40

Hot water bottle.


Moomoomie Tue 11-Jun-13 17:50:03

Gwythian is lovely. Fantastic beach.
Can't help you re sleeping under canvas,
haven't done that for years!
We have been to the caravan club site at gwythin a few times in our motor home. You will love it.

invicta Tue 11-Jun-13 18:28:37

Some shops, such as Mountain Warehouse sell single sleeping bags that can be zipped together to make a double.

Quenelle Tue 11-Jun-13 19:05:42

If you don't have, or want, a tent carpet try one of the extra large picnic blankets from Lidl. It makes the tent feel more cosy and it's nicer for the children to sit and play on. They're also great insulation under air beds or sims.

Take a frozen chilli or similar to eat on the first or second night. It's handy to have an easy meal ready to heat up and helps keep your cool box cold.

Have a great holiday.

DuchessOfAvon Thu 13-Jun-13 13:41:03

Cool box management:

3 nights before you go, fill and freeze some old bottles/milk containers of water. Also put your cold blocks in the freezer.
Put camping food in freezer. I make a bolognese or chilli and always freeze a pack of bacon and one of sausages (or more if we are going for longer).

Put your wine, gininatins etc.. in fridge to get nice and cold.

Night before you leave, fill cool box with bottles/containers of water.

Day you leave: Remove water bottles from now cold cool box, fill with frozen foodstuffs and cool blocks. Place other cold items (stored in plastic bags to prevent sogginess if necessary) in and around. Fill to brim. Lid on.

Do not allow anyone to take anything out of the cool box at any time unless under supervision and ensuring lid goes straight back on.

On arrival, take three cool-blocks (name-labelled) to central freezer to be ready for day three or four when you'll need them.


Quenelle Thu 13-Jun-13 14:30:00

Thanks Duchess. Very concise instructions. I've never pre-chilled the box before but will this time. We always take frozen milk, chilli and breakfast products.

I have also bought two of those freezer bottle sleeves to keep wine chilled so I don't have to keep opening the Icey-Tek to refill my glass.

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