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First time camping ever - scared!

(27 Posts)
Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 16:22:11

DH bought a mega expensive tent and we are off to la rochelle in France for two weeks with DC 5 and just 3. HELP! What do I as Mum need to take that DH will not think of? Also how many clothes to take for kids? Both very sticky, messy little boys! How will I wash/ dry clothes? Scared!!!!

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 16:23:16

Ps will it be cold at night? What should we sleep in?

Big family type campsites have laundrettes in them, with dryers, or you can hang a few bits and pieces up outside your tent (take clothes pegs and peg things onto the guy ropes, or maybe onto the tent itself (we can do this with ours, the poles are the right size to clip pegs onto). We take one of those smalls holder things with pegs on for our swimsuits.

Have you got beds, sleeping bags, cooker, cold box etc etc?

I have a long list of useful things to take, which includes

outdoor games (balls, skipping ropes etc)
indoor games, books etc
a doormat for inside your tent (even if the weather is dry the grass may be dewy morning and evening)
dustpan and brush
crocs for popping on and off at the entrance to the tent when going to the loo etc.
glowsticks to light up your tent gently at night (inside and out)
tennis racket shaped insect zapper
socks for the evenings to protect agains midge bites
wet wipes

I'm sure there's more, will have a think.

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 16:34:56

Thank you! Yes have the essentials, beds, cooker, cold box/fridge type thing, DH says he will take washing line too, tables, chairs etc. will defo take doormat as grassy/ muddy tent not something I relish. Kids have crocs we have flip flops. What do you wear to bed/ to shower block etc or do u just go in clothes/ put clothes on over night things of you need a wee after ready for bed? Taking a potty with poo powder too!

I wear pyjamas to go to the loo and just sling a towel over my shoulder to cover the fact that my chest is bouncing about, or pop on a hoody or similar over the top.

Don't drink beer in the evenings, it makes you need to wee a lot! Wine is much better. Headtorches are useful for going to the loo after dark. I read another thread where someone was putting disposable nappies inside the potty to soak up all the wee and avoid it getting knocked over in the tent. Lots of wipes and nappy sacks.

Also take carrier bags and bin bags for rubbish, plastic bags and ties for leftover/opened food. Picnic blankets are useful inside and out of the tent. You need a washing up bowl to carry your washing up to the sink area and back. We use folding plastic crates inside the tent to keep all the odds and ends tidy.

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 16:53:13

Oooo folding plastic crates, genius!!! I'm pregnant so no wine or beer sad hoping I will be shattered as i cant knock myself out with booze! I have some porta potty bags left over from potty training do will take them. Is it worth taking reclining chairs? Anywhere to sit and 'relax' on a pitch? Wondering about investing in a kindle with backlight?

prissyenglisharriviste Mon 01-Jul-13 16:58:18

Come and camp here, we have bears. grin
A civilised campsite in Europe sounds the perfect first trip. They'll have shops and restaurants and everything, you know ;-) you can make a lot of stuff to take next time. It will be fabulous - don't over think it, and enjoy.

I'm obviously pretty crap at it though - have no idea what poo powder is, nor do I have any intention of finding out!!

You need some sort of chair, we take those sort that sort of fold up like an umbrella. They aren's massively sturdy, DH always breaks them by putting all his weight on the arms to haul himself out instead of using his legs, but they are cheap. You should have plenty of room outside. Have you got electric hook up on your pitch? Kindle is very useful. I read mine with a headtorch, it's one of the old ones. Backlit things (we've got an Ipad) aren't very readable in sunshine and use battery very fast.

French supermarkets are fabulous for picking up anything you've forgotten and a whole lot of nice things you don't really need at all

Cakebitch Mon 01-Jul-13 17:13:55

I would like to know what poo powder is please??? Maybe its an essential camping requirement, that w0uld make our trips a little nicer??

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 19:12:22

I don't know what poo powder is, I read it on a thread here and dropped it in to look less naive than I am <blushes>

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 19:13:34

How do you store clothes?

Just keep them in their bags, and use one of those big blue ikea bags for dirty laundry.

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 19:36:03

Ok. Feel a bit more prepared, thanks MNetters!

PeppermintCreamsSaga Mon 01-Jul-13 19:41:52

Is poo powder cat littter? I remember someone recently mentioned putting it in a bucket lined with a bin bag for overnight use?

Hyperhelpmum Mon 01-Jul-13 19:59:32

I think so. Veering between tearfully nervous (I blame pregnancy hormones and my kids being a bloody nightmare at the moment) and feeling ok about it. Just dreading bedtime as worrying they will be up til 10 and wake early and be shattered all hols and ruin it. Oh well, we can but try and bettere go with a positive mindset!

Well, I must admit we let ours stay up much later than usual when camping, either running around outside with other children or reading/colouring/playing games in the tent with us. We tend to go to bed much earlier than we would at home, maybe an hour after the DCs at the most. They are older than yours (9 and 7), we've been camping with them since they were about 5 and 3, but they are not and never have been early risers. The fresh air does knock them out a bit. I remember a couple of years ago we were completely packed and ready to take the tent down and DD was still fast asleep in her sleeping bag. I'm sure you will be fine. When are you going?

ShoeWhore Tue 02-Jul-13 10:23:15

There's a really good camping packing checklist on mn somewhere in the travel section, might be worth double checking your list against that?

If you have room then a small freestanding airer can be very useful for hanging stuff up after the beach.

Flipflops and a big plastic bag to put your clothes in are essential for the showers. We tend to shower straight from the beach/pool so walk up still in beach stuff and take clean things to put on after. I also find if you dress the children straight into swimming shorts and uv top in the morning then it keeps the washing down a lot smile

We keep clothes in bags usually although someone did give me a tip of having those stacking collapsible plastic crates - one per person - for clothes, which I thought might be good.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 02-Jul-13 10:43:13

This is poo powder: It is expensive but it lasts for ages and it has changed my camping life (especially in terms of how much wine I am prepared to drink before bed).

Use a bin bag to line a bucket and put in one or two scoops of poo powder. You can then wee in the bucket during the night and the powder solidifies it into a gel. It also somehow neutralises any smell. The name suggests it would have the same effect for Number Twos, but we have never tried it.

Some people use cat litter instead which is obviously much cheaper but I don't know how it works smell-wise.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 02-Jul-13 10:43:50

Hyperhelpmum Tue 02-Jul-13 21:09:28

We leave a week today. Have invested in collapsing crates, small 'chandelier' type drying hanging thing. Good idea re getting into swimwear straight away. Stupid not to really! Also clothes in stacking crates a good idea. Going to take poncho towels and pants to the showers with kids and then just walk back in t shirt and towel for us so that should be ok. Will just have to wear them out and hope they get a few mossie bites so a dose of piriton is necessary one night! (JOKE - I would not drug my children to make them sleep- this is on record!)

Greige Wed 03-Jul-13 00:19:04

MummyPig -fuckinghell! the price of that!!!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 03-Jul-13 00:43:15

I know Greige, 'tis not cheap. But it has changed my life and it seems to last ages. We have had our container for several seasons, admittedly mainly of weekend camps but it is still going strong. Also I just don't fancy cat litter, or long walks to the loos. And I do like a few glasses of wine of an evening..

Fuctifano Thu 04-Jul-13 16:39:45

If you can pick up microfiber towels they take up hardly any room and dry vv quickly. We keep our plush beach towels for pool and beach (biohazard by end of two wks) and microfiber camping ones for showering. Head torch for reading with my bog standard Kindle. Picture snap can be used for lots of games. Pillow cases stuffed with a bulky cardi/fleece makes a comfy pillow and gets a larger item of clothing stored away easily.

Yes, we bought microfibre towels last year and they were great. We don't take any normal ones now, just the picnic blanket and microfibre towels for the beach and then for drying as well (don't normally spend much time at beach though). We still take poncho towels for the DCs.

We use small roll up vacuum bags for pillpws, saves a lot of space too.

fossil971 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:35:09

I think you need the Greater Mumsnet camping list if it's your first time.
I would also programme the nearest branch of Decathlon to the campsite into your satnav, where you will be able to buy anything you've forgotten grin

in fact here it probably is this one.

Masses of baby wipes. Sudocrem. I don't think French supermarkets sell nappy bags. But they sell lovely hot chocolate.

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