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what are the top tips for a successful camping trip?

(172 Posts)
Wolfcub Sat 27-Jul-13 12:08:20

After nine years I've finally convinced dh to try camping. He's discovered modern tents hmm and has been very excited buying a tent and things to go in it. He has real issues with public loos so for our first trupr I've booked a site that won loo of the year! ds and I are very excited and I'm not worried about us but I want to make sure the trip is a success so that we all have a great time. what are your top tips for a great family camping trip?

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 30-Jul-13 19:26:13

I read on here that you should have cardboard for your doormat. Then you can just recycle them or bin them when you leave.

DisappointedHorse Tue 30-Jul-13 19:35:07

A gazebo for sitting outside and cooking, it's a godsend when raining. I was camping at the weekend in the storms and a gazebo made it all easy.

See if you can borrow one if you don't have one.

At least 2 lights, one for the kids in the tent, one for you to sit outside with and take to the loo.

Glows sticks. Happy children.

Cook up a chilli or something in advance and reheat it. Microwave rice pouches cook really quickly with some water in a pan, about 5 minutes.

Pillows! Even consider duvets as well if it's cold. It's no fun when you're freezing.

Marshmallows to toast on the fire.

Let your kids play, get filthy and go native while you drink wine!

Have fun, I love camping.

MERLYPUSS Tue 30-Jul-13 20:44:02

Take a dedicated piddle (and all other things nasty) bucket.
A collapsible crate to carry washing up and use as a drainer.
Glow sticks to leave in the central part of the tent to act as a nightlight for kids.
thermal mug.
poundshop tea towels for mopping up/standing on after shower/cleaning spill/binning.

Furball Tue 30-Jul-13 20:58:00

Hot water bottle each as well for if weathers iffy

use cheap foil for putting under camp mat

Long life milk is good for cups of tea and doesn't need chilling until it's open

UterusUterusGhali Tue 30-Jul-13 21:52:35

I love my pop-up laundry basket for camping. Neater than bin bags.

I use a small flexi-trug thingy for washing up stuff.

hazeyjane Wed 31-Jul-13 06:52:52

crocs for the showers
coffee pot
freeze pint cartons of milk to use as ice packs in the cool box
lots of thick socks and bobble hats for evening and morning

Back2Two Wed 31-Jul-13 07:04:35

We just did our first two night camping trip with our 2 dc.
I'm completely converted, we loved it.

Good tips on here. Gazebo very good idea.
We stayed in a bell tent and they are fabulous.

Games, badminton, frisbee, cards, torches, books, radio (battery), pillows, wellies

UterusUterusGhali Wed 31-Jul-13 16:21:54

Best tip I ever read on mn? Freeze a bag of White wine. (from a box)

marzipanned Wed 31-Jul-13 16:59:54


And YY to the suggestion of taking pre-cooked food - I love making campstove pizza, fajitas, etc BUT it's so nice on that first night to have something already whipped up that you can just heat on the stove.

ivykaty44 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:10:58

go abroad for better weather
take a lot of easy food to cook
take electrics
take toweling dressing gown to wear to shower and wear back, stops all the faff about getting changed in a small place and diminishes the que to use the shower
take kettle

Capitola Wed 31-Jul-13 17:20:35

We're half hearted campers. We go for a long weekend every year in a huge group, but hate the actual sleeping in a tent bit.

Frozen box of wine - def going to do that.

I bloody hate air beds. They always partially deflate and dh and I end up in the middle in a heap.

Dressing gown! Why have I never thought of that?

marzipanned Wed 31-Jul-13 17:31:05

Tbh I think you have to pay for decent air beds (though very happy to be corrected!!) We mountaineer so have thermarests which are brilliant but not cheap. But an alternative to airbeds are the foam ridged mats, they might not be quite as comfy but at least they won't deflate in the night...

Prioryfodder Wed 31-Jul-13 17:35:00

Bring a friend who has all the kit and all the knowledge ... That's what I do! Thanks, Helen!

CatsAndTheirPizza Wed 31-Jul-13 18:23:58

Take a pillow, inflatable mat, corkscrew, flip flops the children can kick off so that they don't track mud into the tent. Our youngest was one when we started - a buggy was useful as somewhere safe to keep him while we put the tent up. Citronella tea lights are good after dark, portable potty to avoid night time loo trips.

I third the dedicated camping box in the garage - it has everything we could possibly need in there and just gets stuffed in the car (still takes ages to pack though).

Justforlaughs Wed 31-Jul-13 19:12:10

Pillow and duvet (esp. if you are on the larger side!) First time I went camping I got all tangled up in the sleeping bag, now I just take my own duvet!
Something warm to sleep in
Dustpan and brush to sweep out the tent and remove all shoes before entering.

AhCmonSeriouslyNow Wed 31-Jul-13 19:18:25

ooh, we have our first family camping trip this weekend. DH and the kids have never been but I did throughout my childhood.

Weather forecast is currently very changeable so wishing and hoping we won't have to cancel or suffer crappy weather.

thefirstmrsrochester Wed 31-Jul-13 19:18:59

More towels than you think you will need.
Ditto clothes and wine.
Midge repellant and citronella candles.
I'm in Scotland right enough.
At some point, when the wine is flowing, the camp fire is burning, the marshmallows are toasting and the sun is setting, canvas life is beautiful.

Plus3 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:37:37

Watching with interest - taking children for 1st proper camping trip next week! (We have only really slept in tents in gardens until now...)

littlestgirlguide Wed 31-Jul-13 19:44:41

I'm a Guide leader and have camped with my DD since she was a few months old. Absolute,y fine with littlies. Take them what they sleep in at home (duvet, pillows) and an air bed, loads of blankets and toys and it will be fine.

whereismytoenail Wed 31-Jul-13 19:44:54

I only have tips not to do after my 1st camping trip last week

Dont go camping if you have eczema and its sore sad

Dont have a practice of putting your tent up for the 1st time in the garden , then your cats running over it through the night , to discover when torrential rain starts and lasts all night that there is lots of little holes all over your tent

Dont let you 3 year old DS push another child in a river

nkf Wed 31-Jul-13 19:45:15

Hot weather.

thefirstmrsrochester Wed 31-Jul-13 19:47:14

Oooooh....for best ever poached eggs (stolen from masterchef australia), wee scoot of cooking oil in a cheapo sandwich bag, crack egg into bag, tie knot in bag eliminating most of the air, into pan of boiling water, wait a couple minutes before retrieving the bag, snipping it open et voila, perfect poached egg, and no cleaning of saucepan required!

MrsMc82 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:14:35

God am missing camping - spd & sleeping on the floor not the best combination.....

I think that the important thing to remembered is that stuff, all stuff, takes longer when camping so just relax into the pace as soon as you get to site and enjoy - I might be (AM) quite highly strung so it took me a while to work this one out and there was quite a memorable moment when I threw a tent peg at dh cos I was so frustrated by how slowly he was making my coffee! !!!!!

Wolfcub Wed 31-Jul-13 20:26:37

great tips so far. I love the idea og freezing a bag of wine.

Back2Two Wed 31-Jul-13 21:34:10

The weather is obvs crucial, but, on our trip we had some heavy rain and the boys just loved it. We just lay in our beds with the radio on and listened to thunder.

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