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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?

soverynewtoallthis Sun 06-Oct-13 22:23:30

We too camped this summer for the first time since BC. We also had no choice but to take our two dogs with us...what a state! But fun was had by all, just about including my reluctant OH. Tips: take plenty of games for the kids:swing all was a gd one as was a cricket set, bubbles etc there were so many hours to fill between dawn (gulp) 'til bed (way after dusk!) we got some great tips from the best being to wrap cool food in ice packs surrounded by a sleeping bag if the weather is really hot.

JustasmallGless Tue 20-Aug-13 18:32:59

Stomp rocket here
Keeps DC happy for hours

Most tips already been covered but love microfibre towels. Decathlon have them 2 for £15

FourArms Fri 16-Aug-13 08:59:38

Glad you had a good time. We've had three sunny camping trips so far this year, which have been blissful in comparison to last years trips which were besieged by severe weather warnings!!

Purplehulk Fri 16-Aug-13 07:44:10

This thread is bloody brilliant!
Thanks thanks

Wolfcub Mon 12-Aug-13 19:55:21

I just wanted to say thank you for all the tips. We had a very successful first trip and are really looking forward to our next one. grin

pussycatwillum Tue 06-Aug-13 19:03:03

OP I hope you are going to let us know how you got on, and put a review of Golden Square on UK Campsites ;)

lucamom Tue 06-Aug-13 12:11:18

Camping right now with 3 kids-decided yesterday to persuade our boys (6 & 4) to wear pyjama pants to bed (the 'older boy' types) as an in case thing. Told them that's what older boys do when they're camping!

Glad we did-both were wet this morning and were so tired they must've slept through wee's (or been too lazy to rouse themselves!)

Usually they're dry at night so we didn't think there'd be any problems with the occasional use (couldn't face wet sleeping bags in the middle if the night!)

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Tue 06-Aug-13 08:03:35

stick that's funny about the teacup. I don't like tea at all, unless it's in a tin cup outside, from water boiled on the open fire! Then it's delicious for some reason.

recall Tue 06-Aug-13 01:51:01

a solar shower bag

I got one for £4 from Go Outdoors. I just fill it and plonk it on the roof of the car. Nice warm water for stuff like washing up, washing hands etc

burntthedinner Tue 06-Aug-13 01:06:48

Helmsley in August? A Big Yes to hot water bottles and plenty of gas if not allowed a fire to boil a kettle on (to fill them).

If allowed, take a fire pit and find logs which also warms you up in the evenings.

We have a warm bag (shorts, beachy things etc) and a cold bag (warm boots, waterproof jackets, extra blankets, socks, beanie hats) - including each dc - makes it much easier to unpack (as just dump bag in each bedroom).
Good light for the evening - storm lanterns or gas lamp - table and chairs and proper mugs (not tin/plastic).

But the best thing we did for 'happy camping' was buy a seriously good (but pricey) canvas tent with sewn-in groundsheet and 3 season sleeping bags for the dc's. Also camp beds which keeps them warmer as off the ground, with a blanket underneath the sleeping bags. Thats for UK in August - August gets cold at night but there are more shooting stars to look out for.
So many people get put off camping by battling it out in a bit of flimsy nylon under lashing rain and those bendy tent poles collapsing in the wind.

Battery fairy-lights for dc's - v comforting in the dark.
Pitch fairly close to the loos, on level ground with hedge/shelter on one side - but probably 'loo of the year' will have neat level pitches with hedges anyway smile

Itsnotforsale Mon 05-Aug-13 21:22:04

Paper plates and washing up!

stickortwist Mon 05-Aug-13 21:08:20

My advice is to not even contemplate camping with small children in the cold wind or rain. We went to the dordogne for the first time this year after 3 wet and windy years in various parts of the uk and it was a complete revelation! No hot water bottles or hat at night... No worries about drying clothes. I can see how camping with dh only in the rain cpuld be fun but it is miserable being sruck with 3 under 8's in a small tent with wind and rain lashing outside.

So from now on i will only camp in either a heat wave or someehere hot and dry.

The only kit i insist on is a proper china cup to have a cup of tea in.... I cant be doing with tea in a melamine/ plastic mug.

Inertia Mon 05-Aug-13 20:54:28

Swathed and be-lanterned tent sounds lovely.

Ours is more wipe-clean utilitarian.

Though we do have a sofa.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Mon 05-Aug-13 20:38:29

Even 'lowgear' can look luffly with some swathes, fairy lights and twinkly shit! Mine is less Liberty and more scruffy Bedouin!

ViviPru Mon 05-Aug-13 20:27:38

AH! I SEE! Swathes I geddit now. Our camping set-up is more Lidl than Liberty, swathes of beautiful textiles would look hilarious in our low-rent HiGear tent of unsexiness grin

troutsprout Mon 05-Aug-13 19:52:37

<< breathes sigh of relief>>
Ever is pimping her tent ... Everything is ok with the world

Wolfcub Mon 05-Aug-13 19:15:46

I think this might be the most expensive thread I've ever started grin

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Mon 05-Aug-13 12:16:19

And you can't google it, as it's my own personal made up swathe box grin but you can easily make up your own grin. It's made up largely from lots of organza and muslin bought for my wedding, recycled for camping. It gently billows in the wind by the entrance to our Soulpad and makes our tent look luxurious! That, and some twinkly mobiles (one with "LOVE" spelt out in colourful glass). Fab!

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Mon 05-Aug-13 12:13:51

A box of swathes and pretty things; a box of floatiness to hang around the doors and inside from the middle pole, and over ugly boxes and suitcases. Lots of silky shiny muslin and other material grin It is as essential as the Lighting Box (with solar fairy lights, tealights, lanterns, torches)

kitbit Mon 05-Aug-13 11:44:32

What's a swathe box!
I mightneed to go shopping <checks if anyone has dropped a hat>

LowLevelWhinging Mon 05-Aug-13 11:42:53

brilliant thread guys, have created an excellent list from it!

ViviPru Mon 05-Aug-13 11:40:38

Same, Everhopeful. Even the Googles doesn't seem to know. I have big-time Swathe Box FOMO.

Everhopeful Mon 05-Aug-13 10:31:57

Trout, would it reassure you that we're taking some glow-in-the-dark dragonflies to decorate the tent with this year?! £1 a pop at Poundland, source of much useful camping gear if you don't worry too much how long it'll last. We've had several camping pillows from there too and they last a good 3-4 years, which I reckon is enough for that money.

Sun, mystified and intrigued by the "swathing box". Huh? Whassat?

kim147 Sun 04-Aug-13 22:00:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Sun 04-Aug-13 20:25:53

You will need a good pen-knife. Easy to make new tent pegs or air mattress stoppers if you have one...

Lots and lots of night lights! Aw! I want to go camping now! (I did go onto Dartmoor and have a day camp with a fire and did toast on it, and it is fucking it down now, so not actually horrendously jealous)

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