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Best Camping Kit: your recommendations (& tips) please!

(27 Posts)
RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 17-Aug-13 17:02:45

Hello! Having seen what a massive stash of tents people here have, I can only assume that you've got a similar pile of other camping kit.

We need to replace a few bits, can you recommend your best products, and share any other tips please.

(We used to be very good at fast & light camping before DS arrived. We're now all about comfort in a massive tent!)

We need:
- a new mat: we did have a wide airic (alpkit's old double thermarest type thing. It's sprung a mysterious leak.
- a new double sleeping bag. We've got lush down mummy bags that zip together, but we'd like a big old square thing for a bit more comfort.
- cooker - we've got a collection of little stoves, but have been thinking (for a long time) about the campingaz range thing with 2 jobs and a grill. Anyone got this and recommend it?

Also - I only recently started taking a pillow camping, and was actually comfortable for the first time in years! I don't even use a pillow at home so I was amazed at the difference it made. Are there any other tricks I'm missing?

Thanks grin

professorpoopsnagle Sat 17-Aug-13 18:16:39

We have just got a thermarest Mondoking which is very nice for a mat. And we have this sleeping bag which is very nice- cool and warm.

twattock Sat 17-Aug-13 20:29:00

stuff that really made a difference to us were a Coleman petrol stove (loads of power and much easier to cook proper food on) a camping gaz lantern for decent light, moon chairs for comfort, camp beds instead of blow up mattresses, and a bell tent. plus a cheap estate car with a roof box to carry it all. weighs a ton but we use it all the time now.

RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 17-Aug-13 21:13:19

Thanks! We've got the cheap estate car! I had a look at the bell tents people were talking about on the tent amnesty thread, they are beautiful!

I saw that soul pad make a double air bed on a frame. DH is dead against it as "airbeds are cold" (convection) as opposed to a thermarest type. Is there a thermarest type thing on legs? Maybe we should just put more effort into fixing the airic and buy a double camp bed to out it on?!

Thanks for the sleeping bag link prof. I'll have a look at those.

Regarding light, we've got a battery lantern that is sufficient, or an electric hookup & plug in light when available!

fossil971 Sat 17-Aug-13 21:54:09

Well I can tell you about the campingaz range - do you mean this one

It's a very good stove in terms of the burners and the gas bottles last for ages. The grill is less impressive - believe me those slices of toast in the picture were NOT toasted on it (look like they came out of a Dualit!). Small spot in middle of grill is heated fiercely. Edges remain uncooked. But better than nothing if you really want toast and are prepared to keep moving it around! The first gas bottle costs a fortune - about £60 but after that it's about £25 a top-up and that could last a fortnight.

ATM our kit is SIMs and mummy sleeping bags - don't zip them together though, far too draughty grin. I have an Alpkit Dozer but don't see why you couldn't put a SIM on top of a campbed or air mattress. YY to proper pillows especially if you sleep on your side.

We also find the Outwell 12v/240v cool box useful for EHU and in the van travelling.

RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 17-Aug-13 22:09:27

Yes, that's the stove. Thanks for the review fossil.

Maybe it's not worth getting the one with the grill then.

Could be tempted with the electric cool box.

Zipping bags together means I get to use the DH hit water bottle! He's a lot warmer than I am. I get cold

fossil971 Sat 17-Aug-13 22:16:45

I don't think it's any cheaper without the grill TBH - it's on 50% off anyway.
I get COLD too and have my eye on a down sleeping bag. Hearing that, Father Christmas? Erm: thermals?

RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 17-Aug-13 22:37:01

I've got an alpkit down bag and it is lush!

fossil971 Sat 17-Aug-13 22:38:16

It's the Skyehigh 600 I was hoping someone would get me!

RegainingUnconsciousness Sat 17-Aug-13 22:54:23

I think that's what I've got. It is good!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Aug-13 22:57:41

I just ordered the skyehigh 600 last night. I've been waiting for nearly a year for the pipe dream bag to be back in stock as its lighter. But have given up and bought the heavier bag (will be cycle touring).

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Aug-13 22:58:39

They only have 25 Skyhighs left and all are short length. Maybe don't wait till Xmas to get one?

fossil971 Sat 17-Aug-13 22:59:21

Yes I notice they only have short size left - that would be fine for me at 5 ft 3.

Gracie990 Sun 18-Aug-13 16:29:31

I would recomend a sheepskin to sit on/ sleep on. It's amazingly warm and comfy.

RegainingUnconsciousness Tue 20-Aug-13 09:24:35

Sheepskin sounds good, but fluffy! Where would I find one?

fossil971 Tue 20-Aug-13 19:41:51

I have a sheepskin rug from when the DC were small - I'll be hunting it out for our next trip grin

Ikea, farm shops/farmers markets (the stall that sells lamb does them as a sideling grin), must be 100s of online suppliers.

RegainingUnconsciousness Tue 20-Aug-13 21:59:39

Oh yes, we've got a tiny lambs wool from when DS was tiny! Not sure that'll do us though!

I'll keep my eye out for one (I want one for the living room floor too, but DH vetoed it, I think)

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 21-Aug-13 23:31:55

That's the stove we have. Just returned from a fortnight's camping and had my toast and marmalade every moning for breakfast. Grill is slow but if you keep an eye on it and move the bread around it works fine. Alternatively you can get a folding rack that will prop your bread up over one of the main rings although I don't know how well they work.

We don't use sleeping bags anymore; just take the duvet with us to use with a double air bed and sheet. Always take proper pillows.

Bramblesinforrin Wed 21-Aug-13 23:40:00

I have this:

Mmmmmm. So comfy. I have a vango sono comfort sleeping bag ( the extra big one!). With a pillow, I'm more comfy than in my own bed.

Bramblesinforrin Wed 21-Aug-13 23:40:12

RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 21-Aug-13 23:51:21

See, I've been thinking about just taking sheet & duvet the last couple of times. We've even got a spare duvet that we could dedicate to this. I might try it next time!

Thanks Bramble, it looks similar to what we've already got and still need to fix

ViviPru Thu 22-Aug-13 09:03:31

At the weekend our friends had a Bright Spark toaster. It was an unexpected revelation. I would never have thought that such a simple and unassuming bit of kit would be so effective. Totally recommend.

If you are using a duvet instead of a sleeping bag you would be better off taking two and sleeping on one. I have never understood why people say duvets and airbeds make for a cold sleep, until we forgot our 2nd duvet this year and had to sleep on an airbed with just a sheet. I was freezing all night and usually I have to throw the duvet off in the night.

3rdnparty Sun 25-Aug-13 16:59:05

I have a camping gas stove with grill (never used ) but with the legs that tuck in the base which is fab as can get to correct height and great windshelter combined - like this...

we have this double sleeping bag for the same reason was one of the largest I could find- the pattern is v ugly but its really good

have thermarests - although when go to france take cheap ikea duvet and sheet instead of huge sleeping bag as its too warm....hth

WeAreSeven Sun 25-Aug-13 18:37:02

As far as I know that folding bed doesn't include an airbed so I'm fairly sure you could use a SIM with it.

Have the Camping Chef but haven't yet used the grill. The rings cooked dinner the same as my gas hob at home. The only warning I would give is that the pan slips around on it a bit more easily than on the hob at home and at one point the pan slipped off on to the ground! blush However as the stove itself was on the ground, so not far for the pan to fall and as the pan luckily landed right-side-up, dinner was saved!

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