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I want to go camping but I have a few worries.

(23 Posts)
Twerking925 Mon 12-May-14 01:41:54

I can cope with weeing in a public toilet, but don't think I could poo. We could get a chemical toilet but aren't they really bad for the environment? And probably disgusting to empty if they contain poo?

Other issue is insects. I'm okay with little ones and don't get bitten that often. It's the big spiders and moths and other flying monsters that frighten me. Is it possible to keep them out of a tent? We'd probably get a 5m bell tent. Any recommendations on zig, sig or pig for insect proofing?

Other than that I'm a bit confused on booking at campsites. They seem to charge extra for larger tents. Are there sites that don't charge by size or would we really piss off other campers with our tent (no idea if 5m x 5m is large or not)?

I'd very much appreciate some help here. We haven't had a holiday for years and I'd love to have a ready made holiday home that we could just pack up and go away with when we felt like it.

TheFantasticMrsFox Mon 12-May-14 04:06:43

TBH, with a hatred of pooing in public toilets and a fear of insects I'm not convinced you will truly enjoy the whole camping experience smile
Are these issues that would potentially ruin a holiday because if either of them are, you will find you have spent a great deal of money setting yourself up, all for a holiday which you truly hated and vow never to do again.
Sorry to be a damp squib but you really need to decide whether you can get over these issues beforehand. Could you perhaps borrow a tent or go for a weekend somewhere with pre-erected tents to gauge how you get on first?

Twerking925 Mon 12-May-14 04:31:54

Oh, you're not being a damp squib MrsFox. I have avoided camping up 'til now due to toilet/insect phobia. I'm just hoping there's a way to get round it.

Chottie Mon 12-May-14 04:55:15

I would not go camping if I felt like you. Could you do a compromise and stay in a cabin with running water? Holidays are very precious times and you want to make sure you enjoy it.

CampingClaire Mon 12-May-14 08:38:40

First of all…I don't think you should invest in a bell tent if you've never been camping before. The reality is a fair bit removed from the glossy staged photos of lifestyle magazines. Bell tents are pricey and I'm not convinced you're really sold on camping but more the idea of a moveable holiday home…which is fair enough! Maybe check ebay for second hand ones…?
Size of tent on pitch…we have a mahoosive tent that is about 9m x 6.5 - honestly…i've seen retirement bungalows with a smaller floor plan…we've never been charged more for our pitch but then we have chosen sites very carefully.
Bugs and stuff…unfortunately they're going to be there. You may be better with a tent with a porch area…that may help as an insect decontamination zone but it won't stop them completely. You generally find that the underneath of your tent has become a haven for slugs and their friends when you pack up so maybe take some gloves for rolling it away!
Pooing…I can't believe I'm having this conversation but here goes…I find that my bowels seem to go on holiday when I'm camping and I can sometimes go days without 'needing' to go! i wouldn't get a chemical loo…tents are not soundproofed and I think you'd feel under even more pressure sitting there with just a layer of canvas between you and the neighbours barbecuing 6m away!!
Why don't you try a night in a yurt our a wooden hut or something first…that way you can try the cooking outdoors thing and the communal loo thing without spending an absolute fortune on kit? Get a basic yurt or something though…otherwise you'll expect luxury every time!
Give it a try though…it is great fun but you do have to 'man up' a bit when you're doing it!
Take some luxuries…nice food, wine, cosy blankets etc and try and make it a treat…however, as soon as you light the candles, the moths will appear so maybe have a nightlight inside the tent instead!!

PeacesOfAte Mon 12-May-14 08:59:21

I think you should buy a caravan, your own loo, insect screen at the windows, a home from home where you can keep all your stuff. Perfect!

Twerking925 Mon 12-May-14 17:31:44

Thanks everyone.

I've had a good think about all your sensible advice and have decided camping is probably not for me. I know I couldn't cope with the bugs and the toilet situation would make me miserable.

I would love a caravan or motorhome but they're too expensive and we've nowhere to park it.

Blu Mon 12-May-14 18:50:38

We've never had serious insects in the tent - I keep the screen zipped up in the bedroom bit and we tend not to sit in the porch with the light on - we sit outside round the campfire, and fires and smoke seem to keep bugs away.

Slugs underneath and the year before last after that really wet early summer is another matter!

The toilets are shared - no way round it, really except there is a campsite in France where every pitch has it's own toilet, shower and sink in a little shed!

Doesn't avoidance of public toilets curtail quite a few of your holiday options?

hz Mon 12-May-14 20:14:16

Ha, ha campingclaire, I am so with you on the bowels going on holiday thing. I have no I idea why but as soon as I go camping my normally extremely regular bowels just grind to a bit if a halt. I call it 'shy bottom'. There, that's it, I went and said in public and everything.
Twerking925 - don't give up. Camping is such a great way to have cheap family holiday and so beneficial for the whole families mental and physical health. Why don't you try a pod or a pre-erected tent just for a night or maybe two at a stretch and see how it goes. It would be such a shame to not at least try. We only get one life after all (probably!). You are much more likely to regret what you don't do than what you do.

Takver Mon 12-May-14 20:23:00

Could you look for a second hand caravan?

If you're in a rural area, DH often goes to farm auctions, and says that there are very often really pretty new/good condition caravans at the auctions that go for very low prices, as most people are looking for machinery/stock, though obviously that might just be round here.

yellowdinosauragain Mon 12-May-14 20:37:46

Excellent post from campingclaire. About the bugs, we spray bug killer inside the tent at night then zip up all the mossie doors. Extra go in the bedrooms too. This seems to work well to Stop getting bitten but does mean you get the odd dead fly in your stuff...

Pimpf Tue 13-May-14 13:10:37

I second the idea of trying a yurt or pre erected tent before you commit to buying a tent of your own, that way you can see if your camping enjoyment will help you overcome the whole loo and bug thing

chicaguapa Tue 13-May-14 13:17:11

I would love a caravan or motorhome but they're too expensive and we've nowhere to park it.

Have you considered a Folding Camper? Some of them have toilets (but not showers) and you're off the ground so there's less of an issue with bugs and wildlife (doesn't stop the mossies though). The link is to brand new ones but you can pick up an older one for less than the price of a bell tent.

AlpacaLypse Tue 13-May-14 13:22:25

Blu is that the long thin campsite that runs two pitches deep beside a river for about a mile, not far from Tours? It was fantastic not having to queue or clear up after other people's washing up frenzies!

AlpacaLypse Tue 13-May-14 13:24:10

Also you can arrange to store caravans either locally to you or in the area you most like to visit.

hillbilly Tue 13-May-14 13:52:00

My DH also had this issue and it's the reason it took me years to persuade him to come camping. He has got over it but won't go to sites with only compost loos or chemical portaloos. Re the bugs issue, we have hardly had any on our tent really and if I find something I flick it out. I always keep the sleeping pods zipped up so they are protected. Even in France last year we hardly experienced any, not even ants.

Go for it, the experience and fun you and the children will have will far outweigh the loo and insect issues.

TheFantasticMrsFox Tue 13-May-14 17:40:52

Yes OP, I didn't mean you to dismiss it out of hand, more that you should do some proper field work before splashing out.
If you find a lovely site with decent toilets, the weather is beautiful and the kids are well behaved then you could be sold on it. If the opposite scenario occurs you will know that it is definitely not for you but you will at least have given it a try.
And be warned, camping is no longer a "cheap" holiday <eyes up more tent porn> grin

Twerking925 Tue 13-May-14 20:43:19

Oh thanks everyone.

MrsFox, you weren't dismissive. I posted here for advice because DP has been telling me for years that I will love it and he will deal with everything and I'll be fine ... and I really wanted impartial opinions.

Blu holidays are fine wrt toilet anxiety because we've only ever stayed in cottages and apartments where obvs you have your own loo. Days out are fine unless I need a no.2 and have to hold on 'til I get home. It's not about germs, I am frightened of being stuck on the loo half way through doing a poo and an insect flies at me. I can do wees because they are quick. Sorry to have lowered the tone, I know it's disgusting to talk about.

chica wow, those are brilliant. I would love one of those. I'll have a google for second hand ones.

We've looked into storing a caravan locally and it costs £30 pw. Does anyone know if that's competitive? Costs might be exaggerated round here because we're so close to an airport and most people are using the storage facility for cars during their holiday. I wouldn't want to store a caravan at a site because we'd like to go to different places each time.

Thanks for all the advice on using insect repellants and camp fires and not using lights in the porch. Any more advice is greatly appreciated smile

specialsubject Tue 13-May-14 20:45:36

each to their own, and hats off to you OP for recognising that this would be the wrong holiday for you! Holidays are supposed to be fun!

have you thought of glamping? Someone here mentioned the 'canopyandstars' website. Have a look!

chicaguapa Tue 13-May-14 20:51:21

Here's a recent thread about folding campers. Look for a Conway Crusader or Pennine Pathfinder if you want a toilet.

Sizzlesthedog Tue 13-May-14 20:51:30

What about a static caravan? Some nice private sites that have gyms and swimming pools etc and have nice clean static caravan with your personal loo might be a compromise.

I have germ OCD issues so loos in general are a big big worry for me.

Shockers Tue 13-May-14 20:55:12

I second Canopy & Stars! Also Wild in Style if you're planning to go to The Lake District.

I love camping, but it's not for everyone!

Twerking925 Wed 14-May-14 02:52:46

It's the cost and flexibility Sizzles. We could no way afford year round site fees and would prefer to be able to travel about a bit. We could compromise and just do a yearly caravan holiday in a park rental. It would be nice if we could do weekends away as well though.

We don't have a garden here and are stuck in doors all the time. I would love to be able to pack up and go away for a weekend/week in the summer.

Thanks for the links to some of the glamping sites. I will go though them with DP tomorrow.

Haven't found any folding campers in my price range yet chica. Shame, because they would be ideal. We can only really afford 1K on a summer holiday and that has to include everything. Obviously if we camp we'll have to borrow lots of stuff. I do love them though.

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