Back from first family camp, questions....(18 Posts)
Had a great time, really enjoyed it although it was much more stressful than slinging a tent down at a festival.
Question 1: what do I do with a dripping wet tent when it is throwing it down with rain outside?
Tricky - basically you don't want it getting mouldy, so either unfold in the bathroom and part erect it, crack open the window and pop on the heating or keep it rolled up for the day and fingers crossed the weather brightens.
Do you know anyone with an empty garage?
Hmm bathroom very small. We do have a lean-to (that leaks) which although too small to erect the tent, I could maybe spread it out in there.
Right then question two:
Our car was rammed, stuffed full. I was jealous of those who had better stuff - fire pits, cool box, more bedding etc etc.
How do people fit all this stuff in?
Roof box or trailer? Camping with others in a group so only one person brings a BBQ, one person a stove, one a cool box?
Yes, we were very impressed with some of the set ups.
So, we need some camping buddies.
Tent will be ok folded up for a couple of days. You will prob be able to hang it out tomorrow. Regarding the camping gear envy - watch out it may eat you! People who invest a lot in camping gear will generally consider what kind of car they drive too, if you want it to be a regular thing you may need a bigger car. The alternative is roof box or roof bag, or a trailer but that is getting fairly committed as you will need tow bar and somewhere to store the trailer, they ain't cheap either.
Also bear in mind the more gear you have the longer it takes to pack, unpack and set up, etc, etc. There is something to be said for simplicity!
But you will quickly decide what the essential kit for you is, everyone likes their own touch of luxury!
I have the inner tent draped over the stairs. The outer is in the lean to, but it's not anywhere near water tight.
So DH, aka Bear Grylls was cold on Sat night. So he's slightly put off. But then last night was much warmer.
Right then, question 3
I have the Isis V 600. I struggled with the guy lines. They're very different to the normal ones and have some weird triangular adjusting thingy on them. Anyway, they kept going saggy. Tbh I may change those to the ones I'm more used to. I obviously don't know how theses new things work. Did my tent look awful?
And question 4, slightly sparky this one
How free should the kids be? They're 8 and 4. I like to keep them in sight. But there were other kids roaming free, down by the lake, in the woods, at the playground etc etc. I felt bad for DS1 who would have liked to be more free. I let him go off to the toilet block (very far out of sight) after he sighed and said he knew where they were. Are we supposed to relax our thinking more? I said if DS was 11 then he could roam.
Tips for combatting the cold at night:
1. Layers - more under than over. I line the inner with a foil-backed picnic blankets, then the air mattress (for me) or SIM (for th eothers), then blankets, then sleeping bags, then a final blanket if needed.
2. Layers - on your body. I get into my pyjamas at around 5pm and then put my outdoor clothes back over the top. The when I undress at bedtime, I just take off as many or as few layers as I need and get into bed with them remaining ones on. I force the kids into thermal vets, then PJs then a fleecy onesie over the top for supper, onesie off at bed.
3. Hot water bottle for me!
Kids roaming - mine are 5 and 8. It all depends on the campsite, I think. In big field site with minimal traffic, I am happier to let them roam than in a bid busy site with a lot of caravans moving in and out. Usually, they can do the washblock by themselves unless there are roads to cross. Part of the pleasure of camping is letting the kids find friends and roam as a pack!
my DC are 4 and 8 and we camped at our local site this weekend. TBH we lost both of ours on regular occasions but knew they knew the site and where to find us. At about 10pm we rounded them both up and put them to bed. One of the joys of camping is letting the kids run wild!
As far as keeping warm at night, it was about 9 degrees on Sunday and we all went to bed in onesies/fleeces etc and had socks, sleeping bags duvets and blankets to keep us warm. The first night I had forgot the duvets and had to layer DS1 with the swimming towels!
the wierd triangle runners on your guy ropes going slack - I think from memory of another tent I once had that you need to kind of turn them back on themselves to lock them. Once locked they do stay put though.
Yes, didn't seem to be able to lock them, so will try turning them back on themselves. Or I will just replace them with the type I've used before.
Right then, next question.
How many of you have moved house to fit in all your camping gear?
We haven't moved house but it did determine the car we bought.
Next time I think I will jettison some children and pack a sofa.
Didn't move house but did give up on all the camping gear, packing and unpacking and storage issues and got a campervan instead....
I went camping last week for the first time since I was 17. I was actually dreading it, but it was great! I'm a complete convert.
However... I shall be watching this thread with interest - there must be many things you can do to make things easier, cos let's face it, it's bloody hard work!
I was just telling DH last night that one year I went to the Phoenix Festival. I lost my sleeping bag on the walk to the site so I bought a thin blanket from a stall and slept direct on the ground sheet with a T shirt as a pillow with the blanket on top.
So time has moved on and I'm wondering how to get my bed in the car.
Lol. I do wonder exactly how much money campers save vs self catering as people seem to spend £££ on kit. And if you have to buy a new car....?
We invested in a trailer AND a roofbox, and still were rammed. To be fair we have four DC and only an MPV, but still. We managed it though! No firepit but we had fancy bedding (big fat SIM on a campbed for me!) and an Icey-Tek in all that..
We let the DC 3, 5 and nearly 8 roam free - told the older two to never leave the three year old unattended which they mostly stuck to. The big issue with the three year old was whether he was up to no good as opposed to in any real danger We did however pick sites which were reviewed as very child-friendly and talked of children being safe to roam. I imagine there are some sites where that wouldn't be such a great idea.
We got some good walkie talkies for the DCs to use when they were little. Clip them on their belts and they can still speak to you if anything goes wrong. Also easy to round them up again at night.
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