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Camping in May in the UK. How to keep warm?!

(18 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 12:36:33

We are going to a festival, camping for 4 nights. We have a bell tent, there are 4 of us (2 adults, 2 children-8 and 5). We have inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags.

We are going to take hot water bottles and lots of blankets, as May is cold in the UK from past camping experiences (and last time we were in a yurt with a wood burner, no such comforts this time).

Do you have any other ideas of staying warm through the night, are there any safe heaters/other great inventions to keep us warm and toasty?

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 12:38:11

oh, and also we have some wooly blankets for under the air mattresses, and will get some more to make sure the whole floor is covered.

profpoopsnagle Sun 08-Feb-15 17:55:23

Lots of thin layers- thermal leggings and vests (or any vests really). The trick is to wrap up warm at around 5-6 before it gets cold.

Hats and socks. And hot drinks/soups/noodles.

MegBusset Sun 08-Feb-15 17:59:56

I've always found it fine camping in May, tbh - and we just have medium weight sleeping bags and thermarests . The DC usually end up sleeping naked! Sitting outside before bedtime is the coldest bit ime, we stick a couple of heat logs on the bbq, and drink loads of wine of course ;)

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 18:02:42

we are thinking of heading back to the tent around 5-6pm, adding some hot water bottles into our bedding, adding layers onto ourselves, and making sure we are toasty warm, so when we finally crash (probably 8-9pm apart from the last night, when it will hopefully so we can see the best act be very late) both us and the tents will be reasonably warm. I am hoping not too much sitting around, as I agree the outside in the cold is when we get cold ourselves, the kids should be running around/dancing/playing so hopefully they will be so tired they'll just sleep yeah right

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 18:03:51

I was reading about not using onesies, so that late night bladder issues don't mean having to strip completely naked grin

I'll invest in some thermals, think that's a good idea.

Naoko Sun 08-Feb-15 18:07:26

Inflatable mattresses are cold. Make sure to insulate under them as well as over them. I'll be in a field come Easter unless we have another Easter like two years ago (freak snowstorm, went down to -14 at night, I got frostbite and hypothermia. Never, ever doing that again) and I'll be building myself a nest, starting with a foil emergency blanket under my mattress, and a fluffy throw under as well as over my sleeping bag. By May things should be massively improved though.

Layers of clothes. Clean, dry socks at all times - bring more socks than you think you'll need, there is nothing as likely to make you miserable as damp, cold socks. Even if it hasn't actually rained, clean socks your feet haven't sweated in can help the situation.

I like to change into loose pyjamas at night but tuck the legs into socks and the top into the bottom, that way they can't creep up and give me cold exposed bits but the looseness of the pyjamas helps to trap warm air.

Chemical handwarmers (either the reusable ones or the one-use kind) are great for warming up specific bits of kit/clothing, and to keep in your pockets. A hot water bottle in a sleeping bag also goes a long way.

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 19:04:17

naoko good tips. I like the idea of the hand warmers. I have a big fluffy throw for under the air mattresses, and always have another one on top but under the sleeping bags.

We have 2 season sleeping bags, are they good enough?

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 19:04:43

meant to say also, you are hardcore going in Easter in UK!

poorbuthappy Sun 08-Feb-15 19:07:09

We are caravanning at Easter with our friends in a tent. I hope it's not -14!!!!!

Crikeyblimey Sun 08-Feb-15 19:09:14

Hot water bottles and keep adding layers is my advice. It is easier to keep warm than to get warm iykwim. And yes to insulating under your mattress / bed. Makes a big difference.

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 19:15:20

Should I insulate with something other than fluffy blankets under the mattresses? like the emergency foil blankets as mentioned below? Or a thermal blanket of some kind? I am planning on covering the whole tent floor with blankets, and we have a thick grassy effect mat for the door area (it's quite a big floor covering) which is normally to stop the mud from coming in, and should keep some heat in I hope.

There are hot showers available, how about, if they are actually any good, having a hot shower before we go to bed? At a festival, that's just not gonna happen with the children is it? grin

sarahbanshee Sun 08-Feb-15 19:15:52

We camped at Easter last year and despite there being frost on the ground each morning we managed to stay warm at night. All the things mentioned: layers, layers, layers with a onesie on top to avoid cold middle; blanket inside the sleeping bag (I wrapped myself in one like a bath towel and then wriggled into my sleeping bag); get into pyjamas early evening so you don't have to get undressed when it's cold.

We put newspaper down under the groundsheet to insulate under the tent, and space blankets over the inner for more insulation (also kept it dark a bit later in the morning).

Drink whiskey not wine, warms you up and less likely to need a wee in the night!

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 20:05:50

grin DH definitely prefers whisky to wine. I'll let him know it's actually gonna keep him warmer too grin I don't drink very much these days, but could probably manage a couple of whiskies, to keep me warm.

Naoko Sun 08-Feb-15 22:13:58

Ha, I am not particularly hardcore, I'm actually a rather reluctant camper, but I have a hobby (LARP, live action roleplay) that involves camping during events so I have to put up with it! My camping gear has some rather specific requirements that I don't imagine come up much with most people. ('needs enough space in the tent for the armour', 'can't look out of place in a pseudo-medieval setting', and 'if cold, just use the fur-lined cloak as an extra blanket' spring to mind).

I actually prefer to change into pyjamas right before bed if I've gotten really cold, yes you have to get undressed in a cold tent and it's awful for about five minutes but the pyjamas are not damp from probably cool damp outside air or sweat. I seem to stay warmer that way.

Alcohol will make you feel warm, but you actually won't be. Not going to be a problem for you I imagine as you're going with children so I'm sure it'll all be perfectly civilised, but I've had to persuade a few people that yes, I know you feel great and you're not at all cold, but no, you can't go to sleep under that tree, you will get hypothermia and die, why don't you tell me where your tent is and I'll make sure you get into it and under a blanket.

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Feb-15 22:46:35

naoko oh goodness, the thought of being drunk camping with children fills me with dread, they will be up at the first sound of noise outside the tent! Or earlier needing a wee. Not to mention alcohol making me need a wee myself at some godawful freezing hour!

Love the LARP, how much fun is that?! I bet it's brilliant. Great hobby, and really sociable too, you must get to meet lots of great people.

Blu Sun 08-Feb-15 22:57:25

DS was camping in January (Scouts!) and I bought him a pack of handwarmer sachets from Decathlon, they are really cheap, a big pack for about £3, and they last 5 or 6 hours. He put one in the foot end of his seeping bag and one in the middle.

I think you'll be fine in May - I just take an extra cheap fleece blanket to put over my sleeping bag.

Naoko Sun 08-Feb-15 22:58:26

It is great! And the only reason I put up with the camping, I'm more of a real beds and proper showers in a hotel girl generally grin Although I've had to grudgingly admit that since we got the bell tent and enough shared car space to transport some proper gear, it's improved to the point where I mind it a lot less. And when I woke up at 7am one summer event last year, with the sun shining through the trees we were camped under and no sound except the birds singing and here and there some signs that the camp was waking up, I almost enjoyed myself for a bit.

It is very sociable, and larpers are generally fun and interesting folk. The atmosphere on site is usually really good.

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