Camp Virgin...help me list of everything I need!(32 Posts)
So...I'm biting the bullet and buying a tent!
My kids will think I
have lost my mind am wonderful!
So before I tell them, I need to budget and plan a little...
I've been to have a look at some tents - and haven't yet deceided on what to get...but I'm trying to work out how much I'll need to spend on other stuff to make it a pleasant way to travel and not just an endurance test!!
I don't need fairy lights and sheepskins, but neither do I want to slum it.
So...what are your must haves for comfort and practicalities when camping??
I am thinking I would really like airbeds (one for me and DH and one for kids to share)?
What about tables for eating, places to store stuff, cooking??
I'd really appreciate some tips from more experienced campers!
We used to go camping a lot. Our equipment for 4 of us was: Folding aluminium table, camping bench (seats 2), 2 big camping chairs, 2 burner gas stove (uses small gas canisters), air beds, camping lamp and our tent was one which had a large central area with 3 sleeping pods off it. Stored stuff in large zipped waterproof shopping bags (home bargains have them) and rucksacks.
Mumsnet has a really useful and quite comprehensive list, sorry I can't link from the device I'm using.
Make comfort a priority with lots of cosy bedding. We have bell tent which we love, not glamped up but it's a lovely space.
I get cold easily so hate airbeds, we are investing in self inflating mats (Sims) this year.
Cold, damp kids will be miserable (flashbacks to my childhood camping!) so take wellies/waterproofs for the mornings and lots of layers at night.
Top mumsnet space saving tip - freeze a box of wine for an icepack and drink as it defrosts
We have a caravan so some of these are more specific but this is my list. WARNING it is very long and will not fit into a normal car but it might help you write yours. (I've just printed it out to sort out the Caravan before we go away next week)
It's copied and pasted from table in word which is why it looks a bit odd in here.
Caravan “Got It” (long) list. (I must have a shorter list for if we're just going away for a weekend)
BarbequeCorner blocksHot water bottles
Bin BagsCruetInsect room guard
Bottle openerDishclothKitchen roll
Breathalyser kitDrill and corner toolKnives
BroomDustpan and brushLantern
Café tierreElectric leadLighter blocks
Camp KitchenEmpty milk bottleLights
CameraFace clothsLoo roll
Candle holdersFan heater
Can openerFire blanket
CDsFirst aid kit
Chemical fluidFood *
Chopping boardsFrying pan
Citronella candlesGames *
Cling filmGas cylinders
Coat hangersGround sheet
Cold blocksHand soap
MalletsScissorsWashing up bowl
MapsScootersWashing up liquid
MatchesSheets and beddingWashing up sponge
Measuring jugShoesWaste hog
Medicine boxSite booksWater Barrel
MirrorSleeping bagsWater pump
Mixing bowlsSleeping matsWash kits*
Mover remoteSmall tableWashing line
Needle and threadStepWheel lock stuff
Notebook and penStools (& table tops)Wine glasses
Oven traysSun cream
Picnic blanketTea towels
I've just reread and realised that this isn't quite the list that you're needing. Sorry.
I'd say prioritise your beds. Nothing worse than being cold or uncomfortable at night. We have a high rise air bed which is good but needs re-inflating each night. I want to switch to camp beds with a 10cm sim on top.
Stuff to sleep on: blow up beds or SIMs - or thick roll up mats from Decathon for the kids are usually FINE. SIMS are warmer because they insulate from the ground, comfort between blow-up or SIMS is a matter of personal choice.
3 season sleeping bags - unless you are only camping in the S of France, for example.
Chairs: stable chairs, with cup holder.
Something to cook on: double burner stove / Cadac all popular choices and then you can decide what sort of camper you are and maybe in the future add a Cobb or a Campfire Grill or a tripod etc. Portable BBQ always good - you may need to raise it off the ground in many site.
Some sort of plastic box / crate to store stuff in - unless you go for a camping cupboard
Kettle that goes on your stove. (but you can manage with a pan to begin with
Then it's your smaller stuff, and much of that you can pillage from your kitchen to begin with.
And extras like a tarp or gazebo, a windbreak, etc .
This is my camping checklist: (I don't take everything every time - depends on planned catering arrangements)
Lanterns and torches
BBQ , charcoal
Big water flagon
Penknife / opener
Icey Tek and freezer blocks
Chargers – phone etc
Kite etc, ball
Plates, bowls, mugs, classes, cutlery
BBQ tools -tongues
Folding washing up bowl
Salt and pepper sachets, sauce sachets
Sponge, liquid, gloves
I should start by pointing out that on your first trip you shouldn't go to far from home. Close enough to be able to pop back and get stuff you realise you need. Close to a good camping supply shop, and a decently amenitied(?) camp site. Maybe even your back garden would be a useful trial. With camping, being over prepared is vastly preferable to being underprepared.
And don't go for too long either.You might think "bugger this" and give up.
Put the tent up to practice before you go.
Get a good tent.
Get good Sleeping stuff. It's crap to camp if you get wet and can't sleep!!!!
Buy ski base layers now in shops (cheap as they all on sale) and wear under pjs.
Take hats to wear at night.
Take hot water bottles (ditto)
Pain au Chocolat and croissants make an excellent alternative to toast. Brioche keep for ever and are useful for feeding hungry small people. Here is my main list:
Trolley for water carrier
2 ring cooker
Tea jar & teabags
Groundsheet & doormat bag
Sleeping mats x2
Roll of plastic
2x camping chairs
Wellies and walking boots
Watching this! I've been trying to get H to agree to go camping for ages. We've got a 7mo and 4yo. Starting with a family friendly festival this year but want to get decent kit for future trips
I wouldn't advise air beds. We had one of the big ones that's higher off the ground but I found it bloody awful to sleep on. A decent thick SIM or a camp bed with a thinner SIM (depending on your preference) will be much more comfortable.
We bough at tent last year and camped for first time with 2 Dec, 7&3. We have a Vango Keswick tent.
We bought the following-
Sleeping bags each.
Air beds each
Fold out table to use stove on
Gas stove & pan set (halfords)
Fold out picnic table & chairs (halfords)
Cool box & ice packs
Camping toilet (basically a bucket with a toilet seat)
We only camped twice for a few nights each time.
This summer we will make a few changes. We've decided to go electric hook up this time. We couldn't keep food fresh im cool box.
Need to buy hook up cable, small electric heater, kettle & toaster. We don't have room to fit any more in car so not going to buy a fridge. We've decided to just take basic food that doesn't need refrigerating and eat out.
Need Fold out camp beds to replace air beds which we threw away as they didn't stay inflated.
Some inflatable sofas type things.
Just to add to that... We camped in August and it was freezing at night. I had on pj's, fleece jacket, sleeping bag, duvet. We had carpet in floor of tent and in bedrooms plus blankets between floor and air beds. Kids were in vests, pj's, onesies, sleeping bags with blankets in top! I'd say definitely spend on good 3/4 seasons sleeping bags. The 3 year old has a child size 'pod' sleeping bag and the 7 year old has an adults side. We bought most of our kit from Go Outdoors. Some cooking equipment from halfords in sale and tent from Winfields online.
How is the Vango Keswick putaplasteron? That's the one we're looking at getting.
I am a rough camper, so can't advise on luxury, but I would say that Petzl head torches are absolutely essential.
Lights, torches and lamps.
Never too many!
It's late, so I haven't read RTFT and someone might have suggested this, but one of our best ever camping buys was a big (huge), clear plastic storage box with a clip on lid (really useful box, I think it was called - bought in Staples or somewhere similar).
Everything in it stays dry when it pisses with rain (including the matches - though we have an extra tiny box for those as well). It doubles as a seat or a (low) prep surface. All food that needs to be out of the weather or away from the wildlife can go in it (open packets of pasta or biscuits, veg, eggs, bread).
And when you're at home, all your camping plates, mugs, cutlery, torches, pans etc etc can be packed into it, the lid clipped on - and then you stuff it in the garage and it's all packed and ready for next time.
Also, for the air bed, an electric pump which plugs into the fag lighter socket in the car. Saves hours of hassle and reduces the swearing.
Oh, and a massive flask we use as a teapot: tea stays warm in the morning chill while it mashes. Hot tea. Fabulous.
Lighting - head torches are really useful, as are normal torches, but trying to do semi-civilised family camping without a decent lantern or two is miserable. It goes dark! Proper dark! You can't find your book or wine or anything!
I'm a SIM convert, but I never would have done shared airbeds. Too small, too wobbly.
Good sleeping stuff. I have a Vango sleeping bag that's like a duvet folded in half with a zip on. Rough camping it's not, it folds to the size of a small suitcase, but I really feel the cold and it makes it all bearable.
If you're going to cook, think about what you need to do so. I've forgotten a sieve (easily done, and it's really hard to strain rice with a saucepan lid) and a chopping board in the past.
PS if you like to read, Kindle Paperwhite/Voyager is your friend when camping
Pollaidh Why a Petzl? I've always used a cheap £5 head torch. How much better is a good one?
My often overlooked items list:
Dry things to wear at night
Flip flops/ sandals for the shower
Rain gear, x2 (After a storm last year)
Lighter x2 or 3
Far warmer bedding than you'd think
I've just had bad experiences with cheap ones - poor beams, not watertight. Depends on whether you will need to navigate or cross tricky terrain though - in which case a really decent reliable torch is an essential. If you're pottering around a campsite a cheaper model may well be fine.
A decent table if you're staying for a while is essential, in my opinion. It gets items off the ground saving room as you can use it to put things under, too.
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