Budget camping must haves(15 Posts)
I'm half planning on taking dc camping this year but I don't Want to fork out loads of money on camping gear and a tent only to find we hate it.
So If we do it what will we really need and what can we do without for a one off?
I'm thinking of a 3 bed cheap tent not a full on 5 room and an awning type of tent!
See what you can borrow from friends first - most campers I know are sympathetic to first timers and would be happy to lend kit.
Camp chair, decent sleeping bag and roll mat, hot water bottle, kettle.
How does the ehu work with the kettle? Is it like a big water proof extension that comes into the tent?
It can be - or get a small gas stove - they are available v cheaply for boiling water, cooking simple meals etc.
I would say:
tent you can stand up in.
Something to sleep on: blow up beds or roll out mats
Good sleeping bags, or take your duvets
Fleece blankets for below and on top - if you feel the cold
Something to cook on - small stove
Pan / plates / cutlery / frying pan / cups (can use your ones from your own kitchen)
Camp chair each
A good torch for each person, and a lantern.
Beware the 'complete sets' from the likes of Halfords: the sleeping bags can be really crappy. Nylony and cold.
I would say that in the UK it's always colder at night than you ever think. Wellies or flipflop for loo runs. Loo roll in a plastic bag, wine, cheat food. Loads of meal ideas on pintrest - one pot cooking. Comfy chairs, candles, playing cards, a good book, not trying to do much more than chilling out, existing and reconnecting with your family.
You can save money by not buying special camping everything, unless you have to travel very light so space and weight is a factor.
We bought cheap nonstick frying pan, saucepans and lids from Wilkinsons years ago, they were supposed to tide us over until we bought proper camping pans but we've never felt the need to replace them. We always take proper mugs, too, because tea is a very important aspect of camping and you shouldn't compromise on it
We switched from sleeping bags to duvets. Our bedroom comprises a foil-backed picnic blanket as bedroom carpet (£7 from Lidl), then SIMs, summer weight duvet underneath us and a winter weight one on top, plus £3 Ikea fleece throws as required and proper pillows. It's really comfortable and warm.
These Go Outdoors portable stoves are great. We have two. They are very stable, cheap and easy to operate. We inherited a Camping Gaz hob with grill but never got on with it and went back to the cheapy GO ones.
Oh, and one major reason people give for hating camping is the middle of the night toilet trek.
This is easily solved with either a Kampa Khazi at around £20, or even just a plastic bucket with a lid.
Having something close by to pee in changed camping for me literally overnight.
Have a look on Gumtree.
I've just picked up a 'used-once' 2-burner stove and gas bottle for £20 - bargain!
Ann - sorry if I am telling you stuff you already know, but do you know not to use two of those stoves next to each other?
I didn't know this, and there were no instructions on my little stove like that, but I read a thread on the UKCampsite forum that explained the occasional explosions amongst these stoves. If you use two right next to each other, the heat from one is next to the gas canister of the other and it gets too hot.
Also you should not use large pans on them because this causes the flames to spread outwards and too close to the gas canister. Apparently some of these stoves have these instructions, and some do not.
They are great stoves, very handy, space saving, no big expensive bottle.
Lots of good ideas above, would confirm plastic pee bucket with lid.
Metal thermos (can use as a teapot too), metal teapot you can re-heat. Frozen litre + bottles for cool bags (drink when thawed), if sophisticated campsite with a freezer, then refreeze. Torch for everyone. Lots of pegs, straps, bungees, cord and plastic bags and water proof sheeting. Keeps water out when wet, dust or sand out if dry.
It pays being super tidy, get everyone to put things back in agreed places before dusk or before you start drinking.
The above got us through 10 years of camping with 2DS. DH was an ex scout and for the first 2 years drove me crazy at times with his organisation but hot cocoa in a storm and being able to find things in nighttime emergencies with DS won me round.
Hi Blu. No, I haven't seen any warnings. I'll certainly bear it in mind though, thanks for highlighting it.
Thanks blu didn't know that...
My top tip is thermal tops and bottoms for kids... And yourself if you're a cold bones....And get them ready for bed before too dark ... We aim for before dark and often straight after dinner so they don't get cold in the first place...so thermals +pjs then clothes on top or just pull waterproof trousers/jackets on top if you have them... Then when it's time for bed just peel off outer layers... Much easier to stay warm than get warm... Ds has long sleeve /legs all year as he feels the cold but others just use tops. When ds was younger I often put a hat on him once he was asleep...
Even in the summer take hats/gloves last summer we had some great sunny days but temperature really dropped at night as skies clear ..
I often do the same but use leggings as my extra layer
I would be careful with a really cheap tent nothing worse than getting wet...depending on your budget /size go outdoors have a vango for 132£ at the moment with a hh of 4000 ...which is the minimum I would go for in uk as showers can be heavy and we can have hours of rain which is worse!
I didn't known that either Blu. We used 2 side by side for years but have upgraded to a double burner with tank.
Agree with layers, hats, wellies and hot water bottles. Camping is miserable in the cold.
Wine is an essential imo.
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