Furniture - table/kitchen/storag
I'm not exactly new to camping, but I had a 17 year gap until last summer on sleeping under canvas, and to date, it has pretty much been on organized Girl Guide/Scout camps (in Uni we did a lot too - as the University branch of the "Scout and Guide Club", so mostly ex or current scouts/guides/leaders).
Having re-joined scouts as a Cub leader, and done 1 camping weekends in a borrowed tent last summer, I bought my own tent this year (Vango Beta XL 450 to sleep 3 on family outings and lots of gear when sleeping solo on Cub events). DD10 wants to go for a couple of nights later in the summer, just us. DH has denounced tents for evermore (he "no longer sleeps in anything lower than 3*" - announced 2 days AFTER I bought the tent!). He may come around, but we are going on a girlie adventure. Car camping - not walking miles with backpacks.
I am kinda starting from scratch in building my gear. We have plenty of suitable clothes and day bags, torches, water bottles, picnic items (crockery for outdoors), fabric coolbags and ice blocks, and my "self catering holiday shoebox" for things I NEED in my kitchen (sharp knife, wooden spoon, waiter's mate etc). We have cheap folding camping chairs (I am looking longingly at the Vango Saturn - but other things need to come first and the old ones are perfectly functional). We have sleeping bags and SIMS. So, actually, maybe not completely from scratch.
What I need though is a means for cooking, a table and some storage.
Stove: I have a tiny folding solid fuel stove, and extra tablets, for more emergency cooking. But I need something for proper cooking. What works well:
Disposable BBQ (single use trays)
A folding BBQ
A single gas ring
A double gas ring
Trangia-style little stove
Make my own campfire (I know it's not allowed many places)
(I'd love a Solo stove for backpacking and use on camp - but cannot justify that cost)
And how much should I spend - realistically, this will get some use over a number of years but unlikely to see 2 week family holidays.
What combination of some of these works well (I am thinking maybe 1 gas ring and a folding BBQ but I am used to catering for 20+ people on camp)?
I reckon I need some kind of proper table. My outdoor table at home is not transportable. I have no folding tables I could use.
Would a very basic table be sufficient?
Do I need one with the net underneath to catch stuff?
Should I get a camp kitchen instead and just eat on our laps?
And are there any recommendations for a kitchen set up?
I have a couple of Ikea plastic tubs to throw things in but they are quite big for in the tent. (And probably not strong enough to act as a table - they're the cheap ones).
Are the "wardrobes" useful, or am I best off just using small stacking tubs and/or bags to throw things into (designating them for different things)?
Are the hanging pockets useful (I am going to look carefully at the tent this coming weekend on cub camp to see if they'd work in it - I am not sure they would in the tent I have).
How can you rig up storage in tents that haven't got loops or whatever for hanging things, or side pockets?
Aggghyhh. Maybe I am overthinking it all - I just want to be able to get out and GO camping without making it a disaster of a trip that we'd never go again.
Ok, I am a trangia lover and you can definitely cook for two even with the little one (as long as you cook cous cous or rice first then the rest). I think a table is worth it but others may disagree! We have this one and it is great m.gooutdoors.co.uk/hi-gear-double-picnic-table-p322024
Can't remember if you said you have a cool box or not, but that's a good idea. Take nice pillows and slip on shoes. I would also take a couple of pop up laundry baskets or folding crates for organising the living area (shoes/swimming stuff/rain gear).
You sound pretty prepared to me. Part of the fun of camping is looking at everyone else's kit and planning how to upgrade your kit for next time!
Thanks Hufflepuffin, that's good to know about the Trangia, and I never thought of pop-up bins! Genius!
Will have a look in GoOutdoors and Cotswold, maybe even Millets, when in the UK shortly - there's generally a much better choice on their websites than Irish shops/websites, so I reckon "in person" shopping could be worth the effort when we are over. I just need to make sure I don't overload the car on the outward journey...
yy to hanging pockets - will save a lot of arguments about where are the car keys etc. Most tents have a few strategically placed loops or you can use the eyelets where the inner tent hangs up. Take safety pins and hooks/cable ties.
yy to sturdy boxes e.g. 35l Really useful box - they can be table or stool. Or just take a few bags for life.
yes to a small table. The roll up ones are cheap or say this. Sometimes you just have to have somewhere flat to put your cuppa. With a small tent I think better to keep things low level as you don't have that much headroom.
For 2 people you could get a cheap single ring stove or trangia and some nesting pans. We also have a very compact little folding barbecue.
Go light the first time and work out what you really need. The less you take the less you have to pack and tidy up!
For the two of you, a single ring stove and a BBQ would be fine. I hate disposable BBQ's, the grill is too close to the charcoal, which is usually low quality and goes from too hot to ash I'm an instant.
I saw some nice portable BBQ's reduced in Waitrose this week, £20, a smart bin with a lid.
We love cooking on a campfire, but unless you brush up on your pioneer skills and build a tripod from branches and have a billy with a handle, you will need a campfire grill, tripod, or scouts 'alter fire' to go much beyond potatoes in the embers. Though you can do a lot with a pie iron.
I just use the plastic crates I pack stuff in as storage, and put clothes etc in IKEA bags or supermarket bags.
A table is handy.
It is camping week in Lidl and Aldi this week.
Thanks guys -
I may pop into Aldi today - they seem to have an interesting looking small bbq in a bag with coolbag lid (which I'd probably use for firelighters/charcoal, realistically!).
I managed to get a trangia-style pot set in Aldi a few weeks back - a nested pot, pan and kettle in a bag. (I trialled the kettle on the wood-burner in the back garden, and enjoyed a nice couple of mugs of hot tea reading my book in peace one evening!). (I must admit, I had a half a thought about getting a piece of strong wire mesh to put over the wood burner as an option - but there's a long gap between fuel and top in it).
Interesting about the disposable BBQs being so non-useful. I never thought about that - we have a gas one at home, and I grew up using charcoal, so never use the disposable ones.
So picking up a small trangia or single ring stove, and a small BBQ somewhere seems to be the plan. And a hanging pockets - I lost my keys 3 times over the Cub camp last weekend - and that was with just ME in the tent!
I may try to find a slightly smaller sturdy box to the Ikea 45l ones I have - I have plenty of uses for the large ones at home and storage unit. But it does seem a little large when I look at the tent again. But I do have plenty of reasonable sized bags (Ikea blue bags, and smaller totes) to use in the meantime.
Thanks again all!!
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