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Camping newbie - what are the essentials for a good family camping trip?

(17 Posts)
ColdTeaAgain Mon 20-Jun-16 11:46:22

We have a 3 man tent, which has been used once a couple of years ago! It's pretty basic but does the job. From what I can remember it will be big enough to comfortably sleep us and 3 year old DD without being packed in like sardines and has a porch area big enough to store all the bits and bobs in.

But that's all we've got really! If we get some decent weather this summer I'd love to be able to go off on a few spontaneous camping trips to quiet campsites rather than the big holiday parks, am basic field and a shower block type places.

What kit do we need to get to ensure we have all the essentials to be prepared for 3-4 night trips?

Please do state even the most obvious, I won't be offended grin have not really done any proper camping since childhood!

Mycatsabastard Mon 20-Jun-16 11:52:25

Decent ground sheet. Make sure the tent is weather proof.

Rolls mats, sleeping bags and blankets. Pillows

Plenty of warm clothing. Bin bags for dirty and wet clothing.

Wellies, crocs or sandals and trainers. Lots of socks.

Something to cook on. BBQ (with coals) or a gas cooker (gas bottle). Bear in mind you can't use a BBQ in the tent but can use the gas one inside as long as there is ventilation.

Somewhere to store food. Ant proof and to keep things chilled.

Pots, pans, washing up bowl, tea towels, washing up liquid. Kettle.

Games, cards, toys.

Table, chairs.

Towels, washing stuff, shampoo. Insect repellent and sun cream.

I'm sure there's more. We have a trailer rammed with camping stuff but we have been collecting and adding to it for years and now have a fridge as well as a table with storage for food, all the cooking equipment etc. We also have a camper van with electric in it and a cooker and sink in there. We are doing a week in the summer with some friends, can't wait.

Just need some sunshine!!

hazeyjane Mon 20-Jun-16 11:52:32

For us (5 of us)

Big comfy tent
good beds
proper duvets and pillows
a shelter to cook and sit under
fairy light (because they are pretty)
crocs (for walk to showers, in showers and schlepping about)
thermals to wear in evening and bed
hot water bottle
proper coffee
head torches

hazeyjane Mon 20-Jun-16 11:53:33

(obviously we take about a million and one other things and I forgot about fairly essential things like a cooker!)

Sense of humour
Low Standards
Lots of wine

Blu Mon 20-Jun-16 13:25:31

A 3 person tent sounds small. Can you stand up in it?
If not, I would think about a tarp, useful for sitting under in the rain, or more likely (sic) sitting in as shade.

Attitude: This is camping , not being at home, and all comparisons are pointless!

ColdTeaAgain Mon 20-Jun-16 15:18:47

Thanks this is all really useful!

Yep is not a huge tent, not the sort you can stand in, but has enough sitting space in the porch but if needed, will look into tarps as well. We will hopefully have another DC in next couple of years and then will upgrade the tent smile

No def not looking for home comfort, just enough to be able cook something half decent and be comfortable at night!

Do any of you use inflatable mattresses?

Probably a stupid question, but fairy lights, battery or mains plug? Quite like that idea, sounds cosy smile

ColdTeaAgain Mon 20-Jun-16 15:21:50

Another question... What brands or camping shops do people recommend. Am thinking buy good quality and only buy it the once.

Wyldfyre Mon 20-Jun-16 15:24:17

I highly recommend the Vango Comfort 10 mattress. Pricey but so comfy and the foam inside insulates you from the ground.
Big 5litre water bottles from Tesco are a couple of quid and can be refilled if you have the facilities.
Baby wipes if there is no shower facilities.

Wyldfyre Mon 20-Jun-16 15:26:21

As for shops, the only hard rule I have is to avoid Trespass. I have binned a tent boots and jacket from there for being rubbish.
I buy from Decathalon but stick to the known names (basically Vango) or go to Tiso or one of the specialist outdoors centres in the town I work in (big outdoor type place)

Blu Mon 20-Jun-16 17:19:03

Go Outdoors, Decathlon, I have loads from Millets sale.

A good brand sleeping bag is worth it: Vango, Outwell, Coleman. Gelert are usually reliable.

Tent and sleeping bags need to be good quality..

We sleep on cheap Aldi /Lidl SIMS , not particularly thick. But it doesn't suit everyone.

KeepOnPlodding Mon 20-Jun-16 23:20:23

Not essential but useful...

Wash bags with a hook so you can gang them up in the shower

Microfibre towels or Hamman towels - smaller to pack and dry more quickly

Wet wipes

Lamps - we have some LED ones from Go Outdoors which are good

Kindle for reading in the dark after DC are asleep

Decent mug for morning coffee

Electric hook up cable?

(I don't think a first aid kit has been mentioned but worth adding to the list)

KeepOnPlodding Mon 20-Jun-16 23:25:11

If you are planning spontaneous camping trips store everything together so that you just have to add food, clothes and toiletries and go.

I meticulously clean and check the 'camping box' before anything goes away (replacing toilet toll, kitchen roll, batteries, gas canisters etc) so that I know we just have to take everything out of the cupboard and it's ready for next time.

AlpacaLypse Mon 20-Jun-16 23:26:30

A bucket with a lid for late night emergency wees, emanating from either your child or you. My bladder gave up being capable of traipsing all the way across a campsite in search of the loo after being hopelessly squished by twins. DP has always dealt with this situation with a friendly nearby tree or hedge. Bastard.

fusspot66 Mon 20-Jun-16 23:31:01

A head torch for rummaging in your bag or car boot and walking to the loo before bed.

fusspot66 Mon 20-Jun-16 23:31:45

Insect repellent

AnnPerkins Tue 21-Jun-16 07:07:28

A chair with a back, not a stool, so you can sit comfortably.

I like Decathlon stuff. Their Qechua tarp is well worth paying £20 for.

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