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how much / often do you camp and is it financially worth it?

(20 Posts)
ineedacupoftea2016 Mon 08-Aug-16 09:46:57

Hi all,

Just curious really as to whether to give camping a try next year and wondering about what the camping season is where you tend to plan trips - is it just the summer holidays? May to September? Is the weather good enough to camp a lot?

How often do you go? 1 summer trip or lots of weekends?

Is it financially work the outlay at the start? Do you feel you get enough use out of the kit you have to buy upfront?

Thanks for any info!

CatherineDeB Mon 08-Aug-16 13:30:55

Some years we camp a lot, others not so much.

I think it is worth it but have been camping since before it was the in thing, back in the days when people camped because they were poor!

We camp all year round if we fancy it (one of the tents has a stove). We bought that tent for a long trip to Scotland and justified the spend because we would have spent at least £1500 on a cottage for three weeks.

We justified the other very expensive tent because we used it for three months the year we bought it, etc., etc.

Pre wood burning tent we would only camp from May to October. We don't use EHU, some people extend their season with that.

Some years we are away a lot at weekends, others not. I am prepared to drive for up,to three hours after school on a Friday for the weekend.

So, yes, I would say it was worth the outlay. You don't have to push the boat out cost wise in the beginning. When I was at uni I had a little ridge tent, air bed, sleeping bag, stove and that was it!

TattiePants Mon 08-Aug-16 15:41:13

For us it has definitely been worth it and this is our fifth year camping and we have recently upgraded to a much better tent. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy camping so we bought a fairly cheap Hi Gear tent from Go Outdoors & just enough bedding, cooking stuff to get started. Quickly realised we loved camping so bought more stuff after each trip - I get tent / equipment envy when wandering around campsites and always come home with a shopping list! See if you can borrow one first or look on gumtree / eBay as you can usually find a bargain.

We come to Cornwall a lot and used to spend £2k+ on a cottage for 2 weeks. We are currently here camping for 12 nights and it will cost £360.

We also had a week in Scotland at half term & 4-5 camping weekends with friends. I am a fair weather camper so usually only camp between May - September. It's definitely saved us lots of money.

ineedacupoftea2016 Mon 08-Aug-16 19:53:33

Thank you both, that's really helpful !

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 08-Aug-16 19:56:55

I think it's worth it especially if you use if for holidays and not just for camping weekends.

When we purchased our tent 6 years ago we only ever planned to use it for weekend camping ,no more than an hour away , so we bought the cheapest tent that would accommodate us and the two kids comfortably. We spent £250 on the tent and about another £150 on bedding , cheap camping chairs and a camping stove.

Turns out that we love camping and now do a 10 night holiday in the summer holidays once a year plus two or three weekend trips.

We've just got back from 10 nights at an amazing site in Cornwall and the site fees were £430 - you can do it for much less but this was a very luxurious site. We used to hire a cottage in Cornwall and that cost £2k for the week!

We still own the original tent but over the years we have purchased new items to add to our comfort on longer trips ( electric hook up unit , camping cupboards , picnic bench ,and a porch extension.) We also bought a second hand camping trailer from a friend for £75.

We are about to upgrade our tent now the kids are older (I get serious tent envy every time we camp somewhere!) but we could carry on using the one we have if we wanted to.

Absolutely worth the initial expense as long as you love camping!

KeepOnPlodding Mon 08-Aug-16 22:42:22

It also depends what you would have done instead.

We only camp for weekends so, depending on where we go, it's been £40-£70 for two nights with EHU.

We would probably have gone away anyway those weekends but stayed in a hotel or a static caravan - minimum £200 for the weekend. Then you might have meals in a restaurant, drinks and probably paying entry to get into local attractions etc. Suddenly a weekend camping where we eat much more simply, tend to open a bottle of supermarket wine in the evenings and enjoy just walking and being outdoors is significantly cheaper.

Even with a lot of kit it doesn't take many weekends away to effectively 'break even'.

donajimena Mon 08-Aug-16 22:49:09

I've got two tents. My four man vango is 14 and still going strong. I bought a ten man tent which we use for longer breaks.
It didn't have as much use as I would have liked but I think if you look after it all properly it should last.
I'd try a cheaper set up to begin with to see if you like it

TattiePants Mon 08-Aug-16 23:08:45

Angels what site did you stay at in Cornwall? Always on the look out for somewhere else to try.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 09-Aug-16 08:16:39

Tattiepants - we went to Tregarten Park in Gorran. It has a pool and a fantastic cafe which offers good quality takeaway food for when you want a night off of cooking. ( beef bourgunion , Thai curry, pulled beef chilli - plus the usual burgers etc. ) The Cornish gin and elderflower tonics they serve while you sit by the pool are worth the nightly pitch fees alone!

It's an 8 min drive along single track roads to the beautiful Porthluney beach.

Wonderful place - we've rebooked already for next summer.

CatherineDeB Tue 09-Aug-16 08:58:40

OP, I was thinking about this thread (going camping today!).

I think that once you know that camping is for you, you need to look at the cost over five/ten years depending on the sort of tent you buy.

We renewed a lot of our gear in 2014, (incl a £3k tent and a new trailer) and then bought another, bad weather tent in 2015 with a stove (another £3k).

I think we might have broken even this year. But, I am not sure we would go away as much, definitely not impulsively, without camping.

It gives you a lot of freedom. Our old tent was 20 years old. We have got three tents for different needs (3rd tent for backpacking/cycle camping).

If you take our outlay (at the extreme end I know) and look at it over ten years we are looking at £1k a year plus pitch fees. We couldn't hire a cottage for two weeks in the school hols for that.

You have to enjoy it though and to do that you need to buy/loan sone stuff (or go to somewhere with a pre erected tent).

ineedacupoftea2016 Tue 09-Aug-16 17:43:20

I really like the idea and I really want to like it because of the reasons you say - flexibility, quick breaks, cheap options and outside healthy holidays. I'll keep you all posted!

TattiePants Tue 09-Aug-16 20:13:26

Thanks Angel we are currently staying at Treveague Farm near Gorran so will have a look.

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 20:16:22

Its very cheap (about 30 a night) but often the good sites book up very quickly.

We are borrowing the PIL's caravan this year since I'm feeling the need for a real bed.

ApollO88 Tue 09-Aug-16 20:29:46

We are camping for 5 nights at the end of August with a 5 year old for the first time. Both me and DH haven't camped in years so this will be an experience. I'm hoping that we will all love it and it will be the start of many a camping holiday for us. Any tips for camping with a 5 year old would be fab!

Unescorted Tue 09-Aug-16 20:43:45

Buy your tent second hand in October. We have had Vango's for less than £100, Bikepacking super lights for less than £200, Tipi tent for £150. Check on review sites to see if they are generally well rated.

Personally I wouldn't have a tent any larger than needed as they are much colder - except the Tipi which has a wood burner. It is my favourite and is so warm even in the middle of winter that you can have a Tshirt on inside. Shame it takes up half the car.

Apoll088 - warm clothes, hats, waterproofs, low hygine standards & a sense of houmour.

tararabumdeay Tue 09-Aug-16 20:48:27

Camping is proper outside tired. The walks, the beaches, the ozone and, if one is in a touristy place, all the monkeys, paddle boats, pasties and pubs.

My tip would be a game of 20 Questions at bedtime. DC2 (5)managed to get 'seal' after 14 questions about 'something we've seen today'.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 09-Aug-16 21:13:45

Treveague looks fantastic too Tattipants , If it had a pool I'd book it myself. My son wouldn't forgive me if I booked somewhere with no pool unfortunately!

Is the restaurant open to people from outside the site? It looks nice.

hettie Sun 14-Aug-16 17:07:45

We do a 2 week France/Italy/Spain trip most years, plus 2-4 weekends. Camping in Europe is much cheaper than rentals and we've stayed in some great all spots. We have good quality gear that would be quite expensive to replace from scratch. The tent was a wedding present and we've added bits over the years. It's definitely want it's keep smile

ICJump Thu 18-Aug-16 10:06:33

We have gone away 5 times since buying our tent. We have a pretty light weight tent so only it can only do spring to autumn. We've decided we like it so are slowly buying bits and pieces. I'm aiming to buy stuff that will last so it gets used lots.
I also talk myself down from lists if cool gear because I dint want to set up all the stuff with two young kids. As they get older we will get more.

lilacclery Sun 21-Aug-16 13:10:29

Recently went on my first camping trip. One night using a borrowed Gelert tent on a campsite with dh dd6 and ds2.5. My tip for camping with children is surprises in the coolbox.
My dd has been admiring chocolate milk in aldi enviously for a while now. They love haribo but rarely get them. Both were had at a midnight feast in our tent sitting on a picnic blanket & they really enjoyed the novelty

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