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A thread for people who don't take much camping

(21 Posts)
BarchesterFlowers Sun 07-May-17 16:36:22

Just that really, we camp in a fairly basic way, never had or wanted EHU. We came from lightweight camping, did have a phase of taking more stuff when DD was little and have now reverted back to taking not much.

My latest (bargainous) purchase is this. DH & I will try it out cycle camping in a couple of weeks while DD is on a school residential.

If it works well it will save us carrying meths when we cycle camp this summer. Not sure how it will compare as a trangia gives many options but worth a go at that price.

mowgeli Sun 07-May-17 16:54:19

I used to use something like this in scouts and it was crap we much preferred cooking on legit hobs. Trangia type set ups aren't the best.
Mountain warehouse sell small hobs and we take these camping with us

BarchesterFlowers Sun 07-May-17 17:02:04

We love our trangia and meths stoves of varying sizes. Meths is it for us when we are cycling or walking.

The wood thing has got great reviews on a cycle camping forum - it will be interesting to try it out and useful for if we can't easily buy meths when abroad if it works well.

We have been camping for 30 years under our own steam (since leaving home for uni) and have amassed ...... a camping gaz two ring burner with a grill, one without a grill (given to me by someone who gave up camping), something that burns aircraft fuel, trangia, two tiny meths stoves, tiny Kelly kettle, tentipi woodburner and a heat pal.

What sort of hob do you mean??

SoulAccount Sun 07-May-17 17:20:00

Ha! What is 'not much'?

I do not take (or own):
Tent carpet
Blow up sofa
Kitchen stand
Any ehu paraphernalia
Gazebo (do have tarp)

We have
Tent, mats, sleeping bags, chairs, small table, cooker, cool box, maybe BBQ.

BarchesterFlowers Sun 07-May-17 17:36:04

Similar Soul, similar.

When cycling it is literally tent, mat, bag, meths stove, 3 x plate/bowl things and 3 x cups and sporks.

We had new wheels built this winter with dynamo hubs and DH's (not mine because I take pleasure in leaving my phone at home) has a USB charger.

When not cycling I can fit everything into one plastic box (except tent, bags and mats).

Thistly Sun 07-May-17 23:12:17

Hi, do come back and tell us how it worked. We have been using something like this
gas stove
Which is very small and light. But I love the idea of using wood instead of gas. we like a storm kettle, so a stove like that would be ace

BarchesterFlowers Mon 08-May-17 05:28:23

Will do, people here like it.

Not sure if it might be too dry when we are in Europe in the summer for it. DH carries meths in a third bottle cage on his bike. Sourcing it can be a pita though.

lazydog Mon 08-May-17 05:47:01

We've had a BioLite wood burning camp stove for 2 or 3 years now and it's a great product, but sadly of limited use to us because we hadn't factored in that 90% of our camping is in provincial parks (we live in Canada) and collecting/burning any deadfall is prohibited in the parks. Since these types of stoves have become more and more popular, parks' staff have become very strict about checking what type of campstove you're using!

BarchesterFlowers Mon 08-May-17 05:55:28

That's a shame. Most sites we use in the U.K. are fine with it lazydog. Have checked some we intend to use in Europe and they are ok. Not sure about Italy yet. Guess you wouldn't be using it in a very dry environment but picking up twigs rather than worrying about finding meths would be an improvement.

mac12 Mon 08-May-17 11:37:01

So glad to find this thread. I am due to take kids camping for first time this summer on my own and have been utterly terrified by the kit lists on some of the other threads!!
I only have a small car and limited budget so it's dome tent, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, some basic cooking things, picnic blanket, small stove (like the look of the one posted by OP).
Sorry to high jack this thread but am I deluded to think we can do it this basically? Or are chairs/tables/blow up airbeds/carpets etc essential to stop this turning into a misery-fest?
I want the kids to enjoy their first time camping as I see camping as being a gateway to us being able to get away for lots of outdoorsy adventures on a budget.
Share your wisdom please!

Thistly Mon 08-May-17 13:57:19

Mac12.... it all depends on how YOU feel about camping..... if you need lots of creature comforts to make it ok, then I think it will be hard work. but if you show them the joy of pitching a tent, making a bed, and cooking a simple meal, they will love it!
One thing I love about camping is eliminating the stuff that clutters our lives, and making do with the bare minimum, and see how well we manage, how much fun we have.

Sounds to me that you are not all that into the blowup sofas etc, and you will have a great time.... just be ready to find a cafe if it rains for 3 days in a row.

I would say decent waterproofs and boots are key.

All the best

mac12 Mon 08-May-17 17:21:51

Thirstly...yes, that's it exactly. I don't want to go camping to replicate life at home, I want to give them a taste of something different, simpler. Have a general horror of "stuff"
Tips on waterproofs & access to cafes much appreciated - although I suspect I will be v much a fair-weather camper...

BarchesterFlowers Mon 08-May-17 17:45:18

Mac12 - welcome smile, that is why I started this thread, I like the simplicity of camping without much stuff.

About six months after leaving for uni I really missed camping. I was skint but bought a lightweight small tent, someone gave me a camping gaz stove and a gas bottle. I had a sleeping bag and an airbed and me and a couple of friends got in the car one Friday evening and drove to Dorset.

We pitched in the dark but woke up to the sound of very loud munching and moo ing! All we had was bag, bed, stove and a frying pan/cups and plates from home.

We had a fab time, really simply with nothing much at all.

Most of our UK holidays are camping, we have invested in good tents and gear and camp all year round, just don't try to replicate our home environment.

You don't need a tent to stand up in, separate bedrooms, furniture and all that lark if you don't want it - not one bit. The good thing about camping simply is that you can camp in more natural sites.

Long lists bring me out in a rash.

Wondermoomin Tue 09-May-17 15:39:57

So refreshing to read this more minimalist approach smile

We are hoping to camp as a family for the first time this year, it'll also be my first time since my teens. At the moment all we have is the tent - we snapped up what I think is a good deal at the end of last summer. Talking to a friend who's a well established camper, they take so much with them that they need to bring a second car and/or a trailer for all their gear! (Not a trailer tent.) I was a bit worried about the outlay we'd need to make for kit but knowing that it's perfectly normal and commonplace to camp with less, is very encouraging.

I have a question about sleeping equipment - I remember sleeping on a thin roll-up foam mat. Even in N Scotland I don't recall feeling cold being so close to the ground. Am I remembering this wrong, will we actually freeze if we use these instead of SIMs or something else?

BarchesterFlowers Tue 09-May-17 20:18:02

I don't feel the cold from the floor although I do feel the cold. I use a thermarest foam roll like this. Which is 20 years plus old.

You don't need to buy a car full at all.

applespearsbears Tue 09-May-17 20:31:56

I'm so glad you started this thread OP I'm going through the process of wanting 'simple' camping now as I think we were starting to get sucked into thinking we needed lots of stuff.

Any recommendations on:
Good insulated sim / mats for children
Good quality 3 man tents

Am watching with interest!

Millybingbong Tue 09-May-17 20:38:45

We are kind of in this boat but slightly different as we have a caravan!

We have 3 small children who we need to cater for but we bring very little. Duple, bikes and some warm clothes. We don't shower unless we must (never in the van!), cook simply, and we go to bed when it gets dark.

All other caravanners have all the kit and spend all evening watching TV and look at our little old box with sympathy.

We park next to tent people.

SoulAccount Tue 09-May-17 23:08:05

Wondermoomin: as far as I can see SIMS are simply a squashier type of foam encased in an airtight cover, so that air can add to the comfort. But basically, the foam insulates, whether it is in a SIM or a roll up mat.

This is why I don't understand people spending loads to buy SIMS to put on top of blow up beds. Just use a cheaper foam mat. The blow up bed provides your cushion of air, your roll-up foam mat provides insulation.

I used to use the yellow Karrimats when I was a student etc. Now I use a 2.5Cm SIM, and it is fine.

Thicker ones take up too much space.

BarchesterFlowers Wed 10-May-17 19:45:14

Apples, depends on how much you want to spend, wild country make quality tents, they are part of terra nova - their cheaper range. They often have grade A returns or slight seconds reduced.

We have got a wild country tent and it is great.

Our other really lightweight tent is one of these which is excellent for the £. Tent size to weight ratio is amazing.

Vango make small tents with decent specs but I have never had one.

Alpkit make ¾ length sims, DH uses one, would be good for kids, I prefer something full length. When we cycle and every gram counts I use an alpkit numo pad.

I think any tent/sim/gear over a certain price point is likely to be good and there is so much to choose from. Unfortunately lightweight stuff attracts a premium but you need it if you are travelling on foot or 🚵🚵🚵.

Our gear lasts ages though, upwards of 10 years generally (although our canvas tents should outlast us).

Both our lightweight tents cost the equivalent of three or so nights in a B&B so I consider that they pay for themselves in week one (plus saving the cost of breakfast and dinner out every day.

I used my stove tonight 🔥. It wasn't a runaway success because I was cooking dinner inside and forgot about it, it did boil a kettle of water (trangia size) in about 8 mins. There is a video online of it burning for more than an hour using cat litter wood pellets. I can't take those cycling though! I will try again tomorrow.

heron98 Thu 11-May-17 15:53:52

We go cycle camping and usually camp wild. We take a tent, sleeping bag, mat and a jet boil. That's about it! To be honest i'd love to take more but I would rather not carry the weight.

BarchesterFlowers Sat 13-May-17 09:13:04

Do you Heron, how much does a jet boil weigh with the kit and how long does a canister last? Are the canisters easily available on the continent?

We buy food and cook something proper most days (well every other day at least). DH carries the fuel so that doesn't count. Actually he carries the tent and his gear/clothes, I carry the trangia and my gear/clothes. DD carries her bag and mat and most of her clothes. We all carry our own cup and bowl grin.

My load is 1.2kg trangia and 1.7kg mat, bag+liner, bowl, cup plus whatever clothes I take.

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