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Opinions on this tent and camping with 2.4 year old and a 1 year old

(25 Posts)
TheMadHouse Tue 28-Aug-07 12:01:10

Hi Guru's

We are looking to purchase a temt to start camping with our DS's (we used to camp when just married in a two man tent, many moons ago).

I think we have narrowed our purchase down to an Outwell Hartford XL, with the groundsheet and canopy. I figured that now is the ideal time to start looking with the new models coming out in the spring we might get a good deal on this years!

We have an airbed from when we used to camp and also a pan set, kettle, utensils and chairs.

On our need list is:

Sleeping bags
lamps (ideally battery free)
Airbeds for kids
Stove - with grill
Kitchen thing

I would really appreciate your opinions on what is essential and what is a nice to have item.

We are planning to utilse the tent a lot for both weekends and week long breaks in both the UK and abroad.

I have an estate car - would I need a roof box?

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom with me grin

frazzledbutcalm Tue 28-Aug-07 14:52:32

dh would be able to help you better with this as he organises our camping trips! We have a roof box but then we have 4 kids. We love camping, sure you all will too. I'll post more msgs tonight when dh in to help with info! grin

Slubberdegullion Tue 28-Aug-07 15:13:54

I am so not a guru, our 2nd camping trip due this weekend was cancelled due to chicken pox.

However, I have got some lovely new shiny kit sitting in my garage grin.

I bought this wind up Lantern. DH insisted we buy a wind up one and I settled on this one as you can charge it up from the mains pre trip (lasts a long time with just that), but also has the wind up facility. i also liked the night light option as dd1 is petrified of the dark.

I bought this stove from this crowd. At the time of searching seemed a good price. They also do the ones with a grill underneath. I also bought our thermarests and camping saucepans from here.

I really like some of the Outwell fold up tables as they have a hammocky thing underneath which looks good as an extra storage area. I have however been forbidden by DH to spend any more money on camping kit until we have actually done a successful weekend camp once this year.


Slubberdegullion Tue 28-Aug-07 15:15:16

Oh and I would imagine you would need a roof box. We have an estate and the boot was stuffed with stuff for our 1 night (aborted) practice camp at my mothers!

twinsetandpearls Tue 28-Aug-07 15:16:42

I like your lantern.

We also take some little LCD hand held lamps that can be stuck and restuck to thinks, I read at night with one stuck to my head much to dp amusement.

twinsetandpearls Tue 28-Aug-07 15:17:33

We don;t use a roofbox, there are three of us and we take a fair bit of stuff, we have a mutipla.

Dp keeps talking about getting a roofbox just so it leaves the car free.

dustystar Tue 28-Aug-07 15:19:06

The outwell hartford seems to be a popular brand on ukcampsite and it has a nice layout. It would certainly meet your needs. I would recommend you get a roofbox too as we have a big boot on our car but we always end up with that and the roofbox full to bursting plus the rest of the car stuufed with bits.

I also recommend a bucket with a lid for night-time weesgrin

dustystar Tue 28-Aug-07 15:20:04

There are lots of threads on here about things to take - i'll find you a link

dustystar Tue 28-Aug-07 15:21:18

heres one

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:21:48

Apaprently I am a guru, or so I was told on another thread

hartford XL will do you just fine, lots of space but if you like it I don't think its a purchase you'd regret.

Take at least one lamp that isn't battery free as ime you'll need something brighter as well, we have a gas but wouldn't recommend inside or anywhere near kids- ours strictly adults outside only.

Table- love our hi gear roll up aluminium table, by far the best table we've owned.

Not got a kitchen, never seen the point tbh. Use roll up table when needed.

We ahev an Espace and only have used the roof box once when we had 7 poeple in the car. I think you could get away without one but Dh and I are always a bit amazed at what people take! We seem to fit in loads, and have no more boot space than an estate.

Stoves are completely down to what you like. We have a party grill combo and love it, others prefer the standard campinng gaz and grill style. remember you can always add in disposable barbecues if needed.

dustystar Tue 28-Aug-07 15:22:14

and another

ska Tue 28-Aug-07 15:22:45

we use a roofbox but we have a dog and three kids! you could probably manage without to start off with.
Table - get one without slats - more solid, our new one was about £20 from millets i think. But for big trips with other people we have a really cheap plastci garedn table that we taek the legs off to carry there. It is a hassle but a good stable surface to chop/play games etc.
lamps - we buy new ones each year and neverget wwhat we need. Our wind up one doesn't last very long and you can charge it but need elec fr that
airbeds - no, they don't need it
stove with grill, usefull - we've seen one this year in Aldi's for £19.99 and were very tempted but really don't need another one
kitchen thing? we have a really solid kitchen table/rack thing that the stove goes on and it was worth every penny - get one!
storage - we use stackable palstic boxes from homebase and take small ones for the kids for their junk and a huge one with lid for food in the tent (to protect from creepy crawlies/rain)
bucket/washing up bowl and a sturdy box to take the washing up to the sinks - we have used a collapsable one in the past if space is tight.
i suggest hanging wash bags and lots of pegs/string/hooks
tent - we had one of these and it was fine. We now have a bigger tent but are more people than you.
we use a cheap windbreak to put round the cooker.
folding chairs are useful/picnic blankets
we have a box for everything that we keep in the loft ready to go - including washing up liquid/teabags etc all the essentials you need

have fun, camping is so lovely

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:22:50

obv first line missing a hmm lol

dustystar Tue 28-Aug-07 15:23:08

Bows down and worships at peachy's feetgrin

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:23:25

We love our slatted table- doubles as a hanging airer LOL

Slubberdegullion Tue 28-Aug-07 15:25:23

You are so the MN camping guru Peachy...well with Lucycat and Sallystrawberry and.....

ahem there are lots of lovely camping gurus here on MN, Peachy is one of them.

<hopes not to have offended anyone>

toomanyballs Tue 28-Aug-07 15:27:26

I got one of those samsonite pop up/zip up/ travel cot things for our baby when camping. It was excellent as he is used to being trapped in a cot and I didn't think he would settle on a blowup mattress, also stopped minibeasts getting in. grin

Recommend roof box, something to keep stuff like milk and beer/wine cool - campsite freezers/ cool block exchange has not always been reliable for us.

hennipenni Tue 28-Aug-07 15:28:24

I have the xxl, a lovely roomy tent. Bit of a pain to put up in the rain as it's inner first pitch,but,it dries out really quickly, it has a lovely big living area which is a bonus when it rains. We can pitch ours now in about 40mins without wind or rain to hamper us, and last camping trip we did it stood up to very severe gales when lots of other tents (both cheap and well known expensive brands)were ruined.

You may well need to invest in a foof box as the tent does take up a lot of room and then you have to factor in clothes/food/pots and pans etc. We are a family of five with mpv and roof box and we are seriously considering a trailer for next year.


toomanyballs Tue 28-Aug-07 15:29:43

ohhh yes hanging toiletries bag. There is never anywhere dry to put your bag down. Yuch

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:32:17

PMSl <<straigytern Guru turban>>

Sal only lives a few (30) minutes away, yet never managed to meet up with her, strange eh? Too many gurus and all that.... wink

My Big Tip is this- everyopne's best kit is someone elses nightmare (filly hates cooking etc on a campsite, as an example). Go for what YOU want, not everyone else- nobody else has the cooker we use, but we upgraded from the smaller model and lurve it (copes with 5 now, 6 next year). And now si a great time to shop- lots of sales on atm.

Those samsonite cots look great but I worry about them being on the floor, as that gets so cold- have blush chosen a pram with a carrycot (not bought yet though) to use as a camp bed and keep off the floor LOL.

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:33:56

Am thinking about writing abook on packing now LOL seeinga s we rarely use the roofbox!! Clearly its one thing I do right LOL wink

Geodesic tents are always the most stable in abd weather, simple physics.

toomanyballs Tue 28-Aug-07 15:36:58

I got one of those thermal mat things and doulbled it over then out the cot on it. He was about 9mnth old so not a little baby.

Peachy Tue 28-Aug-07 15:40:08

Ah 9 months isn't too bad, No4 will be about 2 months when we go for Whitsun next year LOL

TheMadHouse Tue 28-Aug-07 21:07:23

Wow - Thanks for the replys and also for making me feel so welcome smile.

we are looking to get an MPV and will ask them to out roof bars on for the roof box that we are going to have to get. I am not known for being low maintenance, but I am hoping that this changes that.

we have an older "Campingaz Party Grill Combo" , which my parents used to use for caravaning before they got a new one.

Keep the ideas coming - I am preparing a wish list and then will discuss it with DH wink.

Thanks again

ska Thu 30-Aug-07 08:51:07

we got our galaxy (SH) and then got halfords to do roof bars and roof box. i think that was cheaper than getting the garage to do it.

agree with peachy - you will work out pretty quickly what works for you - we have been doing it for 9 years with a range of kids at all ages (often take our 3 and another family's 3 with us!) and i'd suggest not spending too much money on anything until you are certain you like/need it. we did our first year borrowing stuff from people we knew via NCT and figured out what we needed to buy and got our first 'family' tent secondhand at a camping show (off someone who was upgrading, we took chance and asked them if we could buy their old one) and got a fab outwell hartford for £45! Did us for 3 years. Then sold it on for £45. check out sales, ebay and ask MNers if they have stuff to sell or via your local NCT newsletter.

Have fun, it's such a fab way of spending time

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