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first camping trip - which accessories to buy? I'm soooo excited!

(16 Posts)
motherducky Sun 07-Jun-09 08:53:10

Now you've all helped me choose a tent I'm weighing up all the extras.. I blew the budget already just deciding on the tent so really shouldn't buy too much else! This is definately the exciting part isn't it?

Must fit everything into a xsara picasso boot - have no idea what will fit - any camping xsara picasso owners out there?.

to buy:

Tent and footprint (vango tigris 800grin)

king-size/extra long airbed - they all seem to cost £40+, surely there must be a cheaper option, really can't have dh with his head hanging off the top of the bed! We have sleeping bags etc. I have decided not to buy the carpet or porch this year (have to make some sacrifices!)

lights - Aldi seem to have a good collection, but which should I go for? how much light do they give off? We have torches.

How on earth do we cook? we are going with friend this time who have said we can share thiers, but won't be every time, so should we get this or will find something better at a reasonable price when we need it? what do you do for gas - do Ineed to take a great big heavy gas thing with us (imagines car exploding with camping gear halfway down the motorway..)? Or what about a barbecue?

Where - I read in the tent is a big no-no, so... under a sheltered windbreak (see below)? on what? - like the camping cupboad below, but I don't want to be dragging that outside with me do I? Very confused! Maybe I should just buy the extension, but which type for cooking, and don't you have to pay extra on site for that though?

Wind break - does anyone know whether a wooden one would fit into the boot of a xsara picasso (I don't have the car @mo to measure the boot)? Otherwise I am seriously tempted by this, or less excited about this.

camping cupboard - probably not necessary but I've fallen in love iwth the one in Aldi's leaflet (after some persuasion even got dh's approval!), with a hard top for food preparation, putting down drinks etc, room to store all dd's food that we'll HAVE to take with us, and just being a little bit camping-gadgety blush. I hope the doors zip shut.. do you think a cooker on top would be OK?

And what about these mats? and these chairs we already have children's chairs and a child's table.

Phew, that was a long one.

Slubberdegullion Sun 07-Jun-09 09:14:23

oooh it is exciting isn't it, buying all the stuff grin. I love it too [addict]

okey dokey

so essentials are

tent - tick
pegs (I presume these are coming with the tent)
mallet to bang them in with.

Does your tent come with a porch or a doorway that you can pole out to make a canopy? If the porch is big enough (ie not right next to the only door) then you can cook there, or under the canopy with a wind break around.

I'm not a fan of the plastic windbreaks. I'm a cotton/stripy/wooden pole girl myself (I think they are sturdier and quieter) but that is a personal choice.

Can't help with the airbeds I'm afraid. We have thermarests and DH is a short arse. Someone here will be a tall camper grin

I'd borrow your friend's stove this time and then wander around the site while you are there and see what other folk are cooking on. I've no experience of Aldi cooking stuff. We have a camping gaz stove that does exactly what is written on the tin.
I presume you can use your mate's pans and crockery/cutlery too?

You do NOT need a cupboard (yet!!!) A few boxes with lids will be fine. You can prepare food on a chopping board resting on the top.

Lights: we have headtorches and one wind up light. We go to bed early (well before it is pitch dak) as we have early risers. We take a couple of solar garden lights that act as soft nightlights in the tent. I prefer not to be fart arsing about with batteries.

phew also a long post!

Slubberdegullion Sun 07-Jun-09 09:19:14

oh a bit more from me

imvho the bits to spend AS MUCH as possible on are the tent, what you sleep on, what you sleep in. You want a dry tent that wont blow over and something reliable and WARM to sleep on and in.

We I splurged big time on the thermarets, but they are guarranteed for a life time and they are marvellously warm and comfy to sleep on. If you are going with the airbed option then max out on your budget. Being a tired, cold camper is not conducive to the in-tent family love.

Unless you are a hardy type? (I have crossed you off as being a minimalist camper as you are already looking at cupboards grin). SOME people seem to survive sleeping on those tiny thin roll out mats. They are very hard (the campers and the mats)

motherducky Sun 07-Jun-09 09:21:27

Nooooooooo don't tell me I don'r need the cupboard! [sticks finger in ears] la la la... (sorry blush)

yes, that is my feeling about the plastic wind breaks, although they do fold up smaller and can come with canopies... I wonder if you can you take the plastic ones to the beach like you can the wooden ones?

The vango does have a canopy thing at the front - if you put up the beg end door with the king poles - I think (please someone tell me if I'm wrong) but this is just infront of where we will have one of the bedrooms, so I don't know whether this will risk the bedroom pod getting wet/burnt. But that is all

Thrifty Sun 07-Jun-09 09:27:39

i like the look of the aldi cooker, and its cheap too. however, we managed just fine with the briefcase hobs like these we have 2 but we only seem to use one at a time, but there are only 2 and a 1/2 of us. a grill would be useful but we make toast on the hob.

as for where to cook, if your tent is big eenough you can cook inside, ours is quite ssmall so we cook outside behind your run-of-tthe-mill stripey beach windbreak (its quite bbig though) and both the windbreaks you've cchosen pack up small, like a tent and require guy lines to hold them up. (no good on sand but fine on grass) a consideration for the trippyness whilst carrying hot pans of food.

if your not buying a tent carpet, get a large picnic blanket, you'll really appreciate it. oh and a 99p doormat to wipe your feet on, as no matter how warm it is there will always be wet grass in the morning.

Slubberdegullion Sun 07-Jun-09 09:32:06

Have you a link of your tent?

The plastic windbreaks are smaller, yes. Not sure about folding up. The khyam one with the canopy looks good (some good reviews on ukcs about it). If you are using your friend's stove then is that not going to stay on their pitch? If it is then again I'd hold off buying more stuff and have a butchers at other people's set ups when you get to the site.

RESIST THE CUPBOARD. You really, really don't need one. It is just more STUFF in valuable space in your boot.

Oh what about a cool box/ice blocks? Are you taking food? Do you need to keep stuff cold?

Thrifty Sun 07-Jun-09 09:36:14

agree a cupboard is not important, but plastic boxes with lids are great and stack well, use for everything, even clothes.

oh and if you can fit it in a wooden pole windbreak as great for hanging your wet stuff on (dont forget to take half a dozen pegs). essentials are washing up stuff, 2 pans/1 fying pan, sharp knives and chopping board (we bought a cheapy set from qd a few years ago , board is a bit flimsy, but the knives are great and they were only a couple of quid.)
tbh we took an airbed at easter, we were cold and uncomfortable. not tried the fat airics, but am seriously tempted.
i think we are going to get a canopy for cooking under in the rain, but are currently undecided as to which one is best for us/our tent.

Thrifty Sun 07-Jun-09 09:53:22

oh, and if you can stretch to it, get some nice melamine crockery, we used plastic to start with but its nice to have the extra weight to eat off (if that makes sense).

Thrifty Sun 07-Jun-09 10:07:21

ooo... just looking at the aldi website that cupboard does look nice, i can see how you'd be seduced by that grin
actually their tent looks good too, for a cheapy one, it looks easy to put up and has a HHC of 3000 which is as good as the expensive ones, looks in the picture as if its got a sewn in ground sheet too.
<< ponders about buying new tent from aldi>>

spokette Sun 07-Jun-09 10:23:20

Motherducky, I bought the camping stove and kitchen stand from Aldi that you showed in your first link.

They are of excellent quality and we have used them several times and are very satisfied with their

motherducky Sun 07-Jun-09 13:08:24

Okay, I agree to hold off on the stove etc. Spokette, I think if you've bought it in a previous year I shall just have to hope it is there next year.

Still want the cupboard though - it has a really practical hard top (we don't have a table so one steady hard surface would be good), two side by side sections each with a shelf making it perfect for separating our gluten-filled food from dd's gluten free - definately don't want her glutened when we are camping! Have I persuaded anybody that I am not being that silly yet grin? I will agree to only buying it if it folds up quite small though.

We have a normal cool box, I looked at Aldi's electric one but I don't know much about them, or whether the picasso has a socket in the boot for it - would be a waste of money otherwise!

Does anybody have a picasso?

motherducky Sun 07-Jun-09 13:22:09

here's the tent gorgeous isn't it smile

Actually I'd be quite happy (probably prefer it except for the cold) to sleep in my sleeping bag straight on the floor, but Dh would refuse to go camping if we did that. I still shudder at the thought of an air bed sad.

To try to explain, I am minimalist-long-ago-camper trying adjust to family camping with a definately NOT minimalist-camper Dh. The only thing is I hate bugs and mud inside tents. I really like the big tents for families with all the space inside for rainy days, and the cupboard is probably more for Dh's sake than mine - but I've really fallen for it anyway. Personally I'd rather just have a BBQ every night, but then I don't drink coffee or anything so...

Ivykaty44 Sun 07-Jun-09 13:27:20


TheMadHouse Sun 07-Jun-09 13:31:25

I have the aldi old ten, cooking stove etc - it is all great stuff. I am going to buy the cubard this week and the airer, as we always have loads of wet towels etc.

I have a grand scienic and we managed to get loads in the boot last year. However, we are taking DH's car with a roof box on this time for our long week away (mine has a sun roof, so wont take a roof box)

VanillaPumpkin Sun 07-Jun-09 14:57:46

We have one of those little briefcase single burner stoves. It was perfect. I am tempted to get a second one of those rather than a full on cooker thing due to the gas cannisters used but I haven't done my homework properly yet.
I started a thread on here about essentials for our first weekend away. It was so useful for us so might be worth a read through here

We also have Fat Airics to sleep on and can't recommend them enough. We were so comfortable, but they are expensive (though not as much as Thermarests) and possibly out of stock...

You do not need the cupboard grin, but you will find a little table useful. We took an old wooden coffee table and the girls ate sat up at that and we put the hob on it and I prepared food on it. It was easy to move about - essential.

We had a head torch, a coleman torch and hurricane lamp (inherited), but went to bed when it got dark and so only really used the torch a little bit.

I will be taking eye masks and ear plugs for ALL of us next time.

I love the windbreaks you have linked too. I want one for our next trip....that and the extension...You and your DH def need chairs too and picnic blankets.

Have fun!!!

lunavix Wed 10-Jun-09 00:22:16

can you get pretty windbreaks? -ponders-

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