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Help. First time camper wants to go minimal, possible with kids?

(25 Posts)
Lovesdogsandcats Thu 25-Jun-09 19:15:45

Sorry this has beeen done before I know.
I have been looking at the tent pics of peoples tents on ukCampsite and oh my god, people have like full set ups as if they are trying to re-create their own kitchens inside a tent!!
Look here

They even have, of all things, a bin!!

I don't want all this stuff. Apart from it not being like real camping, it must take ages to pack, then you have to find room for your actual selves in the car. Then the hassle of getting it set up, then packed away at the end!

BUT I don't want to find I have arrived on my first camping trip and that I NEED things.

So, what do I deffo need.
There is a minimalist camper on here, is it overmydeadbody? Sorry if i got that wrong, but whoever it is I want to be like you!

I was going to not even bother with the cooker, and eat out/cold stuff like sandwiches but even then do you need a table, knives, somewhere to butter bread, somewhere to store the butter and cheese etc! And I cannot so without tea, so need one ring and a kettle and cups!

I have tried to visualise a 24 day, so get up...hmmmm need tea. Kids play/go for walk with dogs...time for lunch. What if its a site with no shops nearby, will need to do a big shop for the weekend but where to store stuff. Then it goes, round in circles. Also if we do pick a site with shops etc, it willbe difficult as I have a demanding dog so want to go somewhere rather quiet for first trip.


chevre Thu 25-Jun-09 19:19:23

you need a cooker, get a triagia. remember it is not a competition. miminal + kids = misery.

chevre Thu 25-Jun-09 19:20:25

basics - cooker, coolbox, big plastic box(to keep food in and. doubles as a table). chairs are good

Crunchie Thu 25-Jun-09 19:23:32

I'm afraid the kit means a good holiday IMHO, we have a bin - yes sorry!! A fridge - runs on gas so no need for electric hook up
Campkitchen/cooker - v v important, 2 tables, chairs, rugs etc etc

HOWVERE we go for a week ata time and it takes 1hour from arrival to cup of team or cold beer!!

Funny, that's not my tent, but it could easily be my kitchen, the only givaway, is that mine is much better organized and considerably cleanergrin.

OMDB has gone camping, but I'm sure she will give you lote of pointers when she gets back.

sarah293 Thu 25-Jun-09 19:28:28

Message withdrawn

Goober Thu 25-Jun-09 19:32:45

I bought my first tent yesterday, it will arrive tomorrow. Have never camped before. DH says he never will, but kids want to have a go, so I will take them!
I plan to buy: Sleeping bags, A lantern, Chairs, some kind of stove and compromise with some pans, cutlery etc. from home.

Slubberdegullion Thu 25-Jun-09 19:51:28

pah OMDG was a minimalist camper until she let slip about the mascara and eyeshadow AND issues about non ironed clothes

<rolls eyes>

It's all horses for courses innit, some folk love going camping with just a rucksack others prefer the whole kit and caboodle in a trailer.

As Riven said, tent, sleeping bag, trangia, saucepan, bowl cup and spoon and maybe a torch and a toothbrush.

Slubberdegullion Thu 25-Jun-09 19:52:09

OMDB that should be, no idea who OMDG is hmm

Lovesdogsandcats Thu 25-Jun-09 21:05:16

Thanks everyone, am liking Rivens idea of just a few things!
Riven what do you do about food, do you buy daily, go to sites with a shop?

sarah293 Fri 26-Jun-09 08:09:24

Message withdrawn

Fennel Fri 26-Jun-09 11:43:40

We go very minimally sometimes (backpacking in the wild with 3 smallish dc), and other times mediumly - big tent and stove but still not 1/2 the stuff most other people seem to take.

We sometimes go without cooker, and take cold stuff, and go to cafes. (or, in the wilds, just have cold stuff). I am addicted to coffee in the mornings but even then, can do without at a pinch.

Go to a quiet site but with a shop onsite or nearby. Even many quiet sites have a small shop.

steamedtreaclesponge Fri 26-Jun-09 11:49:14

Minimalist camping definitely possible with kids. No need for a proper bin - just use plastic bags. We just take a coolbox for storing milk etc, although obv if you're going for longer than a couple of days you'd be better off just doing a small shop for cold things every couple of days.

As far as food goes, as Fennel says is easy to survive on cold stuff and cafes. If you do want to cook, you'll need a saucepan or two, stove, cutlery, mug and plate each, and ideally a chopping board and sharp knife. Don't forget the salt/pepper/ketchup either! And take a teatowel and washing up liquid too, I always forget about that until the time comes to clean my greasy saucepans!

Fennel Fri 26-Jun-09 11:52:19

You don't need a chopping board. A plate will do. and a penknife.

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 29-Jun-09 14:59:58

Thanks all, this is all going to help me when i make my 'must have' list!

Overmydeadbody Mon 29-Jun-09 15:18:35

Yay, someone wants to be like me!! gringrin

Ok, I have just got back from a long weekend of minimalist camping. We had to get there via bikes, a train and a bus ride. It was myself and DS who's 6.

This is what we took:

Two towels
sleeping bag each
very small backpacker's tent (no space to stand up, wouldn't use it for anything longer than weekend)
one fleece each
trackybums and long tshirt to sleep in
teo t shirts each, one pair of shorts each and the trousers we wore for the journey
waterproof jackets
underwear and swimsuits (beach camping trip)
swiss army knife
two sporks
a trangia
first-aid kit
washbag with toothbrushes, toothpaste, tiny shower gel, mascara (blush) deodorant, wet wipes, hand gel, and suncream
a book for me and two books for DS
water bottles each
flip flops (we wore our hiking trainers)

We bought food each day once we where there, and went to the pub for supper one night.

I took teabags and sugar with me.

I also took DS's insulated lunchbox (we went straight from school on thursday) which I then kept the milk and cheese we bought in)

I'm sure there where a few other things that I've forgotten now.

I felt like a pack-horse. DS also had a large rucksack on. He carries his fair share grin

Overmydeadbody Mon 29-Jun-09 15:20:28

oh, I forgot:


We do take more with us if we have use of a car, this was a particularly minimalist weekend, and only really possible because the weather was so good that we didn't need many clothes.

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 29-Jun-09 16:58:50

Is the Trangia worth shelling out for as opposed to a single ring burner?
Am printing your list!

Overmydeadbody Mon 29-Jun-09 21:45:20

If you have the money, get a trangia.

I, unfortunately, don't own a trangia, but luckily have a very lovely friend who lent me hisgrin

When I'm in a car I just take my campingaz stove.

Trangias are much more efficient and quicker to cook on, and you get the saucepans and lids which double as bowls and plates and frying pans etc so the best thing for backpacking camping.

Lovesdogsandcats Wed 01-Jul-09 19:07:03

Hmmm a bit dear but might just go for it!

daisydancer Wed 01-Jul-09 20:02:25

Yes, flip flops essential for showers - if you're heading somewhere with the luxury of a shower!

oregonianabroad Wed 01-Jul-09 22:29:48

the single ring things for a tenner in go outdoors work pretty well imo. was v jealous of friend's when we went camping and my cookstove was taking an age to heat up.

Soups Thu 02-Jul-09 11:40:59

I go basic camping sometimes, it depends on what sort of trip and for how long.

A week to three weeks I take los of things, including a utility tent to set up a kitchen. I also backpack carrying just enough to get by if I'm doing a long walk.

Basic camping with the kids, short stay, going by car, I take:

Tent (vango beta 450), mallet, pegs
4 x self inflating mats
4 x sleeping bags
4 x head torch
Bag for clothes & wash stuff
Books, Top Trumps + ball
Coolbox (put all food in it, it's large)
Picnic rug to sit on. Sometimes I take a couple of beach chairs 31030

Smallish plastic box containing:
4 x high sided plates (also use as bowl)
4 x cups
4 x sporks
wooden spoon
multitool (cork screw / can opener / bottle opener)
Very small chopping board

Soups Thu 02-Jul-09 11:48:31

My personal backpacking kit is:

Sleeping bag
Clean pants, socks, t-shirt and thick PJ's
Basic personal hygiene bits
sachets of Latte (don't have to take milk
Wayfayer meals or dehydrated.
Water bottle
Waterproof trousers and jacket.

It all fits into a 55l backpack. I'm going to get a MSR pocket rocket and titanium kettle to use instead of the trangia. As it's much lighter and I can ditch the mug, I eat straight out of the meal pouch anyway.

Soups Thu 02-Jul-09 11:50:21

I forgot head torch, blacksack and microfibre towel off above list.

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