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Camping list for the pensive camping virgin.

(13 Posts)
Putty Tue 30-Jun-09 21:02:32

Camping virgin. Help. My head is spinning with the amount of information. Not least on here, where there are so many seasoned campers. We are shortly going camping, meeting up with other campers. The site is booked for two nights.

But we have no gear, nothing, nada, rien.

I don’t want to shell out too much, because I don’t know if we (okay, let’s be honest, I, ME, comfort junkie) will find it a bit too much for our (mutter. Okay, MY) gentle sensibilities. I’m not that bad, I don’t mind the idea of grotty sleeping or not showering for a night or two, but have peculiar issues about the ground we sleep on, which I will go further on in another thread, as this one is going to be long enough already. Friends who are joining us have already suggested not to bother with sleeping bags, and that duvets will be sufficient. They are also bringing all the cooking and eating gear, but to make life easier, I will chuck a few Bob the Builder/Disney Princess plastic-tat plates, cups and cutlery in the car. I don’t care about eating off Disney as long as I eat/drink. I am sure that luke warm wine from a winnie the pooh mug tastes as good as from a Riedel glass after a day of mooching around hedgerows.

So I am putting together a list. A Pensive Camper list.

1) A double duvet. (All four of us often end up under and over this in one go. I presume it will be sufficient?) *Have already.*
2) 2yo’s grobag Have already
3) random old dusty sleepingbag from attic. 5yo might like it (Or should I get a cheap pink one from somewhere.) *Have already.*
4) Should I get a self inflating mat, or a double air mattress? *Need to buy.*
5) Cool box. This is not optional. Protein and Calcium for children. Milk for tea. Cheese for biscuits. Wine. But should I get one of those plug into the car ones, or one of those extra insulated posh ones? What would you get, at all budgets? *Need to buy.*
6) Two garden foldable chairs. Well loved, slightly dangerous to plonk down heavily on, as are a bit threadbare, but very comfortable. *Have already.*
7) Two water resistant backed picnic blankets. *Have already.*
8) Tent. Small matter of tent. Not sure about this. The last time I went camping I was 19 and in love, and it didn’t really matter that there were beach bugs jumping inside my sleeping bag and there were gale force winds, because, well, I was preoccupied. This time around I am more interested in my own creature comforts and in keeping two small children dry, occupied and un-miserable. So I am guessing that a minimum 4 berth, with a standing room internal section. A sewn in ground sheet thing, without knowing much about it has already passed my necessary list. (Creatures. Rain. Etc.) It also needs to not get too hot, so I guess breathable with four hot wriggling sleepers in it.

Tent again. I am splitting this into two sections because it is a BIG THING. I’m in two minds because part of me wants to skimp in case I hate the whole experience, but if the tent is crap then it will make it a crap experience, so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing. If it is good enough, and we are all miserable, I can always sell it on on Ebay. We won’t be miserable though. DP, and DCs will love it regardless of whether I end up going bananas or not. Can you get a good tent that won’t drive me bananas for up to 200 pounds that would have a good resale value? *Need to buy.*
9) Should I get one of those foldable tables in Aldi (circa 20 quid)? I like the idea of having a table. *Need to Buy*
10) LED lanterns and torches. *Have Already*

Anything else for newbie pensive camper?

WhereTheWildThingsWere Tue 30-Jun-09 21:21:24

Lots of tents in your price range here, if there are 4 of you then you will really need a 6 man to be comfortable.

Outwell and Vango in particular are very good makes and will have a good re-sale value should this prove neccessarygrin.

Er other stuff your list is quite exhaustive, towels? I would suggest you may be best to take some extra blankets in case the duvet doesn't prove enough, it's miserable to be cold and warm pj's too.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Tue 30-Jun-09 21:30:31

Oh personally I prefer airbeds, I have two of these.

Cool box-we have just a big picnic coolbox and lots of ice-pack and tend to stay at sites where they have a freezer you can use and rotate them to keep stuff cold.

This kind of basic table, good, this kind of table, generally very badgrin, will tend to collapse or act like a seesaw.

geekgirl Tue 30-Jun-09 21:35:18

if you're using air beds you will still need mats underneath [speaking from bitterly cold experience here]

In terms of table, we have one of those all-in-one things with four seats and a table that unfolds. It's great - most compact option and folds up in a flash.

Re. the coolbox I would get a gas-powered one so you have a fridge whereever you go and aren't reliant on having ice packs frozen on site. You can get decent-sized ones that will hold enough food for you all for a weekend. Probably only worth doing if you decide that camping is for you...

geekgirl Tue 30-Jun-09 21:39:33

mmmh see I like those tables. Our's is stable and doesn't wobble about. We have a motorhome and it's nice to be able to just chuck one item into the garage, rather than arseing about with 4 chairs and a table.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Tue 30-Jun-09 21:45:55

Apologies for dissing your table geekgirlgrin.

I have just had very bad experiences with them, have had one collapse when 4 of us sat down to eat, ended up picking sausages, mash and peas out of the grasshmm.

Another time (and table) ds who was 3 at the time was sat alone eating his cornflakes, when a friend of ours (who was, to be fair about 14 stone heavier than ds) sat down at the other end, again table collaped and catapulted ds into the air, this time had to pick cornflakes off of a very upset ds.

Hence my earlier comments and deep distrust of such tables.grin

supersalstrawberry Tue 30-Jun-09 21:49:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scrambled Tue 30-Jun-09 22:46:02

defo something to put under yourselves at night. I'd go for self inflating mats, no faffing about with blowing them up. Also we've got a electric coolbox, and its great.

Putty Wed 01-Jul-09 10:45:34

What do you use to inflate your airbeds WTWTW?

And Scrambled.. how do you work your coolbox once in the campsite?

Fimbo Wed 01-Jul-09 10:52:44

We went novice camping in May. It was quite warm during the day but the temp really dropped at night. I naively went to bed the first night in a t-shirt and leggings. It was cold, bitterly bitterly cold.

We had to go out the next day and buy additional sleeping bags for the dc to go inside the ones they already had. Then I bought woollen hats and ski socks.

Overmydeadbody Wed 01-Jul-09 11:08:47

Take plenty of clothes that can be layered up so you are warm at night. Leggings under tracky bums if it is cold, and a few long sleeved t shirts that can be worn together under a jumper.

Also take hats if it is going to be cold, then you can sit out at night for longer drinking wine and eating crackers and cheese.

Take flip flops/crocs as well as proper shoes. They are good for trips to the loos, showers and walking around on dewey grass in the morning.

If your kids have waterproof trousers take them, and put them on them first thing in the morning so when they are running around on dewey grass they stay dry.

If you like your creature comforts, then take them with you. I don't bother with pillows, but if you have room in the car, take them with you.

Don't forget insect repellant. Vital this time of year.

Putty Wed 01-Jul-09 23:06:32

Yes, I have bought my insect repellant. I may not have a tent, but I have my insect repellant. And my pillow. I take my pillow everywhere. Hotel pillows are so rubbish.

I fear I am not cut out for camping. Watch this space...

specialmagiclady Thu 02-Jul-09 12:02:56

I would have said same, but once you get your snuggly duvet (plus blankets underneath you and on top) and your snuggly airbed sorted, it's comfier than some lumpy hotel bed (Unless you are cashed up enough to go 5 star natch)

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