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Great Camping Hunt

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
249 replies 240.7K views
MSE_JennyMSE_Jenny MSE Staff
1.3K posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
You don't need the credit crunch or festival going as an excuse to unpack the tent: exploring the great outdoors is an easy way to get away on the cheap. We thought we’d tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge on the best value ways to camp.

What essential gear should you take … camp stoves, picnics, beer? How do you find the perfect spot to pitch up? How do you grab a bargain tent, that won’t mean waking up in a soggy sleeping bag?

Please post below to share you ideas.

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Replies

  • jamtart6jamtart6 Forumite
    8.3K posts
    For camping...not really festival camping...

    (1) Don't scrimp on a tent, even if you are only planning to go for a few times per year. We got a poor quality one from Argos (£60) and during a wet and windy night (and sleepless), the poles snapped in one place and the tent leaked. It swiftly got taken back to the shop and replaced by a good one!

    (2) If you can get to the Gelert outlet in Porthmadog, North Wales, they do ex-display tents (perfect condition, pss the odd peg missing) for 40%-70% of the original price. We got an 8 man Gelert frame tent, reduced from £150 to £60....

    (3) Get a tent big enough to stand up in, its quite miserable when it rains and you have to poke about in a tiny tent

    (4) Get a dynamo lantern, never worry about forgetting/running out of batteries, and a decent source of light

    (5) Get a large storage box like this to put your gas stove, matches, baby wipes, disposable bbq, bbq tools, plates, cups, knives, forks, spoons, fire lighters etc in, its all in one place, and no opening and closing boots 20 times each time you have to cook. Disposable BBQs are a godsend...no cleaning!

    (6) We take an airbed!!!

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

  • iamsamiamsam Forumite
    106 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    A thermarest, although expensive, is a lightweight alternative to a foam mat (or airbed) and helps to get a comfortable nights sleep, even in a tent.

    Scotland is great for camping, not least because the Land Reform (Scotland) Act established the right to wild camp as part of the countryside access laws (obviously, you should exercise this right with consideration to others). The downside of camping in Scotland is, of course, the midges.

    Old camera film tubes (if you can find any nowadays) make great storage containers for salt, sugar, and spices - anything to liven up the daily dose of noodles!
  • ArchersArchers Forumite
    10 posts
    I go camping every year & my "must haves" are:

    * 3 windbreaks to place in front of the tents for privacy

    * a fridge with car adapter (they cost around £50 from Halfords but are so brilliant). Plug them in over night & then place them next to the windbreaks in the shade & you'll find your items stay cold for days!

    * Table & chairs

    * Water container & washing lines

    * Camping lantern & citronella candles to keep the moths away

    * Spare blankets for any cold nights

    * Stove with kettle, pots & pans + washing up bowl

    * Large box as "jamtart6" has already mentioned with plates, bowls, mugs & cutlery in

    * Tent big enough to stand up in - there's nothing worse than trying to get dressed/changed whilst lying down (get standing room!)

    Try campsites in Wales. There are some great campsites there with gorgeous scenery...some are even right next to a beach! Plus loads well off the "tourist track" so the prices are more reasonable.
    I say what I like, I like what I say!
  • amanda40amanda40 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    We bought a rechargable lantern from Tesco - it comes with a mains and a cigarette adaptor - really bright too - It was £20 but will save a fortune in the log run with no batteries to shell out for. I would also look for a tent with a complete sewn in groundsheet - keeps the beasties and the puddles out.
    No Longer addicted to Boots! - Well not today anyway!! :blushing:

    Officially Mortgage free 31/07/2017 , 12 years early :j
  • jamtart6jamtart6 Forumite
    8.3K posts
    amanda40 wrote: »
    We bought a rechargable lantern from Tesco - it comes with a mains and a cigarette adaptor - really bright too - It was £20 but will save a fortune in the log run with no batteries to shell out for. I would also look for a tent with a complete sewn in groundsheet - keeps the beasties and the puddles out.

    got one from boots.com last xmas, the national trust did one for £20, but it was on 342 so worked out at £13.3333333 * edit: plus points so worth looking out for this year!


    Agreed...most tents nowadays are with removable groundsheets, in my experience of tent 1 and tent 2 this = insects, cold, more flapping of tent in windy conditions


    We also bought a set of these for camping, 3 pans and a kettle..got them from Argos for a tenner...kettle was £7 cheapest price anywhere else, so the pans were a bonus!, lightweight, compact etc.

    This is a brilliant website to decide where to camp (clicky!) with lots of reviews, tarrif info, links to websites etc.

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • Buy a tent bigger than you think you need. For four people you need a six man tent, for two you need a three man tent etc. Manufacturers are notoriously over ambitious in the amount of people they think will fit in a space.

    Dont' buy your camping stuff now wait until the autumn/winter to buy it when it is likely to be reduced.

    Thermarests are excellent but expensive, lots of comapnies make similar mats for far less. They're not as light but if you're camping out of a car it's not an issue.

    You can use lots of cheap stuff when camping but don't scrimp on the tent or sleeping bags.
    It's my problem, it's my problem
    If I feel the need to hide
    And it's my problem if I have no friends
    And feel I want to die


  • busiscoming2busiscoming2 Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    We don't tent camp we caravan, but our first caravan had no hot water and no shower etc, we used to take a large flask with us and everytime we boiled the kettle for tea/coffee we saved the extra water in the flask, so if you needed hot water to wash kids faces etc, it was there 'on tap' rather than having to go to the block. May be useful in a tent too.
  • TrickyDickyTrickyDicky Forumite
    664 posts
    Make sure you get a half decent roll mat. It can be amazing how much body heat can be sucked into the ground. Ive camped out near durham in november and febuary with just a rollmat and a good sleeping bag and had a lovely warm night.

    you dont need to take a pillow. Take a pillow case and fill it with clothes/towel or even use your rucksack.

    Buy sleeping bag liners to save you having to wash your whole sleeping bag, or make your own by sewing old bedsheets together. They also add another layer of insulation (remember, its about trapped air, not thickness of layers that keep you warm). These pack up really small so dont take up much room.

    When you dont have an airbed or comfy matress (like in the scouts), when you place your tent/rollmat, make a dip/dig a hole where your hips are when you lie down. This means you can confortably lie on your side on the harder ground. And if you are camping on a slope, always sleep with your head at the top of the slope, so pitch your tent accordingly.

    When pitching the tent, keep the inner and out layers as separated as possible. The touching layers will cause a leak because it breaks the surface tension of the water of the outer layer. This is also made worse by placing bags against the wall of the tent, as it will often push the two layers together. So try to keep stuff away from the tent walls.
  • Hi,
    We have camped for years and now have the luxury of a caravan, but old habits die hard.
    I always found taking a pressure cooker was good for the family, great one pot recipies can be found on the web, it also saves on gas for quick cooking.

    I agree with large plastic boxes, having everything organised into them saves time and effort when packing. Also a colapsable crate for carrying dirty dishes to washing up points, it doubles up as an extra table.

    I always have a supply of paper plates, who needs to be washing up after a sandwich?

    Biggest tip - join the camping & caravanning club, you can save a mint on campsite fees, and some of their holiday sites are attached to commercial sites so you can use their facilities for a fraction of the cost. It costs £35 + £7 joining fee (1st year only) you can save this in 2 or 3 nights.
  • Hi,
    We have camped for years and now have the luxury of a caravan, but old habits die hard.
    I always found taking a pressure cooker was good for the family, great one pot recipies can be found on the web, it also saves on gas for quick cooking.

    I agree with large plastic boxes, having everything organised into them saves time and effort when packing. Also a colapsable crate for carrying dirty dishes to washing up points, it doubles up as an extra table.

    I always have a supply of paper plates, who needs to be washing up after a sandwich?

    Biggest tip - join the camping & caravanning club, you can save a mint on campsite fees, and some of their holiday sites are attached to commercial sites so you can use their facilities for a fraction of the cost. It costs £35 + £7 joining fee (1st year only) you can save this in 2 or 3 nights.We go to Cornwall and have saved a few hundred £s over the years.
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