Great Camping Hunt



  • Fulham_MarkFulham_Mark Forumite
    242 Posts
    There is free camping in many parts of the Dartmoor national Park.
    Check the areas at a tourist info place. Don't camp in other areas!

    These places will be usually be in the hills so check the weather and be prepared but if camping in the wilderness, next to a gurgling brook and not being surrounded by other campers is your thing then it this is a great place to go.

    I'd also recommend the old mines on the Dorset coast. These are cut into the cliff-face but accessible by footpath. Can't pitch tent but take v comfy roll-mat and a warm sleeping bag. Watching the sun set over the sea and hearing the waves at night ... perfect.

    Beware that there could be many people there in summer plus the occaisional all-night party. Late autumn is best.
  • While we've generally had pretty good luck with wild camping (especially when doing trips down a river), my wife definitely prefers it when we camp somewhere with good loo facilities!

    Web listings like can be a useful resource, although it's always best to check directly with the campsite as the information on portal sites isn't always up to date.
  • lou-_3lou-_3 Forumite
    5 Posts

    For those who are hopeless at putting up tents, or for those who want to get on the booze sharpish, I highly recommend the Quechua pop up tents. They have a sewn in groundsheet, take two people and their stuff comfortably, take a second to pop up and my one has stayed dry in a hideous storm when I didn't put the guy ropes out. I have had it for several years and a few more festivals and I can't recommend it enough - the only thing it doesn't have is a porch, but if it's raining I just zip my head out of the door and tie a brolly to the top.

    Also, pegs, string and big scarves or towels make great wind breaks/shades between tents and have plenty of other uses
    it seemed like a good idea at the time to become a student already in debt; 10k and rising
  • pinkkazpinkkaz Forumite
    538 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.

    I can particularly recommend Alpkit's ( self-inflating roll mats. They're amazing! Really light and just takes one puff to blow them up.
  • If you want a larger sized tent my tip is: get a secondhand one. There seem to be plenty of people who decide to go camping with the family, buy all of the kit new, find that they (or their kids) don't like it and then flog the gear as new for a pittance. Get into the classifieds - Trade-It in our case

    Last year I bought a large Khyam for less than a third of RRP, this year I've clubbed together with 3 other families to buy a huge communal tent for 120 quid against a RRP of 650. We had plenty to choose from in both cases, so could be very tough on price.

    And I recommend a large Khyam - especially at 66% off!
    Wins - 2004: Nothing, 2005: Zip, 2006: Nil, 2007: Zero, 2008: Naught, 2009: You get the picture
  • alahol2alahol2 Forumite
    60 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Agree with getting a tent bigger than you think you need, and one that you can stand up in. Also the type with a 'sitting area' + separate bedroom area.
    For the kids we usually take a couple of 'pup' tents so they have got their own retreat. We have never yet found a site that has charged for them, usually you pay for a 'pitch' and if everything fits on the pitch there's no problem.
    Air beds all round with an underblanket, fitted sheet and a duvet make for luxurious nights.
    This site has user reviews of hundreds of campsites here and abroad. We use it regularly and find it accurate.
  • yorksbabeyorksbabe Forumite
    202 Posts
    hi we have been camping for few years now and have 3 tents of various sizes. always go for a good quality tent and look for hh rating ( important for when it rains!). we have all outwells but gelert are really good too. we also take blankets and we put one under our airbed for when it is colder on a night. if you look on ukcampsite they tell you everything you need to know. we go camping in 5 weeks and cant wait! happy camping!
  • We have recently started camping again after a break of a few years and have bought all our gear new this season. My moneysaving tips would be to check out the "Cheap" stores like poundland, Lidl & aldi. These have all had/have really good range of camping gear.

    I bought our roll mats, emergency reflective foil blankets (for use under airbeds to add insulation), rubber mallet, ufo light, water carrier, and small storage boxes all from poundland and saved a small fortune. I had to buy for the 6 of us so I needed this to be as thrifty as possible.:money:

    Make sure you price check everything before you buy online( dont forget the postage) as the varying prices are amazing. :eek: is THE place to go and read up on everything. Check out what is recommended by the majority, before you go and buy something to discover you should of bought something else, perhaps for a little more cost, but well worth the extra money.

    Camping is such great fun!! :T

    I :heartpuls MSE
  • saver6saver6 Forumite
    340 Posts
    I'd agree with the good quality tent. Wish I'd tried the tip to get a second hand one though!

    As we go away on short weekends quite often and usually at short notice, it can be annoying to spend too long getting everything ready to go away with. We bought a small trailer and stacked everything we need in it, and pack it away neatly at the end of each trip. Apart from clothes, we're always ready to go! We simply take it out of the garage, hitch it and go!
  • I'll also be one to recommend the Quechua tents. Mine cost me about £40 and has survived two very muddy Glastonbury's, a nine day festival in Benicassim, Spain and torrential rain in Scotland in October. I'm at the same Spanish music festival this year and although I'm not taking that same tent (as only I'm using it this year) I will be most likely returning to Decathlon to pick myself up one of the Quechua pop up tents.

    Decathlon is a great source for cheaper camping and hiking gear that I find to be of decent quality and reasonable to excellent prices. You can pretty much find everything you can in a Blacks, Millets or similar commercial outdoors store for much cheaper.

    Poundshops can be good though I wouldn't get any non branded torches from there as each one has been rubbish or not worked at all. On saying that they occassionally have decent gear in, I got a Cyba-Lite Mini LED torch which still serves me well and I can remember used to sell in Halfords for nearly a tenner if not more. It's bright and robust and cost me a quid, so its well worth popping your head in.

    On another note can anyone recommend the best place to get camp food from? Primarily the type that comes in a sealed bag that you only have to warm through or can eat straight out of the packet. The cheapest I have seen is Decathlon's which costs about £3.50 but I have no idea about the quality.
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