Great Camping Hunt

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  • never camp at the bottom of a hill even if there is a nice lake or view. if it rains water always runs down hill and you will end up water logged trust us (the voice of experience) :eek:
  • Hi

    If you've got small kids consider taking a portaloo. We've been on campsites where we were at least a five minute walk from the facilities and having three little ones, the portaloo was a huge bonus.

    The Camping and Caravan Club are very keen on people having a fire bucket by their tents at all times and I personally think this is a good idea.

    I agree with large tents and plenty of headroom - we have a six berth dome tent for 5 of us that my 6'2" OH can walk around in. However, we did find that the length of time it takes to put up was putting us off going away for short breaks. So, we bought a smaller, cheaper tent just for weekends and that works really well.

    Also, we were finding that on a lot of sites now you automatically have electricity whether you want it or not, so we bought some electric hook-up gear and that's saved us a fortune on torch batteries.

    We haven't got a fridge (a bone of contention between OH and me) but we do have a large cool bag and lots of ice packs which we get frozen onsite on a daily basis.

    If you're going away for a couple of weeks, only take one weeks worth of clothes. Most campsites have washing machines, but we like to find a local laundrette that does service washes. That way we don't waste a day of our holiday watching washing spinning round.

    Finally, collapsible or pop-up storage boxes are invaluable. We have one for the washing up, one to keep food in, one for shoes and one for the kids toys. And we bought them from the Poundshop so they were cheap, they don't take up much space in the car and they keep your living space reasonably tidy.

    Can't think of anything else for now, but I'm sure I'll be back on boring you with something else later. I am a camping fanatic!!



  • 6. Tent foot print. This goes under the tent and is the same shape as the tent so you can work out the best position on the pitch before you start. Also keeps the underneath of the tent clean and provides extra insulation.

    Fergal

    I'm a fairly experienced camper, but I've never heard of these. Sounds like a good idea though.

    Where can they be found?

    Thanks
  • We camped a lot when the 3 lads were younger (2 of them no longer want to spend very much time with us!!) and I found keeping everything we needed ready for last minute fine-weather weekends away was really useful. As well as camping equipment, keep toiletries and easy camping food in a box 'just in case'. Little trial packs of shampoo etc are handy to re-fill for short camping breaks. One summer, when we were dashing off most Fridays, I even had camping clothes and PJs permanently packed & I would just wash & re-pack them at home Sunday night.

    When camping, we would eat stuff that we would never have at home Tasted like luxury in the middle of a field!

    Get those chicken-roasting bags from supermarkets and you can put eg hot dogs in one bag, beans in another and heat them in a pan with boiling potatoes. Less washing up! Couscous is very quick and easy. Microwave rice and pasta can be boiled and it's much quicker than cooking the usual dried stuff.

    What also works well is making a bolognese / chilli / curry and taking it with you frozen. It keeps your food cold for the first day then is thawed ready to heat & eat on the second night.

    For buying new equipment, try Go Outdoors - don't think it's been mentioned yet. There is a big branch in Stockport but I'm not sure where else. They do sell online too, though.

    I got a Gelert 3-man tent last week in their 'summer madness' sale, reduced from £30-something to £10!!! Not sure why I got it...wishful thinking!! Also got a flat-bed stove reduced from >£10 to £5.

    Enjoy!
  • SavvysalSavvysal Forumite
    24 Posts
    [quote=markann24;11985899

    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.[/quote]

    Yes I agree - I've been a member for 3 years now and we've been all over as you have access to a nationwide network of official and certificated sites. Under 5s are free, and you earn points (how many depending on whether or not it is high medium or low season) which you can redeem for a free night per site booking, which helps keep costs down. Facilities, which tend to be clean and tidy tend to be good to phenomenal, although they do vary according to the site you visit.

    Whilst I've bought much of my camp gear at specialists store like Go Camping, Outdoor World and my local retailer, don't forget places like Aldi. My recent aquisitions from there include 4 self inflating mats by adventure ridge for £9.99 each (I found airbeds too cold - they seem to draw out your body heat even with extra blankets below you and als you have the pain of inflating and deflating them), an electric coolbox (complete with a 3 year warranty) that works either via mains hookup or via car battery (whilst engine's switched on) for £29.99 and a 20 LED remote control camping lantern for £9.99 again with warrenty- all of which work great.

    If you are a first time camper I would advise on not spending too much on a tent in case you find you don't like camping - my first tent was a Vango Venture 500 which cost me £89, but survived 5-6 camp trips. Also be prepared to make do with the basics until you're sure that you want to spend more. Be aware that no matter how well you plan, something always goes wrong and you learn something new about camping each time you go. So don't forget old newspapers to soak up rain and mud and always carry a supply of gaffer tape and cable ties for makeshift diy pole repairs if the wind snaps them - believe me I've been there!

    As for tent pegs - I can't recommend the yellow plastic gelert ones high enough - helped my current tent stay up in gale force winds no problem as they grip the ground much more successfully than conventional metal ones

    But don't forget you can have a lot of fun despite the vagaries of the British weather - me and my brood wouldn't have it any other way
  • Any good camping shop should have footprint ground sheets. I got mine for my Vango tent from Outdoor Megastore.

    http://www.outdoormegastore.co.uk/acatalog/Vango_Tents_Footprint_Groundsheets.html

    Fergal
  • coinchasercoinchaser Forumite
    204 Posts
    And don't forget to buy all your camping equipment online through a cash back site. I use quidco and simplyhike and got about £25 back when I bought my lovely tent and camping stove - and the tent and stove were the cheapest I could find so a real bargain.
    All this talk, and it's a sunny evening - feel like pitching in the garden!
  • SavvysalSavvysal Forumite
    24 Posts
    Any good camping shop should have footprint ground sheets. I got mine for my Vango tent from Outdoor Megastore.

    http://www.outdoormegastore.co.uk/acatalog/Vango_Tents_Footprint_Groundsheets.html

    Fergal

    Footprint groundsheets are a great idea - unfortunately they don't make them for all tents. I've got a Lichfield Arapaho 9 DLX now (who don't make them for this model) so I've made some extra groundsheets for the bedroom areas out of an old large footprint sheet I had and I also use an old groundsheet that I bought when flooded out in Oban whilst in the Vango Venture 500 under the riser groundsheet in the living area - worked a treat last time we camped out at Spring Bank. Helps keep the underside of the bedroom tents clean and helps keep things dry, especially if your ground sheet punctures which can happen.
  • StrangieStrangie Forumite
    14 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    We've got a couple of small dogs and would like to go camping and bring them along. I don't think they'd be welcome in a camping site as they'd be barking at the proximity of other tents and campers.

    Has anyone taken dogs camping? If so, where?
    Strangie

    2009: Celebrity Equinox Cruise inaugural launch event
  • We find that when camping with 2 kiddies and 2 adults that u quickly run out of space in the car.
    My car has no roof bars and as it is a rover, roof bars from halfords etc. seem to be expensive. Also dont have tow ball so trailer at moment is a none starter.
    Saw mentioned earlier about roof bags but these seem to rely on your car having roof bars. I may be wrong so am willing to be corrected.
    Found a product called the xrack. Has anyone tried one of these??? Appear to just lie on roof and is fixed to door and boot hinges.
    Also a lot cheaper than the conventional roof rack/bars.
    Any comments greatly appreciated
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