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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 24th Jun 08, 1:48 PM
    • 1,228Posts
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    MSE Jenny
    0 WOW
    Great Camping Hunt
    • #1
    • 24th Jun 08, 1:48 PM
    0 WOW
    Great Camping Hunt 24th Jun 08 at 1:48 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 24-06-2008 at 7:11 PM.
Page 1
    • jamtart6
    • By jamtart6 24th Jun 08, 9:43 PM
    • 8,650 Posts
    • 25,443 Thanks
    jamtart6
    • #2
    • 24th Jun 08, 9:43 PM
    Top tips for camping...
    • #2
    • 24th Jun 08, 9:43 PM
    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!!!
    Last edited by jamtart6; 25-06-2008 at 2:47 PM.

    Being Thrifty Gifty again this year


    • iamsam
    • By iamsam 24th Jun 08, 10:11 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    iamsam
    • #3
    • 24th Jun 08, 10:11 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Jun 08, 10:11 PM
    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!
    Last edited by iamsam; 24-06-2008 at 10:13 PM.
  • Archers
    • #4
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:23 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:23 PM
    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.
    Last edited by Archers; 24-06-2008 at 11:25 PM.
    I say what I like, I like what I say!
    • amanda40
    • By amanda40 24th Jun 08, 11:26 PM
    • 1,202 Posts
    • 619 Thanks
    amanda40
    • #5
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:26 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:26 PM
    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.
    Last edited by amanda40; 24-06-2008 at 11:27 PM. Reason: typo
    No Longer addicted to Boots! - Well not today anyway!!

    Officially Mortgage free 31/07/2017 , 12 years early
    • jamtart6
    • By jamtart6 24th Jun 08, 11:46 PM
    • 8,650 Posts
    • 25,443 Thanks
    jamtart6
    • #6
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:46 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Jun 08, 11:46 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by amanda40

    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.
    Last edited by jamtart6; 24-06-2008 at 11:51 PM.

    Being Thrifty Gifty again this year


    • BillScarab
    • By BillScarab 25th Jun 08, 7:57 AM
    • 5,935 Posts
    • 4,559 Thanks
    BillScarab
    • #7
    • 25th Jun 08, 7:57 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Jun 08, 7:57 AM
    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


    • busiscoming2
    • By busiscoming2 25th Jun 08, 8:49 AM
    • 4,337 Posts
    • 11,522 Thanks
    busiscoming2
    • #8
    • 25th Jun 08, 8:49 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Jun 08, 8:49 AM
    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.
    • TrickyDicky
    • By TrickyDicky 25th Jun 08, 9:33 AM
    • 656 Posts
    • 228 Thanks
    TrickyDicky
    • #9
    • 25th Jun 08, 9:33 AM
    • #9
    • 25th Jun 08, 9:33 AM
    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.
    Last edited by TrickyDicky; 25-06-2008 at 9:39 AM.
  • markann24
    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.
  • markann24
    Happy Camping !
    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.
    • Fulham_Mark
    • By Fulham_Mark 25th Jun 08, 10:48 AM
    • 238 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    Fulham_Mark
    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.
  • markusG
    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 www.gbcamping.com/campsites 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-
    Hello,

    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
    • pinkkaz
    • By pinkkaz 25th Jun 08, 11:03 AM
    • 519 Posts
    • 690 Thanks
    pinkkaz
    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.
    Originally posted by TrickyDicky
    I can particularly recommend Alpkit's (www.alpkit.com) self-inflating roll mats. They're amazing! Really light and just takes one puff to blow them up.

  • spammeplease
    Check the classified ads
    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
    • alahol2
    • By alahol2 25th Jun 08, 11:13 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    alahol2
    Campsite review site
    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 http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/index.asp has user reviews of hundreds of campsites here and abroad. We use it regularly and find it accurate.
    • yorksbabe
    • By yorksbabe 25th Jun 08, 11:16 AM
    • 202 Posts
    • 214 Thanks
    yorksbabe
    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!
    • pinkpinkfizz
    • By pinkpinkfizz 25th Jun 08, 11:43 AM
    • 530 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    pinkpinkfizz
    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.

    Make sure you price check everything before you buy online( dont forget the postage) as the varying prices are amazing.

    http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/ 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!!
    pinkpinkfizz

    I MSE
  • saver6
    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!
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