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Bugs

Guide to camping

Maybe a bit of an afterthought but I know a lot of you do this, wondered if anyone would care to write a virgin camper's guide with all the tips you have picked up through your experience - I'm sure this would be a good collaborative one too and a very downsizery type of holiday, I assume?

I'm terrified of camping as it looks dangerous (mad axemen and rogue cows), cold, uncomfortable, inconvenient, hungry and difficult. Any enthusiasts able to convince me otherwise?no smilies
monkey1973

My wife and I are about to go camping for the first time in a few weeks so we have still got to learn from our experiences. I'll maybe do a journal of how we get on.no smilies
Bugs

That would be absolutely ideal Monkey, where are you off to?no smilies
monkey1973

We're going to Kinloch Rannoch, a small town 20 miles west of Pitlochry in Perthshire "The Heart of Scotland". Its only going to be for a few days and we hope to go walking, cycling, taking photos and mibbe do a bit of foraging for good measure.
I've never been before but the wife went for the day last year with her college mates and said it was absolutely stunning.no smilies
monkey1973

Here's the viewno smilies
Northern_Lad

That's not the campsite is it? :shock:no smilies
Bugs

Never heard of it but it looks and sounds lovely, good place for your first trip as that view will surely make up for a lot of spiders in your tea :lol:no smilies
monkey1973

Bugs wrote:
.......a lot of spiders in your tea :lol:


Crikey! :shock: Don't mention that to the wifeno smilies
hils

!

camping is ace!
The only good night sleep I had whilst pregnant - and I was 8 months gone!

Treat yourself to an air bed and you'll be fine. A good warming spirit will keep you going too and it'll send you into a good deep sleep so the you can't hear the axe man coming. I favour Auchentoshen (sp?) single malt.no smilies
nora

Hils, I agree with you, an airbed is essential. Also a nice pillow and a hot water bottle.no smilies
Joey

If you are a virgin camper, stay away from boy scouts. :lol:no smilies
RoryD

Is Kinloch Rannoch far enough west to be midge country? If so, August could be just terrible for campingvirgins....Even with coil burners and mossie spray it can be quite challenging. We camped on the edge of Rannoch Moor at the top of Glencoe 10 years ago on the way up to Skye and it was pretty midgey then.

Am I being a big blouse?no smilies
otatop

We camp in Cornwall every summer - and have experienced all weather conditions. Here are a few thoughts :-
An airbed is essential. I take a fitted sheet and use my sleeping bag as a quilt - it's much more comfortable than being zipped in.
If you have children, you really need a tent that you can stand up and move around in.
Whisky is another essential - although now we have a little extra space in the car, we've invested in a camping fridge so we can have ginandtonics at 6 o'clock.
However basic the amenities - you can always have plenty of hot water for washing etc - if you leave it in the sun all day.
Nigel Slater's "Real Fast Food" is useful for meal ideas - and doesn't take up too much room.
Bacon tastes best when cooked and eaten out of doors.no smilies
Lozzie

Re: Guide to camping

Bugs wrote:
I'm sure this would be a good collaborative one too and a very downsizery type of holiday, I assume?



Cab, I wondered also about doing a piece about having a self-catering holiday abroad, and trying to stick to Downsizer/Ethical principles at the same time; would this be appropriate?

L xno smilies
tahir

Re: Guide to camping

Lozzie wrote:
would this be appropriate?

L x


Totally (sorry jumped in before Cab)no smilies
monkey1973

RoryD wrote:
Is Kinloch Rannoch far enough west to be midge country? ...........Am I being a big blouse?


I hope not and yes you are :D (although I'm saying this before I go and I may concur wholeheartedly when I come back)no smilies
Nanny

camping

always take a dog

if it gets cold at night you can put the dog in your sleeping bag.........they don't stick their elbows into you like kids do and will be pleased to have only one meal a day so puts cooking down to a minimum.

and of course if you have 3 canines and it gets really cold you can have a "3 dog night."

in the south atlantic mr nanny and those out on a yomp used to put penguins in their sleeping bags to keep warm.

when ever we go to the zoo, he has to go and look at the penguins and they just run up to him...perhaps they recognise daddy :shock:no smilies
RoryD

monkey1973 wrote:
RoryD wrote:
Is Kinloch Rannoch far enough west to be midge country? ...........Am I being a big blouse?


I hope not and yes you are :D (although I'm saying this before I go and I may concur wholeheartedly when I come back)


haha :lol: :lol:

In case... get some Jungle Juice or similar, and some mosquito coils which burn (unenvironmentally?) but slowly and can build up a resistance for the inside of the tent.

Agree with all of the other comments esp the Auchentosh (sp). You really don't want to be going for a wee in the middle of the night so whisky dehydrates you nicely.

Other things....ok I know it sounds daft but take a washing up bowl to put all of your crocks in. Easier than carrying plates across the campsite. :wink:no smilies
nettie

Make sure you take bog roll, you never know what the loos will be like (in my experience, don't look up if you don't like creepy crawlies!)

Also if there are two of you it helps to have a three man tent so you've got enough room to store your bags n stuff.no smilies
mags

We love camping. My partner and I off to Northumberland for two weeks on th 15th. We always take air bed and our duvet(nicer than sleeping bags), and a throw to put on the ground sheet in sleeping area, gives it a real comfortable homely feel, nicer than walking on plastic too.

We were in Scotland last August, pitched right by the stream. I was bitten once, if they are around I'll be the one to get bitten, so once was pretty good!

Take plenty of change, ten or twenty pence pieces as some sites charge for showers. A torch is always a good item to take too!

Have fun!no smilies
Cathryn

Hot showers, something to sit on or a tent big enough to stand up in - I don't have a bad back but there is something about struggling in a low dome. Logs, large boulders to keep food off ground, tiny campsite, no children (I wish), lots of airbeds so at least one morning in three you can spend the first half hour not locating and mending newest puncture, (oh - puncture repair kit) beloved who doesn't down most of the wine himself then snore loudly all night ... but most of all NO RAIN. Mind you I'd risk it for a view like that :Dno smilies
Nanny

camping

another few essentials

don't forget your hammer to bang in the tent pegs if it's stony.you might not find a suitably sized rock to do it with.............

wellies and a spare jumper so you can put 2 on if necessary and keep one in the car so it's dry when you get wet..............

wind up or battery radio

lot's of books to read

something comfortable to sit on

do you think we all speak from experience?

be aware that wildlife may very well find you so put away all your food at night

during various camping trips is the states we were joined in our campsite by raccons who stole my dad's false teeth, chipmunks, moose and worst of all a skunk that came rightin the awning and had a rummage in the waste binno smilies
Lozzie

Re: camping

Nanny wrote:
"

in the south atlantic mr nanny and those out on a yomp used to put penguins in their sleeping bags to keep warm.



No no no! ROFLMBFAO - are you joking? Is this true? please tell me!no smilies
Andy B

Re: Guide to camping

Lozzie wrote:
Bugs wrote:
I'm sure this would be a good collaborative one too and a very downsizery type of holiday, I assume?



Cab, I wondered also about doing a piece about having a self-catering holiday abroad, and trying to stick to Downsizer/Ethical principles at the same time; would this be appropriate?

L x


I know this is going to seem a bit extream green but on a site such as this should we encouraging flying / big road miles. Gets away from the think local bit. :wink:no smilies
wellington womble

I have a list for camping in word if anyone would like a copy. I agree about the sheets and sleeping bags, but not about the air bed - we've had at least three, and not one has ever stayed up all night. Even other people's, who swear they normally do (perhaps I am particularly sharp!) I now take a thermorest thingy (like a cross between an air bed and roll mat) and a couple of sheepskins. These are essential camping gear in my opinon. You put them on your chair at night (you wouldn't believe how much warmer and more comfortable that makes a camping chair) sleep on or under them (if there aren't any handy penguins - didn't they wriggle? dogs bloody do!) sit on them during the day, sit children to play on them - alsorts. Makes a camping much more comfortable.

A tent you can sit in if it rains (ie not just lie in) and with more room in the bedroom than you need to sleep in, so you can have bags and things around you. A freestanding light, so you can do things with your hands free, although a torch is useful as well. Some kind of water container (a 5l bottle will do for two, if your not doing loads of washing up and stuff) and a tin to keep matches dry (they will get wet, unless you take them to bed with you otherwise) self lighting charcoal is nice if you are only cooking on a fire, and want your morning tea before lunch (if you are cooking on a fire, you need some sort of grill or trivet, and your saucepans will go black). Camping fodder for us is generally coffee and cake or biscuits for early breakfast (and you will be up early - there is no sound insulation in tents, and they're very light, so the birds or other peoples kids will see to it) followed by a full monty brunch, maybe crisps or something in the afternoon, and burgers or kebabs and chops or steak for tea - I try and avoid saucepans, and just grill stuff, with bread and salads.

That reminds me - earplugs help a lot, and you need a wooly hat - laugh if you like, but I have spent a few very cold nights out in august, and a fleecy hat makes all the difference.

Other than that, and some very warm pyjamias and a full change of clothes (in case you get wet) and a corkscrew will see you through - happy to send my list to anyone who wants to PM me an email address.

Oh - a note about wildlife. We once had a frog in the tent, but never anything bigger. Our tent has seperate insect screens on all the doors, and this makes life more comfortable, especially in bed. we did once have a new forest pony nick a bag of marshmallows left out, which kept us awake for a while (crunching the bag!) but that's the worst we've had. We don't do proper backcountry camping though. There isn't much backcountry in the chilterns!no smilies
Treacodactyl

Re: camping

Nanny wrote:
in the south atlantic mr nanny and those out on a yomp used to put penguins in their sleeping bags to keep warm.


During the cold nights I often think how warm our hens can be. Ideal to keep your feet warm but, perhaps, a little messy in the morning.no smilies
Nanny

camping

he assures me i was so..........the penguins were completely unharmed........

they used to just go to sleep and then were fine in the morning.....he still has a thing for penguins........

he says they also slept in the middle of sheep herds because the air was warmer in the middle of a herd......he doesn't have a thing about sheep i hasten to add.......

they were at war you know so couldn't pop back to the hotel for the evening........no smilies
Andy B

Re: camping

Nanny wrote:
he assures me i was so..........the penguins were completely unharmed........

they used to just go to sleep and then were fine in the morning.....he still has a thing for penguins........

he says they also slept in the middle of sheep herds because the air was warmer in the middle of a herd......he doesn't have a thing about sheep i hasten to add.......

they were at war you know so couldn't pop back to the hotel for the evening........


I think you might be better keeping that one quiet! :)no smilies
Nanny

camping

ok- no more about penguins as it appears to shock people

we never really did back woods.......the raccoon was in upstate new york, he also took 2 loaves of bread along with dad's teeth and we found all the loot down by the creek

the skunk was up in maine- not far from bar harbour, recompense shores i think.....great site right on the bay.....we were all playing monopoly and my dad told us all to freeze while the skunk found what he wanted in the waste bin about 3 feet from us............you do NOT frighten a skunk..........

the moose was a bit far out.........bay of fundy national park, nova scotia i think but the site still had hard standings, flush toilets and electric hookups if you wanted them

then there was the porcupine, that was upstate new york and one or our friends got bitten by a young rattle snake but that was his fault for trying to pick it up...

one site in massachusetts i think was was so rocky that instead of pitching your tent on a field, they gave you a load of 6inch nails and you pitched on a wooden platform a foot or so above ground...........the tent was 10 x 12 with a 7 ft ridge pole and i seem to recall there was plenty of space around the tent so the platform must have been huge

ah -those were the days.................no smilies
sean

Advice about camping:
Get self inflating sleep mats, they're about thirty quid, a lot more comfortable than carrimats and a lot less puncture prone than air beds.
Get a decent quality portable barbecue. We've owned a whole range over the years and bought a Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere this year which is brilliant. Expensive, but well worth it IMHO.
Trangias (or for most people cheap Trangia knock offs) are good.
A small gas or multifuel stove is handy for morning coffee etc.
Petzl head-torches make you look like an idiot but work really well and have long battery lives.
A lot depends on what you want to do, if you're walking or biking then lightness and compactness are everything, but cost a lot. If you're going by car then you can take more bulky/heavier kit.
France is a very good place to go camping.
Don't forget a bottle-opener/corkscrew.
We've got one of those picnic backpack things which is good because it keeps everything together and has room for a decent cooking knife/chopping board etc.no smilies
sean

Whatever 'kit snobs' tell you, the vast majority of Millets own brand stuff is fine.
Practise pitching your tent before you go away. You really don't want to find out that your new tent is missing a bit when you're x hundred miles away from where you bought it.no smilies
otatop

we haven't been able to get away this year for various reasons, so all this camping talk is making me feel wistful.

Next year I really am going to have a go at making a hay box cooker.no smilies
Lozzie

Re: Guide to camping

Andy B wrote:


I know this is going to seem a bit extream green but on a site such as this should we encouraging flying / big road miles. Gets away from the think local bit. :wink:


I think you have a very good point Andy, although my personal situation is this: Whereas I try in my day to day life to be as "green" as poss, I did still take a holiday in a friend's house in rural Normandy (by car and ferry. I do NOT advocate flying).

I reckon many people are like me in terms of how they make their lifestyle choices, and thought it might be useful to share a few thoughts about how you can work towards lessening your environmental impact whilst on holiday, either in the UK or another country.

However - if people think it is not a good idea to be apparantly promoting holidays abroad ... I will defer! What do people think?no smilies
jema

Re: Guide to camping

Lozzie wrote:
Andy B wrote:


I know this is going to seem a bit extream green but on a site such as this should we encouraging flying / big road miles. Gets away from the think local bit. :wink:


I think you have a very good point Andy, although my personal situation is this: Whereas I try in my day to day life to be as "green" as poss, I did still take a holiday in a friend's house in rural Normandy (by car and ferry. I do NOT advocate flying).

I reckon many people are like me in terms of how they make their lifestyle choices, and thought it might be useful to share a few thoughts about how you can work towards lessening your environmental impact whilst on holiday, either in the UK or another country.

However - if people think it is not a good idea to be apparantly promoting holidays abroad ... I will defer! What do people think?


I think this is tricky, I know I am hypocritical on this score. I know the damage air travel does, but I have an urge to travel that is only constrained by my inability to afford it :roll:
I would not like this site to get overzealous in condemning a vice that I bet is shared by a lot of us!no smilies
judith

Hey, I thought we were non-prescriptive here. It's not for me or anyone to tell people what they can eat or where they can go on holiday or what they should buy. Downsizer is great because it is a place to share information, find out about alternatives - so you can then make up your mind for yourself :lol:no smilies
nettie

Just to add that I've been to LIDL today where they had a set of stainless steel camping saucepans (you know, the ones with the detachable handles, that double as bowls) for about a fiver.no smilies
Bugs

Crikey, this has taken off a bit, thanks everyone, lots of very useful advice.

Does anyone do much camping "off site" so to speak, or are those Famous Five days in the past? :Dno smilies
wellington womble

Depends what you call off site. Not often, or really properly. Have done lots of festival type camps in past (compost loos and wooden solar showers - fine on holiday, wouldn't like to be mucking about with them before work) for short holidays, one just doesn't shower (although a bed bath with a couple of wet ones makes a big difference to air quality!) and hopes for plently of handy hedges in the night. Generally we camp in friends fields these days, so there's a shower in the house, and plenty of handy hedges. Camping this weekend in a chicken field. Hmmmm.

I don't really do compact and light, although we have been camping a silly sports car with two dogs, and that was a squeeze enough for me. Now we take the surf, and fill it up with comfy bedding and firepits (communal cooking though). I like to be warm and reasonably comfy.

Anyone tried those cylinder bbq's that turn into two halfs? My self inflating thingy was £20 from millets. Needs a couple of sheepies, but then we take them anyway.no smilies
Bugs

wellington womble wrote:
Generally we camp in friends fields these days


I could count on one...well actually on no fingers, the number of my friends who have fields :shock: :lol:no smilies
twoscoops

Iíd agree with Sean about kit; there is little point in spending a fortune if you will only use it once or twice a year. I can confirm that my camping days are pretty much over, although I am tempted by a palís suggestion of a Norfolk beach barbie later this year. I bought really expensive kit for walking the Cotswold Way and had as miserable a time as when I walked the south Cornwall coast path. I reckon you are likely to pick up untold camping bargains at car boot sales. It doesnít matter how much you spend, you will still wake up freezing with a full bladder, you will still have to either a. empty full bladder into beer can/wine bottle (male) or b. go out into the night (female), and you will still wake up at 5am with the burning sun piercing a hole in the side of your face.no smilies
sean

wellington womble wrote:


Anyone tried those cylinder bbq's that turn into two halfs?


We had one. It worked well as a barbie, but the hinges corroded and broke very quickly. To be fair we used it on the beach quite a bit. However I would like to repeat my support for the Weber portable jobbie.no smilies
belfast-biker

Twoscoops wrote:
you will still wake up freezing with a full bladder, you will still have to either a. empty full bladder into beer can/wine bottle (male) or b. go out into the night (female), and you will still wake up at 5am with the burning sun piercing a hole in the side of your face.



So, where's the downsides? ;)no smilies
Northern_Lad

Twoscoops wrote:
...you will still wake up freezing with a full bladder...


I just put that down to the fact that I was camping in winter and had had a 'few' cans the night before.

I did once wake up feeling really refreshed to discover that I'd had snow-pillow all night, on the inside of my sleeping bag. I never sleep in anything more than underware, and by bag's a 2 season.no smilies
twoscoops

[quote="Northern_Lad

by bag's a 2 season.[/quote]

No wonder you've got a cold.no smilies
Bugs

Northern_Lad wrote:
I'd had snow-pillow all night, on the inside of my sleeping bag


Eh? Or do I not want to know?no smilies
Northern_Lad

Bugs wrote:
Northern_Lad wrote:
I'd had snow-pillow all night, on the inside of my sleeping bag


Eh? Or do I not want to know?


I went to 'bed' early and whilst drifting off, some amussing chaps decided to fill my bag with snow. Rather than fighting it, I just pulled the cord shut and went to sleep.no smilies
Northern_Lad

Twoscoops wrote:
[quote="Northern_Lad]

by bag's a 2 season.


No wonder you've got a cold.[/quote]

Bot du sayin'? I davn't bot a code.no smilies
alison

We watch a lot of camping here, on the camp site.

I am even thinking of writing an idiots guide to camping for people visiting here, so I am going to watch the suggestions with a great deal of interest.

Another tip is to put on a kettle of water, at the start of each meal, ready for washing up.

Use a flask for any un used boiled water, that can be used later for drinks or washing.

Buy extra skewers or pegs. They only cost 20 p each but make life much easier.

The pound shop sells plastic fold up buckets which make carrying water really easy for children.

I look forward to reading more.no smilies
hils

This thread inspired me to put up our 2 tents yesterday to check them - and one had developed a heafty tear and the other had lost a bit.

Just goes to show how important it is to check ur equipment guys!no smilies
dougal

I haven't noticed anyone stressing the usefulness of plastic bags for keeping wet and dry stuff apart.
Whether wet or dry *in* the bag may merely depend on how far in to the holiday you are. Hang it all, I say, bow to the inevitable and start off with everything in plastic bags - its likely to end up there anyway... (and at least you'll have enough bags).no smilies
alison

I've just thought of another one.

Only wear shorts, not trousers on your legs. If it is wet your legs are easier to dry. If it is cold put on thick socks and plenty of jumpers. If your body is warm then your legs won't actually be too cold.no smilies
Bernie66

Most of the camping I have done is carrying a tent and walking as far as we could during the day, but i guess it applys to anyone driving and setting up camp late in the evening. When you pack up, make sure the second to last thing to go in the back of the car is the tent(so its easy to get hold of quickly and without getting everything else out(cos it will be lashing it down :lol: )And the last thing is a torch cos otherwise you will have to strip out everything and the aforementioned rule will also apply.no smilies
wellington womble

I only do camping in the car, but the tent on top advice is sensible. Instead of freezing in shorts (Okay, I'm a wuss!) I take two pairs of trousers, so if one gets wet, theres another dry pair (and pyjamias, if its really cold!)

camping is one of the places I notice how many carrier bags we don't have any more - it's the only place I really use them!

I'm in two minds about 'proper' snobby gear. Most of the time, I haven't noticed any problem with millets stuff, but I bless the day I bought decent walking boots, and an expensive water proof jacket and trousers - and would replace them at twice the price tommorow. Must check they're insured! I baulked at the price, when the shop reccommended them, but all the guys in the shop were wearing them (clue!) and although we're not serious walkers, we do walk at least five miles, every day, in all weathers with the dogs, so it's quite a big part of our lives, I guess.no smilies
Guest

dougal wrote:
I haven't noticed anyone stressing the usefulness of plastic bags for keeping wet and dry stuff apart.
Whether wet or dry *in* the bag may merely depend on how far in to the holiday you are. Hang it all, I say, bow to the inevitable and start off with everything in plastic bags - its likely to end up there anyway... (and at least you'll have enough bags).


Ahh yes, and never let it be forgotten that there is no such thing as a truly waterproof rucksack. Rucksack liners are ok, but I still like my wallet to have the additional protection of a placky bag.

Oh, and if camping you'll want yr dirties in a plastic bag.no smilies
Will

Keep it simple. If you haven't got to carry stuff on your back, cheap and robust kit is better than fancy lightweight. Army surplus places are good for cheap kit.

Introduce kids to camping at the earliest possible stage so they get used to it. I first went camping at the age of about 6 months, my wife at 3 months. Always have a reserve wet weather activity up your sleeve.

Don't take too much stuff. Decant things like washing up liquid into a small bottle rather than taking the whole thing.

Get some folding plastic crates to keep everything tidy in if you're in the car, and to stay in control in the tent.

Bring a warm hat and an umbrella if you can fit it in - much easier than struggling into a waterproof when going to the loo.

Take shoes off before going in the tent.

Pee bottles can be a godsend on cold nights. Nalgene plastic jars are a good piece of kit for this. Just make sure it's clearly labelled.

Thermarests in my experience are much more comfortable than an airbed. You can also get a strap system to convert them into chairs, which is handy for sitting up in a small tent.

With a combination of doing without luxuries and a few careful purchases, we manage camping in a Mazda MX-5 which has the smallest car boot in the world. We take:

2 man tent with big porch
1 or 2 collapsible stoves (Coleman Alpine)
Gas bottles for above
Gas lantern
headtorches
2 Thermarests
Double silk sheet sleeping bag
Duvet
Blanket
pillow cases (stuff a fleece inside - much less bulky than a pillow)
Thermarest chairs
3 nesting billy cans
omelette pan
kitchen box (1litre ice cream tub) containing matches, lighter, cutlery, chopping board, sharp knife, WU liquid, oil, teabags, coffee, scouring pad, fish slice, corkscrew
Collapsible washing up bowl
insulated mugs
2 plates, sometimes 2 bowls
Travel scrabble
Platypus water carriers
first aid kit
insect repellent
insect proof hat
pack of cards & crib board
pile of books
lots of plastic bags
squishy frisbee
toilet roll

All of this apart from the bedding packs down into two plastic crates from B&Q. Clothes and towels go in compression bags from a camping shop. I also have a Swiss Army knife and sometimes a Leatherman which are very useful.

Kinloch Rannoch is beautiful but is almost guaranteed to be midgey. Blacks and I think Millets, probably army surplus places too sell a silly looking wide brimmed hat with a mozzie net that is elasticated at the neck. The temporary loss of personal credibility is better than the permanent disfigurement of too many midge bites.

I'm honestly not sure that I could imagine not going camping.no smilies
wellington womble

Agree about decanting stuff, but label them. My FIL cleaned his teeth with gin (untentionally!). Also agree about kids - had to teach my OH to camp as an adult, and it took him a while to get used to it!

I've been camping in sports car, and Didn't take any food or cooking gear (had eating gear, but borrowed BBQ, as went en-masse) Had to keep the back seat free for dogs, and cart their stuff around too, but if we had a smaller sotve, instead of a box and no chairs, I think we'd have been Ok (had to go shopping when we arrive though!)

where do get the thermorest chair thingies?no smilies
dougal

Will wrote:
Keep it simple. ... Don't take too much stuff. ...

We take:
2 man tent with big porch
1 or 2 collapsible stoves (Coleman Alpine)
<...snip...>
pile of books
lots of plastic bags
squishy frisbee
toilet roll
Advice from an expert! :lol:no smilies
joanne

Totally agree about the fold-down crates - invaluable as are stuff bags - we use them for all the dirty washing and towels etc

Other stuff - If you are going for comfort camping invest in a roll top table - the kind that packs away into a bag like the canvas chairs - ours cost £60 4 or 5 years ago - best piece of kit we've ever bought - its used for all sorts of events - Now you can get them everywhere but ours is a really big one.

Make sure the tent you buy is Outer first - our first tent you put the poles into the inner and stretched the cover over the top - Very wet tent if its raining (which it usually is!!!) - Outer first means you can atleast get the kids inside the tent putting up the inners out of the rain.

Also the best sorts of bags for getting folded up tents back into are the ones that are like big carryalls where the zip is along the length of the bag rather than at one end - means alot less swearing in the rain!!!

We like those single burner stoves that use a cartridge - they come in a case, fit nicely into a corner in the car and are nearly as hot as a normal gas cooker - downside of them is that the cartridges are quite small but do last longer than you'd think.

Always try and take a BIG pan or wok for making stews and stuff - the little camping saucepan kits are really good and we take them as well but a BIG pan is invaluable for a hot stew on a chilly evening - Its amazing how much stuff can be made using a one pot method.

The insulated cups are very useful as well.

Lastly try and camp as near to the loos as you can especially if you have small children but not too near otherwise you'll never get any sleep - Don't do what we always seem to do, park as far away from the toilets as possible (grrrgh Husbands!!!!)

Joanneno smilies
alison

Here are a few thoughts as a camp site owner too!!!

Pick it up. Whether it is dog poo or rubbish, if your family dropped it it is your responsibility to dispose of it.

Keep noise to a minimum at a reasonable time. We say 10.30 here, as we trade on being a family site.

Bring a washing up bowl, do not do it in the toilet basins.

Leave all your shampoo and shower gel after the first shower, then we don't have to buy any all year (Oh that's what people do already! :wink: )

Do not throw stones at the pigs, or spit at them. (Yes I have really stopped children doing this this week :twisted: )

If your child is told to cycle on the field, and not on the main track, it is for a safety reason, not because we want lots of rules and regulations.

If the door to the chicks is closed when you go to look at them close it once you leave them, not leave them all open letting a bigger hen kill one. ( This happened last wee) :roll:

Do not pitch on a hook up, if you haven't booked one, and then moan when you are asked to move. Hook ups all look the same, it is obvious what they are.

When using portable barbques use a brick, instead of scorching the grass. They are available near the gate.

Do not shine your car headlamps into someone elses awning or tent after dark. You will proberbly wake their children.

If you have a chance, do not pitch your tent right on top of someone elses. There is always room. Respect personal space.



I think you get the idea!! 8)no smilies
alison

I've had some more now.

Do not leave poo on the toilet seat. Someone has to clean it up and it isn't very nice once it has dried on.

Do not throw chewing gum or fag butts in the urinals as someone has to get them out.

Fag butts are litter. Put them in a bin.

Chuppa sticks and wrappers are litter. Do likewise.

Do not climb on the Silage under point of death.

Do not take "Please keep off the Silage" signs down and then climb on it. :roll:

Chickens do not like being tucked into a childs t shirt, while the child is wearing it (Yes this really happened yesterday!)no smilies
Will

Our Thermarest chairs came from Field and Trek. I think they're available from most places that sell the mattresses.

Forgot to put on the list an elastic clothes line by Lifesystems - ideal for stringing between two tents, or the tent and the car, and it doesn't need clothes pegs.

Other things to do...

Don't wash stuff under the water tap - use a bowl. Especially if there isn't good drainage under the tap. Mud and water are the camper's worst enemy.

Pitch the tent end on to the wind, especially if it's a tunnel.

Go to the loo in the pub, then again at the campsite, then brush your teeth, then go to the loo again. Saves clambering in and out of the tent.

Play ball games somewhere other than where I'm cooking.

Put your rubbish in a bag immediately. Freak breezes seem more common on campsites than anywhere else.

Remember that people outside may not be able to see into a tent, but they can hear everything... :oops:

Remember that no matter how wet, cold and uncomfortable you are, you are still morally superior to a caravanner. :wink:no smilies
Bugs

Alison, I don't know how you cope - if you made a million pounds profit you would deserve every penny of it :(no smilies
Mat S

Will wrote:
Remember that no matter how wet, cold and uncomfortable you are, you are still morally superior to a caravanner. :wink:


Never a truer word spoke. Also, the smaller and lighter your vehicle the greater your moral superiority. Still waiting to see a camping unicyclist with panniers et al.no smilies
wellington womble

Oh dear, Alison - you know what they say about children or animals (actually, they animals sound fine!) School holidays nearly over, now though - phew!

I agree with bugs, whatever you make, you deserve more!no smilies
Will

Quote:
Also, the smaller and lighter your vehicle the greater your moral superiority.


We used to have a 1965 Mini estate, which we took all over France full of camping kit. Superb car, until some lowlife pinched it just after I'd finished restoring it.

If anyone sees a green mini, EDG 862C, let me know...no smilies
Gertie

Just had a thought - we could have all had a downsizer week at Alisons (hmmn, yes, perhaps this would be too much for Alison to put up with).

I dont know whether to be proud or ashamed but Lundy and I bought a 4 man tent (granted they would have to be Ronnie Corbetts) at the weekend - from ASDA!!!! :oops: In fairness, Lundy and I have never gone camping together and he is wanting to try it out. I have to say that we went to Hickleton Cricket Ground last night and set up camp to see how easy the bloomin thing would go up - I am impressed - it's actually quite good - for about £25.no smilies
alison

Actually, it is not that bad. We also meet a lot of nice interesting people too. (Simon!)

If you did want a meet here I wouldn't mind at all.no smilies
Blacksmith

I used to do a lot of light weight camping, hill walking, climbing. Did my training at Outward Bound mountain School Ullswater, (20 years ago this month, we were up in the hills, and was 3 days till we knew Elvis had died ! Remote!)
Want to go camping again with my kids and have started to assemble some basic gear, some great tips in these posts, ta !
Got a real bargain at the weekend, 2 chairs and a table £15 from millets,
Great idea............. Carry on camping meets Downsizer week !
Daveno smilies
Bugs

alison wrote:
If you did want a meet here I wouldn't mind at all.


We'd be a whole other class of guest, you know, Alison. On the bright side between the lot of us we'd probably feed the chickens and tuck them up safely for the night, walk the dog (and clean up!), admire the pigs from a respectable distance and try out an assortment of environmentally sustainable outdoor cooking methods (at an appropriate distance from others and anything flammable and before bedtime for the younger members like meself!)

On the other hand there'd be people crowding round the kitchen window going "Shall I show you my method" "She wants a bit less salt in that" "I can't believe you bought that in!" and inspecting the veg patch - you'd have a whole other set of do's and don't's after the descending of the Downsizers :lol:no smilies
sandra17

It can be done!
We (2 adults, 1 toddler) have just been camping using public transport for a week in Kent. We like quiet, out of the way camping sites too, so lots of planning required.

We are fortunate in that we have been travelling for years and have good backpacks. We used to use oh's lightweight backpacker tent which drove me insane as there was just no room, for anything, ever. Last year we bought a 3 person Vango tent for about £70 which is just brilliant. It weighs 7 kg and goes on the canopy of our all terrain buggy. Our son (2.5 years) either travels in the buggy or walks. Then we have everything else in our backpacks. Lightweight sleeping bags, thermarest, clothes and cooking equipment.

Most useful item: a potty. Most important: planning - bus timetables and ordnance survey map especially.

Sandrano smilies
hils

Will wrote:

Remember that no matter how wet, cold and uncomfortable you are, you are still morally superior to a caravanner. :wink:
:lol:

Just sold our caravan today :D OH builds festival sites for 4 months of the year and isn't prepared to sleep on the floor in a tent for this amount of time!
I've just got back from Leeds festival site visiting him for a couple of days on the build. He's only got to sleep in it for another 2 weeks and then its to be handed over.
This is such a great feeling getting rid of the hateful thing. He's used it for 2 years and we've only lost £50 on it. Only cost £300 in the first place - listen to me justify it!

Anyhow...had to do a tesco run for the lads on sunday and they were selling a 2 bedroom tent with a single and double sleeping bad, and single ond double air mattress - £39.99.no smilies
Blacksmith

I saw that too ! Millets were doing some "pack" deals too........ ended up spending £60, when i only went in to buy some replacement mantles for my gaz lamp.
Could easily have spent 4X that, so think I did well !
Daveno smilies
otatop

Owing to building works here, and difficulties with the adolescent son, I've cancelled my camping holiday in Cornwall for the first time in 18 years. As it happens, I'm told that the weather was pretty foul, so I might well have made a wise choice. But I'm off to the Greenbelt Festival at Cheltenham shortly.

I will take my 3 person tent for me, my old 3 person ridge tent for a tentless friend, and the 2 person tent for the adolescent son.

A group of us are going, so we'll share the cooking - an evening meal and a breakfast each. Crucial to these arrangements are my camping stove and fridge. Being Anglicans we take the 5 o'clock gin & tonics pretty seriously. And the "nightcap" after compline.

A couple of days ago a friend of mine told me that camping has become fashionable. Oh bugger. (Or am I being selfish?)no smilies
Will

See you at GB then! I'm not getting there until Sunday due to my brother-in-law being inconsiderate with his wedding date...

We're in a group with four or five other couples, most of whom have kids. Most important item: gazebo for said G&Ts...no smilies
dpack

fire starter and whisky.no smilies
jamsam

Joey wrote:
If you are a virgin camper, stay away from boy scouts. :lol:

now as a scout, i would say the opposite, we like the virgin campers we do !!!!!! 8)no smilies
dpack

:roll: and i was going to suggest taking a sense of humour .even the life threatening moments can have a funny side . campsite is easy and made for the urban so dont worry .
.
::. train for wilderness , it will kill you if you make mistakes . attitude and knowlege is more important than kit .common sense is rare but it is what is needed in any new environment . try to anticipate real problems , dont imagine unreal problems to be real ,or that maybe is soon ,when the world jumps up and attempts to kill you try to dodge and adapt . travel light and fast ,every bit of kit should be multi use , if you stay put collect useful things .
it will be the doctor who rips your leg open with his crampons as he falls past you , he was ok . :lol:
be composed and remember what you know when living in the world without .
keep things dry and take care of your feet .no smilies
dpack

alternatively "ooh matron "no smilies
sean

Should we make this into an article, what with summer coming up and everything? I'll have a bash at it later this week unless anyone else wants to.no smilies
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