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Subject Topic: Hi everyone, newbie here <--
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Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 25/4/2014 at 8:06am
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thank you all for your posts, and I am now putting all my gear in my spare room and its really starting to amount!!! im looking At getting a high raised double inflation airbed does anyone have one? just a bit worried as my daughter is so young (7mnths) for first trip!

Message posted by Kelper on 25/4/2014 at 9:17am
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Space ... giggle ...

Where we all started!
Next will come the roofbox ...
Then the small trailer .... which will become a bigger one.
Then bike carrier(s) ...
Then ... a lorry, perhaps?

You'll have a ball with your new adventure ... but never, ever, think you've got everything you will ever need and won't get any more.
It's a game of continuous evolution!

Message posted by Mucker1884 on 25/4/2014 at 10:45am
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Welcome, Hunter.

I was going to say any friend of the military is a friend of mine, but then you didn't say who's side you were on... so I won't!


What I would say, is don't go too mad with the shopping straight away. There's lot's of tempting stuff out there, but if you are anything like us, when we started from absolute scratch less than two years ago, you won't actually know what you want yet, so mistakes are quite likely to occur.

Obviously you need to sort beds etc, but don't get top of the range... you may find airbeds aren't even suitable, and you want to try camp beds... then SIM's on top of camp beds (our preferred choice).

We even started with "the wrong tent"! Despite all the research, and the excellent reviews, after three trips we decided it wasn't "the tent for us". It was probably the most popular and successful tent in camping history, with zillions of satisfied customers/users... and there was certainly nothing wrong with it... it's just that it proved not to be suitable for us... just didn't realise it at the time!!

Now, we know exactly what we like about camping, and have found our preferred ways of doing things, and what we need to look out for when buying new gear. NOW, we can buy decent gear, because we know what we want, and what to look out for... he says, confidently!!

The most popular phrase typed in these forums is "Personal preference"!! What's 10/10 for me might get a 2 from you, and vice versa!
There's a lot of trial and error, in my experience, so by all means, ask away. Look, listen, and take in what we say/advise... but ultimately, only you and your family can decide if it's right for you... once you know what you want!

Oh... and don't be afraid to have a right good gawp at everyone else's set ups, either on site, or on the many pics throughout these forums.

You might just find yourself thinking "Hmm... I think I might need one of those"!!!


Enjoy.


PS:
FYI: Be aware that you have to have a Tarp to get on a camp site... it's the law!!





-------------
2014 = 10 x trips so far = 34 nights... and stopped counting, now :-(   ... Roll on January!!
2013 = 36 nights
2012 = 23 nights

Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 25/4/2014 at 6:27pm
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ill look into the tarp mucker ;) .. royal Anglian 2nd battalion infantry regiment myself been out nrly 2 years now tho, ive kept spending down just purched a vango double sleeping bag for only 30, because taking little one I need electric really for a heater but I could really do with a fridge for her bottles.. where / what is my best option do you guys think?

Message posted by floppy-poppy on 26/4/2014 at 1:16am
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Mucker, my dear friend, love your advice to this newbie, but don't get him on tarps already!!!!!  I know Hunter is ex army and probably knows all about tarps (and especially the knots to be used) but just let him camp, ganghem style.. sorry, family style for a little while at least (says tongue in cheek).

Well, Hunter any advice you need just come here, there is a - mass of information and - as Mucker quite rightly said - what works for one family does not for another - you have to be a bit picky - but it has worked for whoever advised whatever.

We were a family of 5 camping - now we are 2.  So my best advice is to take the essentials - listed above - yes, do think about warmth as even in May the nights can be quite cold.  As you have a young 'un, I would probably suggest EHU for quick boiling water and light (you may need instant bright light) and also heat (either a fan or halogen heater). 

For cooking we take something frozen for the first night which has then defrosted by the time it's tea time, so it's easy.  For bed time, we did have airbeds for a long time but I got a little sea-sick - OH does tend to turn over a lot during the night - so, we got a double Outwells Posada bed and this year, got SIMS as well - I was much, much happier with the beds - and will try it with the SIMS in 2 weeks time - again I have been swayed by comment on this site to get SIMS - and I believe (I hope) that they will be as good as they say - I'm sure they are - but we will see. 

As someone has already suggested, take essentials and then take a notepad and jot down what you might need for your next trip - we still do this- also look at what other campers have - some are essential whilst others are to make life a little easier for example I put 2 solar lights outside the tent so I know where I am (when coming back from the loos at night) but not everyone does this - it's just one of my "things".

As for a fridge, we have survived with an "egg fridge" (electric) and a cool box (camp sites tend to have a freezer for ice packs so that you can use one and freeze one - check with your campsite).  For the warmer months you might consider a better fridge, but these will set you back over 100 and that's not the cheapest.

So, a learning curve for a pro - it is different when camping with family, but I have no doubt you will enjoy it - it tends to get into your bones.  Don't worry, we're all here for you - just ask!!



-------------
May - Cartref - Shropshire
June - Appuldurcombe Gardens - Isle of Wight
July - Slapton Sands South Devon
September - To be decided
October - North Devon
+ others unknown to date

Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 26/4/2014 at 6:30am
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absolutely love the post floppy, some great advise, when ever I read on here I seem to get exited like im 12 on xmas eve!! I have an 450W oil filled radiator will that do the trick with the heating or best to get a fan/halogen? many thanks

Tom

Message posted by duffs54 on 26/4/2014 at 8:09am
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Quote: Originally posted by Hunter30062352 on 24/4/2014
I really am exited but just so unsure of what I need / don't need.. I have a Volvo estate so I have plenty of room and my first site is 15mile odd from a gooutdoors shop just incase!!!



We have a volvo v70 estate too, but on the 2nd year of camping a huge roof box has appeared. They are great for camping no kids for us but a dog so you will be fine.

We also now shrink wrap all our clothes, bedding towels etc. this has given us extra room for all the new things we buy every year.

Good advice on here I'm on here more than any other site.

Enjoy your first camping trip, Norfolk beaches are amongst some of the best in the UK.

-------------
Duffs54      


Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 26/4/2014 at 8:35pm
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thank you duff, yeh im Essex myself but family are in Norfolk and the beaches are stunning :) , ill bear in mind the shrinking of clothing for future trips for space too, many thanks

Tom

Message posted by cmes on 26/4/2014 at 8:57pm
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We fill a small car with essentials and the dog, the flat stuff now goes on the back seat, the dog lays on top, with his seatbelt on. We always make sure we camp not too far from a supermarket. No need for a fridge. :-) this works for us, but not everyone wants to call into the supermarket or small shop on a daily basis.

Enjoy yourselves.

-------------
47 and only just learned how to work a sleeping bag

Message posted by floppy-poppy on 27/4/2014 at 12:43am
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Thanks Hunter!  Heating - again it's different strokes for different folks - never used an oil filled radiator so I cannot comment - but I have seen pics on here with them in.  Halogen heaters are quite compact and are like a fire at your legs (if you get that close!) but they do heat the tent up nicely and have 3 settings - the only downside is that they also light the tent up somewhat - for us that's okay - but a lot of people don't like that.  They also have a safety feature that they turn off if knocked over.

Fan heaters are also okay and some have a safety feature like the halogen and are compact - again these do warm the tent nicely.  Some people leave them on a low setting in the bedrooms through the night but, again personal preference, we would never do that - once you're in bed and get warm......you know this!

I did mean to mention the amount of stuff that gets packed into the car - even a Volvo estate - we also have an estate and still need a roof box!  8 times out of 10 there is only the two of us and OH still reminds me that we only have one car,albeit an estate.  With a baby......oooh.....it's a lot of stuff!!

The other thing is to decant things e.g. I like 2 cups of tea in a morning, so for a 3 night stay will take 6 tea bags - if you have ketchup with your bacon - take a small bottle - weigh your rice for example and only take the amount you will use - small things but it don't half save the space!!  I know I'm talking to someone who has probably done this in the past for himself - but same, same.

I am a true list maker for everything - OH says I have a list that tells me what lists I have (if that makes sense) and I do have a camping list stored on my computer - in fact I have 3 - one for weekends - one for 3-4 nights and one for "big"holidays - but that aside make a list of everything you're going to need right down to a bottle stop and tick it as it's got ready - that way you shouldn't forget anything!

And once again....don't forget to relax...you'll be camping...enjoy!



-------------
May - Cartref - Shropshire
June - Appuldurcombe Gardens - Isle of Wight
July - Slapton Sands South Devon
September - To be decided
October - North Devon
+ others unknown to date

Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 27/4/2014 at 6:21am
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some more great information! I will have a look into the heating side of things, im putting my camping stuff together in the spare room and it really does look like im moving house !

Message posted by duffs54 on 27/4/2014 at 8:18am
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When we get our kit out of the loft, it fills up our conservatory.

We have some new things for this year so need to re-jig how we pack, but it all goes in eventually, we start by using all the hidyholes in the car, under the front seats, spare wheel casing etc then the floor spaces.

But do secure everything so it can't topple over when going around corners.we thought the boxes were so wedged in they would stay put, big mistake our poor dog ended up with 2 on his head, thankfully he was fine! but we felt awful, so lots of bungees are used with our packing.










-------------
Duffs54      


Message posted by Mucker1884 on 27/4/2014 at 9:20am
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List's are fine... I wouldn't knock 'em. But ticking off item after item each time you pack to go away sounds tedious to me.
Consider, if at all possible, boxing stuff up and keeping it all together. Obviously, this is somewhat governed by packing space in the car.
I'm thinking sturdy plastic boxes, preferably lidded. We got ours from Denelm Mill, but they are out there in abundance.

As an example, we have the following boxes...

1) Battery lights, candles (for outside), spare batteries, collected tourist leaflets/maps etc, pens, pencils, note book, puzzle books, anti-midge stuff (burners and sprays), small clothes peg type bag full of clothes pegs and various sized S hooks, general nick nacks.

2) All (and only*) EHU stuff... EHU, small fan heater, travel kettle, internal extension leads, (main outside EHU cables are in a separate bag, for easy packing) multi socket thing, 2 x leccy lights, 2 x rechargable lights, light chargers. *The whole box (and leads in a bag) come with us when in "winter mode". When not going EHU (May to Sept...ish!) it get's left at home. Simples!

3) Pans, cooking utensils, griddle plates, etc. (Again, if we're going winter/leccy camping, we don't take gas/cooker etc, and don't exactly cook, so this box get's left behind, so normally, it's either box 2 or 3... rarely both!)

4) Plates, dishes, cups, mugs, beakers, glasses, bread boards, sharp knives, and a sandwich box (full of cutlery, /bottle & tin openers, corkscrew, scissors etc.)

5 & 6) Box of clothes each.

In addition to those, we have one of those folding larder cupboards... that doesn't get folded! Load up with dried/tinned food etc. Snacks, nibbles etc. Mashing gear and condiments. Leaves room to transport the booze bottles, and other last minute shopping goodies/fresh bread/cakes etc.. The cupboard fits nicely through the side door of my mpv, and is accessible whilst travelling.

Rather than individual items, we know we just need to "take that box".

Admittedly, we are lucky to have such a large car, and this may not work for everyone... but it's a theme that can be manipulated to suit most, I think.





-------------
2014 = 10 x trips so far = 34 nights... and stopped counting, now :-(   ... Roll on January!!
2013 = 36 nights
2012 = 23 nights

Message posted by Tynxuk on 27/4/2014 at 10:19am
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Well as I've arrived late to the party and everyone has already been extremely helpful I have noticed you mention a fridge for baby bottles.
Are you storing ready made milk or just boiled water ready to add powder? Boiled water is more forgiving than pre made milk and will be sufficiently cooled in a cool box with ice packs.

Message posted by Hunter30062352 on 27/4/2014 at 9:11pm
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my brain has turned into a sponge! just looked into it and going to use the small cartons of cow and gate on the go milk so will be fine.

And I completely agree with the box front of things, going to go up to the shops and grab a few and label them up for ease!

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