View Full Version : Camping It Up

6th Mar 2006, 20:46
Fellow Jetblasters,

I need some advice as I am camping out for a weekend in August, in the UK (at the V festival in fact).

I haven't been near a tent since my scout days, which are now just a distant memory. We all know the weather could more or less be doing anything in August (don't mention global warming) and I need a tent and kit that can cope with a scorcher of a weekend and/or torrential rain/gales/snow etc.

If anyone can recommend something suitable and for a reasonable price (I don't intend to do a great deal of camping post V) I would be grateful.

Richard Spandit
6th Mar 2006, 21:09
Get something with alloy poles as the fibreglass ones are prone to splitting.

6th Mar 2006, 22:06
Go on spoil yourself, hire a Winnebego!!:ok:

6th Mar 2006, 23:56
tescos did a suitable tent with sleeping bags and mats for around 30 quid. disposable camping - worked for me.

If the weather is bad I am sure you could share

7th Mar 2006, 00:08
If the weather is bad (like Glastonbury bad) it won't matter WHAT kind of tent you've got, you're gonna get wet (and dirty). Better quality tents are going to be heavier and more expensive, so decide how much you're prepared to pay and what weight you want to carry. We used to camp with a 20-man military ridge tent that would withstand (almost) ANY storm, but that didn't stop it flooding! Our groundsheet was a tarpaulin (heavy canvas) wagon sheet, but THAT didn't stop the water flowing through the tent either. If it's wet, you're gonna get wet!

7th Mar 2006, 05:42
I haven't been near a tent since my scout days......
Painful memories?


West Coast
7th Mar 2006, 05:49
"Go on spoil yourself, hire a Winnebego"

More places to carry the beer. Sleeping on the ground was great as a kid. I tolerated it in the Marines. Too old for it now. I agree, hire something that has a bed. You can make fun of those schleps in the morning that had to sleep on the ground. Easy to tell them, they are hunched over with aching backs.

7th Mar 2006, 07:11
What is a V festival? Vulcan reunion or summat?:confused:

Windy Militant
7th Mar 2006, 07:41
If you don't go the Winnebego route get yourself one of those self inflating matrasses. They're light and really comfy. It's warmer than an air bed as well as the foam filling stops the convection of heat away from you and you dont have to blow it up. I got one last year from one of those continental style supermarkets for about 7 and it was worth every penny!:ok:

7th Mar 2006, 07:50
Seriously, you can get really decent stuff nowadays for reasonable money. Lots of equipment is designed in California and made in China.

Modern tents use push-together wands that make up a free-standing structure. The pegs are mainly there to keep it from blowing away. Get one with a sealed urethane-coated floor and you will stay reasonably dry even in the UK climate.

There is a sort of air mattress that's self-inflating and insulated. The best are from 'Therma-rest' but they are a bit expensive. Cheap substitutes are available but some sort of insulation is a must for sleeping comfortably. Otherwise the cool ground will chill you like a mackerel.

Sleeping bags can be bought cheap. For casual use get a 'semi-rectangular' rather than a 'mummy' shape. If you are going with your Significant Other get a matching pair left and right that can be zipped together. Down is unbeatable for warmth with minimum bulk but synthetics are fine for casual use.

When we had a holiday in the States we got kitted out with a tent, two sleeping bags and two mattresses for the same amount of money we would have spent on about a week in a good hotel. So the stuff paid for itself and we are still using it.

On the other hand, those little night noises can be a bit disturbing. My wife was plagued by the idea that wild raccoons were going to come along and eat our toddler if we left her out of our sight for more than a moment. All her native Germany has is a sort of over-grown weasel that eats the ignition harnesses from BMW cars.

7th Mar 2006, 08:45
Do it properly - hire a VW camper from these guys near Oxford (http://www.vanshack.com) - I use them to maintain my bus. This is the one they hire out:


7th Mar 2006, 09:30
That's a great idea, not bad prices either, only £170 for the weekend!

For a one off camping trip at a festival. I'd get something two places larger than you need and with a vestibule as you want to keep the dirt out. For basic equipment I'd get one of those LED lights to hang up inside with spare batteries. Take pillows as they really make a difference, those cheap chairs that sort of roll up, something to carry plenty of water, and something to brew up with. LED headlamps are a must. If you aren't going to use it again then you can chuck them all out, but you really should think about camping as it's great fun if you do it right. Out in the West USA the campsites are superb and car-camping is great fun, you can get enough food/drink in your boot/trunk to last several days. You can even plane-camp, only problem there is you need to keep the weight down, so you cannot carry loads of wood , and one of the pilots needs to stay sober :)

7th Mar 2006, 13:51
Cheap tents and bad weather are a sad combo. If the VW van is too pricey, rent a station wagon, put down the back seats and sleep in the back on a big air mattress. Adults sleep diagonally; the little ones in the corners.

For cooking/eating in inclement weather, get a tarp or heavy plastic sheet; secure one side to the vehicle roof; use sticks/poles/ropes/pegs/rocks or buddy's vehicle to hold up the other side and bring patio furniture.

Why bother with sleeping bags? Just grab the sheets, pillows and duvet off the bed.

7th Mar 2006, 14:12
been to a few festivals, and here's my 2 pence worth,

1) Get a tent of a very obscure colour if you can. It's amazing how hard it's to find the right tent when drunk at night, when they're all blue or green. (and for the love of god don't get a union flag one either, because there are millions of them too)
2) Get an air mattress
3) Get a cheap tent. They're fine for hot weather, and if it's torrential it won't matter anyway. all the supermarkets do deals in the summer.
4) As stated before, get a tent that's a bit too big for you to stash all your stuff in and so forth, and have one that has a little porch that you can stash your muddy boot in.
5) If you're going in a group, get a gazeebo type thing for all of to sit around in for dinner, general shennanigans, and its a great way to meet people. If they see a gazeebo, they'll just drop by for a general chinwag, and they often leave their unused beer behind !!!
6) Take some kind of a camping chair.

Have fun

10th Mar 2006, 22:22
Thanks for advice everyone, I will re-analyse it, consult the long range forecast and make a decision.

Cheers !

10th Mar 2006, 22:30
Camping out means to me having to stay at a Holiday Inn where you have to go outside to get to the bar.:E

However, I have seen tents that can stand up to a small hurricane, I guess it all depends on how much you want to spend.