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Thread: its been decades, but I want to get some kit...and Im out of the loop

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    So, been about 25 years since Ive done any camping. Life kinda got in the way. But now its something Id like to get back into.

    So just looking for some general advice. My master plan is to camp (probably at designated campsites) with the intention of getting out and about to shoot some photography. The Peaks, Lakes, Wales and Scotland being the main destinations I hope to visit in the coming years....Perhaps a little bit of wild camping in the future, but one step at a time.



    So...here's the thing. What's good and affordable. I'm thinking tent, sleeping bag and airbeds (are airbeds still a thing!?).

    As for a tent, thinking 1 birth. Only slight issue maybe is im 6.2ft, so one that I can actually lay out straight in would be nice!

    I dont really know much about anything currently, I'm sure there are a million things Ive not considered and at the moment I dont really want to walk into a camping shop and spend money on items I dont really understand or appreciate in the hope I get what I need. So any help and advice would be really appreciated.


  2. #2
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Step 1 for using formal sites, do you have a car? If you do, that makes it a lot easier!

  3. #3
    Widdler
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    Hi Peter, Yep, have a car

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Welcome mushy123, both back into getting back out there into the wilds and too into being here on OM Forum as well!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  5. #5
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    No worries about light weight.

    As for one-person tents, the point is generally smaller is easier to carry, but if you've got the car doing the carrying you're just cramping your camping for not much gain. A perfectly adequate tent can be had for not much, the sort of specialist lightweight one-person tent you'd be happy to both carry and sleep in and have space for stuff will probably be more.

    There's probably a lot to be said for a package from the likes of Halfords. It won't be the greatest and gear snobs may well turn up their noses, but it should do the job okay and should be all you need for site camping. If you subsequently decide wild vamping is the thing for you you'll have a bit more experience and know better what you want/like, and your cheap and heavy tent will still be fine for campsite use.

    Air beds are fine (indeed, excellent) in summer, in winter you lose a bit much heat through them and there are more specialist lighter and warmer mats. But they cost a lot more, and in warm weather aren't significantly (if at all) comfier than an airbed.

    Expensive specialist lightweight gear is expensive because money has been used on making it easily portable. You don't need that for a normal campsite, and stuff like big enough for headroom sat in a chair is stuff it generally doesn't deliver

    Pete.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Like Pete's said, I'd concentrate on getting relatively cheap stuff for campsite camping and then, if you get caught by the bug again then think about investing in lighter (and more expensive) stuff for wildcamping.

    This is what I did 10 years ago when, after stumbling over OM, I caught the bug really badly. I'd done a fair amount of outdoors stuff in my late teens, then done nothing for 20 years. What I discovered is that even the budget kit is WAY better than the stuff I had in the early 80s: waterproofs that are breathable, tents that don't leak, sleeping mats that are comfortable (essential for the more mature MK body).

    One of the things you can do is get a couple of closed cell mats on the floor of your tent: one can go under your sleeping mat to provide additional insulation, the other you can use as tent carpet.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Don't overlook charity shops as an occasional good new kit source. Stuff turns up there by the big brands as unwanted gifts. Or where the purchaser just donates a wrongly received size instead of returning it for exchange. Then of course there are the great Aldi outdoors lines ranges regularly throughout the year. Good fleeces and base layers etc. Just avoid like the plague their outdoors and running Crane footwear brand ok. They are terrible value. They wear out far too quickly I found.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Also, forgot to mention Alpkit as a possible quality kit supplier at very decent prices!

    https://www.alpkit.com/

    Trevor DC Gamble

  9. #9
    Mini Goon
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    What part of the country are you in mushy?

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Anyways I definitely think the OP is certainly 'back in the loop' here now alright!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  11. #11
    Widdler
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    Hi All,



    Sorry for the late reply! and thanks so much for you advice!. Going to have a think, pick up some kit and hopefully next month make my way to the peaks!




  12. #12
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    As the others have said, have a think about what sort of camping you want to do. If campsite camping, using it as a comfortable base for walking, where you will spend time around camp, cooking, relaxing, or in bad weather, etc. then you don't want a tiny, cramped little one-man tent.

    Get something that will give you a bit of room, maybe even a porch are where you could cook and sit in a folding chair.

    A small sleeping area is warmer, because you're not having to warm all that dead air space, so maybe think about a tent with a small sleeping compartment, and a larger living area. You can get some cheap tunnel tents of this sort that are reasonable for campsite camping.

    When you get to our age, grovelling about getting into and out of small tents gets less attractive...

    Backpacking tents, where you're having to carry everything, are a different matter entirely; pay to go light.

    Airbeds are comfortable, if inflated correctly, and not leaky... Stick a cheap foam mat on top to stop heat loss to the airbed & ground.

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention of course that there is often a good chance to pick up some great free outdoors kit on OM competitions regularly too! Accessible through the OM home page! And get that free opt into store loyalty card at Cotswold branches, and even without spending there you are automatically entered into their regular kit prize draws throughout the year too! From the Camping and outdoors mags like Camping, Trail and TGO to Country Walking, and Walk magazine from the Ramblers, there are always great gear competitions for lovely brand new kit as well ok.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  14. #14
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Mushy, I reckon that the regulars on here, that I like to call the the OM Faithful, or OM Forum Heroes, have definitely done you proud here with some great and good advice! Great stuff everyone!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    The newest range of Aldi outdoors kit is ready to be snapped up instore from tomorrow.




    https://www.aldi.co.uk/specialbuys/d...3AOutdoor+Wear

    Trevor DC Gamble

  16. #16
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Also, spotted something really actually rather good in the TU clothing range at Sainsburys the other day. Got myself one of the fifteen quid olive green Scotchguarded fabric zip up tops there, very suitable for outdoors useage. Lightweight, adds a little bit of warmth, plus waterproofness/windproofness too. Fab item, cheap as chips for what it is essentially.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Best bit up for grabs in Aldi appears to be the waterproof and windproof taped seams waterproof trousers. Good specifications for a tenner a pair. Avoid their outdoors boots/Crane running shoes though! Fall apart very quickly I found.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  18. #18
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    As above - Alpkit are great for more portable, expensive gear, and if it's literally carcamping on a site you're up to then Aldi, Lidl and Decathlon have some very good stuff for very cheap indeed. Enjoy!

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Yep! And Iceland too even! Just bought another pack of 89p micro fibre cloths for use for wiping condensation down in tent, face towel/cloth etc useage. Pack of three for under a quid, bargain!
    Trevor DC Gamble

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Very basic camping range coming out in a week or so at Aldi as well. Only good item there of any note is the ok quality sleeping mat.
    Trevor DC Gamble

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