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camping, Exhale, festivals, kit, list, Outdoor People, outdoors -

So what do I need to go camping??

First time campers, and many who just haven't been for a while, often ask what are the basics? Also there is an ongoing myth that camping isn't 'real' if you aren't cold, damp and roughing it. I beg to disagree... Fact is it doesn't need to be complicated or expensive, one of the joys of Vangocamping is its easy, cheap and fun. You can usually borrow most stuff for your first few adventures, and you can get some stuff second hand. If you only buy one thing I'd make it a sleeping bag, and the best you can afford (sales are great for these!), and next would be  a sleeping mat. Do take blankets, anything to keep you away from bare earth which will suck warmth away from you late at night. And no one can tell me there is anything wrong with taking a pillow! In fact I've one from Thermarest that folds up teeny tiny... We'll do another blog on kit lust... but you didn't expect someone to start an outdoors shop if they weren't into cool camping kit did you?! Anyway camping is a LOT less fun if you forget waterproofs, sun tan lotion or your woolly hat as the temperature drops. So here is a basic list for comfy camping, cobbled together after several years of trial and error. It's not exhaustive and I'd love to hear your essentials that aren't on here! Hope it helps and Happy camping! Down load the list here: Outdoor People Comfy Camping List
Shelter Think about: for how many, how long, how cold/hot and how comfy. Also think how far you have to carry it all, and bring a trolley if needed. The priority (IMHO) is warmth – it can get down to 5 degrees or even lower at 4am in mid summer – and keeping dry if it rains. Basics:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping mat (self inflating is generally best)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Lights (fairy lights and/or a lantern and/or a headtorch)20140716-144844-53324796.jpg
  • Pillow
  • Thick blanket or rubber mat (or yoga mat!) to put under the sleeping mat – cold comes up
  • For extra lux consider futons
  • Extra blanket or duvet for over you
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Extra tarp to put over your tent entrance can be handy if it rains or is blazing sun
  • Rug for tent doorway
  • And nice, warm pyjamas plus woolly socks and a hat!
You can always change to just a T-shirt and sleep outside if it’s the prayed for heat wave, but if it’s cold you’ll not regret those extra layers! Cooking Whether you are at a festival where you can get food or are cooking for yourself, here are the basics. I could do a whole list just on the outdoor kitchen…
  • Water bottle and large water bottle14548250482_674c71e82a_o
  • Thermos/flask to keep your coffee or tea hot
  • Tiffin or tin plate to fetch your food at a festival (save on recycling)
  • Mug (or wide mouth flask) for hot drinks, cup for wine, juice or beer
I use a Trangier for basic cooking and a Dutch Oven for group cooking over a fire. But THE most useful gadget I have is a Storm Kettle – boils as fast as an electric kettle so constant hot water for drinks and washing, plus can toast marshmallows on it! Clothes Packing for British weather means thinking layers… and water/sun proof! You’ll have your comfy favourites, but here’s a basic list I use…
  • Wellies – even if it doesn’t rain, grass is wet in the morning [caption id="attachment_239" align="alignright" width="100"]Credit: Richard Outram Credit: Richard Outram[/caption]
  • Flip-flops (ditto, and useful in showers)
  • Leggings and yoga clothes
  • Jumpers/fleece
  • Base layers – thermal vests and long johns look gorgeous and v sexy suddenly!
  • Socks/extra socks
  • Underwear
  • Sleep clothes (extra jumper/socks/hat)
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Waterproof jacket and fleece
  • Waterproof trousers if doing hills
  • And of course shorts and T-shirts!
And if at a festival… some glitter, feathers and the like can be fun, and face paints for kids and young at heart! Personal
  • Towels/washcloth (hamam towel I think is best, or microfiber ones)
  • Soap/shampoo
  • Insect repellent and afterbite
  • Tooth brush/tooth paste
  • Deodorant
  • Comb/brush
  • Razor
  • Feminine products (and those tampons can be AMAZINGLY useful… seriously god firelighters!)
  • Tissues
  • Personal medications, contact lenses – take extra
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • Camera/extra battery
  • Books/magazines (get off the iPad/iPhone!)
  • Musical instruments
  • Camp chairs
  • Hammock (!)
  • Mobile phone/charger – solar powered if you can get it
  • Money/ID/credit card
  • Hand wipes
You also might want to have your own tea, coffee and snacks, and maybe a cooler for drinks and beer. And most of all take your sense of fun and adventure!

Make it easy to get outdoors…

[caption id="attachment_246" align="alignright" width="665"]Credit: Richard Outram Credit: Richard Outram[/caption]  


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