Camping equipment

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Table' started by butterfly, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. butterfly

    butterfly Senior Member

    We are planning on going camping with our 2 kids next week, but we have NO camping equipment yet. I know this is an investment and we plan on camping much more in the future. I want to buy good quality stuff, but don't want to spend a fortune (REI) if we can avoid it! Any recommendations for where to go for camping equipment? Thanks!
     

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  2. tcufrog

    tcufrog Senior Member Plus

    Academy is where you can get everything affordably
     
  3. Gracemom

    Gracemom Senior Member

    Are you a Costco member? They have tents and some accessories. The best thing about buying there is that you can return them easily if you try them out and they don't work for you.
     
  4. simplyme

    simplyme Senior Member Plus

    Walmart and target have a decent supply of things that are well made and will last. our tent is a target clearance tent and we've had it for 5 yrs, probably camped at least 2x per year with the scouts and had no problems with it, no tears yet. etc.
    easy return policy too, 3 mos. no matter where you buy you'll run into good and bad quality items, so if they break or don't last like you think they should, just return them within the time frame.
     
  5. LeftEarDominant

    LeftEarDominant Senior Member Plus

    Can you borrow from someone? Lots of people have camping equipment that sits in their attic for longer than it gets used.
     
  6. Purple

    Purple Senior Member Plus

    We got our huge 10 person tent at Costco a few years ago. It is a Coleman Weathermaster 10. LOVE it. I don't think they have it anymore, though. It has a hinged door...it's amazing.

    There really isn't a whole lot you have to have. Tent, sleeping bags, cots or air mattress and a pump (if you'll be camping somewhere with water and electric, get an electric pump...it'll make your life easier). If you don't plan on cooking solely over a fire, bring a propane stove and some camping pots and pans and mess kits. We actually found the best set at REI and it really wasn't terribly pricey. We got good pots and pans and a mess kit for 4.

    We keep our cooking stuff and the non-refrigerated foods in a chuck box, but you don't *have* to.

    Don't forget Dollar Tree for camping cooking tools. Just skip their can opener and go straight for one at Walmart. It is more expensive than Dollar Tree, but you won't curse your can opener.

    As far as sleeping bags... We did get the girls the Kindercone ones from REI. They were WELL worth the cost. Mine is one from ****'s, I think. It is rated to 20 degrees. DH has one rated to 40, also from ****'s. I like the girls' sleeping bags better.

    We joined REI so we could get a check for part of what we spent. Plus, we get free rock climbing on the weekends and we get discounts and garage sale days.
     
  7. Purple

    Purple Senior Member Plus

    Oh! Get campfire forks for smores. The kind that extends. :) You can get them at ****'s, Academy or even Walmart.

    Also, I like to have two coolers. One for drinks and one for any meats or perishable foods. That way, when I open the cooler for drinks, I'm not exposing the meats to temp changes. :)

    And I never camp without my Keurig, if possible. We usually have water and electric at our site, so we take the Keurig and instant oatmeal for breakfast one day, cocoa at night, etc.
     
  8. simplyme

    simplyme Senior Member Plus

    For those wondering why Purple has ***** for a store name it's because it's been censored automatically it's
    D*i*c*k*s sporting goods
     
  9. CathyAnn

    CathyAnn Senior Member Plus

    If you do end up buying your own tent, be sure and get a big one. A 4 person tent really doesn't hold 4 people. You want elbow room and also room for all your stuff.
     
  10. Lindsayrg3

    Lindsayrg3 Senior Member

    I am a huge Academy fan!
     
  11. Doodlesnap

    Doodlesnap Senior Member

    I would check out REI Outlet http://www.rei.com/outlet I bought all my gear there and got amazing stuff for a good deal.
     
  12. simplyme

    simplyme Senior Member Plus

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we are a family of 3 and have a 5-6 person tent and it is barely enough room. we can put a queen size air mattress and two cots (slim cots) and there's just enough room at our feet to put our clothing bags. NOT BIG ENOUGH. so pick something more than double the family size that you have or larger.
    I'd also recommend getting one with zip up windows. many these days have just screen windows and the only covering you have is to put the rain tarp on top. if it's cold outside the wind will still blow in around the rain tarp.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  13. Purple

    Purple Senior Member Plus

    Yep, our 10-person tent is good for our family of 4 and Golden Retriever.
     
  14. Kathmom07

    Kathmom07 Senior Member Plus

    I would like to add a warning from a childhood experience with large/tall tents... if forecast says potential bad weather or wind, make sure to get hefty stakes (I wouldn't rely on the wimpy ones that come with the tent). Ours are big and long and heavy metal. The wind can rip cheap tent stakes out of the ground, and the taller the tent, the easier it blows over. I think the better ones come with extra ropes for support. :)
     
  15. skyfiregrl

    skyfiregrl Senior Member Plus

    Academy!
    Intex air mattress, they all leak, just accept it, but the Intex(k?) seems to hold up better. We also got our tent at Sams and LOVE it, I saw one similar the other day. Think cabin tent, not dome, Horrible to stand in. Always put the rain fly on the tent, if you don't it will rain, LOL. We have a chuck box, it is one my Dad made in the 70's, but you could use a box for cooking utensils and non-perishable food. I also like having two coolers (get the ones that are wheeled!) one for drinks, one for things that can spoil. Bass Pro and Cabelas have lots of stuff too. Good LUCK!
     
  16. skyfiregrl

    skyfiregrl Senior Member Plus

    Academy!
    Intex air mattress, they all leak, just accept it, but the Intex(k?) seems to hold up better. We also got our tent at Sams and LOVE it, I saw one similar the other day. Think cabin tent, not dome, Horrible to stand in. Always put the rain fly on the tent, if you don't it will rain, LOL. We have a chuck box, it is one my Dad made in the 70's, but you could use a box for cooking utensils and non-perishable food. I also like having two coolers (get the ones that are wheeled!) one for drinks, one for things that can spoil. Bass Pro and Cabelas have lots of stuff too. Good LUCK!
     
  17. butterfly

    butterfly Senior Member

    Thank you so much for all of the great info!!
     
  18. Kathmom07

    Kathmom07 Senior Member Plus

    :yeah with one exception. Once we put it up when there was no rain and strong wind, and the darn thing flapped in the wind all night long and I couldn't sleep with the noise. I almost got up at 3am to take it down. I guess there are worse things, but I am a grumpy camper if I don't get at least 5 hours sleep. :)
     
  19. Purple

    Purple Senior Member Plus

    Haha! Yeah... We went camping in a severe thunderstorm once. DH and I were both awake watching the weather on our phones. It was, like, 2am. We were camping in Arkansas. FIL had even heard about the weather and was so worried about us that he couldn't sleep. He called DH's cell at midnight to warn us. Fortunately, no limbs broke on the trees and there was no major issue. We had one tiny little leak, but for the large part, our tent stayed completely dry thanks to the rain fly.

    Also, get a tube of seam sealer. Set the tent up in your garage or yard and seal all the seams.

    If you decide to get a canopy for shade and stuff, be sure to get some good stakes for that, too. If you don't take it down for a storm, at least lower it and stake it.

    Glow sticks on the guy lines help you see them so you don't trip.

    Pick your location carefully at the park. Being near the water is great...but being near the bathroom is better, especially if a storm comes through and you need shelter. :lol
     
  20. Jen5253

    Jen5253 Senior Member Plus

    Also don't forget a tarp to put under the tent! If there is no chance of rain, leave part of the tarp in front of the entrance of the tent and this way it can catch a bunch of the dirt before you enter the tent. We also tend to take off our shoes and leave them on that entrance so that it doesn't bring all the dirt inside the tent.

    But make sure that the entrance of the tent isn't uphill and the back of the tent is downhill. My DH did that once when he went camping in college and then it rained and all the rain landed on the tarp and ran right down the tarp under the tent, and they all got wet. :lol So if it is going to rain, fold the tarp up so that it is under the tent on all four sides. :thumbup

    Also bring a small broom/dust pan so that you can sweep up the inside of the tent before you roll it up. We unstake it, unzip the door and turn it upside down and shake as much dirt out as we can, and then sweep it.

    Can you tell my dad was a little OCD about leaving dirt in the tent when we were camping. :lol

    Down the road, you can look at the damage goods sale at REI. They have it several times a year. This is where I've bought all of my camping equipment for steals of a deal. I got a $250 six man tent for $65 because it had a bent pole. I went downstairs and bought a new pole for $5. :thumbup You are able to set up the tents and check out the equipment before buying. So all of my hiking shoes, tents, backpacks, etc. have come from the damaged goods sales. :thumbup
     

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