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The Joy of Poundland…

Refering back to my previous post, you need a lot of things to make your camping trip an easy one, and although most of those things are relatively small and cheap, when you add it all up you can spend an inordinate amount on gear when you start out.

I knew that Poundland stocked things like cutlery, kitchenware and a few bits of camping gear, so I figured that it’d be a good place to start when buying all my stuff. In the end, I was very glad that I did because I got a lot of things that I didn’t expect to find and saved myself quite a bit of money.

The best find by far was a collapsible water carrier. It’s not all that sturdy and the tap isn’t as leak-proof as it could be, but it cost a pound (as you would expect from Poundland) and considering that a similar one from ebay would cost about £5 I could afford to buy two in case one splits unexpectedly.

As well as that I bought:

  • a rope
  • tent pegs (£5 from Millets or Blacks)
  • a rubber mallet (around £4 with p&p from Amazon)
  • a wind up torch
  • two tripod-style folding stools
  • some jam jar lanterns to hold tea lights
  • citronella candles
  • salad bowl
  • 4 forks
  • 4 knives
  • 4 teaspoons
  • 4 dessert spoons
  • dust pan and brush set
  • kitchen wipes
  • baby wipes
  • batteries
  • lighters

So, including the water carrier, I spent £22 on stuff that could have cost me around £45-£55 if I’d have bought it all elsewhere…and there’s so much more they sell that I didn’t buy.

They have ground-sheets but they’re only 1×2 metres big. On their own they have some practical uses (they would be very useful for lining the floor of the van/covering the bench seat if it was really muddy, or as a narrow place to take your boots off outside the van/tent) but I think you’d need to patch a few of them together to cover a decent area of ground, and if you’re going to do that then you may as well buy a bigger, slightly more expensive groundsheet and not have to worry about your patchwork floor coming to pieces or leaking at the seams.

Their plastic-backed picnic rugs are also quite small but would be useful for kneeling at the BBQ or as a portable dry seat for a single bum (or two that didn’t mind squishing together)…or you could buy a few and sew them together if you wanted to save some money. Large plastic-backed picnic rugs can be pretty expensive, but I got a decent sized one from a petrol station for about £8 on a half price offer. I bought a similar one a few years ago but that sadly drowned in beer and mud at a festival last year (it would have been salvageable  but I packed it into a plastic bag and forgot about it for a few weeks. It wasn’t pretty…). It was incredibly useful before I ruined it, so I’m very glad I could replace it without spending over £15 or having to sew a whole bunch of rugs from Poundland together!

As well as the things I’ve mentioned, you can also buy:

  • plastic and enamel tableware
  • emergency shelters
  • spare guy ropes
  • lanterns
  • storage containers
  • kitchen and BBQ utensils
  • disposable BBQs
  • table cloths
  • pegs
  • food
  • books
  • CDs
  • stationery
  • art supplies

…and loads of other things that you could probably invent a use for while you’re camping.

After you’ve done some window shopping online and gauged the prices of the stuff you need, it’s definitely the best place to start the real-life shopping, and it’s a fraction of the price of most ‘proper’ camping shops. Some of the stuff may only survive a few uses (I don’t have much faith in the tripod stools) but in some situations, like festivals, you may only want to take cheap things that you won’t miss if they get lost, broken, or irretrievably covered in mud.

 

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The Melaware Has Landed!…

A parcel arrived this morning (thank you Snug in a Dub)…it was VERY well packaged and I had so much fun unwrapping all my new tableware and then getting Fletch to pose with it…

Fletch looks snooty because he’s enjoying the feeling of smug satisfaction that comes from pretending you’re being ‘green’

You see that little bit of space on the bottom left of the table? Well at one point during the photoshoot, Fletch got down off his chair to start dancing round me (he’s such a diva) and when I shouted ‘Up!’ (as in, ‘onto the chair’, an instruction he understands perfectly) he thought it best to jump, like a cat, ONTO THE TABLE…into that small space…right next to my precious things…

Needless to say I had a small heart attack as I envisioned everything bouncing off the patio, but luckily he got down with a modicum of grace and resumed posing on the chair, rather than as a centrepiece.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Random

 

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Vintage Dining…

I’ve got about another week before I can go pick up Old Red, so I’m filling the time by collecting pretty things to make my camping trips more cosy.

I had the grand idea of kitting my van out with a set of china teacups, a china dinner service and some classy cutlery. Scouring my parent’s garage yielded an awesome set of coffee cups and saucepans, but they were all way too heavy. So I started searching for vintage melamine on ebay…

I quite liked the idea of a mismatched set and I found loads of really interesting pieces, but I didn’t bid high enough and lost out on everything. I started looking for online stores instead, and that’s when I came across Snug in a Dub and their fabulous selection of Melaware (amongst other things)…

I’ve ordered a selection of orange and turquoise plates, cups, saucers, mugs, bowls, spoons and more…and yes, I’ve spent far more than I would have if I’d have gone to Poundland instead, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s a far more practical choice than bone china (which would require LOTS of bubble wrap) and I’m being ecologically sound (ish) by “recycling” vintage tableware. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

*excited*

 

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