NT kids den kit cheaper options??

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
Found out NT sell a neat looking kid's den kit. It's a small shoulder bag like those canvas old style army bags. Inside it's got a tarp, groundsheet, pegs, natural cordage, small wooden mallet etc. It's £40 all in.

My question is can you put together such a kit that's better for £40 or less?
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
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Inside the wire, Llanelli
Boonies Outdoor Same kit different branding £37.45

alternatively doing a pick an mix of equivalents
Ground-sheet, tin mug, tent pegs | Poundland | £3
Camo tarp 6x4 feet | Ebay | £2.95
Canvas haversack ,, £6.45
15m jute rope ,, £5.89

Bush mallet is easy enough to make if you think they need it... that comes to £18.29 so far including postage

Shemagh £3.38
Camo face paint £2.99
Poundland COB headtorch & batteries for a week £2
kids 6x30 binoculars £4-5
Camo netting 3x5 feet £4

Optional xtra:
Cardboard shipping boxes 10"x7"x3" pack of five £7.50 --- for DIY kids ration packs (fill as needed with coke, crisps, chocolate etc)
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
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<Tries to think if her childhood would have been enhanced by such a product...>

Righty, now all I need is an unbranded version of the NT working week on St Kilda.

There is no way I can afford the official version
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,138
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S. Lanarkshire
Somewhere I still have one of the army surplus IPKthings.
I know I paid a fiver for it.
It's a tarp, a long length of paracord and a good handful of tent pegs.

When shopping is easy again, I think I'd go to Poundland. They sell tarps for a pound, a bag of pegs for a pound, the little hexi stoves for a pound....
for under a tenner you could have a whole set up done and dusted :)
The other stores of that ilk, B&M's, etc., do the same sort of thing in season too.

Or, look at the army surplus stores. See what's available there.

I think the NT price is ridiculous, it's not as though it's top notch kit, just stuff for a kid playing in the woods/garden.

M
 
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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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As a kid I never had a branded kit like that. To my mind it takes away the inventativeness of a childs play.
I made wigwam dens with bean poles or canes and old curtains or sheets. I made toasting forks from old coat hangers and home made Billy cans from treacle tins and a bit of wire for a handle.
I had a dolls house made from a cardboard box and furniture made from match boxes and lamps from the old toothpaste tube tops .
Part of the play value came from using your imagination to make something from a few odds and ends.
Obviously adult guidance came in the beginning but soon was able to see what can be done with next to nothing..

That's the real value.

To this day I can see what is to someone else a bit of rubbish to be thrown away, and happily see a use for it, and a way to repurpose it.
I second Toddy, s idea of the ipk thing. It's tough and cheap. I would body swerve the poundland tarps! They may be cheap, but they really don't last more than a short while as they tear and degrade very easily. For a pound or two more the army stuff will last and take kid abuse easily.
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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In used to have one of those bags, same size. IIRC it had some of my badges all over the lid too. Used for many a night away at relatives or friends.
 

Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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I think the NT stuff is marketed at different people to us.

(I am not an enemy of the NT; I just think they should put more of this wonderful collection they boast so gleefully about online...)
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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Just as I thought, they've got together a few items that fit into their "things to do before you're 11 and ¾" ethos and marked it up to a price point they think they could get away with.
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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Anyone know if that bag style is army surplus copy and what it could be from surplus stores? I might try to put something similar together myself.
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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There's one issue with Poundland type stores, I have to go into places like Lancaster city centre on a Saturday!! Eurgh!! Too many people! How can you live in places with so many people??!!! It's not right I tell you.
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I think making up a 'camp kitbag' for him is a brilliant idea :)
Hours and hours and days and weeks of fun in that new garden you'll have soon.

When you see all the abandoned tents, etc., left after festivals it seems such a shame, and such a waste. A couple of tents worth of guylines and pegs alone would be a brilliant start.

Have you seen the living willow structures ? Easy to make round houses from those.

M
 
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Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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Had a look, didnt purchase.

Not enough reviews <sniff>

And this `lasts forever` is that NuSpeak for `plastic??`


And what is this? if its `zero waste` why do we need it and why does it cost £30?
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
Oh NT have gone in for plastic reduction big time. It's a real money earner! Beeswax sandwich sheets, reusable of course. Cotton food bags for loose bought veggies, etc. They've ditched the bee homes ideas in favour of selling gardening books for encouraging bees or wildlife in general. Kind of sell the knowledge.

To say NT is no longer a charity but a merchandising company would not be too far from the truth. But I guess needs must when the devil drives!! They need to balance the books and they're not allowed to sell anything gifted to them I believe.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
I think I saw a tent sold as being disposable once can't remember where now. My final campsite check for anything left behind includes a much wider area than our pitch. I've got loads of left behind pegs, stuff sacks and straps that way over the years. They sit in the car just in case we forget our pegs like we did on one family week away camping in the peak District.

We have a couple of walks where there's often enough branches and rods around to make impromptu send. Usually not good enough to make one you'll l sleep in but that's not the point of it. It's the fun if making it. Usually moss or bracken over the sticks for the pretence of weatherproofing it. Well he's 7 so it's not serious attempt.

At home I hope there's a way to make a den be with what I cut back. A plain tarp around a wigwam structure. I can teach him lashing techniques before they hopefully teach him in Cuba probably next year when he goes up to that section

I have a few tarps but they're sil nylon and too expensive for play use. I would rather give him his own kit with something cheaper and possibly more durable for his use. Just hope the cheap tarps aren't too big or heavy. I once got a cheap one and it was very bulky and heavy for its size. But then I've been spoilt by UL sil-nylon tarps.
 

Wildgoose

Full Member
May 15, 2012
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With regards to the Den kit, you could probably source and make it up slightly cheaper but that’s the cost of anything ready made.
Those pre packed survival tins for example.
not everyone has the knowledge or ability to build such a kit.
most Of the ready made bags seem to be about that price
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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The beeswax wraps are really easy to make. They're surprisingly good too.
I just used quilting cotton, but any cotton works well for them.

M
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I put my sandwedges in either a box or the bag the bread came in.

Am I doing it all wrong??

No, it works, why not ?

When all bread came in waxed paper folks used to keep that to use to wrap up stuff.
Scottish Plain Bread (Mother's Pride) still comes in that waxed paper. Makes brilliant toast that bread :)
 
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