The round-up: summer camping companions
The summer months mean clear skies, warm days and balmy nights – perfect weather for camping or ‘glamping’, whatever your style. If you are thinking of heading into the great outdoors over the festive period, you need to check this list before pitching your tent.
First things first, if you are heading outdoors for a while you need shelter. There are some among us that prefer to sleep under the stars, but if that doesn’t sound like your style there have been some major leaps in the tent world lately. Families should stop by Kathmandu and enquire about the Retreat 180 four-person tent – not only is it spacious, it’s durable and weatherproof as well. If you are camping solo or as a couple, John Lewis stocks the amazing Easy Camp Tipi Tent, which is versatile and easy to pitch. Bang Bang tents are a pioneering force behind solar powered tents. While many may believe that camping is an excuse to get away from technology, sometimes it’s just not possible. If you need to keep in touch with the rest of the world, your tent can double as an energy source, with a 5-watt solar panel and lithium storage battery installed so you can charge a phone, laptop or speakers. If you really want to rough it but still require some form of shelter, Eagles Nest Outfitters provide foul-weather protection through their brand of rain tarps.
You’ve pitched your tent, now you need something to sleep on. Sleeping bags are an essential item and making a choice regarding the best one is hard. If you want something high-end, Nemo Equipment make the Nocturne 15, a sleeping bag that strikes the perfect balance between comfort and performance. If you are limited on space, the Spark SPI Sleeping Bag packs away into a small, easy-to-store bundle without sacrificing comfort. For those who can’t get a good night’s sleep on a simple camping mat, Heliox have constructed a cot that will keep you above ground and secure, while Nemo Equipment also sell a comfy air bed that’ll have you sleeping peacefully all night.
Next, you will want a place to sit. There are two main options, chair or stool. Kathmandu stocks the handy Cabana Directors Chair, which comes with a flip down table and cup holder while BCF stocks the Wander Thirst Tanker Chair, a camping seat fit for a king. For something a bit more minimalist yet stylish, American brand, Wood&Faulk create exquisite campstools made from ash hardwood and English bridle leather.
One of the best parts of camping is the cooking. Whether it’s over an open flame or using a camping stove, dinnertime on the campsite is an intimate affair. If you are looking for an alternative to gas cooking or your campsite doesn’t allow fire, try the revolutionary Barocook flameless cooker, the GoSun Solar Cooker or the Eva Solo To Go Grill. If you do enjoy the old campfire cook-up, get yourself a cooking set from Optimus, or for the true rustic enthusiast, Grandpa’s Firegrill. Kids will also enjoy cooking marshmallows or snags with the inventive Campfire Fishing Rod. If you require a good cup of coffee while camping, Lin Morris make top-of-the-line trekker kettles, while the Aerobie Aeropress makes a brew almost as good as your local coffee joint.
After cooking comes eating, and there are some great options for getting food from pan to plate. Aussie Disposals sell an ingenious biodegradable picnic set, while GSI Outdoors sell a useful range of simple cutlery. The Stanley Outdoor Mug is an indestructible drinking utensil that is perfect for your coffee or tea. Once you’ve cleaned up, store your perishable goods in the Rolls Royce of eskys – the Tundra 45 by Yeti Coolers.