Whether you’re off to a festival, heading to the continent or taking advantage of the glorious British summer, camping is always a much more enjoyable experience if you’ve got the right gear. Here are just some of the glamorous camping essentials you’ll need for a civilised trip to the wilderness. Former boy scout Ben Judge reports.
The Luna bell tent is a “spacious and eye-catching” tent for glampers that can be pitched much more quickly than other similarly shaped tents on the market right now, says Shell Robshaw-Bryan on CampingWithStyle.com. Setting up the canvas and aluminium structure takes just a few minutes, and its innovative design allows it to be pitched as one. There’s lots of space inside, says Sian Lews in The Independent. Its “huge front door, cute circular windows and plenty of standing space” make it ideal for families.
Even in the hottest summers it can get chilly at night so you’ll need something to warm you up when the sun goes down. The BioLite FirePit is an innovative new gadget that lets you “enjoy the warmth and crackle of an open fire without the eye-stinging smoke”, say Jeremy White and Chris Haslam on Wired.co.uk. The BioLite comes with a powerful fan that can keep the embers glowing smoke-free for 24 hours (if you add enough logs) and the rate of burn can be adjusted from your mobile phone via its bluetooth connection. The mesh body allows you to see all the action, and when you get hungry, it can be used for cooking, too.
No self-respecting glamper would be seen dead sitting on the floor to eat. And the Donut inflatable picnic table from Blofeld Design means you will never have to. The eye-catching design seats up to six people and is available in various finishes and patterns, including faux-leather and snakeskin.
From €1,798, BlofieldShop.com
The Kid-O-Bunk is a “fabulous creation” that you “absolutely must buy”, says Pete Wise in the Evening Standard. It’s not cheap and it takes ten or 15 minutes to put together, but it’s worth it. It can be configured as bunk beds, single twin beds, and even a sofa. It packs back down into its own carry bag, and can double up as extra sleeping space at home for sleepovers or guests.
Instagramming can take its toll on your phone’s battery, so keeping your phone charged is vital (if only to ensure your campfire has the correct heat output, see above). The X-Dragon solar power bank is the best around, says Rebecca Armstrong on TopTenReviews. It’s “durable, easy to grip and resistant to shock”, which means it should be able to stand up to the elements. Four hours of sunlight gave it enough oomph to charge Armstrong’s Samsung Galaxy smartphone to 73%.
Camping can be a dirty business. You are living in a field, after all. But if your campsite doesn’t have facilities of its own, or you don’t fancy trekking across the site to queue at the toilet block in the morning, don’t worry. Take along the Quechua solar shower and “washing in the wilderness with your own cleaning kit will feel like a godsend”, says Lucy Hedges in Metro.
The shower’s eight-litre water bag is heated by the sun and its pump system ensures there’s enough pressure to wash all the grime off.
After a good night’s rest under the stars, what better way to start the day than with a strong cup of coffee. Getting your caffeine fix in the field is now a piece of cake with the Wacaco Minipresso portable espresso machine.
Completely powered by hand (apart from boiling the water), the Minipresso is just 17.5cm long and weighs 360g, but it “packs a powerful punch for its size” says Foodism.co.uk. Add coffee and hot water, pump the piston to build the pressure and, hey presto, excellent espresso on the move.