Go camping with class
Camping used to mean packing up your old kit bag, hoisting it onto your back and trekking into the wilderness. These days, your average camping experience involves stepping out of the four-by-four and pitching the tent so there’s room for a little more luxury.
And even if you do have to carry everything, there are some ingenious lightweight solutions around to make you a little more comfortable.
Twisted fire starter
The Trekmates Firestarter consists of a magnesium rod which generates sparks when you hit it with the striker. It takes a while to get the hang of it so practice before you go or risk looking like a fool around the (unlit) campfire. Visit www.trekmates.co.uk. Price €10.
To nurture the sparks into a flame, try Tinder Sticks. They are made from a cultivated Mexican pine called Fat Wood due to its high resin content, meaning that lighting the barbecue has never been easier.
Visit www.lightmyfire.com. Price €2.50.
Eagles Nest has a double hammock which will inspire envy among your fellow campers. Forget fraying bits of rope too; their nifty Slap Straps make it incredibly easy to put up.
Visit www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com. Price €52.
Polly put the kettle on
The Packaway kettle is extraordinary, collapsing into a small circle when not in use. It works with most heat sources too. Being made of silicon, you’d expect it to be a bit squishy, but in fact it feels pretty solid once it’s full. They also do a collapsible coffee dripper, funnel, bucket and pet bowl.
Visit www.wackypracticals.com. Price €37
Plus the kitchen sink
You may be the butt of a few ‘kitchen sink’ jokes, but the Sea to Summit collapsible basin will make it considerably easier to wash the veggies, or indeed your face if you are feeling particularly hygienic.
Visit www.seatosummit.com. Price €20.
Biolite up your world
The Biolite Campstove is an extraordinary innovation. It cooks your meals using only a few twigs you collect from your surroundings, eliminating the need to carry and dispose of gas canisters.
But the really astonishing part is that it also converts the heat to electricity, so that you can charge up your gadgets while you cook your dinner (the charger is attached to the side of the stove). You can even roast marshmallows afterwards on the flames. Visit www.biolitestove.com. Price €105.
Wood-burning stoves have been the darlings of interior designers for years, but they’ve now hit the great outdoors. Frontier offers a portable version which not only looks really cool (it has a rather funky chimney) but works as a barbecue, a stove and a heater on a cold night.
You can use any kind of solid fuel on it, even recycled rubbish such as newspaper bricks. You’ll also meet the neighbours because people won’t be able to resist coming over to ask you where you got it.
Visit www.glampercamper.co.uk. Price €160.
Bring the coffee shop to the wilderness with an outdoors coffee maker. The Esbit Stainless Steel Coffee Maker will produce a perfect cup of coffee using an especially fine filter and even has its own stove attached.
Visit www.alloutdoor.co.uk . Price €41.
Your last penknife got confiscated at airport security, right? If you’re going to treat yourself to a new one, then consider the Gerber Steady Tool. It does all the usual cutting, hacking, screw driving and tin opening but it has a very useful addition; a tripod. It will screw into your average camera mount but there’s also an attachment for smartphones. Ingenious!
Visit www.gerber-store.co.uk. Price €95.
Drink to it
The ice in the cooler will still be frozen on your first night so make the most of it by chilling the champagne and toasting the stars from multi-coloured, unbreakable champagne flutes.
Visit www.glampercamper.co.uk. Price €22.
For maximum illumination where you need it most, try the Mellert Basic Seven Summit. The adjustable light beam provides for perfect light distribution and you can choose how many LEDs to turn on depending on whether you need close range or distance vision.
Visit www.theheadtorchstore.co.uk. Price €43.