Keeping your motorhome’s tyres inflated properly is a challenge at the best of times. Manoeuvring a big vehicle into the tiny air bay at the petrol station can be a trial, then stretching the air line right round the van to try to reach the furthest wheels and I tend to need a lie-down in a darkened room by the end of it. Add to that the fact that quite often, you get the van lined up neatly at the petrol station, then find that the air machine is either out of order, or doesn’t actually go up to 80 psi!
So when we swapped our Hymer for a 31ft RV, I knew I had to find a better way to keep those tyres properly inflated. After all, I now had 6 tyres to worry about, and the four at the back are quite a long way from anywhere near where I can get the air line.
Even if you’re the most fair-weather of campers, a good pair of wellies makes sense in the UK. I’ve lost count this summer of the mudfest days, and we’ve been towed off quite a few pitches due to waterlogging. In a country where wellies are a necessity, then we might as well produce fabulous ones. Hunter, of course, make the very best wellington boots in the world. Ever. Somehow they have managed to take this most mundane item of footwear, and turn it into a luxury brand. Kudos to Hunter for that.
Kudos too for taking the humble welly and making it so much better. More comfortable, more sturdy, more stylish, more fun…more everything, in fact. These unisex original Hunter wellies are at the entry-level end of the Hunter range – their “luxe” boots can cost several hundred pounds for a pair!
I bought these Camper slippers in March, specifically to bring on our gap year. I needed some shoes to wear in the van that had enough of a sensible sole to be able to pop outside if needs be. They had to be slip-on for easy use, and I was hopeful of something other than Crocs. I spent ages looking for the perfect shoe before chancing on these lovelies.
I can say unequivocally that these slippers are the best pair of slippers I have owned. Ever. They score on so many levels -
they’re unbelievably comfy, right from the moment you first try them on
they are so warm, it’s amazing. They kept my feet deliciously toasty all through those cold evenings in Normandy at the end of March
they’re really durable – I’ve been wearing mine for 3 months already, and they still look brand new
It’s not easy to visualise them on your feet from the picture above, but they do look really stylish when you’re wearing them.
John Lewis, I do like your style! Not only do you stock standard polycarbonate wine glasses, but you also have unbreakable whisky tumblers, unbreakable champagne flutes, German-style beer glasses and best of all, these fabulous unbreakable martini glasses. Love cocktails and canapés, but also love camping? These are just perfect for you. Made from ultra-tough polycarbonate, they won’t break if you get a little accident-prone after that third martini.
These glasses are also microwave- and dishwasher-safe, although that’s not really something we campers need to worry about, on the whole. But it does slightly beg the question…why might a martini glass need to be microwave safe? The mind boggles!
Anyway, back to these stylish martini glasses…they’re perfect for campsite parties, summer picnics or just for parties where you’ve invited your clumsy best friend.
So you’ve arranged to meet up with some fellow campers down on the beach, for a beer or two? It’s just not cool to turn up with a plastic bag of clanking bottles, now is it? Set the style stakes a teensy bit higher with this funky beer tote from Built NY. Chill your beers in advance, and this little beauty will keep them cool for up to 4 hours. It can carry 6 beer-sized bottles or cans, so don’t go thinking you’d fit a bottle of wine in here, there’s a whole range of other Built NY carriers for wine…
It’s made of neoprene, so it’s tough and long-lasting and there’s no danger of somehow ‘breaking’ it. It’s pretty lightweight too, and you can just squish it in a drawer in the camper when you’re not using it.
Faintly ridiculous, or the coolest thing you’ve clapped eyes on for some time? Either way, this VW T1 Camper Van tent from Firebox wins big in the smile stakes. How can you not look at it and smile? And whilst you could be forgiven for thinking that this tent is all about the looks and not much else, you’ll probably be surprised at its size and specification.
The tent is apparently a life-size replica of a 1960s VW T1 camper van, although I suspect there’s just a little bit of poetic license on that front. Inside there are two separate two-man sleeping rooms, so it’s a pretty sizeable tent. I like that the VW shape means that it’s quite a tall tent, as tents aren’t usually renowned for their spacious headroom, are they? The fact that you enter the tent through the side doors of the VW is just so cute.
Hallelujah for bright, shouty colours! Picnics are joyous events, special treats, and escapes from our everyday lives. So a picnic basket that shouts of sunshine and funshine is spot on and knocks all the dull khaki and navy baskets on the market into a cocked hat.
This clever basket folds flat so as not to take up too much room when it’s not in use, and it’s got a sturdy frame to help carry all that tasty grub easily. With a 21 litre capacity, there’s heaps of room for sandwiches, cakes and lashings of ginger beer.
I’m thinking that this basket would be useful in other ways too…it’d be great as a giant toiletries bag – you could get shampoo, shower gel, hair dryer, towel and all manner of bathroom stuff in here!
You don’t actually need to climb mountains to appreciate this rather lovely men’s jacket, from Cotswold Outdoors. Good outdoor kit makes all the difference even if your idea of extreme sports is a day pootling along a quiet river bank. Cold and wet, you’re no fun to be with. Wearing this, you’re good to go whatever the weather.
It’s not often you see mainstream clothes that come with eco credentials, but the Glade Jacket from Hagloffs is made from recycled polyester. Yes, recycled. I’m going to see if I can find out any more from Cotswold Outdoor about where the recycled polyester comes from, as I think it’d be fun knowing these jackets were once a pair of old school trousers, or someone’s 1980′s curtains.
The double-layer construction of the jacket means you’ll keep warm and dry at all times, and the unceremoniously named ‘pit vents’ keep you from getting all sweaty and uncomfortable.
I don’t know about other campers but I seem to need a surprising array of footwear for camping. I’m not even a shoes kind of person. But there’s shoes for driving, shoes for inside the van, shoes for outside on the campsite, flip-flops for the showers….don’t even get me started on day shoes, walking boots etc.
An obvious choice for campers is the only slightly naff crocs. I’m possibly the only person in the world who doesn’t get on with crocs, but my partner swears by them, with a pair for in the van and another pair for out on the campsite and in the camp showers. Slip on and supremely washable, they do make the perfect shoe for camping.
Don’t be tempted by any of the looky-likey croc wannabees…genuine crocs are where it’s at. They come in a bewildering range of colours and styles these days, so you’re no longer limited to dull khaki or weirdo pink.