Going camping? These are your (ever so chic) must-haves
Booked a campsite, but no idea what you’re doing? Don’t worry, here’s the kit that will see you through – from enamelware for Pimms to the ultimate mattress.
Portable garden plates
They say an army marches on its stomach, and you’ll soon learn this is just as true for a family on a camping trip, so don’t skimp on the kitchen essentials. These lightweight plastic plates from NORSK are as beautiful as they are practical, and make the perfect base for scalding cheese toasties or sausages straight off the grill (just make sure they’re cooked through… coz, you know, camping loos…).
CUBE Portable Barbeque
In our heads we’ll be charmingly frying bacon over a picture-perfect campfire, but this can prove tricky in the real world. Keep the smoky flavour but ditch the fire-lighting struggle with a whizzily designed portable BBQ, created by master of smoke Heston Blumenthal. Compact, cool-to-the-touch, and easy to use, this little wonder gives you authentic charcoal cooking without the mess. So darned clever.
Cashmere Hand warmers
We’re under no delusions about the British climate, so it’s seriously worth packing a pair of gloves for when that chill sets in. These 100% cashmere ones from Rowen and Wren have our vote: they’re simple and classic, and keep your fingers free for marshmallow-toasting galore.
Two-Room Elfield Tent
There are tents, and then there are tents. We’re not telling you to squash five-star glamping kit into your weeny car boot (though if we could…), but this bad boy promises properly portable comfort. Inspired by Japanese mountaineering gear, it offers both a living space and a bedroom for four adults, whilst still being entirely weather-proof. Practically a villa…
Recycled Wool Blanket
A blanket is non-negotiable, both for picnic-ing and for keeping warm. For us, it has to be from sustainable Scottish brand The Tartan Blanket Co., and we particularly love the colour palette of this 100% recycled number.
Libbi Enamel Mug
You’ll need enamel mugs to fill with tea, or steaming soup, or perhaps a cheeky Pimms… these joyfully vivid, handcrafted ones from Turkey won’t be banished to the garden shed once you’re back from the trip — they’re far too lovely for that. (They’re also dishwasher safe: result.)
Outdoor Iron Cooking Pot
A good, versatile pot is the workhorse of the camping kitchen, and they don’t come better than a classic cast-iron one from Netherton. Any misgivings about weight give way to the advantage of heat retention (invaluable when you’ve got a dodgy heat source), and the pleasingly neat way the handle can be unscrewed to fold in over the top of the pot.
Inflatable camping mat
Forget The Princess and the Pea, if you don’t get a proper sleeping mat, it’ll be The Exhausted Mother and the Many Many Rocks. This inflatable mattress from Thermarest is the best there is: it’s incredibly light and packs down to tiny, but will guarantee you a good night’s kip.
Classic Stanley flask
A sleek, iconic design from the inventor of the all-steel vacuum bottle back in 1913. This flask will keep your drinks hot or cold for a full 24 hours: no tepid tea or lukewarm lemonade will pass these lips, thank you very much.
Camper Van Cooking, Claire Thomson & Matt Williamson
We abandoned measly cups-a-soup to the insane diet crazes of years past, so they won’t cut the mustard in a cold campsite. Instead, this beautiful new cookbook is stuffed cover-to-cover with tips, tricks and ingenious recipes for the family on the move. You’ll soon be whipping up a frying pan toad-in-the-hole and doorstop Spanish tortilla sandwiches, or keeping off the cold with a melting chocolate malt loaf.