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Camping Knowledge

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Following on from the recent comments from Wasdale Mountain Rescue team about Scarfel Pike isn’t a playground for the inexperienced, now rescues from the Yorkshire Dales are warning walkers against leaving vital safety gear out of their rucksack to save weight.

Two lost Yorkshire Three Peaks challengers who failed to pack a map and compass (basic equipment in our opinion) had to be rescued from the mountains by the Cave Rescue Organisation.


They we’re out on Sunday and had to call 999 after getting lost in the dark for over two hours. The men aged 21 and 27 left the summit of Ingleborogh heading for Hrton in Ribblesdale but got lost.

According to the rescue team, they said police enquiries suggested the men were actually on the path leading to Clapham, between Gaping Gill and Trow Gill.

A spokesperson for the rescue team said “An online PhoneFind search by a CRO controller confirmed this.

“In order to save weight, they had left critical kit – compass, map, second light, second phone – at home, relying solely on a smartphone app.

“When the duty controller rang them, they had only 7 per cent battery and a single, fading headtorch. Otherwise, they were well equipped and at least they stayed put as instructed.

“A small team from CRO drove up to Trow Gill, walked up to where they could see the torch, then escorted the pair to a team Land Rover. They were driven down to CRO base and waited in the New Inn, for a friend to drive them back to Horton.”


If you are heading out onto the hills this winter (and we wouldn’t want you not too) just make sure you have the right equipment.

The basic equipment needed for a one day hike should include enough water, food, map, compass, head torch, spare clothing, waterproof clothing.

Please do go out and explore our hills this winter, just make sure you do it safely. The wonderful rescue teams have no problem coming to your aid if it’s genuine – its when the incidents can be avoidable that frustrates them.

If you are after a new winters jacket, check out our recent articles on men winter jackets or women’s winter jackets.

Hopefully you will never need to use these, but its always better to be prepared, anything can happen to you, someone in your party or you come across someone who needs help in the countryside.

If you need to call out mountain rescue, first make a note of all relevant details:

• Location (with a grid reference if possible)
• Name, gender and age of casualty
• Nature of injuries or emergency
• Number of people in the party
• Your mobile phone number.

Dial 999 or 112, then ask for ‘Police’ then ‘Mountain Rescue’.

Give all your prepared details of the incident and STAY WHERE YOU ARE until contacted by the rescue team. If you have to make a further 999 call, follow this procedure in full again.

Mountain Rescue

If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can contact the 999 emergency services by text. You will only be able to use this service if you are registered with emergencySMS first, so register now — don’t wait for an emergency! Text ‘register’ to 999 then follow the instructions sent.

In an emergency, contact the emergencySMS service by texting 999. Your message should include ‘Police’ + details of incident + location.

It’s worth remembering you don’t need credit on your phone to make a 999 call and to dial 999 it just needs to find a network and it will call.

I do a lot of running in the hills and have a spare phone for emergencies, just in case. It’s an old nokia (not smartphone) and the battery lasts for days.

When it comes to essential camping equipment, we automatically think tents, sleeping bags and backpacks, however, having the right cooking equipment is essential and can often make the difference when it comes to enjoying a complete camping experience.

Being able to cook hot, nutritional food is vital if you’re camping for several days and nights – so when pot noodles and packets of crisps just won’t do, you’ll want to have a camping frying pan that is reasonably priced, durable and effective. It’s a fairly saturated market at the moment when it comes to camping equipment, which is great news for the consumer as it means there is much more choice out there and brands are constantly going above and beyond to ensure they make the best possible product.

Here, we’ve picked out what we believe are three of the best camping frying pans that are currently on the market – and we’ve catered to those with all budgets. However, it’s not all just about price, with design, usability, size and weight all playing a part when it comes to choosing the best camping frying pan.

Sea to Summit Alpha Pan (8” & 10”)

  • 8” Pan – Weight: 245g
  • 10” Pan – Weight: 335g
  • Hard anodized
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Non-stick surface
  • Even heat distribution

Both lightweight and ergonomic in design, the Sea to Summit Alpha pan comes in eight and ten-inch variants, ensuring it can easily nestle amongst the other camping essentials in your bag.

The Alpha Pan is crafted from hard anodised materials and comes with a nonstick surface and brilliant heat distribution, ensuring your food is cooked evenly and without any sticky mess being left over when you’re done.

The specially designed, low profile handle comes fitted with a safety lock for added security when cooking and it will also fold underneath the pan when out of use which only adds to its space saving appeal.

Finally, we all know that camping stoves set on often uneven terrain can be a bit of a handful, which is where the textured base of the Alpha Pan comes in, providing added stability for safer, more efficient cooking.

In terms of cost, the 8” Alpha Pan currently retails for around £25-30, with the 10” pan likely to cost slightly more.

JetBoil Fry Pan

  • Weight: 280g (inclusive of handles and cover)
  • Dimensions: 8.1” x 2.2” (205mm x 57mm)
  • FluxRing technology
  • Base doubles as eating dish
  • Collapsible handle

Camping Frying Pan with Folding Handle

A slightly more expensive option currently on the market is the JetBoil fry pan. Retailing at around £50-60, this high-quality pan uses patented FluxRing technology to ensure even cooking throughout, but it can often be found on offer.

This helps to increase the surface area, which essentially gives you the capabilities of a larger pot, but in a much smaller product.

It is also aesthetically pleasing too, as the grey pan is sat on a vibrant orange base that also doubles as a food preparation or eating dish– which only adds to the practicality of this excellent pan. As with most pans like this, the handle can easily be folded to wrap around the side of the pan, ensuring it takes up less space in your bag, leaving you more room for your other necessities. The only downside to the JetBoil Fry pan is that is you’ll need to buy the support kit separately, which will set you back another £10-12.

Vango Hard Anodised Non-Stick Frying Pan

  • Weight: 200g
  • Dimensions: 7.4” x 1.7”
  • Compact design
  • Hard-anodised
  • Easy clean
  • Heat resistant, foldable handle

Perfect for those with a slightly smaller budget, the Vango Hard Anodised frying pan is the third and final choice on our list. Currently retailing for around £16, it really is a steal and thankfully the quality hasn’t been compromised to account for its low price point. What we love about this pan is its minimalist design and no frills approach – it does exactly what it says on the tin. Compact and practical, it has a hard-anodised design which means not only is it tough and durable, but it is also super easy to clean – because let’s face it, nobody wants to waste precious time and energy by scrubbing pots and pans when camping. Other handy features include the heat resistant foldable handle, as well as it’s ridged inner base for more effective cooking. Weighing a mere 200g, this is by far the lightest pan on our list and measures just under 7.5 inches in diameter, which means you’ll barely even notice it in your bag!

These are the three best camping frying pans we could find on the market, whether you are on a budget or want the top of the range frying pan, we have found the perfect one for you.

Now all you need to do is working out what you are going to cook on it.

Hiking is an activity that is growing in popularity across the world with individuals of all ages and backgrounds enjoying the sense of freedom and achievement gained from exploring nature.  Whether taking a short-day long hike in your local Nature Reserve or considering an adventure to a distant destination, preparation is the key. 

Hiking can be dangerous especially when faced with a situation that was not planned for.  From not so urgent sprained ankles to falls that may be life-threatening, anything could happen whilst far away from hospitals and emergency clinics. 

Therefore, it is essential that all eventualities are at least considered during the planning process.

Hiking can provide huge amounts of fun, excitement, rewards and there is of course the connection to nature and the chance to gain some amazing health benefits.

 Immersing yourself in nature whilst embarking on a high intensity cardio workout will allow you to reap both physical and mental benefits.  Hiking has been shown to reduce mental health issues like stress and depression, taking time out to disconnect from the hectic everyday lives we all live.  Stress can be a big contributor to further health issues and reducing this is important for over all health, not matter what your age.

The last thing you need whilst hiking is stress.  Which leads us back to preparation being the key.  Taking only essential equipment, wearing proper clothing depending on weather expected, carrying a well packed First Aid Kit and planning your route thoroughly are all perfect factors to consider during the preparation process.  Follow these simple hiking tips to ensure that everyone on your exciting adventure remains safe and happy.

Plan the Hike & Hike the Plan

Thousands of people are injured whilst embarking on hikingtrails each year. 

Knowing which your route routes you will take will help immensely when it comes to knowing what to expect and therefore what to pack.  Not only will it allow hikers to pack suitably,  it will also massively reduce the chances of getting lost. 

Learn your route thoroughly, speak to other people that have walked the route before and see what they would have done differently. When planning the hike, set a clear idea of how long it should take. 

By following a formula known as Naismith’s rule, you should allow yourself one hour for every 5km or 3.1 miles and an additional 10 minutes for every 100 metres of ascent.

Many people find that writing the plan in good time before departure helps them understand it more.  To summarise, make sure your plan covers the following:

  • Hike route
  • Total time
  • Expected weather (check forecast regularly before departing)
  • Equipment checklist
  • Food
  • Emergency contact details for local area
  • Information of overnight locations (accommodation)

Do not rely on online maps to provide you with full details of your route.  It is worth seeking out an Ordnance Survey map with a waterproof cover and use a compass to ensure you are heading in your desired direction.  Last but certainly not least, it is one thing planning your hike, but it is the most important thing to stick with to it and let someone at home know your full plan.

Pack the Essentials

When it comes to packing your bag, over packing can often be more detrimental than good but it is important to include all necessary items of clothing and equipment for the chosen terrain and duration of hike.  Using a checklist is an extremely helpful option to ensure that you don’t miss any of the important pieces that may make or break your adventure.

  • Tops – both lightweight and thermal.
  • Hiking trousers/shorts – zip off trousers areperfect for a range of temperatures and weather conditions
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Hiking shoes – well fitting and already brokenin
  • Socks – invest in a pair that are specificallydesigned for hiking
  • Waterproof coat
  • Head torch
  • Whistle
  • Hat – type depends on weather expected
  • Insect repellent
  • First Aid Kit (see below)
  • Food & Water (see below)

This is by no means an exhaustive packing list, just the essentials that must be taken on any hiking trip.   The type and number of essentials will vary depending on the duration and environmental conditions of the trip – one more reason why thoroughly planning your hike and hiking your plan is extremely important.

Take Plenty of Food & Water

Ensuring proper hydration and maintaining energy levels can make the difference between a great camping trip and an uncomfortable, andpossibly dangerous, one. 

Again, the amount taken will vary depending on your expected hike time, for example, on longer planned hikes it may be sensible to factor in a stop off to replenish food and water items along the way and possibly so that the full amount does not have to be carried the whole way.

Make sure to include foods that can be had as snacks along the way, as well as ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Pack snacks that are high in healthy energy, sugars and salts such as:

  • Nuts
  • Energy bars
  • Fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Trail Mixes

Do not fall victim to unhealthy junk food snacks – they may taste good at the time, but they will not provide you with the fuel needed to keep your body and mind active. 

How much drinking water needed is a bit more difficult to estimate.  Most people should be drinking at least 2litres of water a day but embarking on a ten-mile hike will mean that a lot more water should be taken, and enough in case of emergency.  The weather will also influence how much water is drunk as well as the intensity of the terrain and hike route.

Dealing with Accidents and Emergencies

A well-packed first aid kit should be one of the first priorities to consider to ensure a safe hiking experience. 

Many pre-packed emergency kits can be bought online that should contain all necessary items for cuts, grazes, to falls or stomach bugs.  They are also a great place to start for people who do not have the time to assemble their own. 

However, most hikers prefer to put their own kits together, especially when packing for specific environments or individual health concerns.  Three useful questions to ask yourself are

  1. Do I really need this?
  2. What could happen if I don’t have it?
  3. Is there something missing?

Some hikers often make the mistake of packing to many items that only remain redundant yet add an unnecessary weight to their bags.  Making a comprehensive first aid checklist helps and be sure to check the kit thoroughly before departing just in case something has been used and needs to be replaced. Items to consider are:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial wipes/cream
  • Bandages of different sizes
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Pain relief medication
  • Insect sting treatment
  • Antihistamine
  • Tweezers
  • Document showing basic first aid instructions

As with the essentials list in the previous section, this is not an exhaustive list, and additions should be included depending on the individual hiking and the specific location. Every hiker hopes to not have to use their first aid kit, and most do not. 

Make sure that you use prevention rather than treatment, knowing your limits and hiking a trail that suits you and your fellow hikers!

We don’t want to put you off hiking in winter – the opposite in fact, its amazing how much the hills change during the seasons and should be explored in all different conditions. 

We just want you to do it safely.

Buy a gift for your favourite happy campers, generally they are easily pleased and will appreciate your thoughtful gesture. Gift ideas for camping are easy to come by and there is an abundance of little purchases and gifts available for him and her.

Whether you wish to find a t-shirt, mug or novelty gift related to camping or find something useful that they can take on their travels, we have found something for you. If the camp enthusiast is in-fact you, then why not treat yourself to some fantastic gear?

Camping Gifts for Him

Bear Grills T Shirt

Bear Grills barbecue funny humour 100% cotton t shirt

He’ll love this gift idea, not only to wear around the campsite but also for everyday wear.

The charismatic text and play on words, or a name in this instance will no doubt tickle him and be somewhat similar to his sense of humour.

Who needs Bear Grylls when you have an actual bear that grills, the t-shirt comes in black and has an animation with a yellow outline. It also comes in red, blue and many other colours and sizes.

Campervan Mug

Men's I'd rather Be In My Campervan Mug

This is a fantastic gift idea for him as the mug has a stick animation for men and also has they will be able to relate to.

This is an ideal present for somebody who owns a campervan and anytime they are absent from it, they are counting down the days until their next van trip.

The sleek mug is perfect to add to the van itself or has relevance for keeping at home.

Drink a nice cup of tea whilst you envision your next travel.

The cup comes in white, is dishwasher safe and has black and red text imprinted onto it.

If you are in search of camping gifts for Dad then this could be the perfect purchase!

Camping Gifts for Her

Northface Thermoball Slippers

Northface Thermoball Slippers

Comfort and warmth are two of the most integral parts of any camping trip and when you throw in style- you are really onto something.

These Northface thermoballs don’t just look comfy, they are some of the most practical footwear to slip on.

The quilted slippers are durable and have an insulated design sure to keep the entire warmth inside.

As well as being lightweight and toast they are also waterproof.

Flask & Hip Flask

Flask & Hip Flask

If in doubt- then get a hip flask!

That is the general rule of thumb, whether it is for camping or not.

This gift set comes with both the regular flask and the hip flask, fit to pour in a drink of your choice.

This makes for a great gift or added essential for your trip. It remains insulated and is the perfect gift for travellers.

The flask is 500ml whilst the smaller hip flask is 17ml. It also comes in a beautifully presented box.

Gifts Ideas for Campers

Inflatable Sofa

VANGO Inflatable Sofa

All of us avid camp goers are constantly looking for ways to add little touches to our comfort and overall experience, whilst many of the destinations and experiencing nature top the list, we also like to enjoy some of the comforts.

In this case, it is an inflatable chair. It is comfortable yet very simple to setup, simply inflate this and put it anywhere in or outside of your tent.

It is waterproof, seats two and has a quilted design.

Flameless Windproof Lighter

Flameless Windproof Lighter

It doesn’t get more thoughtful than this, it is little accessories like this that can make all the difference.

If you are on a hike or camping then you may experience difficulty during windy conditions when it comes to lighting your stove, this lighter is the perfect gift.

The flameless lighter comes in a beautifully crafted gift box and is USB charged. It is a small lightweight lighter that requires no spark and is perfect to use anywhere you go.

Air Selfie Drone

SIMTOO Moment Air-Selfie Folding Drone

This air selfie drone can be easily folded into a bag or case and is perfect to use for a selfie or two.

It has a follow mode, a 4K camera and will be sure to capture awesome pictures of a whole trip.

The fact it is so simple to pack away and use makes it even more desirable. The cool-looking drone comes with a rechargeable battery and its small, lightweight design makes it perfect to use during camping.

Enclosed props and other features make this a safe option too, making sure you can fly in different areas without worry.

These are just some of the top camping gifts currently we found during out extensive research and testing.

However, we will be constantly looking around for any new items to add to this list, if you think we have missed something, let us know.

Camping is all about resetting from our busy routines and spending time connecting with nature but that is not to say that we can’t enjoy some of the innovative commodities specifically designed to make our lives easier when on the move.

We list some of our favourite gadgets that are perfect to accompany us on our camping trips.

It is great to take a break from common luxuries at home and practice gratitude for what we have, but that can be done simultaneously with some useful products and gadgets.

Many of the additions give us more time and essentially enable us to enjoy our surroundings for longer.

What are the latest gadgets available for us to take travelling with us?

Wind Up Torch

Wind Up Animal Torch- Go Outdoors

Handy Heroes Wind Up Animal Torch

It is likely it’s something that you have heard of, but these torches could really save you during the night.

It is always great to ensure you have spare batteries but you can eliminate the risk of running out of power with a wind-up torch.

It is a great sustainable option and we have pinpointed one for the kids.

This animal wind-up torch can be part of their camping kit, they will enjoy powering up their tools and will be safe and visible with their own light.

We also recommend that you get a wind-up light for yourself or the tent too.

Power Bank

EC Technology Power Bank

EC Technology Power Bank

It is not something that you want to be reliant on but our phones work as our emergency lifeline, research, music source and sometimes our torch.

You can now get multiple charges out of this power bank, it is better to go for something robust like this that has a reputation for lasting and also repeatedly charging your phone to full battery before having to charge the power bank itself.

What’s more, the bank itself can charge anything with a USB output, including a vape pen, iPod or outdoor camera.

It also has an impressive torch that could prove useful.

Sustainable Grill

Casusgrill – 100% Natural Grill

Casusgrill – 100% Natural Grill

Travel grills don’t get better than this- it is a 100% natural grill that you can take anywhere with you.

It is a sustainable cardboard one, as precarious as this invention sounds it is actually pretty genius! It has a bamboo foundation and can heat up within five minutes.

It will then keep your food warm for up to 60 minutes. This barbecue can be disposed of in a fire once you have finished.

Self Inflatable Mat

Deep Sleep XL Mat- Outwell

Deep Sleep XL Mat- Outwell

Something we repeatedly highlight is how important it is to buy something to elevate you from the ground.

Many last minute campers feel they can brave the ground conditions when sleeping but it isn’t the bumps on the floor that you should fear.

You want to stay insulated and protect yourself from the cold, the best way to do this is to elevate from the ground.

That is no problem at all with this self-inflating ground mat; once you unpack it from the bag it effortlessly inflates within seconds.

Solar Charger

Anker Powerport Solar- 21W

Anker Powerport Solar- 21W

When we venture outside of our comfort zone we soon realise how much we rely on electric power, it is always best to use a sustainable source such as solar.

With this charger you can seamlessly hook it to your bag or put it out in the day, it will then be able to charge up to devices simultaneously.

Use it to charge your iPhone, Samsung or iPad.

Fold Up Chair

Hi Gear Vegas Double Chair

Hi Gear Vegas Double Chair

Why not purchase two for the price of one?

This fold-up chair seats two, it is a Vegas double chair that can be easily folded up and transported.

It will then seat two people at the same time. It very spacious and comes at a great price.

It is durable, weighs only 6.6kg and can hold up to 200 kilograms.

Solar Light

SoLight Solarpuff Origami Lantern

SoLight Solarpuff Origami Lantern

Another solar hit, this time it comes in not only an innovative design but it is equally as elegant.

This Solarpuff feature is an origami lantern that can power itself.

It easily folds up when you pack it away and takes up little space, you can then unfold it and use it as both a practical and decorative inclusion in your tent.

It is also capable of lighting up an outdoor area during the night too.

Camelback Back Packs

Hydrogo- Hydration Backpack

Hydrogo- Hydration Backpack

Backpacks are a necessity and their key feature is to be able to easily pack away everything that we need.

Fortunately, this lightweight bag has plenty of space and compartments for different items.

Not only that, it also comes with a camelback to keep you hydrated.

You can take this bag on a hike and fill it up with two litres, rather than going in and out of your bag you can continue your work and effortless sip from the straw in easy reach.

Camping Stove

Ofolics Camping Stove 3500 watt

When you take into account the price, durability and overall function- this is probably the number one essential on this page.

Despite it being less innovative than many of the gadgets we have mentioned, you will see that simplicity is sometimes the key.

This camping stove is powerful and has been designed so that it can easily fit into your camping bag.

Add this cheap yet robust option to your experience- you will be able to brew up your tea, stew your lunch or keep yourself warm.

It is energy efficient, lightweight and portable.

Adding the Camping Essentials

Ensuring you have all the essentials and the much-needed basics is number one when camping but there is no reason that you can’t incorporate gadgets into your essentials.

As you can see, there are cooking facilities, powerbanks and bags that have multiple functions.

Make your entire experience an easier one and make sure you have everything you need from stoves to solar power lights.

There are certain pieces of camping equipment that everybody knows are essential, for example, you need to have a decent tent and a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and sheltered overnight.

A good bag and quality cooking equipment will also come in extremely useful, however, a must-have piece of kit that often gets overlooked is the camping chair.

After a long day of outdoor activity, you’ll want to sit back and relax when you get back to the campsite and the best way to do that is with a comfortable place to sit.

As well as camping, foldable chairs are also great for things such as festivals, outdoor events, fishing or even as a cheaper alternative to garden furniture. Currently, there are a huge number of camping chairs on the market, but we’ve reviewed some of the best ones here – and there’s something for all budgets.

Outwell Acadia Signature Lounger

Outwell Acadia Signature Lounger

Perhaps more suited to seasoned campers who will be using it regularly, the Outwell Acadia Signature Lounger is the most expensive on our list, currently priced at around £140.00 RRP, but this is a small price to pay for guaranteed comfort.

Crafted from aluminium, this lounger comes with a fully adjustable back and headrest, ensuring you can find a position that is perfect for you, whilst the quick drying foam padding and polyester cover help to prevent it from taking on too much water if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

The concertina design will also allow the lounger to lie flat, meaning there’s always time for a quick snooze and you can safely store your favourite beverage in the handy cup holder that is fitted just below the right hand arm.

Weighing 8.5 kilograms, this is one of the heavier chairs on the market, so you won’t want to be lugging it around for the whole day, this is very much a chair to be left on site.

Key Specifications

  • Packed size – 100 x 21 x 68cm
  • Weight: 8.5 kg
  • Frame – Aluminium
  • Features – Adjustable backrest, headrest, cup holder, quick drying foam, concertina design.

Where to Buy

Cropped image of man and woman sitting in chairs outside the tent. Couple camping in forest
Outwell Chino Hills Camping Chair

Outwell Chino Hills Camping Chair

Currently retailing for around £65, the Chino Hills Camping Chair is a perfect choice for mid-range budgets.

The frame is made from highly durable steel, making it extremely sturdy, whilst still being relatively light, tipping the scales at just over 5kg, but allowing to it to bear loads of up to 125kg.

With no assembly required, this excellent camping chair opens and folds in seconds and also comes with an adjustable side table that can be positioned to the side of you, or in front of you, adding to its versatility.

The table also boasts a handy cup holder and even a slot to place your phone or tablet (if you can’t bear to completely tear yourself away from your mod cons whilst camping).

In terms of materials, the Chino Hills Camping chair is made from polyester and comes in grey, with the Outwell branding in white providing a recognisable stamp of quality.

Key Specifications

  • Packed size – 85 x 14 x 52cm
  • Weight: 5 kg
  • Frame – Steel
  • Features – Adjustable table, padded arm rests, tablet and cop holders, foldable design.

Where to Buy

Eurohike Peak Folding Chair

Eurohike Peak Folding Chair

Definitely one for those on a budget, the Eurohike Peak Folding Chair is currently available for as little as £8.

Now, obviously a low budget chair like this one is not going to come with all the bells and whistles of some of the higher priced options, but this chair will definitely still do the job.

Available in a range of colours, it has a classic folding design and is ultra-lightweight, making it perfect for anything from ad hoc garden furniture or a spot of fishing, to a camping trip or festival.

Carrying this chair from one location to another is an absolute doddle, thanks to the handy carry bag that is included, ensuring you can have it to hand all day and take the weight off your feet in an instant. 

The mesh cup holder on the right arm offers a perfect finishing touch and an extra hint of practicality.

Key Specifications

  • Open size – 85 x 52 x 52cm
  • Features – Ultra lightweight design, cup holder, carry bag.

Where to Buy

As well as the three mentioned above, there are plenty of other camping chairs on the market, at a range of prices.

You’ll want a chair that is relatively lightweight, while still being durable and it helps if it can be transported with relative ease – and of course, any additional features such as tables and cup holders could be the deal maker.

Hot water is a necessity if you’re going to be camping for some time – whether out in the sticks or otherwise.  You’re going to need to have a number of things handy if you’re going to eat and drink comfortably while away – and while you can always buy rations en route, it makes perfect sense to carry as many home provisions as possible for the sake of ease.  With this in mind – it’s high time you found yourself an affordable and reliable camping kettle which will serve you, your friends and family well for all manner of camping trips and adventures across the seasons.  Here’s our pick of the very best, available at a number of wide retailers both online and via the high street.

Best Kettles

The Vango 2 Litre Camping Kettle

Vango are a brand synonymous with camping gear and accessories, and they’ve struck gold – or at least brewed a decent cup of tea – with their simple, affordable 2 litre kettle model.  One of the recommended models available from Millets and other retailers, expect to pay around £12 RRP for this traditional silver water heater, complete with heat-resistant handle and safety features such as a push and pull lever for opening up and closing.  The perfect accompaniment for any camping trip or festival weekender when you’re in need of a cuppa or for hot water in general.

Where to Buy

The Highlander Whistling Kettle

This smart, sleek, one litre kettle arrives with a nice, audible whistle to let you know when it’s time to brew up – and for many campers, it’s one of the optimum models available when it comes to light packing and portability.  While it arrives as a one litre standard, there are reviews which advise it seems to hold much more – appearances can be deceiving, and thankfully, on the positive side of things in this case.  It’s available for no more than £10 RRP generally, and you can expect to pick this up through Amazon Prime at short notice.

Where to Buy

The Blue Eurohike Whistle Kettle

Similar to the Highlander model above, this Eurohike model is just as portable if not more spacious – with around 1.2 litres of water capacity for your money.  What’s more, it’s taken a price cut in certain sales recently, meaning that at stores such as Millets right now you can buy this spacious, sleek and reliable kettle for around £8 – that’s around a third taken off of its original selling price.  Perfect to pack up and go at short notice, you’ll hardly notice carrying this neat, compact and snazzily coloured beast around with you!

Where to Buy

The Hi Gear Collapsible Kettle

For immense space saving and ingenious design, you really don’t have to look much further than Hi Gear’s amazing collapsible kettle model.  Available in yellow and blue and offering exactly what its name suggests – a collapsible unit which flattens down for easy storage and transportation – you can also get 1.5 litres of hot water from each boil.  A perfect companion for spontaneous weekends away and your ally when you need hot water at the last minute, you’ll generally expect to pay £20 RRP maximum for the privilege – but stores such as Go Outdoors are shaving the cost of the unit down to around £14.99 providing you’re a member.  Therefore, if you own a discount card for any camping specialists – look out for the collapsible brewer!

Where to Buy

The OEX Brewsta

Yes – that really is its name – but snazzy branding aside, the OEX Brewsta is one of the more pleasing and compact models of kettle on the market right now, owing to its funky, contemporary design and its handy carry handle.  Easily stored away and with handles coated in silicone for safe usage, this camping kettle offers no hassle whatsoever for those campers looking for a quick boil from a simple, unassuming – if slightly daft-named – kettle unit.  Expect to pay £15 for it at RRP, but it’s available at discount in some stores.  There’s a sister model called the ‘Frysta’, too – no prizes for guessing what that does!

Where to Buy

Sea to Summit X-Pot Kettle (1.3 Litre)

The Sea to Summit X-Pot Kettle

Finally – let’s look at one of the more expensive, if more critically lauded camping kettles around.  Sea to Summit’s bright yellow space-saver is, like Hi Gear’s model above, completely collapsible – but with enhanced silicone walls and the ability for you to store other Sea to Summit cups and mugs inside – this is a practical tour de force which may be worth every penny.  Store up to 1.3 litres or expand with the further range.

Where to Buy

Whether you enjoy roughing it or not, comfort is always going to be key when you bed down for the night while on a camping trip or expedition!  While it may be a good idea to take along your own pillows, bedding and/or sleeping bags when you first set off, there is of course the matter of there being enough space for you to take such items – and what’s more, packing up again at the end of a trip can be tricky if you have lots of unwieldy bedding to sort out!  With these things kept in mind, it’s more than a good idea to start thinking about some compact and easily transportable options for your sleeping arrangements.  Thankfully, more than plenty of stores online and on the high street will have you covered!  Here’s our pick of the best pillows available now.

The Hi Gear Luxury Camping Pillow

While it may not look to be the height of luxury if you were expecting something a little more grandiose, this easily-stored and transportable pillow is very reasonably priced and offers incredible softness and comfort in all weathers.  Perfect in accompaniment alongside sleeping bags and otherwise, this pillow generally retails at around £9, but you can expect to get it a little cheaper if you’re a member with camping outlets such as Go Outdoors.  What’s more, Hi Gear is a trusted purveyor of all manner of camping creature comforts – which means you know your head is in good hands!

Where to Buy

The Trekology Ultralight Inflating Travel Pillow

While the brand may sound a little sci-fi, the product here is marvellous.  Inflatable pillows are amongst the very best comforts you can purchase for sleeping on the go purely for their ease of transportation and for their divine lack of fuss.  Boasting brilliant reviews on Amazon, this immensely light and durable pillow offers fantastic lumbar support and is available currently at cut rate – it’s well worth the recommended £19.99 retail price, but you’ll likely be able to get a cut of up to 50% on this model during off-season.  Well worth looking out for!

Where to Buy

The Outwell Memory Pillow

For those of us who like that little bit extra in support and comfort for our sleeping arrangements while camping, the Outwell Memory Pillow should be at the very top of your shopping list.  Winfields and Amazon currently offer this intuitive and super-comfy pillow that’s light to carry and easy to pack.  Available in a neutral colour and boasting memory technology to mould to your own standards of relaxation, you can expect to pay up to £21.99 RRP – but Winfields are likely to cut this down by around 25% for you.  Shop around!

Where to Buy

The OEX Traverse Self-Inflating Pillow

It may not look as snazzy as some of the other pillows on the market, but OEX’s travel cushion is one which boasts incredible ease of use and light weight for packing.  The Traverse is affordable and is self-inflating – which means it packs down to a flat, minute size, taking the need away for you to stuff bulky pillows and cushions in with your camping gear from trip to trip.  Expect to pay up to £15 RRP for this model, which we think is well worth the price of admission – but Go Outdoors card holders can expect to see a cut by another £5 during off-season.  Once again, do shop around – it’s well worth keeping an eye out for.

Where to Buy

The Vango Self-Inflating Pillow

OEX aren’t the only brand bringing self-inflating pillows to the masses, and Vango are one such name which are perhaps a little better known in the camping scene.  Vango’s take on self-inflation is just as nifty and perhaps a little more comfortable on the bank balance, too, with Amazon currently allowing you to take advantage of a choice of colours and foam insulated interiors for a snip at £6.99 – with Prime delivery included.  If you’ve not already got your camping pillows sorted for a trip that’s coming up soon, this may well be the best option for you to take.

Where to Buy

Pack-a-Pillow

Last but not least, we turn to a budget option which still offers a grand deal of comfort at a snip of the cost you’d expect to pay otherwise.  The Pack-a-Pillow is no-frills, unassuming and does the job you expect it to – Millets are currently retailing the durable and easily-packable pillows for as little as £4.20 each, which means if impromptu trips are on the horizon, this might be a worthwhile ally.

Where to Buy

So you’re interested in taking the whole family camping – why not?  It’s a fantastic way to really come together as a family and to enjoy what little good weather the UK actually receives – and on another hand, it’s also a great way for kids to start learning some essential outdoor tips and skills that they can put to good use should they ever find themselves out and about. 

There’s never been a better time to start thinking about getting your kids invested in outdoor activities and skills – and if recent news is anything to go by, more and more parents are keen to start bringing the ‘great outdoors’ back into their families’ lives – a great idea!

The Rise of Tech

While we all love our technology and while plenty of it can be put to great use in the great outdoors in a pinch, it’s perhaps the growing influence of technology in our children’s lives which has reduced the apparent importance of learning outdoor skills. 

It’s the old parental fear – that our kids simply aren’t getting out and enjoying the real world quite as much as they should be doing!  As The Independent has recently reported, parents are now turning to Google to find ways to help introduce outdoor living to their kids. 

It’s a sad truth – but it’s great that children are being re-introduced to some of the standards so many of us have otherwise grown up with.

Skills to Start Teaching Your Kids

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to teaching your children essential outdoor skills – especially when it comes to trying to make them fun and worthwhile for little ones and teenagers alike to get into. 

You may even be met with some resistance – but there are some young people who love camping, and there will likely be plenty of occasions for them to learn skills that they can use when they head to festivals or away on group holidays in years to come. 

It’s perhaps not worth thinking about just yet – but, as any good parents should already be doing, preparing your kids for the real world and for adulthood ahead of them is always a good idea.

Camp Fires

Making Fires and Safety

Making a fire can be one of the most important skills that one person alone can ever learn – especially when they may not have matches or lighting equipment to hand. 

You can easily start a fire with just wood – encourage your kids to build stacks and piles of wood to keep fires burning – and show them how you can easily start safe, controllable fires which they can monitor and use how they wish. 

Fire safety is just as important outside as it is inside – and when it comes to outdoor skills, fire-making is one of the most important.

Pitch Correctly

Pitching Tents

This one should be fairly obvious – but tent-pitching can be tedious for the younger members of any party, which is why it can be a good idea to try and turn matters into a game, or to set goals and incentives. 

While tents are getting easier to set up and pitch thanks to self-inflating and pop-up models, the art of setting up a traditional tent is something that kids of all ages could really do with knowing about. 

It’s never too late nor too soon to learn.

rienteering

Or, finding your way around. 

Map-reading is a genuine skill which even plenty of grown adults struggle with – and thanks to the advent of Google Maps, we’re all the more dependent upon our GPS tracking than ever before. 

Raise your kids on traditional maps and compasses and they’ll never be lost – though having a smartphone with certain apps installed can always be a boon.  In this day and age, you can do worse than having a solar-powered battery pack to hand to always allow for GPS to be at your side – but what if technology simply isn’t available?

There’s nowhere that a trusty compass and current map can’t get you – get them exploring.

Start Early

While it’s both responsible and reasonable to understand that some kids may never be into the same pastimes as their parents – it’s a great idea to try and see what they are interested in as soon as possible. 

Get your young ones hooked on camping, hiking and fishing as early as you can – and prepare them for the great outdoors for decades to come – they’ll thank you for it someday!