The annual Caravan, Camping and Caravan Show at the NEC reveals what’s cool for camping in the coming season. We look at what you need to make outdoor life a whole lot more fun.
1. Top spot
Camping on mere ground is so last year, with this eye-catching Pathfinder Rooftop tent from Quest Leisure taking you a step closer to comfort. It fits smartly to existing roof racks and takes seconds to assemble; simply press the button on the wireless remote and your accommodation appears! It’s not exactly cheap at £1,999.99 but it’s packed with features that guarantee the wow factor - just add your vehicle!
2. Cabin fever
Thought glamping was a recent phenomenon? Think again, as these amazing pods from Wigwam Holidays date back more than 20 years. Designed by trailblazer Charles Gulland way back in the early ‘90s, the innovative camping cabins are insulated, heated and built to last. With a choice between Wee Brave, Big Chief and Running Water, the pods are perfect for all seasons and available at nearly 80 locations across the UK.
If, sadly you forgot to book a Wigwam and are instead slumming it under canvas, a luxury Aerobed will at least ease your aching back and put you out of reach of the creepy crawlies. With the slogan “six easy steps to a good night’s sleep”, the plush portable bed has a soft, velvety surface and is yours for just £159.99.
4. In for a grilling
This camping cooker is certainly cool – in more ways than one! Cool on the outside but sizzling on the inside, the Cobb BBQ is a fail-safe way to roast, grill, fry, boil and even smoke your camp food any where you choose. Portable, compact and light, with a strong canvas storage bag, the Cobb gives up to three hours’ cooking time, depending on the fuel used, and ranges in price from £100-£200, depending on the size and added extras.
5. Hanging around
Irish firm Hammockology is now selling its vibrant hammocks in the UK, claiming that everyone in the Emerald Isle already has one! The “Ticket to the Moon” range comes in single, double and king size versions, all made from parachute silk and which pack away into a tiny parcel – all the better for slinging in the car for those last-minute getaways. Prices start from £40.
6. In the bag
If there’s one thing worse than camping in the rain it has to be camping with a soggy doggy in the rain. But this ingenious invention dries and cleans canines in seconds – just pop your wet pet into the bag and a fresh one comes out! The microfibre bag peels off mud and traps it – so does that make your pooch less paw-rous, we wonder? Doggy Bag starts at £49.99 for extra small dogs, with towels available too.
7. App-y camping
It’s supposed to be about getting away from it all, but in 2016 no self-respecting camper leaves home without technology at the tips of his or her fingers. One of the best apps is the Camping and Caravanning Club’s SiteSeeker, on which you can search all Club sites and Camping in the Forest sites by location and pitch type. Other database apps list campsites across the UK and Europe, while the caravanners among you might need a levelling app such as Spirit Level, unless you fancy sleeping on a slope.
8. Seeing stars
OK, so perhaps a see-through tent isn’t suitable for everyone, but this inflatable bubble is a stargazer’s delight. Available to hire from Not Just Any Tent, the Pembrokeshire holiday people can pitch your accommodation in a number of designated dark-sky locations, including stunning Stackpole and Strumble Head. If transparent is your tent of choice, though, you’d better make sure the site’s a secluded one!