Candy Evans

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Spreading the word: carbon monoxide from barbecues kills

The CO warning poster

It’s a brutal message that doesn’t sit comfortably with our relaxed holiday pastime, but the reality is a lit charcoal barbecue gives off enough carbon monoxide (CO) to kill – even if it’s not hot enough to cook on.

Over the last year the Club has been at the forefront of a camping safety campaign and I’ve had the privilege of being involved. It’s been tough at times, especially when I spent an afternoon with Danielle –14-year-old Hannah Thomas-Jones’s mum. Hannah died in May 2012 after the family put their barbecue into the porch area of the tent overnight. Danielle is an amazing lady and the power of her testimony underlined the need for an awareness campaign. The family knew nothing about the dangers of carbon monoxide from a barbecue before Hannah’s death.

Wouldn’t it be great if 2013 marked the first year that no-one said: “I didn’t know that”? And as a result no-one felt groggy – or worse – after breathing in the colourless, odourless gas that is carbon monoxide from a charcoal barbecue?

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Candy Evans

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Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

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Surely it can’t be ten years?

Igloo tent advert - December 1936

Next week it’s the Spring Caravan and Camping Show at Birmingham’s NEC. It’s making me feel a tiny bit nostalgic as it marks ten years since my first public appearance on behalf of The Camping and Caravanning Club.

Back in 2003 I was called in to help at the Boat and Caravan Show (as it was then called) because the Club’s Public Relations Officer had left at short notice. The truth is -  I’ve been hooked ever since.

This year I’m scheduled to give a brief presentation on ‘the stories behind the articles’ and it's given me the perfect excuse to see how things have changed.

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Candy Evans

Candy Evans avatar

Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

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Picnics in the snow

The Bush Gear Lunchbox in the snow...

One of the challenges of writing for the magazine is the need to put things together well ahead of publication date. As a result, I’m putting the final rather-later-than-they-should-be touches to a Gear Guide on picnics today, which is scheduled for March’s issue.

We had a successful test of a Stainless Steel Lunchbox from Bush Gear (pictured) a couple of weeks ago, though the contents were consumed inside school rather than sitting on a picnic mat.

Its sturdy design and two compartments (keeping the pasta away from the salad, so the salad remained crisp) was a great success. The Lunchbox's big brother, the three-part Tiffin Carrier, will be appearing in March’s Gear Guide.

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Candy Evans

Candy Evans avatar

Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

Read other posts by Candy Evans
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