We bring you some of the latest products available for campers and caravanners.
There are some things campers just can’t do without and lighting is one of them.
While some campers enjoy the benefits of an electric hook-up to supply lighting, cooling and the like, there are those tent campers who travel light or camp ‘off grid’ and rely on battery power or the sun rather than electricity.
This neat little solar lighting system from Festive Lights harnesses the power of the sun via a 3W crystalline solar panel to charge a 6V battery. The charged battery then serves to light either two 3W bulbs - each with useful hook for hanging and long lead cable - or five LED emergency lights built into the battery unit. In addition the charging unit features a USB enabling you to charge iPhones, Android phones, iPads and iPods.
This easy-to-use and versatile lighting system comes with a five-metre charging cable, five charging cables and a mains plug for when electricity is available.
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Looking for a proper coffee shot away from home and without an electric hook-up? The Minipresso could be your answer.
My tester had just come back from a few weeks in Italy so her coffee palate had been fine tuned for a decent espresso. As a fully-fledged tea drinker I can’t claim to understand but apparently no basic campsite coffee makers could really cut it.
It took a couple of attempts before we achieved the perfect tiny coffee. You start by disassembling the Minipresso. Ground coffee is measured into one end, hot water goes into a cup on the other and it’s all put together again. The side piston is then hand pumped to force the water through the coffee, producing the infamous strong drink into your cup (in this case, one of Olpro’s finest mugs, though it was technically a little big for an espresso).
It needs a certain amount of skill and patience to use. In particular, the water chamber is very small so you need a steady hand to fill it with near-boiling water from a camping kettle without scalding yourself. However, in the words of the connoisseur: “If you’re prepared to risk burning yourself for the taste of your coffee then it’s worth it.”
The final result is a great espresso in even the most basic setting. And that is – I’m told – a thing of wonder.
Kärcher’s Window Vac is great for cleaning windows but what about for getting rid of excess moisture from your tent?
Used on glass and mirrored surfaces the WV? is effective at cleaning with a streak-free finish - without the need for elbow grease - and you won’t get any annoying water drips on sills or floors either.
We’d heard this versatile little machine also has its uses when camping. We’ve all been there – it’s the end of your holiday and your tent is wet from a recent downpour or the morning dew. Packing away a sodden tent is far from ideal and it will need drying out completely once home.
According to our tester, the Kärcher worked well on the tent fabric, removing excess moisture from it in one go. He also found it particularly useful for sucking up the inevitable water puddles that formed on the base of the flysheet.
Using the Kärcher not only reduces the weight of the tent, but means it will be quicker to dry once home again.
It’s worth bearing in mind though, that any abrasion by cloth or by vacuum is likely to wear away the water repellent and UV coatings so you may have to reproof more often.
The Kärcher WV5 runs off a rechargeable battery, is lightweight and fully portable.
A new South African Chenin Blanc is arriving in Asda stores, Thursday 25 August, just in time for the Bank Holiday.
A quality white wine from the Western Cape in South Africa, Camper Vin comes in a transportable box in the shape of a classic camper - the perfect addition to any camping trip, festival or barbecue.
At 2.25l, each Camper Vin contains the equivalent of three bottles of Chenin Blanc (or 18 small glasses) and since, we’re told, it will stay fresh for up to six weeks, Camper Vin is perfect for sharing with friends or savouring over a few nights or a few weekends. The 13% ABV wine has a flavour profile which delivers jasmine, lemon flowers and citrusy overtones with a tangy fruity taste on the palate.
Camper Vin is on an epic road trip to find the best touring wines from around the globe. The Chenin Blanc is the first to make it into the camper, but the journey has only just started and Camper Vin is preparing to explore the next stop...
Camper Vin Chenin Blanc will be available nationwide in Asda from 25 August 2016, for a limited time only, with an expected price of £15.
Roy Broomhead takes to the trail in a pair of Merrell's Moab FST Shoes.
The Men's Moab FST is a hiking shoe with the benefits of a boot but the flexibility of a conventional training shoe. The “high performance”, sturdy, Vibram sole gives the stability and confidence you’d expect from a walking shoe and the 5mm deep tread helps deliver the traction needed for any trek.The FST shoes are marketed as being ideal for mountain biking too as the trainer-style shoe offers ankle flexibility that you wouldn’t get with a boot.
The upper is leather with a breathable mesh lining, helping to keep the shoe light (they weigh in at 762g) and the feet cool when either hiking or hitting the cycle trails.
A Vibram MegaGrip outsole gives the shoe a grippy finish
My Moab shoes had black uppers with silver/grey coloured mesh panels and orange laces, while the chunky sole was a striking white and orange and black.
A Vibram MegaGrip outsole gives the shoe a grippy finish
I prefer the comfort of trainers when I’m out and about but, on longer, more demanding walks I’d wear a more stable walking boot. I found the Merrell MOAB FST to be a great mix of both, keeping my feet cool and comfortable.
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