When we’re planning what new camping gear we’ll need for the year’s trips, we’ve been a bit disappointed by supposed camping ‘superstores’ that really don’t offer much choice. Fine if you’re not picky customers, but we’re the kings and queens of pickiness! Buying online is OK sometimes, but not when you want to try out a chair for comfort or a cooker for sturdiness.
So, if anyone can recommend a good place to buy kit, let us know by dropping us an email or leaving a comment below.
Our current ‘real-world’ favourite (though a five-hour drive away) is Norwich Camping & Leisure. As an indication of their range, they have more than 70 barbecues to choose from. As well as every bit of camping kit you can imagine, they also sell all those tiny odds and ends that just have to come in useful for something.
PSM Outdoors is a small-looking high street shop in Hay-on-Wye, but it turns out to be an Aladdin’s cave of accessories with a surprising range of kayaks in the basement. Springfield Camping has now shut its real-world doors to go online only – good choice and decent prices, though.
Online, Amazon has the advantage of its being easy to compare prices, check reviews and return things that don’t work.
Oh, and we mustn’t forget Nigel’s Eco Store for some unique bits and pieces, often wacky and sometimes inspired camping, cooking and living kit. One to avoid is Alpinetrek – expensive, returns need to go back to Germany and slow customer response.
There must be other well-stocked and helpful places, so let us know. Incidentally, we never did find a good camping gear supplier in France. Decathlon is everywhere, but covers such a wide range of sports and pastimes that the camping section is limited. Their tents are pretty much all you see on French campsites and do have some innovations at an affordable price. Any more suggestions for European camping superstores?