Camping gear must-haves – our 60 best finds

When we find a new piece of camping or outdoor equipment that we love and that really works, it’s here. 

Everything you see – from barbecues to mosquito repellent – has been tried and tested by a member of the Campfire team and is now one of their actual camping essentials. If something let us down after long-term use, it’s gone!

Click on any picture or link for details and prices. And if you’re looking for something in particular – from the best campervan to the best loo – just use the search box!

Colapz camping shower

We’ve just tried this portable electric shower on a wild camp in the Lakes and on Mull. Great pressure and a neat kit to carry. Recharges via USB. We filled the Colapz 2-in-1 bucket from the river and topped up with a kettle of hot water.

More camping shower options here too!

The best kitchen stand

We tested lots of camping storage cupboards and kitchen stands in our special feature on camping cupboards and camp kitchens, but the Campart Valencia. really stood out. Aluminium top and even a sink! There’s a smaller model too.

See more in our camping cupboard and kitchen stand feature

Water carriers

Current favourite is the Sea to Summit PackTap in the 10-litre version.

Easy to fill, holds enough for a weekend trip, taste-free water and you can hang it up too. The push tap is simple to operate one-handed.

Have a look at more of our favourite water carriers.
Incognito insect repellent

Keep mosquitoes away

All natural Incognito keeps everything nasty away. Mosquito repellent range that's a bit kinder on the skin. We've tested it in some buggy places! We prefer this to the old favourite Avon Skin So Soft, but try them both!

We're currently testing Cubby Salve – made for Scottish midges and Mediterranean mozzies. We'll report back with photos of bite-free ankles!

The best camping table

Stable, lightweight, cheap, not fiddly…what more could you want. 

The (individually) adjustable-legged Uquip aluminium table is great for uneven ground and folds easily into a bag. Around £70

Cool camping fridge

A Dometic compressor fridge. The 32-litre CFX35 is brilliant for two or a small family. It stays cold whatever the temperature outside. 

This one (and its older incarnation) have worked perfectly for us for years in the UK and Europe.

See our fridge guide here for how to choose.

 

Fab folding saw

I have to admit I thought this Gerber saw was just a toy when I first spotted it. How wrong! It’s super-sharp, folds down very neatly and is fantastic for campfire wood-cutting.

Plus you can use it at home for pruning. It’s always in our kit bag because it takes up no room.

Luci Base Lamp

We quite liked the original inflatable Luci light, but this bigger Base Lamp is really good. Three brightness settings, no weight, waterproof, charge lasts for ages and you can even charge your phone with it.

The best thing, though, is that it’s both bright enough to read by or illuminate outside eating areas and can be dimmed for a soft background light.

Waterproof beanies

I’m sure I’ve said this before elsewhere, but a waterproof hat (and a warm, waterproof hat in winter) makes you feel invincible.

The best I’ve found is the DexShell brand. Cosy inside, lots of colour choice and totally protective against wind, rain and snow. If I have one complaint, it’s that I’d like a slightly bigger, less close-fitting version, but I have a claustrophobic head! 

Big hammock packs tiny

Light and well-designed hammocks by Ticket to the Moon. They fold up nearly into their own attached bag and come with easy hanging straps. There’s a matching mosquito net too. Have a look at the hammock range at Alpinetrek too, though – the Exped hammocks are great.

Take a comfy pillow!

Don’t expect to enjoy sleeping on a bunch of rolled up clothes or one of those awful, rustling blow-up travel pillows. The best we’ve found are super-comfy, breathable mini memory-foam travel pillows.

The Wild Guides

brilliant series of guides that help you discover lovely landscapes, places to swim and camp, unusual and special places to eat and more. There are guides to Scotland, Central England, the Lakes and DalesWalesPortugalCornwall and the South WestScandinavia and wild swimming in the UK and France.

Look where the French one took us!!

Luminoodle LED lights

Fantastic Luminoodle – an LED light strip (different lengths available) with rechargeable powerbank and clever hanging options.

Bright enough to read and cook by too. Plus they come with a semi-transparent bag to make a sort of table lamp. Clever.

Multipurpose blanket

Try a Snugpak Jungle Blanket for sleeping under on warmer nights, for adding a layer to your sleeping bag or for wrapping around you and a friend so you can sit under the stars for longer. Lots of readers say they love them. Warm and light.

The Colapz utility bags

Very useful indeed. We use our Colapz bag for gathering wood, for washing up, for storing wet shoes and for taking recycling to the bins.

There are two sizes and both are suitable for holding water. Green or blue too.

What’s this doing here?

Not totally camping, but…we love Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 soap liquid. And actually, you can use it for washing up, washing clothes, washing yourself, your kit and your pets, keeping ants at bay, so…totally sensible for camping?

It’d be hard to find a more ethical, people- and environment-minded company and the bottles are made from recycled plastic. 

Fairtrade, organic, no detergents, foaming agents or synthetic preservatives. Lots of lovely scents too. 

Your own private (ish) loo

Make your own pop-up private loo space with one of these toilet tents. Great with camping showers as well.

Our favourite is the Wolfwise £30 toilet and shower tent. Removable base mat and pops up easily.

A coolbox that stays cool

If you don’t want to invest in a compressor fridge, then a good-quality passive coolbox is the answer. The best we’ve found are the Coleman Extreme. There are big ones like the one above, but also a neat 26-litre version.

Nikon binoculars

It was our friend Kathy who introduced us to the wonders of these lightweight binoculars. Fr birdwatching, a pair of carryable binoculars is a really good idea. These £80 Nikon binoculars are the best we’ve tried for portability and clarity. We’ve spotted a golden eagle, seals, yellowhammers and a naked man having a shower next to a green bucket on the beach! Who could that be?

Wee tubes!

If you’ve read our guide to camping toilets, you’ll know we have a healthy interest in these matters! Kathy, of binoculars fame, also won us over with these super-handy wee tubes. They fold down small, seal well and have a fit that works for women as well as men. Oh, and they cost about £5.

The smartest tent

Coleman's Cortes Octagon is our favourite tent for looks and versatility. Standing height, sleeps six to eight, the flysheet removes to create a screened shelter and there's a sewn-in groundsheet. We love the hinged door and the airy feel.

Lots more options in our tent feature.

Do-it-all camp rope

Looprope is great for hanging kit at camp, but is also strong and versatile enough to tie down bikes or other loads. Lots of lengths and tying options, plus no tangles. Ingenious.

Fab folding plugs

Folding smartphone and tablet travel chargers, and an international set too. Very neat.

Make yourself a spice tin

Get all your herbs and spices together in one easy storage container and you can stop rummaging! Look for a metal tin or box like ours and fill it with smaller spice tins.

The Indian masala dhaba are an option too, but you need one with lids rather than open bowls.

Wacaco Nanopresso

The best cup of coffee we've ever had. Honestly. Wacaco – a portable, hand-powered espresso maker that gets to the same pressure as a barista machine in a café. Double shot version and a pod version (if you must).

The simplest bucket

Sturdy and with a good lid, the Summit pop-up bucket is one of the best we've found for lots of uses (including a night-time toilet, providing you don't sit down heavily on it, of course!). Costs less than £10 too.

Rite in the Rain notebooks

Brilliant and HUGE range of notebooks and journals that you can write on even when they’re wet. Hard and soft covers, all sizes, even printing paper. Affordable and recyclable too. Now you can write your novel while camping in the rain.

Smart bulbs and plugs for security

Boy, these are brilliant. We've been using bulb timers for when we're away, but they were unreliable. The TP-Link Smart Bulbs and Smart Plug let you control your lights and a radio, say, from anywhere you've got signal or wifi. Dimmable, tuneable lights with screw and bayonet fitting and the easiest, most feature-rich app to control them. VERY impressed. From around £20.

Andes kitchen storer

For your kitchen kit

The Andes kitchen storer. Room for crockery, pots and pans, plus lots of pockets. An essential to keep things neat and to hand.

Also look at our recommendations for camping storage cupboards and kitchen stands.

Beeswax wrap instead of clingfilm

You’ll probably have already come across cotton and beeswax (or vegan wax) wraps? Well, we’ve just found this fantastic plastic-free wrap on a roll.

Cut the size you need for wrapping sandwiches, using to seal bowls or for wrapping around loaves to keep them fresher. We struggled to find individual wraps big enough for large loaves, so this is a super alternative. 

There’s a metre x 33cm on a roll and it costs around £15. You can rinse it in cold water and use it over and over.

Vegan version uses plant-based wax. Around £14

Hennessy hammock tents

You’ll find a couple of great bivvy options on this page, but the Hennessy hammock gives you almost flat-bed sleeping-in-the-trees for around £120. 

We love the airy feel with a mosquito net to protect you, but a rainfly if the weather turns wet. 

See more hammocks and bivvies too.

Carabiner hooks

Hang anything up anywhere with these nifty carabiner and hook combinations. Look for Heroclips or Qliplet. Use them to hang backpacks, lanterns and even a bike (they can hold up to 22kg! Lots of sizes and colours. From around £22.

Clean and green camping

No shower? No worries. We always take a couple of packs of these totally natural Aqua Wipes. Just water and biodegradable. Not dear, either.

But, for even more environmentally friendly cleaning options…

…have a look at our new article on 20 ways to make camping greener.
Lotus Grill

LotusGrill barbecue

The best barbecue we've found. The Lotus Grill. Has a built-in fan to get your coals burning fast, and can stand on your table for comfortable cooking.

Have a look at our full LotusGrill review.

Reusable coffee cups

We're NEVER using a throwaway cup again, so here's our favourite to take along to the coffee shop. The KeepCup Longplay.

See other reusable travel mugs too.

Multiuse sleeping bags

One of our favourite (non-down) sleeping bags – it doubles as a blanket/quilt and is made of eco-friendly materials. The Vaude Navajo is soft, warm, versatile and really well-designed. We use the 900 option for spring, summer and a warm autumn.

More sleeping bag recommendations here.

Windshield for your stove

As simple as it gets, but we wish we’d spent the £8 sooner. This aluminium windshield fits around almost any size of cooker and folds back easily to nothing!

It saves frustration, matches and gas.

It’s shown here around our lovely little Bivouac stove, on the Uquip table and with the Tefal Ingenio pan on top. All favourites included on this page!

Simple thermos flask

Simple and perfect. The Isosteel 0.9l flask is as minimal as you can get. Good value and no bits to go wrong. We tested it thoroughly. Water hot enough to make tea after six hours; drinks still enjoyable after 18 hours

Perfect on-off camping shoes

All that in-and-out, to the showers and back is a pain when you have to unlace shoes. We take easy-on/off shoes. The best we've found are these neoprene-lined slip-ons. Sizes 3 to 13 and only £20. Dirt Boots. We love Bogs clogs too, but they're dearer.

calor-bivouac-camping-stove

Best small campstove

We love our neat Campingaz Bivouac. Small and effective. Been using it for years and years and still just as perfect. Stows in a small bag and takes easily-findable canisters. The Cadac below is our choice when we need something bigger and more versatile.

Sleep under the stars

Our favourite sleeping arrangement for fairweather wild camping (when we can't use the bivvy hammocks in the trees). Aqua Quest's West Coast lightweight mesh tent lets you sleep safe from bugs and able to see the stars.

See our wild camping kit feature too.

Sea to Summit Comfort Plus insulated mat

Super-comfy mats

Either the fabulous self-inflating Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe or the Exped 10LW. Not cheap camping mats, but well-insulated, good at inflating (especially the S-to-S) and lovely to lie on. Get even more comfortable with the best pillow we've found – a mini memory-foam, bamboo travel pillow of loveliness.

More options in our special feature on mats.

Cadac Safari Chef

Favourite gas stove

Cadac Safari Chef camp stove. Our favourite gas cooker. Very efficient, packs away nicely and has lots of options for cooking styles – from pizza stone to seared steak griddle plate. New models have added piezo ignition. All fits into a roomy, easy-to-carry bag and set sup in no time. High and low pressure options (ie. big gas bottle with hose or screw-in canister)

Park4night app

Find an overnight stop

Park4night – our favourite app (at the moment) for finding quick overnight stops for the campervan and campsites for tents and more.

Lots more apps to look at in our guide

Joseph Joseph chopping board

Clever chopping board

Our favourite camp chopping board, by Joseph Joseph. Made of bamboo, comes in two sizes and folds on a silicone hinge so that you can chop and pour.

Green Decore recycled plastic rug

Recycled, waterproof rug

The Green Decore rugs are made from recycled plastic and come in lots of colours. You can use them on wet grass, muddy campsites...wherever. Soft enough to be nice to lie on, and in lots of sizes for inside and out. That's the tarp in use too

Our favourite bell-tent

We’ve just got excited about tipis and bell-tents because there’s only one pole to install (plus awning if you have one). We really love the Robens range, including this simple Field Base for four to six people. 

We’ve reviewed more over at our quick-pitch tent article

A woodburning stove

Frontier woodburning stove

A fabulous Frontier wood-burning stove. It all packs down into a small bag, you can cook on it and keep warm.
The water heater is brilliant and there are kits so you can use it inside a bell tent. 

See our wood-burning stove feature here

Peace of mind

The Netgear Arlo security system sends alerts to your phone when it detects sound or motion and lets you see what's happening at home. Peace of mind when camping. Previously had the iSmart Keep wifi security camera, which is much cheaper, but we found the Arlo a tad more reliable.

Quechua Tarp Fresh

Versatile tarps

A tarp. Nothing fancy, just a very versatile piece of kit. String it up from a tree, attach it to your tent, use it as a shade, an extra dining area, a rain shelter. We've got a feature on tarps here too. Remember to get bungee or elasticated cord for fastening your tarp (details at the end)!

The best camping chair

We searched long and hard for a supportive camping chair. The Coleman Deck Chair has a strong back, a no-sag seat and is super light. Comes in khaki and cream.

See more recommended chairs

Happy going

Skip to your loo

One of our funniest bits of kit...useful too. A waterproof toilet roll holder with built-in light (flashing option!). The Happy Going. Just get one. It'll make you laugh every time you pack. £3!

Coleman FastPitch tent

Fast pitch tents

A contender for our favourite tent because of its fast-pitch air system and hinged door. Zips are annoying at night! The Coleman FastPitch Valdes tent features in...
our quick-erect tent review.

Clever clips and cords

These bits and pieces will cost you under a tenner and will change your (camping) life! Use the bungee cords to secure tarps, awnings, bits of flapping tent or for 101 other uses. The green clips fasten on to canvas taps, tents and so on without damaging the fabric and give you more options for securing.

Our favourite windbreak

We like the Regatta Calima windbreak for its simplicity. Just two big panels and three steel poles. Stays up in a wind (as it should!) and very cheap too.

More options in our round-up of windbreaks if you need bigger, prettier or whatever!
Petzl Noctilight

Headtorch to lamp

This handy (and cheap) little zip-up pouch holds your headtorch, turning it into a lantern. A handing cord wraps neatly around it. Clever little Petzl Noctilight!

Leaving kitty behind

A pet lifesaver. This SureFlap feeder only opens for the cat it's meant to feed! Interlopers from next-door will have to go hungry. Cat-sitters or visiting pet-carers don't always know who's actually getting the food they put down.

See our article on taking cats camping

Safe camp kitchen knife

Joseph Joseph's chef and paring knives come with a safety shield and a built-in blade sharpener. Ideal for the camping cook kit. Kuhn Rikon's sheathed knives are a good option too, but no sharpener.

Easy camping meals

After a long day's walking or when you just can't be bothered, Firepot's dried meals are quick and delicious (and now in paper rather than plastic pouches). All natural ingredients too. Just add boiling water.

See more tasty cheats in our article on fast (but good) food.

Cobb oven

Cobb charcoal cooking

The Cobb is a great outdoor 'cobblestone' or charcoal-fuelled cooker. Not really a barbecue, but very versatile for other types of cooking. Loads of accessories and we've even made cupcakes on it.

Have a look at our review.

Reisenthel toilet bag

Perfect travel toilet bags

The Reisenthel hanging toilet bag has supplanted our one-time favourite Samsonite. The medium size is plenty big enough, it's easy to find things, there's a mirror and it looks lovely. Perfect for hanging in trees, in the campervan or in the shower block.

Tanglefree cables

Tidy cables – a simple magnetic clasp for headphones and charger cables. Bye bye tangles. We use them for all sorts of other bits and pieces too.

Hand-powered processor

Make speedy work of chopping without electricity or batteries. There are a few hand-operated food processors out there, but this Zyliss chopper is the most popular and the sturdiest. Will make hummus and dips, but they won't be supersmooth. Only £15 too.​

Nilaqua waterless wash

Waterless washing

Nilaqua make a whole range of waterless washes, foams and shampoos. Best of the lot seems to be the towel-off foam. Use the Aqua Wipes mentioned above if you have sensitive skin, though.

Also have a look at our green camping article for homemade wet wipes.

Source Liquitainer

Although we’re using the 10-litre Sea to Summit Packtap more and more, the Source Liquitainer has the edge when it comes to filling with water and being able to see what you’ve got left. It’s a taste-free, non-BPA, foldable water carrier. Holds six litres. Stands up (many water bags don’t), reliable tap and easy-fill top. See other options in our water-carrier special.

bog in a bag camping toilet

Bog in a bag toilet

The Bog in a Bag camping toilet has to be the neatest for storing. It's a stool with a cover that removes to reveal a hole. Fit a bag over the top and you have a toilet. Also see our advice on the bags to use and other alternative camping loos in our toilet feature.

Klorane dry shampoo

Clean hair when camping

Give yourself a break from proper hair-washing. This Klorane dry shampoo leaves you with fresher, fuller hair and no powdered wig effect (unless you overdo it). Better still...make your own using arrowroot or cornflour (add cocoa powder for dark hair).

Perfect camping pans – for home as well

We like to keep extra gear to a minimum, so we use the same pans camping as we do at home. Tefal Ingenio pans share a removable handle so they’re easy to pack and can be used on stoves, in ovens and as mixing bowls. There are beautiful but expensive stainless steel versions and affordable non-stick sets too.

Go plastic-free

Avoid plastic when you can! It’s easy when bamboo crockery is as lovely as these bowls, plates and more. Lightweight, very stylish. Plus lots more earth-friendly tableware in our article on alternatives to plastic.

Read our ‘20 ways to make camping greener‘ article – for more environmentally friendly shopping, cooking. washing and more.

Headphones for cyclists

One of the best ways of listening to music or a podcast for runners, cyclists and walkers. That's because they leave your ears free to hear the world around you. Choose either the Plantronics earpods or the super-light Aftershokz Trekz.

Barbecue must-have

So, we've found the best barbecues, and this (non-Teflon) grill mat is the perfect addition. Makes it easier to cook small ingredients, stops the burn and is reusable.

For warm campervans

The baby Eco Chico Dimplex is an oil-FREE radiator that warms up super-quickly and is light to carry. Our choice for larger campervans or caravans on hook-up because you can safely leave it on to warm your space.

More heater ideas here.

Safe drinking waterLifestraw steel

If you’re unsure about how safe the water is, the LifeStraw‘s the answer. As well as the Steel straw version shown here, there are water bottles with the same filtration system. Gets rid of 99% of harmful nasties.

A very clever tray

A freeform tray that turns into a mat. Very neat. Lots of different colours and sizes.

Great for campervanners especially, because it gives a solid surface for plates and cups on a bench seat.

Freestanding mosquito net

A simple freestanding mosquito net from Lifesystems. Fasten it to your campbed or use it on the ground. Around £60.

Music while you travel

The RISA electric ukulele. Silent when not plugged in for on-site practising. Concert or tenor sizes. Add a teeny, pocket-sized amp or your phone and an adaptor and you can sound like Jimi Hendrix.

The handiest holdalls

Dakine holdalls – a big range of sizes and colours. Fold up small, stylish, sturdy and easy to get things in and out of because the top opens up fully. 23-74 litres and from around £18 to £55.

Instant Pot for electric cooking

If you have a campervan or caravan or room in the car plus electric hook-up, the Instant Pot is a great way to cook your meals quickly and economically. From stews in 15 minutes to perfect rice and even cakes and yoghurt.

Basically, it’s a clever electric pressure cooker that also slow cooks and steams. They’re quite big (5.7l) but not heavy. Around £70.

There’s a 3l Mini that’s the perfect size for two-three and for campervans and caravans. It’s not always available in the UK, but here’s the link.

Keep an eye out for our special feature on camp cooking with an Instant Pot…coming soon. Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s Iranian stew with dried lime and dill. Yum.

 

Vango Transit Trolley

If you don’t need a heavyweight all-terrain barrow, Vango’s Transit is fab. Folds completely flat and weighs just 3kg. Around £35. It can take up to 70kg and comes with an elastic tie-round.

JRC Stealth X-Lite chair

Ultra strong aluminium frame, thick padding and adjustable legs. The Stealth weighs just 3kg and costs around £75. It’s the lightest fishing-type chair we’ve found. The 4kg recliner version has arms too.

See more in our khaki camping round-up of campbeds not just for anglers!

No-smash travel mirror

Simple and unbreakable (!) travel mirrors from the Shave Well company. Stick or hang options for shower-rooms or the windows of campervans.

PackTowl luxe

Travel towels that dry

The PackTowl Luxe range – supersoft camping and hiking towels that absorb up to five times their weight in water, dry 30% faster than normal towels and stay fresher for longer. Lots of sizes.

Tarp poles for everywhere

Lightweight aluminium tarp poles that can be constructed with lots of different heights to suit your surroundings. Have a look at our article on tarps too.

Bamboo travel set

We’ve just come across this neat little travel kit. It’d be a great present, wouldn’t it? Toothbrush, cutlery, chopsticks, straws and cleaning brush in a folding pouch – all made from bamboo. Around £12.

Bungee cords for guylines

Thanks to ex-para and now car-camper Tommy Graham for his tip on using stretch rope or bungee cords when tying down tarps and other shelters. Go for reflective or bright-coloured.

Stackable, multifunction bowls

We love our stainless steel bowls for all our home baking and mixing. They’re even more useful when camping. These Von Shef bowls (five of them) are great because they have lids, plus interchangeable centre bits for grating, slicing etc. Mix in them, measure in them, serve in them. Perfect and indestructible.

 

Camp in your car? Here’s how!

Stealth camping, car camping, makeshift campervanning…call it what you will, there’s huge interest in keeping camping simple, cheap and spontaneous …
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12 Comments

  1. Mary McGrory

    Stanley food crockI love my Stanley Food Crock – it has a nearly 3l capacity, it’s very sturdy and well-engineered and it keeps food hot for hours. Great for the first night of camping (so long as you aren’t backpacking) to make a casserole or chilli at home and take it with you to eat after you’ve set up camp. It has a wide opening for easy filling and it is very simple to wash up. We also use it for picnics to transport food like sausages and chicken pieces (it’ll take about 40 sausages if you pack them well!). But watch the price because it varies hugely depending on where you buy it from – I paid £38.00 but I have seen them for £55.00! ED: Great suggestion, Mary. Many thanks. The cheapest we found was £42 on Amazon at the time of writing this, but you’re right that prices we looked at ranged up to nearly £60. The crock is big (3 litres), but there are other Stanley food flasks that might suit people better if it’s just for one or two people. The best range and best offers were at Alpinetrek, although they didn’t do the crock itself.

  2. Decathlon inflatable pillowI used to share Your dislike of inflatable pillows, but then I discovered Decathlon’s Helium Trek Pillow.

    An inflatable bladder in a soft outer cover with thin foam padding in the top surface. Pressure can be adjusted to make it as firm or soft as you like. Warm, very comfortable and packs away in to its own little drawstring bag when deflated. £12.99

  3. Eleanor Dinsmore

    You Guys are the Best! I’ve bought the Eco Chico heater and the Dometic fridge based on your reviews. Both are invaluable and I’m not sure I would have made the right choice left to my own devices.
    As a Newbie to Campervans, I cant Thank you enough for your recommendations. XX ED: That’s soooo heartwarming! Thanks, Eleanor. We started Campfire as a hobby and it’s amazing how it’s grown. It’s lovely to hear that we’ve helped. Hooray!

  4. Thanks for the tip of the petzl headtorch lamp combination. Just bought one and tried on a wild camp, fantastic kit. I would definitely recommend this. ED:That’s fab! Great to hear we could help. And thanks for taking the time to let us know!

  5. iain maciver

    my best bit of camping gear is my head torch

  6. Anne Course

    I can recommend Backdoor Shoes – they are comfortable, with either bare feet or socks, and hardwearing with washable cotton insoles. They can be scrubbed under a tap if they get muddy, are lightweight and will protect your toes if you drop anything on them. They are brilliant if you are on your feet all day (I have a pair I keep exclusively for when I am catering). No I don’t work for them! Their returns policy is good and they are British – what more could you want?

  7. Caroline Roberts

    What great suggestions and a great site. ED: Aw, thank you so much!

  8. Velcro Cable Ties
    Not exactly camping gear, but I’ve used these for all sorts of things. Keeping a roll mat rolled up, securing luggage to my motorbike, attaching a spare paddle in my canoe and many more.
    When I carry my bicycle in my campervan I wrap a couple of the shorter ones tightly around the handlebars and brake levers to keep the brakes on and stop the bike rolling around in the van.
    Available in various lengths op to 450mm and can be “daisy chained” together for longer lengths.
    They cost pennies and can be re-used many times.
    I always have a few in the van and keep finding new uses for them.
    ED: Thanks, Dave. Great tip you can get them at Toolstation or on Amazon.

  9. Judith Hampson

    I’m so grateful for this thoughtful article. I’m in the process of converting my Berlingo (without converting it!) to go off camping with my dog (ED: have a look at our article on affordable camping in a Berlingo and also at our car camping guide). He travels in a cage, so I’ve had a wooden barrier made to secure the cage in the back when the seats are down, there’s handy bars already there to rest it on. I got a set of cab silver screens from Ebay for £62 – really good quality, and am making one for the back window and curtain for one side with blackout material (you can use the holes provided for inner roof bars to rig up a bamboo curtain pole.) I’ve resurrected my old camping stove and intend to cook on the tailgate. I invested in an Vango Hexaway drive away awning as I like a bit of luxury – plus it gives you oodles more space.ED: Thanks for the info, Judith. Sounds like you’ve got it all sorted! Happy camping.

  10. Summer Bourne

    Hi. Thanks for the info -really helpful. One thing that we have added to our campervan is a bungee strap stretched across the back where you can hang damp towels/jackets to dry them off while you are driving.
    ED:Great idea. The Loopropes would work well for that

  11. If I have to get something from amazon rather than locally or from independent sellers I try and use Smile – but not without some worry as articulated well in this article https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brady-josephson/why-amazon-is-smiling-and_b_4360405.html

  12. Neil Hosland-Round

    Your articles are totally brilliant!

    Only one downside, the products link to Amazon who are not Tax contributors throughout the world and a view should be taken on exclusive links to their site. That’s all!

    EDITOR: Thanks so much for your comment. I’m struggling to answer because I’m with you totally. I’m not at all happy with the way companies like Amazon operate. Governments have yet to find a way to catch up with multinationals who use the digital economy to get around ‘traditional’ legislation.

    Sadly, people love to shop on Amazon. And it’s not surprising. In many ways – as far as the buyer’s concerned – they’re exemplary. They have everything you want, they get it to you fast and they make it easy to return things. We know that if we didn’t link some products to Amazon, readers would simply leave the Campfire page and pop over to Amazon anyway.

    We’re still a very small magazine. It costs money to keep going and linking to products we recommend (and only products we recommend!) helps bring in a little income to offset the costs. We’ve tried other affiliate companies, but it doesn’t seem right to point readers to more expensive options. We do always check prices, though, and where there is a better option, that’s where we suggest readers look. Using or not using Amazon is one of the many modern dilemmas for people with a conscience. We buy locally wherever possible!

    I hope you’ll keep reading and we’ll put more work into finding alternatives.

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