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Camping equipment that makes us smile

We’ve tested good kit, bad kit, daft kit…and even camping equipment that makes us burst out laughing! 

Have a look at some of the camping gear that brings a smile to our faces – either because it works well, or because it’s a bit daft!

Happy going

The Happy Going toilet roll holder…because it has disco lights – and is actually useful.

Worked fine till I turned a corner and spilt my prosecco

Daft or great? This tray attaches to (most) steering wheels and then stores away neatly somewhere. Use it to eat a meal from, as a stand for a laptop or tablet, or to read a book.

Costs around £16. Just don’t turn the…oh crikey, you really don’t need to be told that, do you!

The Happy Going

We’ve mentioned the Happy Going before, but we still love it for making us laugh.

 

It’s a waterproof toilet roll holder that you can hang in a tree or on the side of your tent. And it has a built-in light. Finding the neatly tucked away switch for that and then pressing it to reveal a miniature LED striplight gave us our first bout of hysterics. We pressed it again and…oh my goodness…it had a flashing mode! Now we can give our night-time toilet trips a disco ambience.

In fact, it’s surprisingly well-made – for example, the two ends that hold the roll inside snap into place with concealed magnets, plus the lightswitch has a waterproof cover and a little velcro tab to keep it out of the way. Costs around £3

The best hanging toilet bag

Getting it right makes us smile! And now we have the perfect way to keep bathroom things together and easy to find. That’s not a trivial thing when you’re in a tent or campervan, honest!

The best  hanging toiletry bag is by Reisenthel. It comes in medium or large and lots of designs. We like the black with the striking orange interior! 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. Around £15.

The smell of coffee – that makes us smile

The best cup of coffee we’ve ever had? Yep.

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).

No smoke with the LotusGrill barbecue

The only tears in our eyes should be from laughing! So, this is our favourite barbecue. Smokeless, tabletop, very efficient. 

Lotus Grill

The best barbecue we’ve found. The Lotus Grill. Have a look at our review.

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.

Sprung a leak? Tattoo your tent!

A couple of options for repairing rucksacks, tents, jackets, boots, paddling pools…you name it. Reusing rather than throwing camping gear away makes us smile.

 

Stormsure make great repair adhesive, tent kits and patches of different sizes and shapes that you simply peel off and stick on. Get the specific ones for boots and wellies if that’s where you’ve sprung a leak – the regular ones are not so great for this application.

There are also special patches in the range for everything from canoes to car soft tops. The tube adhesive is for more permanent repairs, but you’ll need to use it fast as the glue hardens in the tube if you’re not careful. From £5 upwards.

We’ve recommended the McNett Gear Aid range of sealants, Tenacious Tape and funky patches in the past. They’ve never let us down, and we like the Black Witch neoprene repair (for wetsuits) and the Gore-Tex repair kits. Again, there are products for every type of kit and prices start at just over £5.

A bivvy tent with a view

Nothing makes us smile as much as lying comfortably outside, stargazing at night and birdspotting at dawn.

The Aqua Quest West Coast is our top pick for good weather wild camping and bivvying. It’s basically a mini mesh tent you can set up in a minute, and you can then string up a tarp to keep off the rain.

Its big advantage is very little condensation (there was some on the green roof section, but it doesn’t touch your sleeping bag except right at the foot). It’s also roomy and a pleasure to sleep in.

Weighs a kilo, packs to 38cm x 13cm. Costs around £80.

We’ve got an article all about bivvying and camping in the trees, by the way.

Wee tubes!

If you’ve read our guide to camping toilets, you’ll know we have a healthy interest in these matters! 

Kathy 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.

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