Camp Cool – more camping kit finds

Once you’ve got your basics sorted – where to sleep and how to eat – it’s time to think about the camping kit that makes things a little easier, a bit more colourful…or that just makes you smile. From neat folding plugs to the only knives you’ll need.

Easy-on camping shoes?

There’s a lot of inside-outside, shoes on-and-off when you’re camping or campervanning. Shoes off to keep the inside of your tent, campervan or caravan clean; back on again to nip to the loo or the showers. Slip-ons are great, but indoors we sometimes want something on our feet when it’s chilly.

Could Mahabis be the answer? They’re London-designed felt slippers (cotton version for summer) that have a detachable sole. They come in lots of colourways and also have a heel piece to stop them falling off when you walk.

They’re expensive (from around £70) and they didn’t quite work for us. The heel tended to slip out despite the elastic section (especially true if you’re wearing tights or smooth socks). That might not be a problem if the fit is very snug for you. The main problem, though, was that taking the sole on and off wasn’t as simple as it looks on this little video. Maybe we’re lazy, maybe it would get easier with use. They’re worth a try, though you do have to pay return postage if you want to send them back.

See some other options here.

Sharp but safe knives for camping

Titanium paring knife green copyWe’ve used Kuhn Rikon products before, so we were glad to see they’d updated their colourful knives. They’re made from Japanese carbon steel with a titanium coating so they’re super-sharp. But the bit that makes them good for camping and picnics is that they have a safety sheath. No cut fingers when you scrabble in the bag to find it. There are paring knives, chef knives and more. Prices start at around £7.

Joseph Joseph do a more expensive version that has the added bonus of a sharpener built into the sheath. Very useful kit for camping.

Excited about a plug?

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

Well, we are showing it off quite a lot. Mu make fold-up USB plugs for phones and tablets. They take up no room in a handbag or backpack and you simply unfold then spin out the prongs. As well as single and double USB versions, there’s a ‘system’ that mean you can use your charger in any of 200 countries (Europe and the States included). Designed by Made in Mind, it’s claimed to be the world’s thinnest international USB plug.

The plugs range from £15 to £35 depending on whether you want smartphone, tablet or international options.

Proporta cable tidyNeat cable tidies

Tiny and terribly useful. That’s the Proporta cable tidy. A simple magnetic clasp that keeps your headphones or charging cable neat and untangled. Around £4 for three. Simple and clever.

Pack-Away bucket

pack-away bucketsFolding silicone things are popping up (literally) everywhere these days. They’re not all as strong and well-designed as they could be though.

We like this Pack-Away bucket from Wacky Practicals because it’s strong and simple and has a comfortable handle. It’s suitable for pets, plants or the washing up, FDA food safe and unaffected by UV rays.

Costs around £15-£20.

All-natural insect repellent

Incognito insect repellent

All natural Incognito keeps everything nasty away.

We can’t say Incognito repellent is actually cool, but being bitten by mosquitoes is definitely un-cool, so it earns a place in our good design round-up.

It gives total protection against all insects anywhere in the world (that’s a claim we’re gradually proving!), and it doesn’t have any DEET, parabens or SLS

There’s a choice of sprays, roll-ons, moisturisers and even an impregnated pop-up net. And the range starts at around £6.

If a new product we’ve tested stands up to long use and proves a really practical addition to the camping kit, it wins a place in our favourites. Have a look for a full round-up of great camping and outdoor gear.

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