It's coming up to Christmas. It's cold out and most tent campers have packed the canvas away until spring. (not all of you though I bet! and I STILL have 'camping in deep snow' on my bucket list..) So finding things to blog about is not always easy. Then I realised that gifts for the next season would be a good theme. This is not a sponsored post. And it's based on things I own and love and things I don't own but really deeply desire for camping.
A Top Ten Gift Ideas for the Camper
- A Storm Kettle. I have a Kelly kettle, though other brands are available. Boil water in moments using sticks and other fuel found around. It seems like an expensive item but it will last for ever (barring bear attack, being trampled by herds of wildebeest, meteor strike etc) and saves money by enabling you to cook without buying fuel. It also makes cooking fun, slightly dangerous, and entertaining. Feel like a proper mountain man, and have a great excuse to send the kids off to collect small sticks and pine cones (instant peace). I have just noticed a hobb attachement is to be made available in 2014 - *adds to wish list* A flashy new addition to the storm kettle idea is the (much more expensive and geeky) Biolite Stove, cook and charge electrical devices at the same time - perfect preparation for the Zombie apocalypse.
- A Penknife. I bought a fantastic Draper one in Asda for £2.50. Buy two! I also attached it to a lanyard as I was forever putting it down and losing it. Every camper needs a good penknife. Bottle opener, cheese slicer, cork puller, poity thing for doing stuff...a penknife is an essential.
- Duct tape. Duck Tape is a fine brand. Lots of fun colours. Duct tape is perfect when camping for so many things. repairing tents, repairing poles, temporary holding for things, making dens. Perfect multipurpost fixing stuff! No camper should be without a roll or two, or three.
- A Shmangle. A brilliant wearable waterproof blanket. Genius. You can use it to sit on in the day, shelter under in rain, wear to keep warm in the evening, put it under a sleeping bag for more warmth at night. For festivals there is no better item, you could, at a pinch, survive with a shmangle in place of a tent! I have a red one, DD has a blue one.
- A Shit Box. Yes you heard me. A small, cardboard, easily folded, portable toilet. Great for an emergency. There are even smaller versions for children! An ideal gift for the long dsitance traveller too - never be caught shirt again, and yet not need to carry a bulky toilet around! Just a simple flat packed box that is popped together in seconds, and yes it is strong, you can sit on it, it does work. No chemicals either. (Try here if the shit box is out of stock)
- Solar powered Torch. Yes it sounds like a joke. But why not use your day to charge up your night? Nothing worse than running out of light to read by or rationing torch light because you are far from the shops. Now you can be fully charged each evening. And not have to carry a sack of batteries around with you.
- A Camping toaster. I've tried bigger and supposedly superior types but this little beauty is still my favourite. Toasts a slice at a time a side at a time, fast though! Great for breakfast or camping snacks. Works over most camp stoves, probably over the stormkettle too as long as you are not burnign anything too strong smelling (I might not use it over burning cow dung)
- Small flexi trug. Multipurpose. Good for storage, washing up, hairwashing, carrying firewood, carting things from the shops...anything really, strong, waterproof (leave one outside full of water as a fire precaution) Would make a nice gift filled with othe small camping bits like food, shampoos, socks etc. Buy them from horse supplies shops, super markets, garden stores or online.
- Pre Mixed drinks in a can. Not really a camping thing, more a festival thing but a nice gift anyway. Not the cheapest way to buy a drink but no glass to transport so less weight and no risk of breakages. Ditto bags of wine. Oh and on that note - why not combine a wine box with an actual bag to carry the wine in - a sneaky festival essential! Or a spill proof wine class? Finally a sippy cup for grownups.
- Life Straw. For the really wild camper (or one who is too lazy to carry water very far) try a straw that purifies water as you drink. Never be caught out thirsty on a long hot walk again, now every stream and pond and puddle is a veritable drink of pure clean water.
Have a Happy Christmas preparing for your next camping trip.