Tag Archives: camping

8 Things that Will Make Eating and Drinking on Your Camping Trip So Much Better


By Noah Kaufman |

The summer solstice is upon us and there are few better ways to spend the brightest weekend of the year than on a trip into the great outdoors. The fresh air, the chirping of the crickets, the knowledge that you don’t have to care about what’s trending on Facebook for several days—camping is great. But eating and drinking in the woods come with some drawbacks. Lugging beer and wine bottles in your backpack is cumbersome, making a decent meal on a stove the size of novelty Frisbee is challenging and how are you supposed to get a decent cup of coffee? Here are eight things that can solve all of those problems so you can worry about more important things, like what was that growling sound you just heard off in the woods.

Beer Concentrate

Drinking beer around the campfire is perhaps the best part of any camping trip. But packing out all of your empties (and make sure to pack out all of your empties) is a real pain. Pat’s in Alaska has created a beer concentrate, so you can make your own beer right on the trail. No more lugging around packs full of jangling glass bottles all weekend.

The Hydro Flask Camping Growler

What if you’re in the mood for a beer that doesn’t come in cans or bottles? You’re in luck. This vacuum insulated bottle will keep your beer cold for 24 hours, so stop by the brewery and have them fill it up.

Wine Preserver Bags

You can pick up wine in portable pouches, but selection is limited. These refillable ones, which will hold an entire 750ml bottle, will let you put whatever you want in them. Now you don’t have to leave that 1982 Bordeaux at home.

Pour Mason Coffee Maker

This funnel system makes pour-over coffee much more campfire-friendly. Also, hipsters rejoice, because you can own yet another item made of a Mason jar.

A Cooler That Dispenses Shots

Finally, a convenient way to get shots when the nearest bar is three hours away. This is made by Jägermeister, but if that’s not your vice of choice, you can fit it with other spirits.

The Coleman Camping Stove/Oven

We have a friend who insists the only food you should eat when you go camping is canned chili. We’re getting one of these ovens and making a soufflé. That should show him.

The Back Country Martini Glass

Wine and beer not your thing? Class up your campfire drinking with a martini from a stainless steel cup. These things are hearty enough to survive a bear attack.

Power Pot Generator

This brilliant heat-powered generator will charge your phone while you’re boiling water for your coffee. You may not have service, but at least you’ll be able to play Threes and Angry Birds.

Related: This Earth Cooler Chills Your Beer Underground, with No Electricity
The World’s Most Expensive Tea Machine is a Very Fancy Vacuum
Top 10 Picnic Recipes

Warwick Davis takes his family to Cornwall in a VW camper


In a brand new travelogue for ITV, legendary actor Warwick Davis and his family take their camper van around the country and extol the virtues of the Great British Holiday. Tonight’s opening instalment sees the Davis clan journey round Cornwall where they meet pirates, woodland creatures and a band of rogue knitters.

An enchanted wood in Launceston is the family’s first destination as they meet a group of locals dressed up as fairies, pixies and numerous other woodland creatures. These locals meet up regularly to keep the area’s legends and mystical stories alive and Warwick is excited to learn more about the magic and mystery of the county.

Warwick later organises for a gang of pirate reenactors to bring Cornwall’s history of smuggling and piracy to life. However the Pirates of St. Piran’s ambush on the family provokes a negative response from Warwick’s son Harrison who is genuinely terrified by the experience. Warwick later tells us that he thinks the stunt has backfired and is worried that he’s traumatised his son for life.

In Penzance, Warwick meets a group of graffiti artists with a difference as he gains an audience with the notorious ‘Yarn Bombers’. The women in question keep their identity a secret as they discuss their pop-up knitting displays which arrive randomly in Penzance every six weeks.

Finally, Warwick participates in a boat race involving only blind rowers. He shouts words of encouragement to the team and later helps out the cox by using ropes to control the rudder.

Join the Davis family as they begin their journey Fridays on ITV at 8:30pm

VW campervans in the UK – a guide to rentals


Festival-goers and nostalgia-hunters are fuelling a boom in the campervan rental market in the UK
  • UK campervan
A VW campervan on a campsite at Reedham on the Norfolk Broads.  Photograph: Richard Baker/Corbis

Campervans aren’t just for warmer climes. In the UK, the Kombi is very much alive and trucking. According to Camperbug.co.uk – a site that brings together van owners with potential hirers – the rental sector is going strong, bolstered by nostalgia and the growth of music festivals.

“As soon as the sun comes out, we’re inundated with people wanting to hire vans,” says founder Bud Atapattu, a music agent turned web developer. He started the site in 2010 to make money from his own van, which was lying unused for much of the year. “Unfortunately, you can’t go on holiday all the time, so you end up with an expensive asset just sitting in your driveway.”

Relying heavily on social networks, Atapattu built an online community of van owners wanting to tap into the rentals market. He now has 550 vans on his books, all over the UK, plus some in Spain and France (prices from £410 a week). “The advantage is that there is no long-term commitment,” he says. “Owners can dip in and dip out when it suits them.”

NewForestSafari.com, based in Hampshire, is another VW specialist and opened for business just months before the last Kombi was produced at the VW factory in Brazil last year (the old design was deemed incompatible with modern requirements for airbags and antilock brakes).

The family-run company owns nine vans and specialises in the restoration and maintenance of older models. It proudly includes two 1960s “spiltscreen” Kombis in its fleet (from £740 a week). Like Camperbug, it sees festivalgoers as a key market, especially group of people in their 30s and 40s who have grown tired of sleeping under canvas.

Camperbug sent 50 vans to Glastonbury last year, while both companies started taking bookings for this year’s festival season last autumn.

The key to a successful campervan trip, says Atapattu, is to travel slowly. He advises first-timers not to make ambitious plans: “Older campervans tend to have top speeds of 55mph, so opt for one of the newer models if you want to buzz down to Italy or the south of France. And don’t be too rigid with your itinerary – the journey is, after all, the best bit.”

• For alternative campervan rentals, not just retro VWs, see also GoBongo.co.uk, WickedCampers.co.uk and Quirkycampers.co.uk

What others have to go through! – Camping Additions Transform MINI Cooper Into An RV

MINI has unveiled three overnight concepts great for camping and festivals to celebrate the summer months. This collection includes ‘the Clubvan Camper’, ‘the Countryman ALL4 Camp’ and ‘the Cowley’.

Designboom reports that the Clubvan Camper is a luxury camper van that includes a spacious sleeping area for one, an extendible kitchenette with a propane stove and fridge, as well as an integrated shower. There is also a storage rack, on-board satellite navigation, a TV and auxiliary heater.

Camping Additions Transform a MINI Cooper Into An RV [Pics]

The Countryman ALL4 Camp features a roof-top tent which folds out of a storage box to accomodate two people, and a specially fitted bicycle rack.

The Cowley Caravan compact touring attachment offers a comfortable sleeping arrangement, twin-burner gas stove and a water tank complete with pump and sink. A solar-panel charges the on-board battery in order to power the fridge, TV and audio equipment.

Camping Additions Transform a MINI Cooper Into An RV [Pics]

Camping Additions Transform a MINI Cooper Into An RV [Pics]


The Mini Clubvan Camper has been designed for a single person going away for the weekend and is based on the company’s van.

The compact camper van has a sleeping berth for one person and a small extendable kitchenette complete with stove and fridge.

The Mini Clubvan Camper is the world's smallest luxury camper vanThe Mini Clubvan Camper is the world’s smallest luxury camper van. The concept car is designed for a single person going away for the weekend


Based on the firm's van, the pint-sized camper has a small extendable kitchenette, TV, heater and a glass roof Based on the firm’s van, the pint-sized camper has a small extendable kitchenette, TV, heater and a glass roof

There is a TV, an auxiliary heater and a glass roof that can be opened ‘for ventilation or star-gazing’, but the individual does have to sleep next to the car’s steering wheel.

Described as a ‘versatile home on wheels,’ the concept model has a handhold shower, which would come in handy in such snug surroundings, but stops short of including a toilet.

The Mini Clubvan Camper has a sleeping berth for one person - but as you can see, you sleep next to the steering wheelThe Mini Clubvan Camper has a sleeping berth for one person – but as you can see, you sleep next to the steering wheel


The retro-style kitchenette is the focus of this image. Described as a 'versatile home on wheels,' the concept model also has a handhold shower but no toiletThe retro-style kitchenette is the focus of this image. Described as a ‘versatile home on wheels,’ the concept model also has a handhold shower but no toilet

Camping Trip Could Synch Your Internal Clock


camping internal clock

Is your internal clock all out of whack? Going on a camping trip could help reset it back to a more natural rhythm, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder found that going on a week-long camping trip seemed to synch the circadian clocks of eight people to sunrise and sunset.

Plus, the synching of biological clocks occurred even in people who were clearly early birds or night owls.

“When people are living in the modern world — living in these constructed environments — we have the opportunity to have a lot of differences among individuals. Some people are morning types and others like to stay up later,” study researcher Kenneth Wright, an integrative physiology professor at the university, said in a statement. “What we found is that natural light-dark cycles provide a strong signal that reduces the differences that we see among people — night owls and early birds — dramatically.”

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved eight people who wore wrist monitors for one week that recorded their light exposure, the timing of that exposure, and their activity throughout the day (so researchers could get an idea of their sleep habits). The participants also underwent lab monitoring so that researchers could measure their melatonin levels, which helped to clue them in to the timing of their circadian clocks (our bodies release melatonin naturally when they sense that it’s nighttime and it’s time to go to sleep).

Then, all the study participants went on a week-long camping trip in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in Colorado. During this time, they had no access whatsoever to electric light (including light from flashlights and personal technology devices); the only light they had was from the sun and campfires.

The study participants underwent the same wrist monitor and melatonin testing after their camping trip. Researchers found that their biological nighttimes — dictated by melatonin levels — started two hours later before going on the trip, compared with after. Plus, they found that before the trip, the study participants tended to wake up before their biological nighttimes were technically over.

After the camping trip, researchers found that the study participants’ internal clocks were much more synched to sunrise and sunset. Their biological nighttimes started around the time of sunset, and they also tended to wake up right before the biological nighttime ended.

Electric light has been fingered in the past for playing a role in impaired sleep. A perspective piece published earlier this year in the journal Nature suggested that the advent of electric light has affected our natural sleep cycles, and may contribute to the rise of sleep problems.

“Technology has effectively decoupled us from the natural 24-hour day to which our bodies evolved, driving us to go to bed later,” the author of the article, Harvard professor Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., wrote. “And we use caffeine in the morning to rise as early as we ever did, putting the squeeze on sleep.”

VW van bio tracks groovy rides to the far reaches – latimes.com

Global Voices: VW van bio tracks groovy rides to the far reaches – latimes.com.

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

VW camper van spoke to generations

July 11, 2013, 5:00 a.m.

The call of the road, from County Cork to Katmandu, came to the tune-in, turn-on, drop-out generations from an internal combustion engine mounted at the rear of a rolling hotel room.

The Volkswagen camper van brought the idealistic and the adventurous to unexplored and little understood corners of the world, transforming world travel from an indulgence of affluent Ivy League graduates into journeys affordable for baby boomers in search of enlightenment and good karma.

In “The VW Camper Van: A Biography,” [c. 2013 Aurum Press Ltd.] British folklorist Mike Harding chronicles the history of the vehicle that put the “trip” into travel and lured millions out of their comfort zones to learn how the rest of the world lives.

Progeny of the Gypsy vardo, the pioneers’ covered wagons, the snake oil salesman’s steam-engine-drawn kiosk and the Airstream trailer, the camper van born of Adolf Hitler’s “People’s Car” and a British army major’s commitment to get the VW factory back up and running after World War II carried the curious to the far ends of the earth.

Harding cites the likes of John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Ken Kesey and Jack Kerouac as inspiration for his biography and personifying of the vans that are usually named by their owners. Harding’s current ride is Molly, a 2001 Brazilian-made Type 2 Bay Window.

“I believe that the gentle but pervasive whiff of revolt and anarchy that I sense in the air along with the smell of camping gas and frying bacon at various Dubmeets and vanfests comes from the same spirit of rebellion and individualism that these writers celebrated,” Harding says of the humanity and nature-loving writers who came before him.

The lifelong nostalgia tour on which Harding takes readers begins with his first Vee Dub experience more than 50 years ago as a teenage traveling musician with the Manchester Rainmakers and moves on to friends’ months-long motorized treks to the Himalayas and Tierra del Fuego. The semiretired writer, who splits his time between the west of Ireland and the Yorkshire Dales, spoke with The Times about the camper van’s influence on how postwar generations see the world.

Q: Did the Volkswagen van change how young people toured the world?

Mike Harding: Yes. It was an accessible vehicle. The people I spoke to — and I didn’t get them all in the book — were mostly impoverished students and dropouts who clubbed together and bought one of these things and traveled to Marrakesh or Kabul. A lot of people who didn’t have rich parents to give them money to go to Switzerland for the summer were able to have this Ken Kesey or Jack Kerouac experience.

Q: Why did the camper van call so luringly to that sliver of the population that came of age in the ’60s and ’70s?

Harding: The original panel vans were fairly cheap to get hold of and convert into a caravan. It’s such a reliable vehicle, it didn’t cost much to run and if it did break down you could get it repaired anywhere in the world. And for the counterculture, it became a symbol of freedom, a symbol of anarchy, almost. It has also been quite popular with the surfer crowd, those who wanted to drop out of the rat race, the type who didn’t want to go back to working for The Man. It was also liked for functional reasons, that you could put your surfboard on the roof, even two or three, and you could sit at the ocean with the side doors open wide, looking out and ready straight on to catch the big ones.

Q: You mention in the book the cultural clash between the generation that embraced the camper van and vagabond travel as part of listening to a different beat and the coinciding segment of the postwar population that was more materialistic. Do you still see that divide in society today or did one side or the other prevail?

Harding: Unfortunately, we’ve gone back into the desolation of full-run capitalism, which is just destroying all that was simple and easy. After World War II, there was a feeling in the West that if you worked hard and educated your kids, that they would ultimately end up in a better social position than the parents. This country [Britain] was on its knees in 1945, yet it developed a free health system and other rights and protections. But it’s all being taken back in the name of capitalism. Consistently since 1945, there’s been a chipping away of the rights people managed to gather for themselves after the war.

Q: Don’t the Occupy movements we’ve seen in the past few years reflect a spirit similar to the Beat generation and the hippies of 40-50 years ago?

Harding: There’s a different edge to it now. We had the 1968 student riots in Paris and the sit-ins and the anti-nuclear stuff going on back then. They were specific issues being protested then. Now a whole mess of confusion has resulted from unbridled capitalism running riot for the last 30 years. We’re not really sure what direction this can take. The occupying events produce massive support but then get diffused, to some extent by Facebook and Twitter. We can shout all we want in postings, but I don’t think anything happens until people start smashing up cities. Only when the revolution starts getting close to the ruling classes and their safety zones does anything change. The same 1% is running the country now as in 1920.

Q: In the book, you follow a young man named Chris on a drive to Yugoslavia and the Mediterranean that cost a group of friends less than 100 pounds [$150] each for a four-week vacation. Was that part of the attraction, that the VW van exuded economy and efficiency that befit environmentally conscious wanderings?

Harding: This mode of transportation benefits travelers more than tourists, for the person who wants to go walking in the west of Ireland or climbing in the Himalayas. You have to make a distinction between the traveler and the tourist. A tourist wants to replicate what he has back home — the same food, a comfortable bed, to go out and see the sights but come back to the usual comforts. The traveler is more prepared to sleep on the floor, wait hours for a bus, eat local food and buy local clothes to wear on the road. Travelers took to the VW camper for those reasons.

Q: Restored VW camper vans are now all the rage among travelers into “retro” gear and experiences. How long can that last, given that cars don’t last forever, at least not in a state where they can be depended on to take you to Katmandu?

Harding: In this country, people are actually making panels and every other part you need for a VW to be like brand-new. It’s like the story of the knife — you replace the blade and then you replace the handle but it’s still the same knife. I talk in the book about the people who make their living driving around to camper jams and DubFests to sell their parts and services. And people keep discovering old VW vans hidden away in barns and garages.

Q: The book is a fun nostalgia tour, but is there a future for the VW camper van? Does Volkswagen still make them, and are they still affordable for budget-minded adventurers?

Harding: They’re still making them but they are very expensive, high-end touring camper vans now. Production has gone over to Brazil, but I think they’re coming to an end, too, which is very sad. There are stronger emissions control standards in the United States and Europe now and the engines can’t be modified to fit in. But they will be around for a while. People who have them tend to keep them around for 50 years. I just saw a Samba 23-window bus advertised in mint condition but for 99,000 pounds [$147,000]. All you could do with that is put it in the garage up on bricks and take it out for shows. I don’t see any point in that.

Campers and caravanners – be TV Licence aware – Lifestyle and Leisure – Fenland Citizen

Campers and caravanners – be TV Licence aware – Lifestyle and Leisure – Fenland Citizen.

With hundreds of campsites across the UK and over 44 within 20 miles of Wisbech, TV Licensing is raising awareness with first time campers and experienced caravanners alike about the need to be correctly licensed if they are watching live TV from their tent, caravan or mobile home.


Figures recently released by The Camping and Caravanning Club revealed a 25 per cent increase in the number of scheduled arrivals on UK Club Sites and Camping in the Forest Sites during May 2013, compared to the same month the previous year and with good weather forecast for the rest of July and hopefully beyond, campsites across the UK are predicting a bumper summer.

With many camp sites across East Anglia now offering Wi-Fi access, campers and caravanners are able to keep up-to-date with their favourite live programmes using hand-held devices, such as tablets and smartphones, as well as laptops.

Mark Whitehouse, spokesperson for TV Licensing in East Anglia, said: “With ownership of tablets and smartphones on the rise and Wi-Fi coverage across campsites becoming the norm, live TV is now accessible to even the lightest-packed camper. So with many people putting up tents for the first time this summer, it’s important campers and caravanners know the law and are correctly licensed. If they are found watching TV without a licence then they would be at risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”

Anyone camping in a tent or touring caravan and who is watching live TV on any device will be covered if they have a TV Licence for their residential home.

However, static caravans, mobile homes and moveable chalets will only be covered by a residential home licence if the TV in the main residence is not being used at the same time as the TV in static caravan, mobile home or moveable chalet.

In this instance, TV Licensing requests campers complete and submit a declaration form. The form allows the TV Licence holder to state the TV in their main residence will not be used at the same time as the device they use when camping.

Ian Hewlett, The Camping and Caravanning Club’s technical manager, said: “Many holidaymakers use televisions in their camping units so it’s important for the Club to highlight the importance of purchasing a TV Licence. We urge all campers and caravanners to check the licensing requirements if they plan to watch television whilst they’re away.”

For more information about when a licence is needed, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-youneed-one

FIREase IncinerGrate Makes Camping Easier

FIREase IncinerGrate Makes Camping Easier


Remember how those old Calvin & Hobbes comics depict only Calvin’s dad loving the great outdoors, while the rest of the family – mom, Calvin and Hobbes, absolutely hated it, and yet going off on a family camp seems to be an annual thing for the family. Most of the time, too, the weather remains foul until it is time to pack up and leave, and Calvin’s dad always has a penchant of telling Calvin that what he is going through will help “build character”. Having said that, camping is not easy to go through if you do not have the proper tools and knowledge, heck, even getting the traditional wood fire going could prove tricky, not to mention having to maintain it.

FIREase might have a tool to help budding campers out there with the IncinerGrate, where it will be able to make fire starting a snap, while maintenance of the fire, too, should not be too difficult. After all, it is hard to argue with FIREase’s tagline, “We build fires that love to burn!” The IncinerGrate comes in a metal frame which enables you to assemble the perfect structure of tinder, kindling, and wood to kick off a fire

VW buses star attraction at Weston Park Camper Jam – Pictures and video



Camper vans of all shapes and sizes sparkled in the sunlight as hundreds of spectators descended on Weston Park.

Vintage and custom VW buses were once again the star attraction at the annual Camper Jam weekend, now in its sixth year.

As well as quirky motorhomes, other highlights included live bands, hundreds of trade stands and a fun fair.

John Bennetto, 54, attended the show with his friend Joanne Mills, 52, from nearby Albrighton.

Mr Bennetto, who repairs haulage vehicles, said he was a confessed camper van fan.

He said: “I have been to this show for a couple of years now and it is really great.

“As someone who is a fan of camper vans it is a lot of fun.

“I like to see the modern and custom vans people show and it is always good to see what are the current trends.”

Ms Mills, who was attending for the first time, said: “I have had a tremendous amount of fun. There is a great atmosphere here and having a look around the different camper vans is really interesting.”

Dave Morgan, 30, travelled to Weston Park with his partner Sarah DeVille, 32, from Codsall.

Miss DeVille said: “I have always wanted to come to the show and have just bought a VW Beetle.

“We are really enjoying ourselves and it is really laid back and nice to go around and have a chat and make some VW friends.”