Kitbag: Essential camping gear and accessories
Camping magazine reviews a selection of gadgets, accessories and equipment to enhance the outdoor lifestyle - including products from Braven, Snugpak, Storm and Opinel..
Joie Fresh Stretch Pods
Expect to pay: £3.99
OK, so the stretchy silicone lids on these pods do make them look like something the nurse might hand out if you’d popped along for some family planning advice. And who knows, maybe they are dual-purpose, our tester didn’t say…
There are four types available – for lemons, tomatoes, onions and avocados – although you can, in theory, put anything you like in them. They are simply airtight containers with stretchy screw-top lids that keep vegetables fresh for days, so are pretty handy for camping. They are also BPA free and dishwasher safe. But not a toy, so don’t play with them.
MP Magic Socks
Expect to pay: £15.23
Obviously, anything with magic in the name needs a healthy pinch of salt and we thought these socks were going to be no exception to this rule. However, we were pleasantly surprised. With a helpful left and right foot indicator (walking socks are structured to fit the contours of your feet), these socks kept our tester’s feet warm and dry on one of the wettest days of the year in Wales!
If that wasn’t enough to sway you, these wool socks have antibacterial properties meaning you can wear them for a whole week (saving on sock payload, obviously), without them emitting cheesy feet odours. Our reviewer wore them for three whole days with no ill effects on surrounding colleagues and family (so they say).
Expect to pay: £2.50
We’re big fans of the Naanster movement here at Camping HQ. There is surely nothing better on a cold day than a tasty curry sandwich. Well, if you’re not a curry fan, the people behind the Naanster brand, Jake and Nayns’, have moved to Mexico (not really, they’re still based in Leicester) and discovered the burrito.
Available in four flavours, our favourite was the pulled pork version, but there’s also a vegetarian jackfruit one and two types of chicken (jerk and Mexican), which were tucked into with gusto, too. Each also comes with rice and kidney beans. Simply eat cold or pop the packet in the microwave for 90 seconds and then burn your mouth by eating straight away or patiently sit tight for a minute or two until it has cooled to non-volcanic temperatures.
They’re not cheap but if you are planning a trip with lots of walks, it’s worth the investment.
Expect to pay: £46
You shall have music wherever you go… even on the campsite (but please don’t annoy your neighbours). Wireless speakers that hook up to your phone via Bluetooth are becoming an essential part of many campers’ kit. The compact BRV-Mini from Braven was designed for using in the great outdoors and was actually tested in the Rocky Mountains – presumably with John Denver on heavy rotation. It’s rugged, waterproof and even floats on water and packs a fair sonic punch if you turn it up to 11. A single charge using the USB-C cable should provide you with up to 12 hours of playback.
Opinel No 10 with corkscrew
Expect to pay: £21
In a world where knife amnesties have left modern campers resorting to peeling apples with teaspoons and prising corks from vintage wine bottles with their bare fingernails, it’s reassuring to find that Opinel is still going strong.
This French brand has been making pocket knives since 1890, and any discerning camper will own at least one.
The number refers to the size, so this one has a 10-centimetre stainless-steel blade and a pull-out corkscrew that’s built into the varnished wooden handle.
It’s very pretty so if you don’t feel brave enough to stay away from peeling spuds with a spoon, you can just look at it.
Snugpak Dri-Sak with Air Valve
Expect to pay: £21.95
The advantage of having holes in the bottom of a plastic bag – apart from preventing suffocation if you want to wear it over your head – is that the air can be squeezed out when you roll something up in it.
However, not so great if it falls in the river.
So this dry sack features the usual roll-down hem and non-freeze buckles, meaning it’s fully waterproof, as well as dustproof, sand proof, etc.
But it’s also got a watertight valve at the bottom, so you can stuff and compress to your heart’s content.
It has a 40-litre capacity, and weighs just 150g.
Storm Tear-Aid Patch Pack
Expect to pay: £10
There’s nothing more likely to ruin a camping trip than a hole in the tent, or worse.
It happens, too - gale force winds, hailstones the size of golf balls, and sheep with sharp teeth are just a few of the hazards you might encounter.
Thankfully, these adhesive repair patches from Storm can be cut to size and are suitable for use on all kinds of materials including fabric, leather, rubber, neoprene, metal and plastic.