Top ten camping items for men
1 BOTTLE OPENER
King of the camping accessories, or just an everyday essential? What you really want is something for all occasions. Beer, wine, whatever your tipple of choice is. Sometimes your teeth simply aren’t enough and then the local Poundland beckons… Mine’s from outwell.co.uk
2 SWISS ARMY KNIFE V MULTI-TOOL
Must admit, I prefer the former, although you have to be careful carrying things like penknives around with you these days. Of course, any half-decent penknife or multi-tool will have various bottle-opening attachments, so no need for number one then. Also ideal for cutting the Stilton says our Editor – nuff said. Try victorinox.com, whitbyandco.co.uk or gerbergear.com and make your own mind up
3 MOBILE PHONE
OK, I can hear real campers wriggling with indignity already. But how do you order the takeaway without one? Obviously, you’ll need some kind of charger, too. Which reminds me, if mobiles are so clever these days, why no built-in charger? Hmm.
Guitar? Hey, now some respect here, please. You can shuffle about with your iPods and MP3s as much as you like, but I prefer to make real music. My Framus Texan is often by my side, sometimes I even play it. Yep, it’s my desert island (and sometimes deserted campsite) luxury.
Another item crying out for macho respect, or simply an excuse to drink copious amounts outdoors. Barbecues make great talking points, too. Real men, real barbecues? Is there a link? Check out the best at campingaz.com
On one level they are so similar as to be the same (indeed, mine is just such one of those). But, in a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of way. Yes, they look stupid. But, once you’ve used one of these you’ll wonder how you ever did without. Start at petzl.com and work your way down from here.
Now, I may have given the impression of being a bit reconstructed, but I do like to read. I enjoy films, too. In fact, anything that gives the opportunity to sit around for lengthier periods than would normally be deemed acceptable. You can’t beat reading a good book outdoors, preferably in the sun (or combine with headtorch for night time reading). Current book of choice? The Dark Tourist by Dom ‘Trigger Happy TV’ Joly. Feel free to borrow it – I’ll have finished it by the time you read this.
Well-meaning advice from those who like to go lightweight – ditch the washbag. I’ve realised you only need one item. I’ve racked the old grey cells and really can’t get to grips with rubbing the old gums with a piece of recently snapped hazel twig – it may appeal to the purists, but not us realists.
If you’re going business class you can add some toothpaste to your kit but the pictured hyG brush doesn’t need it. Mouthwash? You kidding? Have a swill with some Theakston’s or similar and you’ll soon be back to your Old Peculier self.
My old guitar’s one thing, but it’s never been up to getting the latest news. I’ve a Pure Move radio. FM and digital, and rechargeable. I’ve had it for over five years and it’s proved pretty indestructible, so far. The Pure is still available, too – see pure.com
If there’s one area of society where cash it still king, it’s camping. A fair few sites have yet to come to terms with debit and credit cards, and all the better for them, I say. And I’ve yet to come across an honesty box that takes cards. So, always make sure you’ve got some spare spondulicks when you go away. If nothing else, you look a right numpty when you try and buy a round of beer by card. You have been warned…
Er, that’s it. OK, so there are loads of other useful things you can take with you. Towel. Shower gel…There, I almost agreed with Penny on one thing. But certainly not essential oil. Surely the only oil that’s essential is the stuff you put in your car? Or use for frying?
Have we missed anything off our list? Let us know what your camping essentials are on our forum.