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Camping: Unzipped

Cool gadgets. UK’s hottest campsites. 70+ tents. Outdoor cooking. All the gear you need & more... In association with

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Welcome!

There’s something quite magical about your first camping trip – the happy realisation that despite all the trappings of our modern, techno-savvy world, the simplest pleasure of them all can be found in pitching you own shelter, surrounded by mountains and countryside, and falling asleep with the sounds of the outdoors lulling you into a contented slumber. And one trip is never enough, especially when we have so much gorgeous scenery and walking opportunities here in the UK. From the highlands of Scotland to the wilds of the Welsh hills, the poetic beauty of the Lakes and the rugged coastline of southern England, we have it all. So where to start?

Well, look no further! Trail and Country Walking’s Camping: Unzipped has all the answers you’ll need. Be inspired by the outdoor experts’ al fresco capers, then find your own camping style with our Camping 101, before choosing your ideal tent from our selection of more than 70 models. Need accessories? We’ve got all the essentials as well as some extra little luxuries to keep you in the manner you’re accustomed to, then we’ll help point you in the right direction with 65 of Britain’s coolest campsites.So don’t delay! Summer’s coming – it’s time to get out there with your tent and make some memories… Phoebe Smith editor, Camping: Unzipped

4 Campsite capers Hear some tentside tales from outdoor experts

16 Backpacking tents Multi-day walks made easy with these nifty tents

29 Cool campsites 65 fantastic places to pitch in England, Wales and Scotland

42 Best sleeping bags Snuggle up in one of these for a perfect night’s sleep

8 Camping 101 Everything you need to know to get you started

19 Glamping tents Ooze cool at any campsite with one of these shelters

38 Camp Cuisine Treat your tastebuds with some outdoor recipes

12 Base camp tents Set up your canvas and kickstart your adventures

20 Family tents Take the whole tribe with you in maximum comfort

39 Best stoves From the lightest to the family-sized... get cooking!

44 Tentertainment Fill your camp with laughter and screams with a selection of games, jokes and even a ghost story... spooky!

15 Lightweight tents Cut down on pounds so you can travel faster and further

25 Camping gadgets Who says gear is dull? Check out some of these luxuries…

40 Best sleep mats Inflatable, foam or metal bed – so many choices...

50 WIN Outwell kit! Over £1,000-worth of goodies up for grabs!

CAMPING: UNZIPPED 2011 Editor Phoebe Smith Art editor John Milbank Production editor Sally Walters Cover image Badrallach campsite, Scotland. Courtesy of Cool Camping

PRODUCED BY TRAIL AND COUNTRY WALKING MAGAZINES. WANT TO SUBSCRIBE TO TRAIL OR COUNTRY WALKING? Call 0845 601 2672 or visit Web www.greatmagazines.co.uk

Photo: Phoebe Smith

(0845 calls from landlines cost 4p per minute. Calls from mobiles may cost more.)

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Most memorable

camping capers Words: Phoebe Smith

Wild nights

Sleeping on a high

Chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority I’ve been lucky enough to have many nights camping in the great outdoors – not least in the fabulous Lake District National Park – in my opinion one of the most beautiful places in the world. “Other than in the Lakes, one of my favourite experiences was wild camping in the fantastic Olympic National Park in Washington. One morning I remember waking up by a lake to see a family of otters swim past just feet away from the tent. I’ve never felt so immersed in wildlife! But that can have its downsides. I spent part of the time wondering if a curious or hungry bear might get over-interested in my tent, which isn’t always a recipe for a relaxing night’s sleep! That’s one great advantage of a wild night under canvas in the Lakes: you’re unlikely to get eaten by anything bigger than a midge!

Authors of Europe’s High Points: Reaching the Summit of Every Country in Europe, pb Cicerone One of our favourite camps was last year on the Black Cuillin Ridge in Skye. We had hiked from the beach at Glen Brittle to the start of the ridge near the summit of Gars-bheinn for a camp in order to attempt the full Cuillin traverse the following day. “Our lightweight tent was pitched in a perfect bivvy spot where some kind soul had made an area of level ground with natural windbreaks on the otherwise painfully jagged ridge. Full of adrenaline and soaking in the superb late May sunset over an expanse of peaks, we did not get the early night we had hoped for. “Instead, four hours of sacred slumber perched on the crest of the narrow ridge was followed by one of our best ever days of climbing and a successful Cuillin traverse. The views from the high camp made the whole undertaking more memorable. The only down side being Carl’s weary return two days later to fetch our stashed tent!

RICHARD LEAFE

CARL McKEATING & RACHEL CROLLA

Photo: Tom Bailey

Nothing beats a night out under canvas. Falling asleep to the sounds of nature and waking up as the sunlight warms the tent walls, illuminating the inside with its gentle wake-up call. No matter where you go, what tent you have or who you’re with, it is an experience that will give you memories that last a lifetime. But don’t just take our word for it. Here we ask the outdoor experts for the al fresco sleeping experiences they’ll never forget…

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Dining out in style

KATHRYN GOODENOUGH

Geologist and author of Hostile Habitats: Scotland’s Mountain Environment, pb SMT Two camps stand out in my memory. One was with my partner, Craig, in Fisherfield. We were doing the Fisherfield Six Munros over three days carrying all our camping kit, and Craig had a telescopic fishing rod that he’d borrowed. On the second night, we set up camp by a loch – it was a great wild camp spot but the clouds were low so the views weren’t as good as they could have been. It didn’t matter, though, because Craig got out the fishing rod and caught two trout! It was the best camping dinner I’ve ever had… “The other one was with a group of friends, in the glen that leads up from near Achnashellach to the remote Munro of Maoile Lunndaidh. There were five of us and we’d just come from Skye where we’d had an incredible 10-hour day on the Cuillin a day or two before. We camped in that glen in perfect conditions, went up the two Munros immediately behind our camp spot, then came down and went swimming in the river before cooking dinner and drinking wine. Pretty much ideal!

Bivvy beautiful

At one with wildlife

Mountain Instructor based in Snowdonia One of my best camping experiences was on Glyder Fawr. I headed up with a bivvy bag after work one day via the east face of Tryfan and Bristly Ridge, and sat and watched a beautiful sunset from the warmth of my sleeping bag. The mountains were climbing out of a sea of cloud that had slowly rolled in below me. “I cooked dinner and slept a sound sleep in the peace and quiet of the summit plateau. The only downside was that during the night the cloud rose and became a constant drizzle, which meant the morning was a tad on the damp side. “I remember a friend of mine doing a similar thing on Snowdon but testing a blizzard survival bag, just for fun. He fell into a deep sleep with the bag working well but was woken up at about 3am by a group of concerned Three Peak challengers who thought they had found a body in a survival bag! www.expeditionguide.com

Seven-times British Climbing Champion My ultimate camping experience was on Pabbay, an uninhabited island in Scotland. We had to take the ferry first to Barra, then hire a fishing boat to take us to the island where I was going to do some climbing. It was incredible, it’s a small place but the abundance of nature and wildlife is amazing – from sea otters to eagles – it’s just all around you. “What I liked best was the sense of adventure it inspired. You have to take all your food as there really is nothing there – luckily a stream provides water – and you have to arrive completely self-sufficient. The white sand beaches make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean – staring out into an endless sea on one side and the Hebridean islands on the other. Falling asleep and waking up to those views is simply incredible – it’s the most magical place I’ve ever pitched my tent. www.lucycreamer.com

ROB JOHNSON

LUCY CREAMER

Preparing for a night camping in the shadow of Tryfan and the Glyders, Snowdonia, north Wales.

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dawn dip

Overland epic

Room with a view

Founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society and author of Wild Swim, pb Guardian Newspapers My most memorable camping experience was by High House Tarn, Glaramara in the Lake District. It was April so we were the only ones up there. We were camped in a cloud and when we woke up we decided to go for a swim. The ground was soaking wet from its shroud; water squelched between our bare toes as we hop-scotched to the tarn. We could talk freely and stand naked because there was no-one else up here: not yesterday, not tomorrow. “It was not an obvious wild swim. There is no siren living on the round grey rocks in the middle of the peaty brown water, fringed by wet grass. There are no natural Jacuzzis, no clear waterfalls, no sun-baked rocks. But there’s an essential celebration to swimming outdoors, and this swim encapsulated that. I stood on the sidelines with goosebumps and dithered my toes. Then I was in: head down, chest gasping, knees knocking against occasional rocks, water washing the sleep and yesterday’s salt sweat from my eyes. “The water was shallow, peaty brown, and surprisingly warm – the black bottom having soaked up all the heat of previous days. I floated on my back as the cloud parted then obscured the mountains. “The water renewed us. Redefined us. Made us sturdy with cold. And when we get out we felt more of ourselves. We had knocked against the element of the world. We were alive. We had swum. A perfect way to wake up from a perfect night under canvas.

Survival and Bushcraft Instructor A friend and I were attempting to walk 100 miles in 48 hours with full kit as a warm-up to his Marathon de Sable later that year. We had reached the halfway point, blistered and bruised and set up a hasty tarp camp in the failing light, somewhere between Shaftesbury and Salisbury, alongside one of the old drovers’ roads. It was a lightweight set-up consisting of tarp, 3/4 length Therm-a-Rest and a summer sleeping bag. “I remember it fondly because it had taken so much effort to get there and although we still had 50 miles to cover the following day, we felt like we were on the home stretch, virtually finished! We spent what remained of the evening congratulating each other and boasting loudly of our heroic exploits to anyone within earshot (a couple of sheep and a badger). “Needless to say, I struggled to extract myself from my cosy sleeping bag for more of the same the following morning. Our reward for such a feat? Blisters that took a fortnight to heal and the loss of a fair few toenails! www.wilderness-survival.co.uk

Manger and walk leader for KE Adventure Travel My best night was in Mponjanwe cave, in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. Though it’s not strictly speaking under canvas, it was a camping experience that has really stuck with me. “The cave is a famous hangout (literally) for South African climbers who come to climb the basalt pinnacles in the Mnweni cutback in the Drakensberg escarpment. It’s in an incredible position just under the top of the escarpment (about 3000m above sea-level) looking out over the Little Berg and High Veld below. You feel like an eagle up there! The cave is actually an overhang, so I, and 10 intrepid KE Adventure Travel clients, slept in our bivvy bags with just the rock above to protect us. Still, when I woke up in the night there were tiny snowflakes on the end of my bivvy bag by my feet. “I’ve never slept somewhere like that before – it was amazing to lie down with such a vast view below us. It was late August, a time when there are many spontaneous bush fires in Kwazulu Natal – we could see the fires burning below, as it got dark they glowed like beacons. The stars were wonderful – and at the time, Mars was shining really brightly in the night sky – the closest it would be to earth for another 60,000 years. Magical! www.keadventure.com

JOE O’LEARY

FIONA MARSHALL

Photo: Tim Bridges

KATE REW

Kate Rew contemplating a dip in Black Moss Pot, Langstrath, Lake District.

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Camping 101

five degrees of camping Thought camping was camping, and that’s all there is to it? Think again: once you open up to the way of the tent, there’s no limit to how you can choose to spend a night outdoors…

BASE CAMPING

WHAT IS IT? While it’s a term more readily associated with the Himalayas and the Alps, base camping is becoming popular with those wanting to explore the area surrounding a fixed base – be it a forest, part of the coast or, most frequently, a group of hills. You can set up your base camp at a proper campsite or, for the more adventurous, in the wild. IT’S GOOD Base camping has many benefits, not least the fact that you can build a fit-for-purpose home from home anywhere. Not having to carry your camping equipment on your back while you walk means you can use larger and more robust tents, and if you stay at an official campsite you can take as many luxuries as will fit in your car! Also, with one place as your nerve centre you can plan a series of short, sharp assaults on places you really want to explore and still have somewhere comfy to come back to each night.

Top Tip Base camping will involve leaving your kit in one place while you head off and explore; so do bear security in mind when you come to do this. Items like sleeping bags and camping equipment can be very valuable – as can tents! – so when walking lock any expensive items in your vehicle and always take any valuables or money along with you. If wild camping consider hiding them bagged up in a secret location. Signature accessory COLEMAN BASECAMP STOVE £80 trademark tent TERRA NOVA TERRA FIRMA £900

❯❯ Find your perfect base camp tent on page 12...

Words Simon Ingram Photos Tom Bailey and Jacques Portal

BUT You need to choose your location well so that there are enough good routes nearby to satisfy everyone. Also taking such a large amount of bulky stuff can restrict you if you prefer to wild camp, as you must be discreet at all times, which is difficult with a big tent.

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Family camping

WHAT IS IT? No, it’s not a clever name – it is simply that: camping, with the family in tow. IT’S GOOD It’s undergone a revolution in recent years, with the recession pushing more and more families to save cash and rediscover the wonders of the UK outdoors. The result is a renewed and well-catered-for appreciation of the UK’s unexpectedly massive and varied countryside, a generation of outdoors-savvy kids, less stressful and more frequent family holidays, and one-time purchases of kit that can be used again and again. BUT Nothing, really, provided you use the kit in the manner it’s supposed to be used – which means you’ll probably not be wanting to carry all those kilograms on your back and wild camp, as it tends to be heavy and bulky.

Top Tip Arrive early at your chosen campsite if you have kids with you. Pitching a tent in the dark with little ones milling about can be a struggle, as they won’t have time to take in their surroundings and may get tired/ irritable quickly. You want them to enjoy this experience, so give them jobs – holding pegs, unrolling the flysheet – then allow enough daylight to explore afterwards. Signature accessory VANGO REMOTE CONTROL LANTERN £17 trademark tent GELERT MORPHEUS £700 ❯❯ Find your perfect family tent on page 22...

Backpacking

WHAT IS IT? Perhaps the perfect blend between comfort, mobility and austerity, backpacking is exactly as it sounds: you carry everything you’ll need for your trip on your back, wherever you may go. IT’S GOOD Backpacking is hugely popular, as carrying all you need to survive in your rucksack allows you to experience an unrivalled sense of freedom to go wherever your feet take you. Many people equate it with long-term travel in far-off places, but in the UK it is a splendid way of attacking multi-day mountain routes and long distance paths, thus giving you a real sense of achivevement. BUT Backpacking gear is usually designed to be useful, not luxurious. This means small tents, compact stoves and unyielding consideration of weight and space – so if you’re looking for creature comforts, check out the first and last activities on these pages instead!

Top Tip When backpacking, weight and space are important considerations. Many supplied tent bags aren’t as space-saving as they could be, and so you may want to either repack the tent more efficiently, or replace its bag with a smaller roll-top stuffsack, such as those made by Exped (www.exped.de), which allow you to compress the tent further, winning you back oodles of space. They’re waterproof too, so while you’re camped you can turn them inside out and use them as water carriers… Signature accessory SPARE CLOTHES/FOOD AND A TENT IN AN EXPED DRY SACK £29 for 4 trademark tent VAUDE TAURUS ULTRALIGHT £295 ❯❯ Find your perfect backpacking tent on page 16...

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

going lightweight WHAT IS IT? More a philosophy than an activity, going lightweight in camping terms means cutting the pounds off your kit in the interests of carrying as little as possible for multi-night expeditions.

for the hills with a poly bag and bubblewrap instead of a tent and sleeping mat.

IT’S GOOD Undoubtedly, the defining benefit of going light is the weight saving: an overnight rucksack of less than 5kg is an aspirational idea, and many enthusiasts consider themselves closer to nature because the barrier between them and it is thinner or non-existent.

where you can cut weight. If a good night’s sleep comes easily to you, consider halving the length or thickness of your sleeping mat. If your tent is designed for two, try buying a one-person shelter. If your cook system has lots of empty space in it, consider downsizing. Think logically about ’need’ rather than ’want’ and the kilograms will begin to fall off!

BUT Comfort is a big issue (ask yourself: are you prepared to sacrifice warmth for a few less kilos on your back for example?), as is – at times – expense, with titanium products or superlight space-age tents cementing the more-for-less antagonism that lightweight gear often exhibits. But on the other end of the scale there are ultimate lightweight enthusiasts who have a hardy make-do attitude – heading

Top Tip Consider

Signature accessory ANTIGRAVITY GEAR BEERCAN STOVE £12 trademark tent EXPED SCOUT TARP EXTREME £165 ❯❯ Find your perfect lightweight tent on page 15...

EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR TENT...

WITH GRA GRANGER’S CLEAN YOUR TENT WITH GRANGER'S UNIVERSAL CLEANER

First brush any loose dirt and grit from your tent.

Dilute 100ml of Granger’s Universal Cleaner in a bucket of warm water.

Wearing gloves, clean the fabric using a brush and the solution.

Rinse with plenty of clean water (a hose is perfect).

Glamping

WHAT IS IT? Glamourous camping – which, as the name suggests, is what the too-posh-for-the-likes-of-you-even-ifyou’re-Kate-Moss set do when in the great outdoors. IT’S GOOD If you like the idea of getting close to nature in as much comfort as you’d enjoy at home, then this is for you – think caravanning under canvas, luxury solutions to common outdoor problems such as going to the loo, comfy mattresses and roomy tents. Ideal for campers who need a gentle introduction to the outdoors. BUT Glamping can be expensive and heavy - though you can take a tip from glampers when camping to make it more practical and affordable, taking just a few little luxuries with you.

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Top Tip Many glampers forgo tents and let someone else do the work. Glamping sites are all over Britain, and feature unusual accommodation such as yurts, bell tents and canvas lodges. Check out www.goglamping.net for ideas. Signature accessory THE PETT GO ANYWHERE TOILET £98 trademark tent TENTIPI SAFIR 5 £1098 ❯❯ Find your perfect glamping tent on page 19...

Wipe with a cloth then leave your tent to dry naturally. Granger's Fabsil Liquid ensures your tent stays robustly waterrepellent.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES AND STOCKISTS’ DETAILS GO TO WWW.GRANGERS.CO.UK

LFTO FREEZINE

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Guide to

base camp teNts Do you like to rock up to your chosen destination, set up camp, then plan your attack on the surrounding mountains and countryside in comfort? Then a comfortable base camp tent is perfect for you... Eurohike Tay £65 Sleeps

2

Weight Features 3-pole tunnel construction; extended porch for extra storage;

4.3

kilos

flysheet-first pitching; internal storage pockets; mesh door to keep insects out Verdict A cheap, practical tent for weekends away

Gelert Aura 3 £150 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Lightweight; large porch area with window; small pack size; easy outer-

3.3

kilos

first pitching Verdict A budget tent, ideal for new campers

Karrimor Sigma £180 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Lightweight; 3-pole tunnel construction; porch storage area; flysheet-

4.4 kilos

first pitching Verdict Ideal for bikepacking and base camping

Outwell Fusion 400 £190 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Two-room tunnel tent; easy pop-up pitching; room to sit up; compact

7.0

kilos

pack size; two large windows; fully seam-sealed flysheet Verdict A no-faff, simple-pitch tent

Eurohike Sandringham £200 Sleeps

4

Weight Features 4-pole construction; two doors; large living and storage area; inner tent

12.5 kilos

partition for one or two bedrooms; internal storage pockets Verdict A functional, budget-priced base tent

Robens Light Dreamer £220 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Spacious tunnel tent; large porch; stable design; mosquito net

4.3

Verdict A bargain base camp tent

kilos

Berghaus Lomond £250 Sleeps

Compiled by Ruth Addison

3

Weight Features Fully sealed groundsheet; standing-height living area; good ventilation;

10.2 kilos

mosquito mesh door; living area/porch; one bedroom Verdict Plenty of space and headroom, huge front door and porch area

Snugpack Bunker 3 £300 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Two doors; two vents; pitches fly-first; good waterproofing

3.1

kilos

Verdict This lightweight dome tent has two doors so there’s no queuing to get in out of the rain!

Nordisk Jernberg PU £300 Sleeps

2

12

Weight Features Weatherproof; very durable; easy to pitch; colour-coded poles

3.8

Verdict A dome-shaped, high-end, easy-pitch tent

kilos

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Vaude Base Camp Mark III £335 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Quick to pitch; one-piece pole system; two large porches; roomy

4.2

kilos

Verdict A large, high-quality tent with one porch for gear and one for cooking

Lightwave T30 Trek XT £399 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Very large porch; 4-season; high-quality weatherproofing; spacious

3.2

kilos

Verdict This ample tunnel tent has a porch big enough to store three bikes or cook in when the weather is bad

Berghaus Cuillin £400 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Fully sealed groundsheet; two bedrooms; wheeled carry bag; mosquito

18.4 kilos

mesh door; windows; standing-height living area; good ventilation Verdict A wheeled carry bag makes this ideal for campsites

MSR Holler £430 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Very wind-resistant; robust design; mesh windows and fly vents; two

2.7

kilos

doors; lightweight; spacious Verdict Extra width and floor length make this ideal for taller people and wider mattresses

Mountain Equipment Dragonfly 2XT £450 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Pitches easily as one; lightweight but spacious; very weatherproof;

2.7

kilos

good ventilation Verdict Fantastic-quality fabrics, very easy to pitch, extended porch for kit storage

Fjällräven Abisko 3 £460 Sleeps

3

Weight Features One bedroom; living area; porch; pitches as one; easy to pitch

2.9

Verdict Lots of storage extras, mosquito netting and a useful porch

kilos

Force Ten Spindrift 300 £515 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Geodesic construction; full snow valances; two doors; easy to pitch

5.9

Verdict Designed for expeditions and base camp treks

kilos

Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 £600 Sleeps

12

Weight Features Guaranteed watertight; very stable 4-pole design; small pack size;

3.3

kilos

durable Verdict Lightweight yet very stable: ideal for high mountain expeditions

The North Face VE 25 £620 Sleeps

3

Weight Features Small pack size; two doors; porch; fully taped; suitable for extreme

4.9

kilos

cold; good ventilation; glow-in-the-dark zips; high quality Verdict A favourite with hard-core mountaineers and used on expedition base camps

Terra Nova Terra Firma £900 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Small pack size; 4-season; pitches inner-first; stable design; two

7.2

kilos

porches; spacious Verdict For overseas as well as UK expeditions, this is easily split to carry between four people

Did you know?

The highest base camps in the world are on Mt Everest in the Himalayas. Situated at 5545m on the Tibetan side and 5360m on the Nepalese side, they are used every year by mountaineers and visited by thousands of trekkers eager to share the experience.

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Guide to

Lightweight teNts Cut down on the weight of your tent, and not only can you go faster and further, but you’ll also be able to take a smaller rucksack – or have extra room in your pack to carry some little luxuries... genius! Gelert Solo Tent £50 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Quick pitching, inner-first; small pack size; lightweight

1.50

Verdict A lightweight, no-fuss tent for the price of a meal out

kilos

Snugpak Stratosphere £110 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Ultra-compact bivvy; ultra-light alloy stakes; small pack size; full-length

1.13 kilos

side zip; taped, waterproof seams; mosquito net Verdict A minimal design, perfect for wild camping and adventure racing

MSR E-Wing £125 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Extremely lightweight; multi-pitch; A-frame for covered entrances

0.45

Verdict Perfect for minimalists who are trekking ultralight

kilos

Exped Scout Tarp Extreme £165 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Large, versatile shelter; extremely lightweight; adjustable shock-cord

0.95 kilos

along edges; packaged weight 1.2kg Verdict Fans of bivvying will love this minimalist tarp

Outdoor Designs Ridge Raider £205 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Lightweight single-hoop bivvy; breathable eVent fabric; mosquito net

0.84 kilos

door; side walls maximise sleeping bag loft; internal-pitch pole; glow-in-the-dark zips Verdict Perfect for altitude, alpine climbing and trekking but very compact!

The North Face Mica 1 £210 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Two poles; small pack size; weather-resistant entrance; light and simple

1.44 kilos

clip pitch; high-low venting; fully taped Verdict As light as a poled bivvy, but with the comfort and utility of a tent

GoLite Shangri-La £240

1

Weight Features Ultra-lightweight, minimalist design; can be pitched with the flysheet,

1.25 kilos

nest and floor for a more robust and protective tent, or with just the flysheet; can be pitch with trekking poles or suspended on trees Verdict A good choice for solo ultralight backpackers

Compiled by Ruth Addison

Sleeps

Force 10 Helium Superlite 100 £245 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Hybrid tunnel design; easy to pitch; durable fabrics, tough poles

0.97

Verdict For serious lightweight enthusiasts

kilos

Lightwave T10 Trek £250 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Extremely weather poof, Aerodynamic, low design for stability, Small

1.7

kilos

porch can be extended, Small pack size Verdict Popular with mountain marathoners and adventure racers and can squeeze in two people.

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Guide to

backpackING teNts Enjoy the freedom of multi-day walking by stashing one of these models in your rucksack – perfect for long distance paths and those who like to move to a new location every night. Eurohike Dart £35 Sleeps

3

Weight Features 2-pole dome construction; breathable polyester inner; mosquito net

3.30

Verdict A bargain buy for campers and festival-goers

kilos

Gelert Mongoose 2 £65 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Quick pitching; small pack size; front storage area; inner can be used on

2.90 kilos

its own in a hot climate Verdict Heading round the world on a tight budget? Look here!

Coleman Libra X1 £70 Sleeps

1

Weight Features Pole is pre-attached to flysheet; lightweight; easy to pitch; ventilation;

2.05 kilos

small pack size Verdict A quick-pitch single-pole tent that packs down small

Vango Banshee £110 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Colour-coded, pre-angled poles; mesh ventilation; DofE-recommended

1.85 kilos

Verdict Weighs less than 1kg each when shared, making it great for Duke of Edinburgh adventures

Karrimor Beta £150 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Semi-geodesic design; two doors; flysheet-first pitching

3.00

Verdict A fun colour and design, ideal for weekend adventures

kilos

Robens Voyager 2 £170 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Tunnel tent; taped seams; mosquito net; generous overhead space;

2.60 kilos

easy to pitch; 3-season Verdict A very stable and roomy weatherproof tent

Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2 £180 Sleeps

Compiled by Ruth Addison

2

Weight Features Very lightweight; small pack size; robust; watertight; pitches easily;

1.57 kilos

two doors Verdict For fast and light backpackers looking for minimal weight and great weather protection

Vango Apex 200 £190 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Very lightweight; stable; hooped design; vent system; durable;

1.70 kilos

weatherproof fabrics; inner and outer door; porch storage area Verdict Designed for mountain marathons and lightweight adventures

Snugpak Scorpion 2 £200 Sleeps

2

16

Weight Features One door; three vents for optimum comfort; eight interior mesh storage

2.24 kilos

pockets; taped seams; lightweight alloy stakes; fixed groundsheet Verdict A hard-wearing, weatherproof tent

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www.lfto.com

04/05/2011 15:14


The North Face Meso 2 £260 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Three poles; small pack size; dome design; vertical front wall provides

1.96 kilos

dry entrance; light and simple clip pitching; good ventilation Verdict A double skin that’s as light as a single skin, with a large porch and great weather protection

Vaude Taurus Ultralight £295 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Pitches as one; porch; lightweight; small pack size

1.80

Verdict Ideal for experienced backpackers looking to reduce weight

kilos

Marmot Grid 2 £300 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Quick, outer-first pitching; front porch; geodesic construction; weather-

2.70 kilos

protected inner door; air vents Verdict Great for wild camping; quick and easy outer-first pitching

Nordisk Vitus SI £320 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Two porches; inner already installed; fast pitching; streamlined design

2.60 kilos

Verdict Two porches are an unusual luxury in a lightweight tent and the inner is already installed so it’s fast to pitch

GoLite Eden 2 £325 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Two doors and porches with awnings; good stability; two-peg pitching

2.35 kilos

Verdict Quick to pitch with two doors for easy access and awnings for kit storage

Did you know?

The UK’s longest waymarked National Trail is the South West Coast Path. Linking Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset, it offers walkers a whopping 630 miles (1014km) of tramping and takes in 35,031m of ascent – four times the height of Everest! MSR Hubba Hubba HP £400 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Very lightweight; nearly vertical walls; high-tech fabrics; two doors

1.69 kilos

Verdict Ideal for midsummer backpacking but will also protect from unexpected rain and wind... and it has a cool name!

Fjällräven Abisko 2 £425 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Lightweight, strong, weather proof fabrics, Large porch, Easy pitch,

1.53 kilos

colour coded poles, Internal clothing line, Storage compartments Verdict A lightweight, roomy tunnel design with plenty of storage space

Terra Nova Voyager 2.2 £450 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Small pack size; 4-season; lightweight poles and fabric; aerodynamic

2.49 kilos

design; two doors Verdict One of the most high-tech tents on the market for high-end mountaineering and walking

Crux X2 Storm £450 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Very waterproof; front porch; inner gear storage porch; high-end fabrics

2.95 kilos

Verdict Bombproof 4-pole asymmetric geodesic tent for year-round high-mountain usage

Lightwave G20 Ultra £499 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Roomy, geodesic design; durable, high-tech fabrics; 4-season, two-skin

2.30 kilos

tent; large porch Verdict Pricy, but one of the best tents available for lightweight expeditions in all weathers

In association with

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Camping: Unzipped

17 04/05/2011 15:15


Guide to

Glamping teNts

When it comes to ‘glamping’ – glam camping – think luxury, comfort and upping the cool factor. A true glamper will arrive at a campsite and be the instant envy of all their neighbours, especially in one of these tasty numbers... Millets High Point Quick Pitch Tent £50 Sleeps

2

Weight Features Single skin; quick-pitch design; good ventilation

1.3

Verdict Fabulous for festivals and summer glamping!

kilos

Easy Camp Tipi £80 Sleeps

4

Weight Features One room; pitches fly-first; single skin; fully taped flysheet

4.0

Verdict Cheap and cheerful festival fun – kids will love it too

kilos

Gelert Cabana 4 £235 Sleeps

4

Weight Features All-in-one easy pitching with pre-attached guy lines; fully sewn-in

11.9 kilos

groundsheet; large living area with good head height; floor-level and roof venting Verdict A lovely tent for festivals and campsite weekends

Nordisk Sioux £600 Sleeps

8

Weight Features A large tipi with plenty of space; weatherproof, durable fabrics;

18.0 kilos

variable venting Verdict Lightweight for such a big tipi, with great weather protection

Vaude Explorer Castle £620 Sleeps

8

Weight Features Two tipis joined together; separate sleeping cabin; one door; separate

19.0 kilos

kids’ door; optional sun porch; spacious porch Verdict A fabulous, fun family tent with lots of space: we want one!

Vango Amazon 600 £630 Sleeps

6

Weight Features Two bedrooms; large living space; tunnel design; large porch area;

44.9 kilos

curved, zipped windows and internal curtains; canopy for additional dining or living space; excellent ventilation Verdict Large and luxurious summer living!

Tentipi Onyx 9 £744 Sleeps

10

Weight Features Seats 16-20 people; takes 3 minutes to pitch; standing room; use with

13.3 kilos

open fire or stove; double zip door with mosquito protection; smoke cap; stable; weather-resistant Verdict Be the envy of all your friends in this deluxe Nordic-style tent

Outwell Indian Lake £870

Compiled by Ruth Addison

Sleeps

6

Weight Features Two bedrooms; one living area; pitches easily, flysheet first; large

21.4 kilos

windows; adjustable pegging points; roll-up windows; trolley bag Verdict An expansive, stylish tent for camping with family and friends

Tentipi Safir 5 £1,098 Sleeps

6

Weight Features Good weather protection; mosquito net; good base camp tent for treks;

7.9

kilos

ventilation; smoke cap; chimney Verdict A comparatively lightweight tipi that makes a grand trekking base camp

In association with

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Camping: Unzipped

19 03/05/2011 17:43


Guide to

Family teNts

Everyone remembers their first camping experience with their parents, so make some outdoor memories with your clan. No matter what age they are, they’re guaranteed to give their approval to one of these beauties... Lichfield Arisaig 5 £155 Sleeps

5

Weight Features Lightweight; easy to pitch; stable tunnel design

8.5

Verdict A bargain buy for first-time and seasoned campers

kilos

Eurohike Cairngorm £210 Sleeps

4

Weight Features 4-pole tunnel construction; double entrance; two bedrooms, living and

13.6 kilos

storage area; breathable inner; mesh door to keep insects out; flysheet-first pitching Verdict A great price for a family tent with separate bedrooms and living area

Gelert Vector 4 £215 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Fully sewn-in groundsheet; mesh panel on side door; good living area

14.0 kilos

space; pre-attached guylines aid pitching Verdict A good budget family camping tent

Eurohike Primavera 6 £350 Sleeps

6

Weight Features Three bedrooms; large living and storage area; sewn-in ground sheet;

19.0 kilos

internal zipped storage cupboard Verdict Spacious family camping at a great price

Lichfield Mullion 6 £360 Sleeps

6

Weight Features Additional pods; large living space; lots of storage; two large doors;

24.0 kilos

dark inner tents Verdict Huge space for entertaining; dark inner tents help kids sleep

Coleman Mackenzie Cabin 4 £380 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Canopy; steel poles for extra stability; good weather protection; roll-up

27.1 kilos

windows; two entrances; pitches in one Verdict You can stand up with ease in this roomy, stylish family tent

Nordisk Piru 4 £440 Sleeps

Compiled by Ruth Addison

4

Weight Features Five entrances; two bedrooms; very spacious; optional sun porch;

10.4 kilos

coloured poles; easy to pitch Verdict The sun porch makes this ideal for family summer camping

Wild Country Citadel 5 £480 Sleeps

5

Weight Features Reinforced design; very weatherproof; stable pitch; good ventilation;

31.0 kilos

clear windows and curtains! Verdict Extremely weatherproof: you’ll still be on the campsite when everyone else has packed up and gone home

Vango Kasari 800 £523 Sleeps

8

20

Weight Features 2/3 bedrooms; three-pod tent; tons of living space; sewn-in

30.3 kilos

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groundsheet; breathable fabrics; ‘Lights out’ inner tent for privacy Verdict Sizeable accommodation, ideal for longer trips

In association with

03/05/2011 17:45


Berghaus Torridon £500 Sleeps

6

Weight Features Fully sealed groundsheet; spacious; large entrance; one sleeping area

25.9 kilos

that can be divided into two bedrooms; mosquito mesh door with PVC window; large standing-height living area; good ventilation Verdict Extensive luxury accommodation for families and groups

Vaude Badawi £570 Sleeps

4

Weight Features Semi-geodesic; very stable; detachable roof; two bedrooms; living area;

13.0 kilos

good ventilation Verdict Lightweight, very weatherproof, quick to pitch and pack away

Vango Maritsa 700 £600 Sleeps

7

Weight Features Sewn-in groundsheet; ‘Lights out’ inner tent for privacy; lots of storage;

40.6 kilos

large living area; 2/3 bedrooms; one room has a rail and can be used as a walk-in closet; entry porch Verdict You’ll never be cramped in this huge tent!

Force Ten Sentinel 500 £695 Sleeps

5

Weight Features Geodesic construction; two doors; great weatherproofing; pitches

8.7

kilos

as one or flysheet-first; snow valances; stable, fixed-point base tent Verdict Easy to pitch, with great weather protection and stability

Gelert Morpheus 8 £700 Sleeps

8

Weight Features Three bedrooms; big windows; brow poles for extra weather protection;

51.0 kilos

front canopy; sewn-in groundsheet; electric cable zip access point; mesh doors for; three entrances; excellent living area space & head height, pre-attached guy lines Verdict Vast space with three entrances: great for long trips

Outwell Perception £870 Sleeps

8

Weight Features Four bedrooms; living room; large porch; specially designed inner for

21.9 kilos

kids’ bedroom; tunnel style; lots of storage pockets; family games included Verdict Capacious kid- and adult-friendly accommodation

Outwell Hawaii Reef £1,000 Sleeps

5

Weight Features 2/3 bedrooms; living area with additional side door and porch; front wall

32.5 kilos

can be opened up to provide more space; zip-out groundsheet; door mat! Verdict A substantial tent with a good balance between sleeping and living space

Tent stockists list Berghaus

Millets Tel: 0191 516 5700, www.berghaus.com

Coleman

Tel: 01275 845024, www.coleman.eu

Crux

Tel: 01286 872222, www.crux.uk.com

Easy Camp

Tel: 0151 645 2278, www.easy-camp.com

Eurohike

Tel: 0800 389 5861, www.millets.co.uk

Exped

Tel: 015396 25493, www.lyon.co.uk

Fjällräven

Tel: 023 9252 8711, www.fjallraven.com

Force Ten

Tel: 01475 746000, www.amg-group.co.uk

Gelert

Tel: 01766 510300, www.gelert.com

GoLite

Tel: 0800 917 5642, www.golite.com

Karrimor

Tel: 0800 389 5861, www.millets.co.uk

Lichfield

Tel: 01475 746000, www.amg-group.co.uk

Lightwave

Tel: 01286 873520, www.lightwave.uk.com

Marmot

Tel: 0131 653 1313, www.marmot.com

Mountain Equipment

www.robens.co.uk

Mountain Hardwear

Terra Nova

Tel: 0161 366 5020, www. mountain-equipment.co.uk Tel: 01572 724499, www.mountainhardwear.com

MSR

Tel: 01629 580484, www.msrcorp.com Tel: 01524 822084 , www.arkconsultants.co.uk

Outdoor Designs Tel: 01773 601870, www.outdoordesigns.co.uk Tel: 01973 591101, www.outwell.co.uk

Robens

Tel: 01937 5911101,

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Camping: Unzipped

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Tel: 01535 654479 www.snugpak.com. Tel: 01773 837370, www.terra-nova.co.uk

Tentipi

Tel: 07872 483503, www.tentipi.co.uk

The North Face

Nordisk

Outwell

Snugpak

Tel: 01539 822155, www.thenorthface.com

Vango

Tel: 01475 746000, www.vango.co.uk

Vaude

Tel: 01665 510660, www.vaude.co.uk

Wild Country

Tel: 01773 837370, www.terra-nova.co.uk

In association with

03/05/2011 17:45


cool camping

gadgets

Who says that camping kit has to be all about efficiency? Try a few of these little luxuries to really brighten up your base camp… Words: Phoebe Smith Photos: Jacques Portal

Eurohike Bucket chair £25 Compact chair £15 Thanks to these foldaway chairs you can relax in comfort at your campsite. For those who want something less bulky, try the compact (green) version – so much better than sitting on the floor! Contact 0800 389 5861; www.millets.co.uk

EurohikeTravel Speaker £20 Enjoy your favourite tunes no matter where your adventures take you with this handy little speaker – so small it fits in your pocket (comes with a USB adapter). Contact 0800 389 5861; www.millets.co.uk

Sea to Summit X Bowl £10.50 X Mug £10.30 X Plate £15.50 Don’t take up loads of room in your rucksack with regular crockery – use these! They fold down flat after use! Contact 0116 234 4611; www.seatosummit.co.uk

Exped Scout Hammock £45 Made from parachute ripstop fabric, take this nifty piece of kit with you and tie it between trees for a hammock or onto a sturdy branch for a cool swing. Contact 01539 625493; www.lyon.co.uk

Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl Set £16 You won’t be able to resist the urge to give these bowls a good squeeze. Durable, space-saving and pretty! Contact 01539 625493; www.guyotdesigns.com

Jetboil Crunchit fuel canister recycling tool £5.50 Make bulky used gas canisters a thing of the past with this new tool, which allows you to cut ’em then squash ’em flat – leaving you more space in your rucksack: genius! Contact 01539 625493; www.jetboil.com

Light My Fire Mealkit £15 Spicebox £5 This small lunch box contains all the kit to prepare and eat a meal anywhere – two plates, a cup with lid, a combined colander/ cutting board, and a spork (spoon, knife and fork in one)! Fill the airtight SpiceBox too, to give your camp cooking a kick… Contact 01539 625493; www.lightmyfire.com

In association with

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Light My Fire FireSteel £8 TinderSticks £2 Grandpa’s FireForks£4 The FireSteel will generate a 3000 deg C spark – even when wet (also has a builtin whistle). Perfect companions are the TinderSticks, easy to light even if damp; and the clever FireFork, which will convert any stick into a fire fork or poker! Contact 01539 625493; www.lightmyfire.com

Thumbs Up Pocket Fishing Rod £20 Wild camping near a tarn? Sling this handy rod in your backpack. It comes with a reel, line hooks and float, and is easy to assemble… all that’s down to you is to make the perfect catch. Contact 0845 466 8880; www.thumbsupworld.co.uk Camping: Unzipped

25 03/05/2011 18:22


Thumbs Up Wind up mobile phone and iPod charger £20 Never run out of battery again when camping with this wind-up charger. Simply get twisting your wrist and you’ll be talking and texting again in no time! Contact 0845 466 8880; www.thumbsupworld.co.uk

Thumbs Up Glow in the dark toilet roll £6 Don’t waste time searching in the dark like a fool looking for the loo roll – get this and you’ll never be caught short. Contact 0845 466 8880; www.thumbsupworld.co.uk

Leatherman Style CS Key Chain Multi Tool £30 Embrace your inner Ray Mears with this handy 6-in-1 mini multi tool. Featuring scissors, a knife, nail file, flat-headed screwdriver, bottle opener and tweezers, it’s compact and functional – all in a neat little package. Contact 01539 721032; www.whitbyandco.co.uk

Nite Ize Ziplit £6 Sick of desperately fumbling for the sleeping bag or tent zip in desperation when you need the toilet at night? Make that scenario a thing of the past by attaching one of these to it. Durable and water-resistant, its bright LED light provides instant visibility whenever you need it. Contact 01539 721032; www.whitbyandco.co.uk

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink 10L £17.50 Now you can take everything and the kitchen sink when you go camping with this handy foldaway basin. Perfect for doing the washing up or minimising trips to collect water. Contact 0116 234 4611; www.seatosummit.co.uk

Gelert Fleece Rug £16 Just because you’re in a tent doesn’t mean you need to give up the luxuries of life! Try this fleecy rug: it’s waterproof on the bottom but snuggly on the top, great for adding a bit of luxury to your camping. Contact 01766 510300; www.gelert.com

Fujifilm FinePix XP30 £200 Want a camera that will stand up to the rigours of camping? This new model is water-, shock-, dust- and freezeproof and even has a built-in GPS function so you can label your pics as you go with a GEO tag. Great for capturing the memories, no matter what the weather. Contact 0844 553 2322; www.fujifilm.co.uk

In association with

025-027_Gadgets_Camp11 sw.indd 27

Therm-a-Rest Fitted Sheet (regular) £19 Glam up your sleeping arrangements with a bit of home comfort by taking this made-to-measure sheet. Gives added warmth and it’s easy to wash! Contact 01629 580484; www.firstascent.co.uk

Jetboil Flash £80 Combining an efficient cooking system with a nifty insulator jacket that changes colour to indicate when the water is nearly boiling, this stove is not only easy to use but looks impressive too! Contact 01539 625493; www.jetboil.com Camping: Unzipped

27 03/05/2011 18:27


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CW cross sell With latest cover.indd 2

03/05/2011 17:38


,

Coolest campsites The UK s

Words: Phoebe Smith Photos: Cool Camping

Summer’s nearly here! And, with the longer hours of daylight that come with it, there’s never been a better time to dig out your tent, pack your sleeping bag and truly immerse yourself in the outdoors for days at a time. You’ve got your gear and planned your walking, but where to stay? That’s where we come in. We have searched the country for the coolest campsites around – from seaside

locations a stone’s throw from coastal long distance paths, to mountain-flanked pitches perched by lakes – and brought you 65 of the very best from all over the UK! Whether this is your first foray into camping or you’re a seasoned outdoors aficionado, if you want to find a quiet space on your own or are hauling the family with you, here’s where you’ll find your perfect campsite…

In association with Trekmates is the official partner of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders www.trekmates.co.uk

029-035_Campsites_Camp11 swps.indd 29

Camping: Unzipped

29 04/05/2011 12:26


England cool campsites

From sites nestled among the stunning Lakeland fells to those that edge Yorkshire’s Three Peaks or teeter on the cliffs above the south-west coast, these campsites ooze cool… Powered by Cool Camping England: www.coolcamping.co.uk

Lancashire

Stay here and walk… the bleak moorland and lush woodland of the Doone Valley It’s cool because you can camp by the river in a hidden valley, and there’s on-site horse-riding too!

1 Gibraltar Farm SD450781

01524 701736; www.gibraltarfarm.co.uk Stay here and walk… up the lush and picturesque Lune Valley It’s cool because you’re get to camp looking out over some of the best views of Morecambe Bay you’ll find, and gaze at the distant Lakeland hills.

9 Cockingford Farm, Exmoor SX717750 01364 621258 Stay here and walk up… the hills of southern Dartmoor starting with Wind Tor It’s cool because it’s tucked away deep in Dartmoor in a stunning setting next to a stream, high in the hills, and away from the crowds.

Lake District

2 Turner Hall Farm SD234963 01229 716420; www.duddonvalley.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Scafell Pike and The Old Man of Coniston It’s cool because you’ll enjoy a truly remote and wild camping experience with the luxury of toilets and hot showers, and be in a fantastic location for some of the best walks in the Lakes.

Gordale Scar campsite, North Yorkshire

3 Syke Farm NY173171 01768 770222 Stay here and walk up… Haystacks, High Crag and Red Pike It’s cool because you’re in easy walking distance of some fantastic fells, yet tucked away in a quiet valley away from the holiday crowds. 4 Side Farm NY398163 01768 482337 Stay here and walk up… Helvellyn or High Street It’s cool because not only can you enjoy great views of Helvellyn and Ullswater but you’re also at the right spot to hop on one of the steamer boats at Glenridding.

Cornwall

10 Greenacres ST550415 01749 890497; www.greenacres-camping.co.uk Stay here and walk… the plains and wetlands of the Somerset Levels It’s cool because it’s very wellequipped for young families, but lovely and quiet out of season.

Northumberland

Dorset

6 Hadrian’s Wall Campsite

Small Batch campsite, Shropshire

NY731657 01434 320495; www.romanwallcamping.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the Hadrian’s Wall Path It’s cool because you get to sleep close to this historic Roman structure and if you’re walking the 84 mile National Trail the campsite owners will arrange transport to and from your start/finish points. 7 Beadnell Bay NU230297 01665 720586; www.camping andcaravanningclub.co.uk Stay here and walk… the wild and empty north Northumbrian coast It’s cool because you’re within spitting distance of a fine selection of thousand-year-old fortresses.

Devon

8 Cloud Farm, Dartmoor SS793477 01598 741278; www.cloudfarmcamping.com

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Somerset

01326 290596; www.henryscampsite.co.uk Stay here and walk… the South West Coast Path It’s cool because it’s the most southerly campsite in mainland Britain and has an amazing mix of sub-tropical plants.

5 Henry’s SW702125

11 Eweleaze Farm SY706822 01305 833690; www.eweleaze.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the Jurassic Coast It’s cool because from the site you can see the Isle of Portland, which offers fantastic climbing opportunities.

New Forest

12 Tom’s Field, Fordingbridge SU183153 07759 474158; www.tomsfield.com Stay here and walk… the Avon Valley path It’s cool because you can mingle with the resident ponies and deer.

Sussex

13 St Ives Farm TQ460364 01892 770213 Stay here and walk… the Wealdway It’s cool because you can fish on-site, or head to the farm next door for scones and jam.

www.lfto.com

04/05/2011 12:28


7

Essex

14 Debden House TQ438982 020 8508 3008; www.debdenhouse.com Stay here and walk… the Epping Forest woodland, just a mile from the Tube It’s cool because you can gather up wood and blaze it to your heart’s content in the Fire Fields.

6 3 2 4 1

Kent

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15 The Warren TR246376 01303 255093; www.camping andcaravanclub.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the cliff tops to Dover It’s cool because you can pitch your own room with a view at the foot of the white cliff s.

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19

Norfolk

16

16 Pinewoods TF914450 01328 710439; www.pinewoods.co.uk Stay here and walk… the Norfolk Coast Path It’s cool because of the easy access to miles of sandy beach, and the chance to hire your very own beach hut.

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17

Gloucestershire

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17 Bracelands SO570129

0845 130 8224; www. forestholidays.co.uk Stay here and walk… The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail It’s cool because the facilities are pristine and woodland walks go right from your tent door.

12 9

Shropshire

18 Small Batch SO440919 01694 723358 Stay here and walk… the Long Mynd and the surrounding hills It’s cool because this tranquil site is perfect to grab a pair of binoculars and try a spot of bird watching for the local buzzards and red kites.

Peak District

19 North Lees SK235833 01433 650838 Stay here and walk… along Stanage Edge It’s cool because if you want to indulge in some climbing then you’re in the perfect place as the path from the campsite leads easily to the gritstone cliff of ‘The Edge’. 20 Longnor Wood SK068635 01298 83648; www.longnorwood. co.uk (no kids allowed) Stay here and walk… the Upper Dove and Manifold Valleys It’s cool because of the tantalising glimpses of the White Peak landscape that will surround your tent.

In association with

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5 West Yorkshire

21 Jerusalem Farm SE027281

01422 883246 Stay here and walk… the Pennine Way or the Calderdale Way It’s cool because the campsite is a car-free zone set in a stunning enclosed valley, in the heart of some of England’s best hillwalking country.

Jerusalem Farm campsite, West Yorkshire

Stay here and walk… along as much of Wainwright’s Coast-toCoast as you dare It’s cool because you get to wake up to panoramic views of the sea before embarking on a classic long distance walk that takes in three National Parks: The Lake District, The Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors.

North Yorkshire

22 Gordale Scar SD914634 01729 830333 Stay here and walk up… Malham Cove It’s cool because you get to camp right next to the iconic Gordale Scar giving you easy access to climbing and walking opportunities both here and at nearby Malham Cove.

23 Hooks House Farm NZ945057 01947 880283; www.hookshousefarm.co.uk Camping: Unzipped

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www.trekmates.co.uk

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04/05/2011 12:29


Wales cool campsites

From the high and serrated edges of the Snowdonian mountains to the unrivalled beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast, when it comes to cool camping in Wales, you’ll be spoilt for choice… Powered by Cool Camping Wales: www.coolcamping.co.uk that spiky mountain giant beckoning you from your tent. 28 Cae Du SH571060 01654 711234 Stay here and walk… The Mawddach Trail It’s cool because you get stunningly wild sea views right from the doorway of your tent, and you can leave the car behind as you’re just a mile from the nearest station.

Snowdonia

24 Graig Wen SH654157

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower peninsula

01341 250482; www.graigwen.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Cadair Idris It’s cool because you get to spend the night on the edge of the Mawddach Estuary, surrounded by woodland and pastures, knowing that a great hill awaits you in the morning.

27 Gwern Gos Isaf SH686602 01690 720276; www.gwerngofisaf.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Tryfan It’s cool because it’s as near to Tryfan as any campsite gets and nothing can beat waking up to see

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29 Whitegates SM850121 01437 741257 Stay here and walk… along one of this county‘s magnificent cliff paths, right at your door It’s cool because this is an example of British seaside at its best, and the perfect place to relax on the beach after a good day’s walking.

30 Caerfai Bay SM757243 01437 720274; www.caerfaibay.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the Pembroksite Coastal Path It’s cool because you can pig out on delicious produce straight from the farm shop, then make use of direct access to the coastal path to walk it all off again!

25 Owen Tyddyn Farm SH698151 01341 422472 Stay here and walk up… Cadair Idris It’s cool because you get to wake up to the magnificent sight of Cadair Idris right outside your tent flap and plan your route in 3D glory along Mynydd Moel, Pen y Gadair and Cyfrwy with your morning cuppa. 26 Bwch-yn-Uchaf SH880300 01978 812179; www.bwch-yn-uchaf.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Snowdonia’s less crowded Aran Ridge or Arenig Fawr It’s cool because when you’re not walking in the nearby hills you can sample some watersports on Llyn Tegid or hop on the steam train that loops around it.

Pembrokeshire

Newcourt Farm, Brecon Beacons

31 Gwaun Vale SM977356 01348 874698; www.ukparks. co.uk/gwaunvale

Stay here and walk up… the Preseli Hills It’s cool because it’s in a great place to go and explore the quiet Preseli Hills, which you can gaze upon from the campsite, yet it’s only a mile away from the sea.

Ceredigion

32 Tyllwyd SN806746 01974 282216; www. welshaccommodation.co.uk Stay here and walk… the big empty hills of mid Wales It’s cool because you’re located in the midst of a gorgeous green valley, with diversions ranging from exploring abandoned mines to spotting red kites.

Gower

33 Three Cliff s Bay SS534886 01792 371218; www.threecliff sbay.com Stay here and walk… Penmaen to Three Cliff s Bay It’s cool because you’re overlooking one of Wales’ finest views – a circular sandy beach surrounded by limestone pinnacles.

Brecon Beacons

34 Dan yr Ogof SN843164 01639 730284; www.showcaves.co.uk Stay here and walk up… the Black Mountain It’s cool because the limestone slopes of the Black Mountain brush the edges of the campsite, enticing you to pull on your boots as soon as you wake up. There’s also a dinosaur park, caves and quirky rock formations to entertain the kids. 35 Grawen SO014109 01685 723740; www. walescaravanandcamping.com Stay here and walk up… the Beacons Horseshoe It’s cool because it’s situated at the foot of the southern ridge of the Brecon Beacons’ highest hills and allows easy access to spectacular waterfalls and gorge walking to the west.

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Owen Tyddun Farm, Snowdonia

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01497 847285; www.newcourthorseriding.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Hay Bluff and Twmpa It’s cool because you will enjoy a great view of the Black Mountains from every pitch.

Carmarthenshire

37 Larkhill Tipis SN371337 01559 371581; www.larkhillstipis.co.uk Stay here and walk… actually, you may want to give walking a miss altogether and just kick back in the tranquil valley surroundings... It’s cool because as the name suggests, you can lodge in the warmth and comfort of tipis (and yurts). 38 Rhandirmwyn SN780433 01550 760257; www. campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk Stay here and walk up… the Cambrian Mountains It’s cool because you don’t get any mobile phone reception, and it’s far from any shops, making it a total get-away-from-it-all place with hills rising up all around you.

beach – which is usually guaranteed to be crowd-free!

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Mid Wales

41 Pistyll Rhaeadr SJ074294 01691 780392; www.pistyllrhaeadr.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Cadair Berwyn It’s cool because the highest waterfall in Wales – Pistyll Rhaeadr – is right on your doorstep, as are the uncrowded Berwyns.

North-east Wales

42 Wern Isaf Farm SJ223425 01978 860632; www.wernisaf.co.uk Stay here and walk up… kid-friendly castle ruin-topped 320m Dinas Bran It’s cool because you’re within easy driving distance of both Snowdonia and the Berwyns but situated in a town that offers a range of distractions for any nonhill-walkers in your group.

South Wales

Graig Wen, Snowdonia

43 Cwmcarn Forest Drive ST230935 01495 272001; www.cwmcarnforest.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Twmbarlwm It’s cool because aside from the views over seven counties from nearby Twmbarlwm, there’s a range of trails for mountain biking aficionados, and hill-forts and woodland walks for kids.

Llyn Peninsula

39 Mynydd Mawr SH142255 01758 760223; www.aberdaron caravanandcampingsite.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the Llyn Peninsula Coastal Path It’s cool because it has a real edge-of-the-world feel to it and offers fantastic cliff walking to surfers’ favourite Hell’s Mouth as well as great views over to Bardsey Island. 40 Treheli Farm SH239285 01758 780281 Stay here and walk… along the length of Hell’s Mouth (Port Neigwl) It’s cool because the location is truly unrivalled, with a view down the four-mile stretch of

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Scotland cool campsites

Mountains, lochs, islands – no matter what is taking you to Scotland, a stay at any one of these campsites will ensure that your nights are just as memorable as your days… Powered by Cool Camping Scotland: www.coolcamping.co.uk Kinlochleven

Loch Lomond and The trossachs

52 Caolasnacon NN139610 01855 831279; www. kinlochlevencaravans.com Stay here and walk up… the Mamore mountains It’s cool because it’s happily situated by beautiful Loch Leven, meaning you can canoe in the loch itself or wildlife-spot on the water’s edge after a hard day’s walk.

44 Beinglas Farm NN320186

01301 704281; www.beinglascampsite.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Ben Lomond It’s cool because its location makes it a walkers’ heaven as the West Highland Way runs right through the site and there are some Munros on your doorstep.

Acharacle

45 Mains Farm NS663997

01786 850605; www.mainsfarmwigwams.com Stay here and walk up… the Fintry Hills following in the footsteps of Rob Roy It’s cool because aside from tents you also have the option of staying in a quirky wigwam – hand-made in the Scottish Borders! 46 Luss Campsite NS360936

01436 860658; www.camping andcaravanclub.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the shores of beautiful Loch Lomond It’s cool because tent campers get by far the best views, stretching out across the water and up to Ben Lomond.

Scottish Islands

47 Cnip Village, Lewis NB100360 01851 672265 Stay here and walk… along the Traigh na Beirigh beach and over to Uig Sands It’s cool because you will experience a true ‘ends of the earth’ feeling, gazing out to the sea that stretches over thousands of miles to Newfoundland. 48 Glenbrittle, Skye NG411205 01478 640404; www.dunvegancastle.com Stay here and walk… to the Fairy Pools and mountain streams in the lee of the mountains It’s cool because you can gaze up at the mighty Cuillin – whether you decide to tackle them or not is up to you!

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Lazy Duck, Cairngorms, north-east Scotland

Central Belt and Lowlands

49 Beecraigs Country Park NT005746 01506 844518; www.beecraigs.com Stay here and walk … in Beecraigs Wood and round the loch It’s cool because when you’ve had your fill of trees and lochs, you can explore the town of Linlithgow – the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots – just up the road!

Perthshire

50 Glengoulandie NN766523 01887 830495; www.glengoulandie.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Schiehallion It’s cool because walkers and families are pitched separately when it’s busy and there’s a deer farm and rainbow trout fishing nearby for those longing for nonhilly distraction.

Road to the Isles Glen coe

51 Red Squirrel NN119573 01855 811256; www. redsquirrelcampsite.com Stay here and walk up… Aonach Eagach and Bidean nam Bian It’s cool because it’s right next to the epic mountains and blooddrenched history of Glen Coe and close to the visitors’ centre so you can learn all about the massacre before embarking on your walk.

53 Resipole Farm NM723639 01967 431235; www.resipole.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Ben Resipole It’s cool because it’s in a relatively undiscovered corner of Scotland and meeting point of sea, sand, sky and hills at gorgeous Sanna Bay.

Inverness-shire

54 Camusdarach NM664914 01687 450221; www.camusdarach.com Stay here and walk up… Rois-bheinn It’s cool because with the sandy white beaches on your doorstep you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d been transported across the Atlantic to the Caribbean! The site is also perfectly located for access to the Scottish Islands.

55 Faichemard Farm NH287016 01809 501314; www.faichemardcaravancamping.co.uk Stay here and walk up… Ben Tee It’s cool because there’s no children allowed – meaning peace and quiet for those who want it – and it enjoys sweeping mountain views as well as easy access to the Great Glen Way coast-to-coast walk. 56 Invercaimbe NM652896 01687 450375; www.invercaimbe caravansite.co.uk Stay here and walk… along the coastline admiring the views It’s cool because you’ll get a ringside seat on the beach from where you can watch the sunset over the isles of Rum, Eigg and Muck – all from the comfort of your tent.

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Glenshiel

57 Shiel Bridge NG938185

01599 511221 Stay here and walk up… the Five Sisters of Kintail It’s cool because when you’re lying deep in the crevice of Glen Shiel, staring up at the Five Sisters and Forcan Ridge, you won’t be able to resist the alluring scenery.

North-east

58 Lazy Duck NJ016204

01479 821642; www.lazyduck.co.uk Stay here and walk up… the Cairngorm plateau It’s cool because as well as checking out the Cairngorms in all their glory, here you can also relax in a hammock as you contemplate embarking on the Speyside Way, which passes next to the campsite. 59 Rothiemurchus NJ016204

01479 812800; www.rothiemurchus.net Stay here and walk up… Cairn Gorm It’s cool because the Cairngorm massif starts at the edge of the site so walking awaits – but for family members who don’t want hills this site also offers access to bike routes and forest walks.

Far North Highlands

60 Scourie NC153446 01971 502060 Stay here and walk… along the Cape Wrath Trail It’s cool because before starting/ finishing the Cape Wrath Trail (depending which way you go) you can take a dip in sparkling sea.

61 Dunnet Bay ND219703 01847 821319 Stay here and walk… in the Dunnet Forest hunting for Bronze Age hut circles It’s cool because not only are the facilities immaculate but you’ll get to go for a moonlit walk on the dunes right outside your tent.

NW Highlands

62 Applecross NG711444 01520 744268; www.applecross. uk.com/campsite Stay here and walk… along the beach or up one of the local hills in Applecross Forest It’s cool because you can enjoy fantastic, fresh seafood in the acclaimed Applecross Inn then sleep it off in your tent overlooking the pointy isle of Skye.

Scourie, far north Highlands

Stay here and walk… to Little Sands Beach It’s cool because tent campers get the best pitches, among the enormous sand dunes, gazing out to Skye and the Outer Hebrides.

63 Torridon Campsite NG905557 01445 791221 Stay here and walk up… Liathach It’s cool because the Liathach massif looms above your tent calling you out and, despite having the luxury of hot showers and toilets, this campsite is free!

65 Badrallach NH067916 01854 633281; www.badrallach.com Stay here and walk up… An Teallach It’s cool because you get peace, quiet and can sleep in the on-site bothy if the weather gets really bad. Plus you can kayak on Little Loch Broom or try a power kite once you’ve had your walking fill.

64 Sands Holiday Centre NG758785 01445 712152; www.sandsholidaycentre.co.uk

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Camp cuisine

Outdoor cooking isn’t all cold baked beans and slop in silver pouches. With a pinch of planning and a dash of know-how, you can whip up some yummy meals in the comfort of your tent porch, says chef Phil Vickery...

Breakfast

Grilled Chilli Mango with Sweet and Sour Strawberries Phil says: “For this to work the mango has to be really ripe, as all you are doing is warming through the soft, sweet flesh. Make sure you hull the strawberries after you wash them, otherwise they will fill with water and go soggy!” Serves 4 • Preparation time 15 mins • Cooking time 4–6 mins Ingredients 2 medium-sized ripe mangoes 2 tbsp oil 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes 1 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar 150g strawberries, washed, then hulled and halved, in that order vegetable oil, for greasing creme fraiche, to serve, optional

Photos: Steve Lee

Cut the sides off each mango (leaving the skin on), by cutting lengthways with a knife. Keep the knife parallel to the side of the stone as you cut. Pat the cut sides really dry with kitchen paper, then lightly oil with 1 tablespoon of the oil and dust over a few chilli flakes. When ready to cook, sprinkle the sugar and vinegar over the strawberries and gently stir. Leave to marinate while you cook the mangoes. Light a disposable barbecue and when a few tips of the charcoal are still black, but the rest are grey, it is ready to cook on. Lightly oil the heated barbecue grid, then place the cut side of the mangoes on to the hot bars and cook for 1–2 minutes. Oil the skin side of the mango with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and turn over, then cook for a further 3–4 minutes. Serve the cooked mangoes with a spoonful of marinated strawberries and a blob of crème fraîche.

Lunch or dinner

Campfire Sausages with Vinegar Onion Gravy Phil says: “This is one of my favourite ways of cooking sausages outdoors. The vinegar really cuts through the richness of the sausages to give a fantastic flavour. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious gravy.” Serves 4 • Preparation time 10 mins • Cooking time 20 mins Ingredients 2 tbsp oil or 2 small sachets of mayonnaise 8 plump sausages 2 medium onions, finely sliced 1 tbsp or 2 small sachets vinegar 1 beef stock cube 1 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot salt and freshly ground black pepper crusty bread, to serve Place a large frying pan on a stand over the heat and add the oil or mayonnaise. Heat until it is bubbling slightly. Prick sausages lightly, and place in pan. Brown them gently all over. Once browned, remove with tongs and place on a plate. Add the onions to the pan and cook them for 5–10 minutes or till they soften and colour slightly. Add vinegar to pan and cook till it has mostly evaporated. Add 400ml water and the crumbled stock cube, season well and bring to the boil. Return the sausages to the pan, cover, then cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Once the sausages are cooked, mix the cornflour or arrowroot with 1 tablespoon of cold water to form a smooth paste. Gently pour a little paste into the pan and stir it in. It should thicken, if the sauce is boiling, straight away. The aim is to get a nice smooth consistency without it being too thick and gloopy. If you add too much of the paste, add a little water to thin it out again. Season well and serve with crusty bread.

Dessert

Poached Plums & Blackberries with Brandy & Brown Sugar Phil says: “This is a simple boozy dessert that works well using any soft fruit really. Don’t overcook the fruit, though – it’s just a warm-through job.” Serves 2–4 • Preparation time 10 mins • Cooking time 10 minutes Ingredients 8 large ripe plums 4 tbsp white sugar 2 tbsp salted butter 4 tbsp brandy or any spirit-based alcohol juice of 1 orange 200g blackberries crisp biscuits such as biscotti, to serve If the plums are ripe enough, slice them lengthways, and remove the stones. Heat a large frying pan, with a lid. Then add the sugar – it will start to turn brown almost immediately if the pan is hot enough. Once all the sugar has turned brown, or nearly brown, add the butter – it will foam really quickly. Stir well. Add the alcohol; be very careful if you are using a gas stove as it may ignite from the burner. Stir really well, add the orange juice and bring together to form a nice sauce. Add the halved or whole plums, cover with the lid and simmer gently for 2 minutes. The skins will start to split from the plums. At this point add the blackberries and swirl through the sauce to warm through, do not overcook them. Serve warm with the biscuits.

The Great Outdoors Cookbook by Phil Vickery is published by Kyle Books, priced £18.99. Trail and CW readers can buy a copy for the special price of £16.99 (inc free p&p, UK mainland only) by calling 01903 828503 and quoting ref. KC GO/TR. Or email: mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk

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6 of the best

Stoves Cook up a feast on the go with this range of stoves for every purpose…

Best for: softies Can’t stand to leave your oven at home? The Cobb BBQ and Oven is effectively an all-in-one travelling cooking system, with the ability to grill, bake, barbecue, fry, roast and even smoke – all using a device that weighs 3.8kg and comes in a 330mm squared package. It’s simple to get going – just use firelighters – and you can take it apart for easy cleaning. It’s unlikely to catch on among backpackers, but if you’re base camping from a car it’s ideal. (01296) 681095; http://cobb-bbq.co.uk

Soto Micro Regulator Stove £75

Best for: winter Many stoves perform less well in the cold and when used over extended periods. This is because the temperature inside the cylinder cools down during use, which decreases pressure and reduces the output of the burner. However, the Micro Regulator is designed so that it produces a consistent output. It claims to do this as low as -5 deg C and boil water in less than half the time it takes a stove without a regulator – an impressive achievement for a package that weighs just 73g. Ideal for winter wild camping and backpacking. (0191) 284 8444; www.allcord.co.uk

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Jetboil Zip £60

Best for: wild camping This brand new Jetboil stove is a perfect compromise between weight and performance. Its simple, no-frills design makes it easy to use, and at 333g it won’t weigh down your backpack en route to that high mountain wild camp. It has a very respectable boil time of 2 minutes per litre, and natty features such as an insulating sleeve, a lid that transforms into a strainer and a cover that doubles as a bowl all add to the performance. (015396) 25493; www.jetboil.com

Campingaz Camping Chef £70

Best for: families and groups Cooking for a family can be tricky, but the Camping Chef does a lot of the hard work for you. It’s a stove and grill combination, so you can have tea and toast on the go simultaneously, and the adjustable butane gas burners offer a good level of control. Boil time is 6 minutes and 30 seconds per litre – not the fastest – but it does boast thoughtful features such as the childproof knobs. The Camping Chef weighs 5.8kg, but packs down easily to briefcase size, making it highly portable. (01275) 845024; www.campingaz.com

Coleman Propane PowerPack £35

Best for: car camping Simple to use, easy to clean and highly durable, the PowerPack is a no-nonsense car camping stove. Its large cooking area supports wide-based pans, so you can cook for a group. It’s easy to transport (1480g), and the adjustable burner allows you to simmer or boil. But, what sets it apart is the integrated regulator, which produces a steady fuel stream regardless of temperature, altitude or fuel pressure – ideal for adventurous base camps. (01275) 845025; www.coleman.eu/uk

Words Hanna Lindon Photos Jacques Portal

Cobb Premier BBQ/ Oven £95

Go System Fly/ Ti £40

Best for: backpacking With a weight of just 50g, the titanium Fly/Ti is one of the world’s lightest stoves. It runs off gas and boasts economical fuel consumption, which helps to minimise the total carry weight. Nor is performance compromised by the lack of grams – the Fly/Ti has a boil time of 3 minutes and 50 seconds per litre, and features precision flame control. All this with a £40 price tag makes it ideal for multi-day backpacking trips. (0161) 367 1315; www.go-system.co.uk

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6 of the best

Sleeping mats From pared-down foam to full-on beds, there’s a sleeping mat here to meet every requirement…

Multimat Discovery £16.40

Best for: bargain hunters You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good night’s sleep – foam mats are a great option for going lightweight on a budget. The Discovery weighs a mere 300g (size 185x55xcm) and uses cross-linked polyolefin foam technology to deliver a good comfort-to-weight rating. You won’t get the support or the insulation of heavier mats, but for the price this is unbeatable. (01685) 350011; www.multimat.uk.com

Gelert Superlight Camp Bed £45

Best for: Off-the-floor comfort Fancy a spot of camping but can’t bear to forsake your bed? The Superlight Camp Bed offers a simple and comfortable alternative to a sleeping mat. It’s a folding PVC bed with aluminium frame, which comes with a nifty carrying case. Unlike the majority of mats it can be unfolded and ready to use in seconds, and it weighs a very respectable 5.5kg (size 65x195x45cm) – so you won’t do your back in carrying it from the car. Great for luxury base camps, and for putting up last-minute visitors at home. (01766) 510300; www.gelert.com

Therm-a-Rest Neo Air Fast and Light Series £125

Best for: lightweight campers Don’t be deterred by the price tag – if it’s lightweight comfort that you’re after then the Neo Air is a modern classic. It weighs just 410g (size 183x51x3cm), but unlike other super-light models is also highly comfortable (thanks to the thick air fill), stable and reasonably well insulated. Best of all, you won’t struggle to fit it in your pack – this mat folds up to the size of a 1 litre water bottle! (01629) 580484; www.firstascent.co.uk

Alpkit Dirtbag £40

Best for: multi-use This self-inflating all-rounder bridges the gap between backpacking and car camping. At 888g (size 180x50x5cm) it is light enough to sling in your pack for multi-day treks, but offers the kind of comfort that you’d expect from a heavier and pricier mat. If your 2011 diary includes a mix of wild camping, backpacking and base camping, put this on your shopping list. (0115) 932 5050; www.alpkit.com

Exped DownMat Pump 7 £110 Words Hanna Lindon Photos Jacques Portal

Best for: warmth in winter A good sleeping mat won’t just give you a comfortable night’s sleep – it should also keep you warm by providing a layer of insulation between your body and the cold ground. The DownMat Pump 7 uses 700 fill goose down added to the air chambers inside the mat to maximise its insulating properties. It boasts an integrated pump for easy inflation, a slip-resistant surface and, at 898g (size 178x52x7cm), weighs less than the majority of other insulating mats. Ideal for cold-weather use, backpacking or base camping. (015396) 25493; www.lyon.co.uk

Vango Deluxe Double Flocked Airbed £35

Best for: couples and families When only the comfiest mattress will do, a flocked airbed is your best option. You’ll have to compromise on weight (this is 2500g), but if you’re base camping from your car this is unlikely to be an issue. At a generous 191x141x25cm the Deluxe Double Flocked Airbed will easily accommodate a couple – even when one is a bed-hogger. It boasts a built-in pillow and rising surrounding frame for extra comfort, and estimated inflation time is two minutes. At just £35, this mat won’t do much damage to your wallet either. 0844 770 7058; www.vango.co.uk

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6 of the best

Sleeping bags

Pick the right bag for you, and you’ll sleep soundly whatever the weather… Ajungilak Little Mammut £70

Best for: kids Choosing a kid’s sleeping bag is tricky: do you go for the best – knowing that your child will probably grow out of it within a year, or do you compromise on quality for a lower price? The Little Mammut deals with this dichotomy with a clever design trick – it is adjustable, meaning that it can be extended as your child grows. Add a 600g microfibre filling, a full-length zip and a mammoth pattern that will appeal to kids of all ages, and you get a bag that will be a welcome addition to all your family camping outings. (01625) 508218; www.mammut.ch

PHD Minim Ultra Down Sleeping Bag £199

Best for: lightweight backpacking The key to a sleeping bag that is superlight but also super-warm is highquality down – and this PHD bag uses the very best 900 fill power down for relative snugness at an almost unbelievably low weight. At a mere 345g you will barely notice this in your pack. Be aware though that it isn’t suitable for colder camps: the typical operating temperature stated by the manufacturer is 8 deg C, so keep this high-tech cocoon for summer backpacking trips and mountain marathons. (0161) 303 0895; www.phdesigns.co.uk

Vango Nitestar 350 £45

Best for: bargain hunters You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great all-round sleeping bag. The Nitestar 350 is a Duke of Edinburgh-recommended synthetic offering with a lower comfort rating of -4 deg C. Thoughtful design features such as a 3D hood with drawcord closure and insulated shoulder and zip baffles combine with a durable Polair shell to produce an excellent multi-purpose bag. At 1950g it is the heaviest here, but is still light enough for multi-day backpacking trips and wild camping. 0844 770 7058; www.vango.co.uk

The North Face Superlight £229

Words Hanna Lindon Photos Jacques Portal

Best for: multi-purpose Looking for a bag that’s light enough for multi-day backpacking and warm enough for winter use but won’t break the bank? The Superlight could just fit the bill. It uses 600 fill power goose down to deliver comfort down to -16 deg C and weighs just 1517g (size regular), making it a good choice for wild camping and backpacking. The fulllength zip allows excellent venting in warmer weather, and you won’t find yourself struggling with the zip during the night thanks to the glow-in-thedark zip attachment and no-snag zip column. A good, versatile all-rounder. (01539) 822155; www.thenorthface.com

Crux Torpedo £450

Best for: four-season warmth The Torpedo uses highest quality 850+ Polish down to deliver outstanding insulation all the way down to -18 deg C. Unlike other down sleeping bags – which lose their insulating properties when wet – it combines an eVent shell with taped seams to protect against condensation and dampness, meaning it will keep you warm even when exposed to the wet. If you sleep cold or need a bag that will offer durable performance on winter camping trips then this is ideal. (01286) 872222; www.crux.uk.com

Ajungilak Shield 3-Season £385

Best for: bivvying Who needs a separate bivvy bag when you’ve got a waterproof sleeping bag? The Shield 3-Season is a 800 down bag with a waterproof outer that extends over the head, making it a warm and effective bivvy bag. It weighs just 1150g (size 195) but boasts a lower comfort rating of -8, making it ideal for three-season backpacking and bivvying adventures. (01625) 508218; www.mammut.ch

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, That s tentertainment You’ve pitched the tent, fetched the water, cooked and eaten the camp meal and washed the pots. Now for the fun bit...!

, Play em

Pass the pigs £8.50 A great game perfect in a tent! Give these pigs a shake, then throw them down on your roll mat or the ground. How they land determines the points you get: hours of fun for all ages. (0115) 932 5050; www.alpkit.com

, Trick em

Mind Trap £12.50 Are there really alligators in the New York sewage system? And can Brits still be put to death for high treason? Find answers to the most puzzling questions in these cards. 01283 524924; www. sciencemuseumshop.co.uk

Be the great Mr Magneto This is a great trick to play on camping buddies over a cuppa. You just need a cup, four sweets and a trustworthy buddy who’s in on the trick… 1 Take four sweets and place them with great ceremony in a square on the floor to represent north, east, south and west. 2 Tell your mates that you are in fact the great Mr Magneto, who can harness the earth’s magnetic pull to reveal which sweet people have chosen even when your back is turned. 3 Turn your back and get someone to pick a sweet, while your assistant watches. 4 Your buddy then holds their cuppa where you can see it, handle pointing in the right direction – north, east, south or west. 5 You turn around, furrow your brow to give the impression of deep thought and – ta-da! – point to the correct sweet.

6 in 1 Magnetic Games £2.99 Keep boredom at bay with this selcection of mini magnetic noughts and crosses, snakes and ladders, ludo, draughts, chess and solitaire all in a light case. 08452 696 452; www.toyday.co.uk

The tent peg game £priceless This must be the simplest but funniest tent game on the planet. Take a tent peg, mime with it and your tent buddies have to guess what the hell is going on. For example, holding it vertically on your back means “Shark!” The correct guesser takes the next go. The wilder your imagination, the more hilarious this game becomes! Just be careful not to puncture the tent with the pointy end…

, amuse em

Hostel owner: The dorm rooms are £15 a night, but I’ll knock off a fiver if you make your own bed. Tired hill-walker: Sure, I need to save cash, I’ll make my own bed. Hostel owner: Good. I’ll get you some nails and wood! Knock knock! Who’s there? Lettuce Lettuce who? Lettuce out of here, someone’s farted in the tent! A Munroist was walking down Ben Nevis when he saw another walker, talking to himself, waving his arms around above his head and jumping up and down. The Munroist asked the walker what he was doing, and he replied, “I am keeping the pink elephants away,” The Munro-ist said, “Pink elephants? What pink elephants?” The walker replied, “I know! Works a treat, doesn’t it?”

, Spook em

Words Claire Maxted

Who’s got my golden ring? This yarn gets its inspiration from The Golden Arm tale in ‘How to Tell a Story’ by Mark Twain... “Once upon a time there was a mean old shepherd, who lived in a remote cottage up in the mountains with his wife. One day the wife died, and he buried her on the hillside. That night, he couldn’t sleep for thinking of the price he could get for her golden wedding ring. So at midnight he stole out of the house in his black, hooded cloak, dug her up and plucked it from her cold, dead finger. The wind howled, the mist swirled, and through the storm came a wailing: “Whooo’s got my golden riiiing?” The mean old shepherd put his head down, battled through the wind and heard, “Whooo’s got my golden riiiing?” [Improvise terrible weather, the bogs he struggles through and how lost he gets, frequently decorating it with the woman’s cry.] Finally he gets back to their cottage, and the room suddenly goes cold. He shakes with fear, he can scarcely breathe, he can feel something in the room moaning, “Whoooooo’s got my golden riiiiiiiiing?” [Then look straight into the eyes of the person most involved with the story and yell out, “You’ve got it!” If you tell this tale with enough drama, they will emit a very satisfying scream.]

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In association with

03/05/2011 17:54


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www.lfto.com

03/05/2011 18:18



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