ecAmp Campsite visits
Fine food for all
This month we check out the Friendly Club site at Wolverley in Worcestershire – a firm favorite with Outwell campers
Guyrope Gourmet, Josh Sutton, sets taste buds tingling with this quick and easy to prepare recipe for that munchy moment
We guide you through the pros and cons of the various tent fabrics we use, plus reveal your hot tips that improve the camping experience
Read more on page 4
Read more on page 5
Read more on page 6
e e-cAmp magazine MARCH 2013
ecAmp magazine ecAmp Magazine
INNOVATIVE FAMILY CAMPING
ecAmp Magazine ecAmp magazine LIVING THE DREAM
FAMILY FUN GUARANTEED! Our new e-cAmp magazine aims to help you get the most from your Outwell camping experience. Join us inside…
CONTENT 3 Meet the fans We talk to Outwell fans out on the campsite – this month, the Beasley family from Dudley
3 Open Air
Our very own Outwell camper
elcome to our first monthly online magazine written by Outwell campers for Outwell campers. It is a firm Outwell value that we believe camping is for everyone and that we will inspire families to enjoy outdoor living. And that means being the leading manufacturer of premium, innovative camping equipment isn’t enough. We aim to take the Outwell camping experience beyond the campsite by developing and supporting a community of like-minded family campers who can help each other and share the fun. Over the years our Camp magazine has become increasingly popular with Outwell fans. This has now evolved into e-cAmp, our new online magazine that will inspire and help campers get the most out of our fabulous pastime. Our Outwell team may put e-cAmp together but it is also your chance to star. Just tell us your stories, share tips and recipes, and review campsites to help others plan their trips. Remember, to go into e-cAmp we need anything submitted to include
pictures – everyone loves to see people enjoying themselves and a nice picture is worth a thousand words! We will also include technical features and a mailbag of your comments and answers your questions. The magazines will be archived and will help create a database of knowledge that can be called on, and added to, by campers old and new. We aim for e-cAmp to become a valuable resource that integrates with our website (outwell.com), our vibrant Facebook page (facebook.com/outwell), YouTube TV Channel (youtube.com/outwelltents) and our Twitter feed (@Outwelltents). Besides meeting many of you on the campsite during 2013 I’m also looking forward to hearing about your camping life and adventures. Just drop me a line – email@example.com Cheers
Clive Garrett Editor
John Traynor takes us on an off-beat ramble through an outdoor writer’s camping life
4 Site reviews Clive and Tricia Garrett visit the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Wolverley, Worcestershire
5 Cooking with Outwell A plateful of delight from that Guyrope Gourmet, Josh Sutton
6 Technical feature We explore tent fabrics
7 Hot tips Your tips to improve camping published to help other campers
7 Q&A of the month Your questions answered
8 Image of the month Outwell battles the gales!
8 Competition Your chance to win great prizes.
EDITORIAL INFORMATION Issue: March 2013 Editor Clive Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Lotte Simonsen email@example.com Design Kaja Damgaard Copyright © 2013 Oase Outdoors ApS. All Rights Reserved. Use of information, content and images only by written approval from the editor or publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of Oase Outdoors. Every care is taken to ensure that the content of this magazine is accurate, but we assume no responsibility for any affect from errors or omissions. While every care is taken with unsolicited material submitted for publication we cannot be responsible for loss or damage.
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MEET THE FANS
John Traynor with an outdoor writer’s ramble through camping life. Follow John on Twitter @jtopenair
The Beasleys – enjoying the delights of Wolverley campsite
Our tent – our home We talk to Outwell fans out on the campsite. This month we’ve travelled to the Camping and Caravanning Club’s Wolverley site and meet Adrian and Kim Beasley from Dudley, with their sons Joseph (left), Cameron (centre) and Dylan (right)
he Beasley family use an Outwell Montana 6 with front extension for their camping trips. For mum, Kim, there was no other choice: “It has always been a Montana. We consider it sturdy, roomy and well designed – no other tent could match it when we were looking to buy.” As they run an animal rescue centre and must always remain close to their premises the family use their tent for long weekends two-three times a year and short local breaks.
Their favourite campsite is Warren Farm, Brean Sands in Somerset (warren-farm. co.uk) as it is close to the sea and has ‘out-of-thisworld modern facilities’. Given their barbecue is their most used piece of kit, outdoor cooking is high on Kim’s and Adrian’s agenda. But it is only part of the outdoor experience. Kim says: “Letting the kids run around knowing they are OK and spending time together knowing that all the family are happy is what camping means for
Outwell Montana 6 The award-winning Montana 6 is the original iconic family tent that’s loved by thousands of campers throughout Europe. Campers using this simple-to-pitch tunnel tent enjoy great living space and a bright, airy environment. And, of course, the tent is stuffed full of Outwell innovation, like our Outwell Easy Pegging System and Outwell Wind Stabilizer System that help it stand up to Force 9 gales!
us. We all agree that you cannot beat it.” It’s good to hear from eldest son, Joseph, that the computer only comes out when they are unable to enjoy the outdoors and that Cameron says they enjoy exploring the campsite and making friends. Being outdoors obviously features high and Cameron is also fascinated by the campsite’s ducks while Dylan enjoys the space that he has for using his scooter. Camping – can you think of a better family pastime?
Click the model name to check out the Montana 6, Montana 6P and the fantastic new Montana 5P
hilst watching a wildlife programme about wolves a thought occurred to me. I’ve never seen wolves on a campsite but there have been loads of exciting encounters with birds and animals. Not close encounters, you understand, of the third or any other kind but lucky observations. ‘Lucky’ because they didn’t involve setting up hiding places or waiting up all night. They just needed me to be there. Catapulted back in time, I brushed the cobwebs off the experience box and trawled around inside. It was surprising how many there were tucked away and how one sparked off another. As darkness fell on a Cornish site and we sat quietly relishing the sunset, a perky little face popped up out of a nearby hedge. Dismissing it as a cat, it was thrilling to see a stoat emerge and fly along the length of the hedge before seeking sanctuary again. It was a superb though brief experience. In Suffolk, quietly leaning on a field gate next to the tent, with a cup of tea in hand, I spotted an owl swooping low over the next field. It covered the whole area before heading off to, hopefully, more productive pastures. More dramatically, I once stumbled across a golden eagle in Scotland. As I left the tent, an eagle flew up with one flap of its wings from where it had been feeding. The shock sent me backwards in confusion and there was no chance of a photograph. But the moment was captured forever in my mind and it’s one to be treasured. What a bird it was. And the memories come spilling out as I write. Far more than would have been guessed at off the cuff. Camping is all about experience and the wildlife moments have added a rich and rewarding dimension to the fun. How about your close encounters with the natural world? Let’s hear about them on the Outwell Facebook page so we can all share the fun. March 2013 e-cAmp magazine 3
Welcome to Wolverley This month Clive and Tricia Garrett visit the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Wolverley in Worcestershire. It’s a popular little site that sits on the busy B4189 that connects the A449 to Wolverley village. Yes, there is a little traffic noise but soon blends into the background as you settle back to enjoy the delights of this unusual area. But we are jumping the gun. First, let’s look at the site itself… The site This dog- and children-friendly campsite is set on a hill with the ground sloping down from the reception and shower blocks. However, it is fairly sheltered and there is plenty of reasonably level space for tents on well-drained short-grass pitches towards the bottom of the site. And, being a small site, even if you camp at the farthest limits you are still fairly close to the shower/toilet blocks which are of a high standard and clean. Tricia and I camped here with Outwell fans early 2012 and found the staff, led by Holiday Site Managers Mike and Carol Aspery, a friendly and hard working bunch. Their reception has the usual small shop selling essentials and WiFi is another service on offer. We did not test this but understand it is OK while TV reception is poor. As mentioned, this is a popular site and booking is advisable. Many Outwell fans return year on year for this is the perfect base from which to explore this fascinating and beautiful area.
families to do, including: • The River Stour and Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal are close. Follow the canal into Kidderminster for shops. • The site sits in Worcestershire’s Wyre Forest with plenty to do outdoors. • Visit Kinver Edge’s cave dwellings. • Take a Severn Valley Railway steam train through the beautiful countryside. • West Midland Safari Park and Dudley Zoo and Castle provide animal encounters. • Georgian town of Bewdley and its museum are only a short drive away.
The area The great scenery is enhanced by its industrial heritage. And there is plenty for
Right: Camping with Outwell fans on a lovely flat pitch at the bottom of the campsite
Wolverley Camping and Caravanning Club Site Brown Westhead Park, Wolverley, Nr Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 3PX Web: campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk Tel: 01562 850909 – no calls after 8pm Facilities • 120 pitches • Non-members welcome • Chemical disposal point 4 e-cAmp magazine March 2013
• Go Ape will soon use up the kids’ energy. • Chocoholics will make for Cadbury World. • Then, of course, there’s Birmingham... Eating Out The canalside Lock Inn sits less than a five-minute walk from the campsite. The food and drink must be good because it was heaving so we walked to The Queen’s Head in Wolverley. The food and drink proved so good that it became our pub of choice. There’s a garden and streamside terrace, and woodland and streams abound.
Above: Holiday Site Managers, Carol and Mike Asprey, and their staff provided a great welcome
• Separate disabled facilities • Laundry and washing-up facilities • Ice pack freezing service • Children’s play area • Small shop • Gas sales • WiFi • Dog walk
Eat local Campsite gourmets will be visiting the many monthly farmers’ markets that are held in the area and Hodge Hill Farm (two miles) sells a selection of local produce. Visit hodgehill-ltd.co.uk for details. There is a small shop in the village but serious restocking takes place in Kidderminster.
Tourism Information Web: wyreforestdc.gov.uk Tel: 01299 404740
Did you know? Wolverley village is recorded in the Domesday Book
COOKING WITH OUTWELL Shoppin g list Mushro pancettaoms with parm esan and on toas t
Ingredie nts: ✓ Fresh mushro oms of ✓ A larg your ch e knob o oice (sli f butte as well) ced) r (nothin g else w ✓ A sma orks qu ll sprig ite of fres ✓ Salt a h thyme nd fresh ground ✓ Rye bre black pe ad, or a pper ny othe ✓ Finely r brown sliced p lo af a n cetta (o ✓ Grated r thin c Parmesa u t streak n c ✓ Halved heese y bacon cherry t ) omato t o garnis h
Mushroom delight This is a great little breakfast/ lunch/brunch dish. Recipe and image by the Guyrope Gourmet, Josh Sutton
peed is sometimes of the essence when knocking out a dish but that doesn’t mean that the taste buds have to suffer. This is one of my firm favourites that will take mere minutes to prepare. It really doesn’t matter what kind of mushrooms you use, but there is something extra special about using ones you’ve picked yourself. I’ve done this with giant puffball
(exquisite) King oyster mushrooms (meaty) and hand- picked broad field mushroom (delicious). But check out the farmers’ markets local to your campsite and see what they have to offer. The pancetta and light dusting of parmesan really bring out the earthy flavour of the mushroom. It sits well on rye toast, but any brown bread will work. My picture shows the dish served on a toasted, crusty roll – sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got, but delicious nonetheless! To business. Melt the butter in a frying pan, throw in the sprig of thyme and fry the sliced mushrooms. Grill the pancetta while the mushrooms are cooking – it will only take a couple of minutes to get it crispy, but don’t burn it. Toast your bread at the
Josh (standing right) uses Outwell tents and kitchen equipment when preparing and serving up the hearty meals for his campsite supper evenings and for his camping cookery school. For more information visit his website guyropegourmet.co.uk
same time. Remove the thyme once the mushrooms have taken on some colour and serve them on top of the toasted bread. Cap with a couple of pieces of pancetta and dust with a little grated Parmesan before garnishing with a halved cherry tomato.
COOKBOOK NEWS If you enjoyed this recipe then keep an eye open for the Guyrope Gourmet cookery book that’s being published in association with Outwell this May by Punk Publishing – those nice people who are also responsible for the Cool Camping books. We will be bringing you news of its launch on our website, Facebook and Twitter so that you won’t miss out! March 2013 e-cAmp magazine 5
ne of the common questions that we are asked at Outwell concerns the benefits of different tent fabrics and how they compare. But surely the question should be: How do the pros and cons of a material fit in with our camping style? Let’s consider the three material types we use for our tents. All our materials – including groundsheets – will keep out wind and water. But materials do this in different ways and may require a different set of camping skills to ensure they do this efficiently. Variables like time, money, use, space will also affect choice.
• Breathable and moisture absorbent properties eliminate condensation • Maintains a stable temperature inside • Noise free in windy conditions • Great feel and smell • UV resistance • Long lifespan
• Initial cost • Preparation, maintenance and storage • Understanding weatherproof properties – see below • Low strength • Susceptible to mildew • Weight and pack size
Cotton Despite the cons, quality cotton has long been regarded as the ultimate tent fabric. The initial cost is far outweighed by cotton’s long lifespan that makes it a far better investment when comparing its reduced depreciation and the cost per night to a synthetic tent. However, this is dependent on the camper understanding how to use and maintain a cotton tent. Cotton does not have a hydrostatic head rating as it does not use a coating. It is a natural fibre and its waterproof properties depend on its ability to absorb water and swell to fill the gaps in the weave. While we should describe this as water resistant this process is highly efficient – especially when the gap to be filled is very small as that in our densely woven Outtex 100% Ripstop Cotton. A Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment assists rain bead and roll off the fabric’s outer face. It’s good camping practice to ‘weather’ a cotton tent before first use or after storage. 6 e-cAmp magazine March 2013
You wet out of the tent either by rain or the use of a hose. It is then left to dry naturally before repeating several times. This ‘activates’ the cotton fibres and allows them to swell and contract rapidly. While our fabric does not require weathering it helps to check the tent’s seams and practice pitching before the tent is used for a holiday. Seams are not sealed but a cotton/synthetic thread is used and this swells to fill the needle holes. Drips caused by slightly oversize holes can be cured by a dab of Outwell Seam Guard. Dirt, detergent, oil and grease may damage a fabric and will certainly impact on the way cotton reacts to water. These should be removed immediately, the area cleaned and, if necessary, re-proofed. Try not to touch the sides of any cotton tent when it is raining for body oils may allow water to pass through the fabric. General reproofing is not a regular maintenance task but should only be done if the fabric shows signs of leaking or wear. Cotton is not a strong fibre and fabrics tend to be heavier to compensate. Our Outtex 100% Ripstop Cotton has a reinforced weave to provide extra strength, enabling us to use a lighter weight fabric. Cotton is high maintenance and a tent has to be thoroughly cleaned and dried before storage to avoid mildew. Store in a cool, well ventilated place away from vermin. Campers wanting a high quality camping experience for longer trips will not do better than cotton. Those tiny holes allow water vapour to pass through the fabric to eliminate condensation inside. Combined with the extra weight and insulation you get that highly appreciated ‘air conditioning’ effect throughout the year and the unique much sought after memory-evoking ambience. Long life and high resale values add attraction.
• Good tensile and tear strength • User friendly maintenance • Lighter than cotton • Mildew resistant • Weight and pack size • Cost
• Poor UV and heat resistance compared to cotton but better than other synthetics • Non breathable – condensation • No protection from temperature variations • Noisy in winds • Limited lifespan
Polyester Quality polyester is arguable the best synthetic for tent production as it is a rugged material that requires less immediate care – although tents should still be stored clean and dry. Its light weight and low bulk not only makes it ideal when transport and storage space are at a premium but it also makes pitching easier. Such user friendly properties coupled with a relatively economic price tag makes it a good fabric for family use – especially for regular short jaunts with little time in between for drying. The fabric’s waterproof properties stem from coatings applied to the inside surface and this is tested to provide a hydrostatic head rating (the pressure required to push water through the coating and fabric). While this acts as a guide to a fabric’s performance other factors, like the quality of the base material and the application of the coatings, also affect how waterproof a fabric remains over time. Sealed seams stop water entry. While no water can enter a tent it means no water vapour can escape so condensation is often a problem unless there is sufficient ventilation – and this is often mistaken by campers for a leak. Dirt, grease and oil will not affect waterproof properties although the coatings can be damaged by substances like insect
repellents. But, along with wear, they will impact on the DWR treatment used on the outer face to stop the fabric wetting out. As with cotton, clean off any dirt, grease and oils, rinse and spray on a water repellent as necessary. Reproofing is not a regular maintenance task and any patches ‘wetting out’ can be quickly treated with a DWR spray like the Outwell Water Guard. Synthetics deteriorate under the sun’s UV radiation and this will accelerate if used in certain areas in direct sunlight for extended periods. We have created our own range of Outtex polyester fabrics to enhance positive features and use UV-inhibitors for extra protection.
• Better strength and mildew resistance than cotton • Better resistance to heat and UV light than polyester • Breathable and moisture absorbent properties eliminate condensation • Maintains a stable temperature inside • Noise free in windy conditions • Great feel and smell • Lifespan • Weight
• Initial cost • Preparation, maintenance and storage – as cotton • Understanding weatherproof properties – as cotton
Polycotton Polycotton performs in a similar way to and has similar properties as cotton but the addition of polyester to the weave reduces many of the problems experienced with a pure natural fibre, like lack of strength and susceptibility to mildew. Further, the cotton helps resist heat and UV degradation that affect a synthetic fibre. The high comfort levels still have a weight and bulk penalty, but it falls midway between polyester and cotton. Tents like our new Smart Air Concorde M, Trout Lake 4 and Lanai Reef are suitable for use by the touring couple wanting more luxurious accommodation. As a market leader in manufacturing polycotton tents we have specially commissioned our Outtex Airtech polycotton for premium performance and internal climatic control. It is far more tolerant than pure cotton and is far nicer to use than polyester. Like cotton, the fabric’s long lifespan means a polycotton tent is normally a cost-effective investment with high residual values.
Time to share those tips that you find help improve camping life! Each month we will pull out five from the postbag for publication so drop us a line to editorial@outwell. com and help spread the knowledge... This month’s helpful tips come courtesy of Rachel Bedrock from Nottingham. 1. Take hot water bottles – makes such a difference to how well the children sleep. 2. A pair of slippers/indoor shoes is essential – no muddy boot prints in the tent. 3. Don’t forget your condiments – salt, pepper, herbs, ketchup etc - this will save you a fortune. 4. We always take very warm pyjamas and dressing gown for late night trips to the loo! 5. If you have children bring lots of sets of clothes, they get really filthy enjoying the outdoors.
Q&A OF THE MONTH Dear Outwell I have been a happy owner of Outwell tents for years and have always found Outwell’s attention to detail and continuous improvement ethos to the enhancement of the camping experience very impressive. But, I do have a concern; since the introduction of fully sewn-in ground sheets there has been an increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents involving BBQs. Although the safe and responsible use of a BBQ is not a prime responsibility of a tent manufacturer, I was wondering whether a warning label sewn into the tent bag and highlighting these dangers is something that Outwell could consider? R Webber via email You’ll be pleased to hear that we do monitor potential problems and listen carefully to your concerns. Comfort and safety are important to us so we’ve now included warning labels (pictured right) on all our tent bags to highlight the dangers of using products like barbecues inside a tent. March 2013 e-cAmp magazine 7
IMAGE OF THE MONTH Nevada M shrugs of gales “As far as I’m concerned it’s proved why it’s one of the more popular family tents…” Karen Murphy, via Facebook
Outwell in Force 10 video “Tent manufacturers need to show these types of video so customers can see what the tents are like in wilder conditions…” James Forrester, via Facebook
When the going gets tough… …the tough gets going! This month we want to show you two of our favorite pictures taken from our Facebook page where they attracted a lot of interest. We also posted two videos also showing how Outwell tents stand up to storms. Top left shows Karen Murphy’s Nevada M stand up to gales force winds at Hunmamby
in Yorkshire at the New Year. She reports her old tent shrugged off the wind with nothing to show for its beating! Check out the new Nevada MP here. The picture on the left was just one of several sent in by Evert Fiechter – you’ll find the rest in our Facebook gallery. As you can see, a tree fell on his Hawaii Reef in heavy wind and took a lot of elbow grease and a saw to release! Two hours later Evert had
Competition Calling all mums and dads – why should adults have all the fun? Get your children to draw a great picture and they could win Outwell camping kit!
t’s simple to take part. Children can just draw and colour a picture of a tent, or you can download our Outwell colouring book from our website for them to colour in one of the pages. Then just photograph or scan it and email to competition@ outwell.com with your child’s name and age, plus your name and contact number. Competition details can also be found on our website. The winner will get their own sleeping bag, self-inflating mat, chair, table and
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water bottle from either the Butterfly Girl or Bat Boy range of children’s gear from our new Outwell Kids collection. Rather than using scaled down adult gear, equipment in Outwell Kids has been designed with children firmly in mind to guarantee they enjoy comfort and safety while having the maximum amount of fun! The winner will be notified by email as soon as possible after the close date and we’ll post the winning picture on Facebook for all Outwell fans to see!
heavy rain and not a drop came through. Why? He’s happy to report that his Outwell is so tough that there was no damage at all! You can see the new Sun tents here. We would love to see your pics so please feel free to post them on Facebook or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see them chosen as an e-cAmp Image of the Month. Remember to tell us the story that lies behind your pic…