Thrifty Thursday: Cheap and cheerful camping gear

I love Thrifty Thursdays! To be honest, I’m possibly not the world’s most discerning shopper when it comes to finding crafty ways to save money on gear you really want to take with you wherever you go, but every week I like to think I’m getting a little better at it!! So here’s this weeks round-up of some fun stuff I’d happily take camping with me and best of all? There’s still money left over for a cheeky pub lunch!

Melamine is a favourite camping staple of mine. It doesn’t chip or break and is super light to carry. I don’t think I’ve ever been camping and not wished I had a few more trays on hand to carry BBQ’d goodies to and from the campfire. I’m loving these twin whale trays by New Yorker Thomas Paul. He started out in fashion and worked with the likes of Diane von Furstenburg and Calvin Klein before the lure of lifestyle captured his imagination. He now creates collections of everything from tableware – his melamine designs are brilliant – and bed linens, to lamps and stationary. You can order these trays online from Rocket St George. It’s £36 for the set.

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Camping requires much tea and coffee to kick start the mornings, which tend to be early if you’re camping with kiddies, who tend to wake with the sun. Pack an OYOY tea cozy and you’ll be able to get away with boiling a kettle once. £16 from Bruno + Beanteacozy

Never underestimate just how useful clothes pegs can be! From hanging sopping tea towels to skinny tree branches, securing fairy lights to your tent or fashioning an impromptu sun shelter. Seriously. Pack them, and you’ll use them. I’m mad about these Batman Pegs from funky French boutique Serendipity. They’re only €3.50 and you can order them from here. Shine a torch behind them and you could easily get some good shadow-play going too.batmanpegsOne night on my last camping trip, a friend of mine brought out these great Wood Flares to add extra light and warmth around the campfire. They were brilliant! And strangely mesmerising. It’s taken a little while to track them down but I finally managed to find them at Cox & Cox. They’re £16.50 and you can order yours here. I’d advise lighting them once the kiddies are safely tucked up in their sleeping bags!!
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Thrifty Thursday camping gear: the Omnia Oven

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Have you ever been camping on a chilly night and found yourself hankering for an indulgent potato and celeriac dauphinoise to go alongside that delicious BBQ’s steak? Have you had the kids nag you for their favourite baked chicken and rice after a busy day making stick shelters? If you’ve snaffled yourself an Omnia Oven, well, there’s you and your kids left satisfied right there. These little beauties have recently been reintroduced to the UK and are only £39.95. They have a 2 litre capacity and are a great option for cooking on a campsite that doesn’t allow campfires (Boo! Hiss!). If you can bake it, you can make it in one of these.

omnia-2The Omnia Oven has a steel base, an aluminium main section and an enamelled aluminium lid and cooks by convection with heat coming in through the base and also via the top. Order one from Pirates Cave Chandlery or visit Omnia Sweden for more international stockists.

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Thrifty Thursday: The Scrubba washing bag

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A couple of years ago, Aussie patent lawyer Ash Newland was plotting a trip to Africa to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Packing light brought up the issue of how to clean their clothes while on the move. This led to thoughts about the washboards women used in ye olde days, which then led to the idea of incorporating a washboard-like surface encased in a waterproof sealable bag. Newland tested a rough prototype on his trip and a couple of years later, The Scrubba was let loose on the world.

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Designed to be usable and durable, The Scrubba was originally created for backpackers, but you can see why campers have embraced this little gem of a product too. You can have clean clothes in under five minutes using very little water and it packs up so small you’ll barely notice it in your camping kit! You could also use it to quickly wash smalls or shirts on a business trip. Handy.

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And the best thing? Order one before June 26 or like them on Facebook and the team at Scrubba will donate $AUD1 for each new like. Their charity of choice? A project which will provide the infrastructure required to plumb a water system for a school in Bangladesh.

So hurry! Order yours from here for $AUD64.95 or from Firebox for £39.99.

Thrifty Thursday: Feetz Pocket Wellies

 

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I know it’s seriously sunny at the moment, but I couldn’t wait to share these fabulous insta-wellies with you! Feetz launched at the end of last year, and they’re bound to be a mega hit. Basically you stick them in your pocket and when it rains, or you’re dealing with mud, you just slide these over whatever shoes you’re wearing and you’re away! How cool is that?!

feetz-4feetz-3Great for a weekend camping trip or a festival, they’ve been tested in water, mud and even snow. When the weather clears, just give them a wash and stick them back in your pocket. Hopefully they’ll bring out a kids’ range too. They’re only £9.99 and you can order them in black, yellow, blue or white from here.

Thrifty Thursday Camping Gear: Brilliant SipSnap drinking lids

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I have three kids. Boys. All of them. And all of whom, particularly one (luckily) cute one, managed to develop a startling and unfathomable talent for knocking over any beverage that happened to find itself within a one mile radius. Over the years I have developed a passionate, bordering on irrational dislike of those cumbersome plastic sippy cups and if I totalled the hours I have wasted searching for matching lids and cups (all non-twin sets were strictly NOT ACCEPTABLE) and, well, you get the picture. I guess what I’m really trying to say here is there is absolutely no decent, reasonable or remotely acceptable excuse as to why I didn’t come up with these bloody gloriously simple, effective SipSnap lids myself.

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Created by two American mums who clearly managed to maintain cognitive function while growing and tending to little humans, Sativa Turner and Michelle Ivankovic have formed a design company called Double Double and this is their first foray into product design. And what a start. I’m already keen to see what they come up with next.

SipSnap are universal drinking lids that will fit over any cup you already own. They come in a Tot version (with the bite-proof spout) and a Kid version that fits straws of all sizes. They’re BPA, phthalate and latex-free, can handle dishwashers and boiling water, are easily portable and come with a case so you can keep some in your bag. And how perfect for keeping drinks safe on wobbly camping tables.

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I know you don’t need any more convincing, so order yours here. They’re $US21 for a set of three lids and a carrying case. Get on it.

Thrifty Thursday: Get ready anywhere with a Magic Mirror

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If you’re a camping fan, or a festival fan, or indeed a camping festival fan, the £38 pounds you’ll splash out for a Magic Mirror will be about the best you’ll spend on camping kit. Magic Mirror is a super lightweight mirror that folds flat and opens out to form a full length mirror – or a vanity-style mirror set up, or a pyramid mirror so you and your husband/girlfriend/kids can use it at the same time to get that perfect Festival Face.

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It’s made from acrylic mirror and comes in a durable canvas backing. Order soon from here and it’s free postage and handling. Now that’s thrifty.

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Thrifty Thursday camping gear: Tell the Best Ever Tent-Time Stories with Projecteo!

 

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No one seems to dedicate enough time holding a torch below their face and telling stupid stories around the campfire in order to freak kids out before sending them to sleep in a tent. What’s wrong with us these days, eh?! Maybe it’s because we’ve been hanging out for something better? Well here it is campers. Projecteo, the world’s first Kickstarter-fuelled, teeny tiny instagram projector.

 

 

 All you do is sign in with Instagram, choose nine images which are then developed onto a single frame of 35mm film which is inserted into a wheel. Then it arrives in the post and away you go! They work using little watch batteries and are so small you could easily squeeze one in alongside your now redundant spooky-story-telling-prop torch.

So here’s the plan. Come up with a story. Take some illustrative insta-pics for it. Send them through to Projecteo and you’re away. Once the kiddies are tucked into their sleeping bags, get the story started and someone in or outside the tent can flick the slideshow on and flip the pics as the story goes on. Cool, right? The kids will love it!

Or you could just show great pics from old camping trips, but you know, that’s not nearly as exciting ….

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Get started here. They’re only $US34.98/£21 with worldwide shipping. projecteo-11projecteo-9

 

 

All images courtesy of Projecteo, with thanks.

 

 

Thrifty Thursday Camping Gear: Brilliant Mason Jar Drinking Lids by Cuppow

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Old Guy downs beer in one gulp.

Old Dude: “Why do you drink your beer all in one gulp?”

Old Guy: “I have ever since the accident.”

Old Dude: “What accident?”

Old Guy: “Someone knocked over my beer…”

Sound familiar?! Yeah, you know it does. Serious accidents like that are just waiting to happen around a campfire. Drinks are put under chairs on uneven ground. Campers milling about. Shit happens. Bad shit.

Luckily for you, me and anyone else out there who likes a civilised campfire tipple, the clever blokes over at Cuppow have come up with a solution. All you need is a Mason Jar. Now, I don’t know about you other campers, but we love getting our hobo on and drinking out of  jam jars and Mason Jars. They’re much cooler than enamel mugs or  plastic cups. There’s just something about it. I know you know of what I speak.

 

cuppow_4cuppow_1Created by American designers Joshua Resnikoff and Aaron Panone, Cuppow is simply a little disk with a sippy slit in it that you can stick inside the top of your Mason Jar and voila! No more spills. It’s just like the coffee lid on your urban morning flat white. Well, I say that, but it’s BPA-free, 100% recycled and recyclable, and dishwasher safe.  Oh, and it comes in great colours and two sizes: regular and wide mouth.

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And the best thing? They’re only $US8.99 and Cuppow ship internationally. Order yours from here. Have a look at their latest ranges too.

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P.S. Check out this great Mason Jar cocktail shaker and really get styling around that campfire!

 

 

 

Thrifty Thursday: On Campsites This Year it’ll be all about the felt garland!

It’s the little things that count and when it comes to making a campsite your own, this holds true. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of bunting, but this year I’m adding some felt garlands to my decorating kit. (Yes, I have one. You don’t?!)  Wrapped around a tree trunk, hooked from tent to shrub or hanging around a shelter, it’ll be the most gorgeous way to mark your territory! This handmade, 6-foot garland is only £13.59 from The Fickle Felt Tree.

Thrifty Thursday: World Cup Camping in Rio

Now I don’t mean to shock anyone, and do make sure you’re holding onto something when you read this, but on a recent poll of male friends, when asked to choose which of the year’s international sporting events they would choose to attend, they all chose the 2014 World Cup in Rio. (Also on offer was the Rowing World Cup in France; the European Athletics Championships in Germany or the Netherlands Grand Prix…) Shocking I know, right? I was stunned. And they call us wives high maintenance.

Fine then. Well, for those of you who are blessed with husbands desperately counting their airline points and making the three year old wash the neighbours’ cars, the good news is, they can stop. We’ve found the solution and they’ll still have some Reals left over for a few pints of Skol too.

It’s called camping my friends.

3290440_orig A couple of British Brazil-based property developers have well, developed, a World Cup campsite in rather glorious farmland in Recreio. That’s in the Western Zone of Rio. Set above the Recreio dos Bandeirantes surf beach, to the locals, it’s one of the safest districts in Rio. To camp here it’s only £35 a night, and that includes tent hire. Not bad, not bad at all. Even I’d consider ditching the Queen’s Club Tennis tourny this year at that price. Without the football though…

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Between games there’s the walking trails of Barra Woods, Casa do Pontal art museum or a guided expedition to spot broad-snouted caimans and red-footed tortoises. And the campsite sits right next to the Pedra Branca State Park, the largest urban forest in the world, so there’s that too. Or just kick back by the pool and enjoy the food stands, bar and big screens.

Gates open June 8. Click here for booking and more info.