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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Great camping finds on Kickstarter

Have you ever spent any time checking out Kickstarter? I like to for a bit of inspiration and to help get my creative juices flowing. It’s incredible to see the things people are coming up with and some of the things you can find and fund are seriously brilliant. This morning I found some great stuff for campers on there too. Some of you might even like to fund something yourself!

Here are my favourites:

KANGAROO LIGHT

712 backers so far. £39,911 raised. 4 days to go.

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The funky creatives behind Studio Banana have come up with this brilliant flexible light that you can take anywhere. It’s made with a white, high-quality silicone exterior, meaning it’s splash proof and is simple to keep clean. You can fold it, bend it and roll it and think how brilliant it would be to light up your tent at night. It has 24 built-in LED lights that emit a soft glow on one side. It’s outfitted with a lithium-ion battery that gives you 2.5 hours of non-stop light and then it easily recharges via a USB port. Fund it here.

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CAMPFIRE IN A CAN

231 backers. $US29,751 raised. 37 days to go.

Campfire In A Can is a great little portable campfire and stove. It burns wood, charcoal  and fire logs in a vertical burn chamber. It’s designed to house all the parts inside the canister which also makes storage easy. The fire is simply extinguished by putting the canister over the base. And you can cook on it too and they’ve  included the tools you need to make it easy whether you’re cooking over charcoal or wood coals. Fund it here.

TYNY TOOLS

830 backers. $US25,719 raised. 8 days to go.

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Key clips, swivel clips and lock bands make up the first TYNY Tools Collection. Created by a Californian-based cyclist to enable him to carry stuff while cycling but these little goodies would be hugely helpful on a camping trip. Fund it here.

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SPICEOLOGIST

325 backers. $US21,637 raised. $1,637 over their goal.

This is what happens when a chef and a food blogger at Farmgirl Gourmet, put their heads together. This collection of spice blends just sounds magic, and I’m seriously hoping it won’t be too long before I can get my hands on some. All their spice blends are 100% natural (no msg, no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, no funky stuff).  They’re also gluten free, dairy free, soy free and blended with the freshest spices known to man and there are 10 super delicious flavours to choose from like smokey honey habanero, purple haze and cowboy crust. Yummo. Keep up with Spiceologist here.

 

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.

Camping gear you never knew you wanted (but seriously do) by Fredericks & Mae

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Fredericks & Mae is the art/design team of Brooklyn-based designers Jolie Mae Signorile and Gabriel Fredericks Cohen. The two met began their collaboration amongst piles of feathers, thread, gold and paper in 2007 and it’s been going strong ever since. Together they create beautiful, useful, playful objects for the home, garden and sky. I’m a recent convert to their bright and quirky solutions and their ever so cheeky nod to the traditional in the creation of their goodies. They have designed many things I would happily take on a camping trip. It’s about thinking outside the box when putting your camping kit together and remembering that not everything has to be khaki and of dodgy appearance to be useful …

For example, who wouldn’t enjoy sweeping out the tent if you could use one of these gorgeous thread-wrapped horse hair brooms (pictured above)? They’re just the kind of thing you’d buy the glamper who has everything. And these maple and horse hair hoop brushes would do the job just as nicely too don’t you think…?

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My other favourites are these cute windsocks which could come in handy when deciding where to put the campfire, or where to sit once it’s lit so you can avoid most of the smoke!

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And who wouldn’t like a post campfire cocktail game of bocce when the kit is as cute as this:

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Use your imagination a little and bring a dash of colourful cleverness to every little camping moment. Trust me. You’ll enjoy the whole thing even more if you do.

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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Camping Gear you never knew you wanted: The Salt Plate

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You’ve got your trusty BBQ tongs, your Camp Bistro stove and your perfectly-sized enamel mug, but don’t you sometimes, just sometimes, want to pack something to wow yourself with when you go camping? Oh yeah you would. And here it is. A gloriously blushing Himalayan Salt Plate. Hand-mined from ancient sea salt deposits from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, Himalayan salt is mineral rich and believed to be one of the most pure salts in the world.

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Choose a plate that is 1.5″ to 2″ thick and these can be used not only for serving food (while seasoning it) but also for cooking food (while seasoning it)!  Salt plates can hold specific temperatures for extended periods of time, so chill them and serve ice creams, or heat them up – slowly – to cook delicately seasoned fish, meat and vegetables.

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These salt plates will go directly on a gas grill, over a charcoal BBQ and on a stovetop. For loads of information on how to use and care for a salt plate check out Salt News. And order one – you know you want to – from aFire Inc or Food52. Prices start at $US39.99.

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Images via Food52 & aFire Inc with thanks.

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.

 

 

Camping Gear: The Coolest Camping Accessory by Blofield

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And so, in just over a week, I’m off to the fantastically wonderful, serious family-fun-fest that is Elderflower Fields. This week however, I’m stuck at home nursing a nasty cold and indulging in a little fantasy camping packing. What? It’s not that strange. Really.

Anyway, today these DoNuts by Blofield (of cool inflatable sofa fame) are seriously helping me get my funky camper on. It’s Studio 54 meets Bear Grylls.

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I mean this is how to rock a festival. An inflatable table and seating combo that fits six people. They’re easy to move around, are sturdy and come in enough colours, patterns and waterproof fabrics to suit even the highest maintenance campers: DoNuts Original (black), DoNuts Solids (17 colours), DoNuts Leather-Look (18 colours), and DoNuts Animali (black, bronze, white).

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All DoNuts are UV-proof and you can use them both indoors and outdoors. An electric Big Pump is included to inflate and deflate the tube within minutes.

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Who knew camping could get so down and groovy?

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