Thrifty Nifty Camping Gear


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho’s a pretty camper? Got some great little goodies from a recent raid on my local 99p and Poundland that would be ideal for keeping you looking like a professional camper, unfazed by anything the outdoors hurls your way. And none of these cost more than £3 ….

This teeny, weeny little manicure set is a great thing to take along. Everyone breaks a nail, or in my kid’s case, gets dirt under his nails that is impossible to shift. It may seem OTT, but the number of times I’ve been asked for nail clippers almost equals the number of times I’ve been asked to pass a beer.

We camp with those chamois-feeling little travelling towels, mainly because they pack down small and dry quickly. But let’s face it, they’re not the most brilliant of things. And as for drying off hair, they’re practically useless. But this little hair towel is brilliant. Soft, absorbent and small, it’s a great thing to throw into your toiletries bag. You wrap it around like you would when you use a normal towel, but it has a little button to secure it in place. (My little model charged me a whole packet of skittles to model this very girlie pink towel …..)



And lastly, this cute little camping mirror (which does come in other colours) which can stand up or hang in your tent or on a tree …


Venture forth and be fabulous campers!

Thrifty Thursday

I’ve been living in the UK for eight years now, and throughout that time I have never understood the joy of pound shops or 99p stores. Or even been in one. Until now that is. Honestly, I suspect I distrusted things that were so cheap and I figured these stores were just full of crap, er, useless items. But these shops, (call it the GFC, recession, depression or whatever), are booming. BOOM. ING.

Poundland has 400 stores in the UK and, according to Michelle Ogundehin, editor-and-chief of Elle Decoration (yes, she too shops in pound shops), has “announced a 24% rise in profits in 2012 and boast of 4 million customers walking through its doors every week.” Well, last week I pushed them over the 4 million-mark, and set foot inside a 99p store in search of goodies for this, my new Thrifty Thursday series. And boy-oh-boy, did I come up trumps. These stores are a mine of cheap-and-cheerful choices. Anything and everything! All under one roof! All under a quid! “What have I been bloody thinking???!“, I thought.

The first thing I snaffled up were these brilliant Light-Up Tent Pegs. While I will continue using sturdy steel tent pegs to actually hold my tent down, these ingenious little things can be slid into the ground next to them and used to light up the guy ropes. Why? Well, how many people (kids especially) do you know who have never tripped on a guy rope …? Yeah, I thought so. Stick them in the ground, turn the light anti-clockwise, and angle it so it lights up the ropes. No more tripping. Cool, right? They come in packs of 4 and with batteries included.


I also snapped up three little lanterns for my kids. You just slide them up to turn them on. Great little bedtime reading lights, easy for them to use and nice for keeping the tent lit at bedtime.


Not bad, not bad at all. Never thought I’d say pound shops are one of the delights of living in London, but I’m saying it now.

Come back next Thursday for more nifty, thrifty finds!