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How To: Make The Perfect Campfire!

How To: Make The Perfect Campfire!

Making the perfect campfire isn't always as simple as you would expect, so here are our tips on how to make it as good as it gets.

A first point to make sure you're aware of is that you should always have a source of water or a bucket full of water, and a shovel nearby at all times in case of an emergency.

One bag of logs and some sticks should be enough for a couple of evenings. Also please ensure that you have a word with children about fire safety.

To start with, you can break up a couple of firelighters and set them in the base. This might just take a little patience.

You can also try a web of small dry sticks. Place enough to really get the fire started before adding your bigger logs. You can also use charcoal briquettes, as this will extend the life of the fire and give a steady heat without having dancing flames.

Screwing up some paper and pushing it down around the sticks will let you set light to the firelighters without burning your fingers on the flames. Of course, if you don't have firelighters then more paper will be needed - this is best twisted in spirals, and laid down before the sticks are added.

Once the sticks are burning well, you can add a couple of logs. Leaving this too late will see the sticks burn out before the denser logs start to burn. The variety of wood types used plus how dry it is means that you'll have to use your own judgement as to when and how much to add.

The fire should be fully underway at this point, but try to resist the temptation to keep adding bigger logs for a huge blaze. You can keep the fire smaller and sit closer which will firstly allow you to keep just as warm, but also it will allow you to use less of your logs etc., so it is also cheaper!

Once you have the perfect campfire, why not use some of our picnicware to accompany the food?

We hope this blog helps you in your campfire adventures!

Reasons to enjoy the outdoors this Autumn

Reasons to enjoy the outdoors this Autumn

There are so many reasons to enjoy the outdoors this Autumn, from the golden glow of your surroundings to the starry nights and frosty mornings. Here’s just some of our favourite reasons:

Spectacular sunsets

The days get shorter a lot more quickly during the Autumn and the sun starts to hover a lot more lower in the sky. It’s during this season that evenings become a lot more crisp which helps to create some spectacular sunsets. A roadtrip in a campervan is made all the more exciting when travelling to the sight of a glowing sunset.

Bustling wildlife...

Autumn is a hive of wildlife activity, from squirrels running freely to birds migrating in impressive numbers. If you’re a keen lover of wildlife activity then you really can’t beat camping during the Autumn. If you really want to get in amongst the wildlife then it might be worth preparing your wellie boots, your binoculars and setting a route that’s off the beaten track.

But fewer insect bites!

Eurgh, we all hate that moment when we know we’ve been bitten by an insect. Fortunately, as the weather gets colder, you can expect to see less of the annoying flying insects.

Smaller crowds

Obviously, as a result of the COVID pandemic, we’re living in times where it’s best to avoid crowds of people you haven’t met before. So camping during the Autumn is an ideal time to avoid those bustling summer crowds and instead enjoy the tranquillity of a quieter campsite. It’s during the Autumn months that you’ll be more likely to hear the birds chirping, the leaves rustling or maybe just beautiful sound of silence.

 

Enjoy the midday warmth in beautiful surroundings

During Autumn, you can still enjoy those warmer days but without the unbearably hot and uncomfortable nights that you sometimes get during Summer. While the Autumn nights can become chilly, it does give you the perfect excuse to get the campfire going and to search the cupboards for those marshmallows you’ve been saving.

Opportunity to use pretty lighting on your set up

The darker evenings means more opportunity to get settled in for the evening with a lovely lighting set up. For many, this is also an opportunity to get out the Christmas fairy lights and check that they’re all still working before they go on the Christmas tree later in the year… exciting times!

 

 

 

 

Your guide to camping throughout the year

Your guide to camping throughout the year

For many, the end of Summer doesn’t mean the end of the camping season. As long as you prepare yourself with the right equipment then you can enjoy camping all year round. You’ll also be one of the lucky campers that get to experience waking up to a frost-covered field, or enjoying a mug of hot chocolate from the comfort of your own canvas - which brings us to our first obvious topic to cover:

Weather Conditions – Preparation really is key to overcoming any of the challenges posed by the trickier weather conditions. A tent and awning that is pitched properly should be able to stand up to most weather conditions, although this does not mean that they will withstand a storm, so make sure you keep an eye on weather forecasts when necessary.

What gear to take – Big woolly clothing and hot water bottles will definitely help to keep you safe from the chilly weather. A tent carpet will also help to protect you from the harsh cold ground. Taking waterproof clothing and footwear will save you from the trouble of having to sit in cold, wet clothing throughout the day.

Take plenty of lighting with you – Taking a strong torch and lantern with you will help to keep everything visible during the longer nights of winter. Some campsites will also provide you with an electrical power supply, so it’s worth considering your options before your travels. Don’t forget to take plenty of spare batteries with you just in case.

Pitch smartly – Make sure to pitch in the shelter of a building if possible, as this will help to protect you from the chilly winds. A well-placed windbreak will also help you to combat the wind and leave less of it crashing against the canvas of your tent bedroom. You should avoid pitching next to any open water as this may lead to condensation problems and avoid pitching at the bottom of any slopes to avoid the possibility of small flooding.

Factor in the nearby entertainment – The nights get darker a lot earlier during those Winter months, so it’s worth investigating whether your campsite has any nearby entertainment that you can rely upon during the long evenings. A nearby restaurant or pub can really help to warm you up for example, and gives you a perfect excuse to let someone else cook for you for a change. The nearer by these points of interest are, the better.

Take the right bedding with you - Make sure you purchase and pack your four-season sleeping bags and take any duvets and blankets from home. A sleeping bag with liner will help to improve the bag’s warmth significantly. Sleeping on a thick self-inflating mat will also help, as the air inside of an airbed is more likely to get cold more quickly. Also, don’t be tempted to have a hot drink before going to sleep, as you might have to wake up during the cold dead of night to go to the loo!

Build yourself a campfire – You can’t beat the feeling of sitting around a campfire with friends and family during a dark night, but of course this is only possible if it’s allowed within the rules of your campsite, so make sure you check first! The best way to build a strong campfire is to build it up gradually, adding larger logs in stages - but be careful not to build it too high, and be careful of wind direction as you may get smoke in your tent which will cause damage.
Best Advice for Cooking on the Campsite

Best Advice for Cooking on the Campsite

For some people, the best part of going camping is to cook a good meal while immersed in nature. In fact, when you’re on your camping holidays, you’ve got more time than ever to cook up that perfect meal.
 
So here’s some of our tips for cooking the perfect meal while you're out camping:
 
Shop locally – This is even more important when camping during a pandemic, but despite this, you will always find the freshest locally-grown ingredients at your nearby store. Equally, if you’re camping near the seaside, you’ll no doubt have access to some incredibly tasty local seafood. Not only can you enjoy the taste of the local produce, you can feel good about supporting the local economy surrounding your campsite by spending your money on the hard-working independent retailers, rather than your usual major supermarkets.
 
Double hob cookers – A double hob cooker is extremely useful, because you can be more creative and cook two separate ingredients at the same time (duh, obviously)! But it’s also useful when you’re trying to cook your morning breakfast and boil the kettle in time for a cup of tea that will set you up for the rest of the day. A butane gas, propane gas or electric cooking stove will get the job done nice and quickly for you, allowing you to spend more time on an extra-long walk in the sun.
 
Alternatively, buy one-pot recipe books – Sadly, we're not all blessed with tank-sized 4x4 vehicles, so you might not have the space to take and store all of your favourite kitchen pots, pans and cooking products. To get around this, you might want to invest in a ‘one-pot’ recipe book, where you’ll be able to cook professionally-crafted recipes designed for cooking in just one pot. A guaranteed great taste, with minimal washing up… that sounds perfect to us!
 
Cook and freeze – You can save yourself a headache by cooking and freezing some easy meals for the first night of your camping trip. Your food will defrost while your travelling to your campsite destination and will be ready for heating as soon as you unpack the camping stove. Then all you have to do is give it a good heating - easy peasy!
 
Don’t cook inside of your tent – As convenient as it may seem, you should avoid cooking inside of a tent. Cooking inside of a tent can excessively heat up your tent which can cause condensation problems, leaving puddles at the bottom of your tent. Of course, stoves also come with a fire risk and potential carbon monoxide risks, so be careful. You might want to purchase a windbreak to help to create a well-protected kitchen space that will allow you to cook outside.
 
High-quality storage boxes - We hate to say it, but you will only have a limited amount of space available for taking food with you, so finding the right size of storage boxes will be very important for keeping your food and drink as cool as possible. Make sure your storage box is durable as well, as it’ll have to survive the journeys to and from the campsite, and may even be subject to some interested wildlife when you’re out and about.
 
Invest in a strong table – If there are likely to be a few of you gathering around for food, then it’s best to invest in a strong table that will provide enough space for you all to eat from. Folding tables will help you to conserve space in your car boot, but you can help yourself by making sure you don’t overload your table with heavy items that you don’t really need. Keep your table nice and sturdy by pitching on level ground.
 
Take your best melamine with you – To keep you safe from any potential accidents, we would encourage you to take melamine with you, rather than porcelain crockery. Melamine is designed to take bumps without breaking and also comes with some pretty stylish designs that you won’t find on typical porcelain crockery. They're also really easy to clean!
 
Make washing up a lot easier for yourself – As always, you should make sure to keep your pitch clean and tidy by washing up everything you used during the cooking process. Dirty pots and pans will only attract the unwanted wildlife and leave your pitch space smelling. Make sure to use cleaning chemical when possible and try to keep a plastic bag bin handy with you at all times.