Going camping? Here are ten fine gadgets you should consider taking with you.
Vango AirBeam Flux 200
£225 | vango.co.uk
Tent poles are cumbersome, heavy and prone to thwacking you in the head just as you think you’ve secured them: not what you need after a 20-mile hike. But this two-man AirBeam tent needs only pegs, guylines, an air pump and three minutes of effort to ensure you get a cosy night’s sleep, thanks to a frame held rigid by air pressure.
Thermarest Haven 20F Top Bag
£175 | cascadedesigns.com
When you’re out in the bush, weight is a big consideration. This 624g bottomless (it’s not insulated on the floor side) Haven bag should shave a few ounces off your gear. It straps to any mattress, is zipper-free and is rated to keep you toasty-warm right down to -6°C. Couple it with a self-inflating mat and you’ll sleep in kingly comfort, even when there’s a force nine gale blowing outside.
US$130 | biolitestove.com
Unless you’re a beardy mountain hermit, we’ll bet you’ve got some tech with a USB port about your person. But what to do when it runs out of juice in the wilderness? As well as cooking your food, this clever stove converts heat to electricity, charging your tech via its USB output. And handily, it’s powered by the wood you’ll find all around you.
from £5.50 | heatermeals.co.uk
Of course, there will be times when you want to dispense with the culinary gymnastics and cosy up in your tent. If you’re feeling lazy, then these tasty treats cook themselves in just ten minutes and stay warm for 40 more. Not convinced? The US army got through28 million of these self-heating meals in 1998 alone. That’s good enough for us.
from £free | memory-map.co.uk
Full-colour OS and topo maps on your iThing, with Android versions on the way? Yes please. Thanks to this app, you’ll never get lost – or have to contend with a huge, water-stained sheet of paper – again. Plan routes on-screen, record speed, distance and route info and even store maps offline for when you lose signal. Just make sure your battery lasts…
More after the break...
Berghaus Torridon 65
£80 | berghaus.com
This 65-litre pack should be capacious enough for all your camping tech. It’s adjustable in all the right places thanks to the ‘A-trek’ system, which allows you customise it to your height. It has a separate base compartment for your muddy socks, works with hydration systems and weighs just 1.8kg when dry. Carry on camping!
Hi Gear 5 LED remote control tent light
£14 | higear.uk.com
Everyone needs to be able to see while getting into bed. But when it’s really cold out, fumbling with torches or even lifting an arm out of your bag to turn off a lamp can be a chilling experience. This five-LED light has a handy remote, so only your thumb will get cold.
£2.50 each | growerscup.com
Don’t take up valuable backpack space with a bulky cafetière – pack a few of these nifty 24g pouches instead. Simply pour half a litre of boiling water on to the slow-roasted beans in the bag, and adjust your brewing time to taste. For maximum slurping satisfaction, drink while staring wistfully at some rolling hills.
Goal Zero Nomad 7
£80 | outdoorkit.co.uk
Andy Houseman, pro alpinist and climber says "If you're going on a long expedition, then gadgets and a charging system are a must. A small solar panel such as the Goal Zero Nomad 7 will keep your camera battery topped up, and maintain a steady supply of music."
£22 | sealskinz.com
Andy also recommends wearing SealSkinz socks to keep your feet dry if there's a chance heavy rain might ambush you. "Camped on a hillside?", he says. "Dig a small, horseshoe-shaped trench around the higher end of your tent. This funnels rainwater around you, rather than directly into your sleeping bag."