Gear yourself up for a summer of camping

By Naomi Mackay,

If you want to get away from it all, take yourself off in a tent (or a camper or caravan if you prefer).

Whether you’re off with the kids, heading to a music festival or just looking for the cheapest holiday option, there are a few new gadgets designed to make your camping adventure that wee bit more civilized.

TomTom Camper

First off, to get you to your chosen destination, TomTom has launched the GO LIVE Camper and Caravan sat nav. This nifty introduction offers routes tailored for your vehicle and includes pre-installed points of interest so that you can stop off and find suitable sites and services easily. The software also adjusts routes and arrival times depending on our vehicle’s weight, size and maximum speed. It also includes maps of 45 countries in Europe and a year’s free Live services.

Price: £349.99.

From: www.tomtom.com

If you’re taking your precious iPad away with you, you won’t want it to get wet will you? And while the sun has managed to break out in the past few days, the sad truth is that you are likely to encounter some water at some stage if you’re camping in the UK, so it’s best to be prepared. The waterproof iPad case has been developed by marine electronics specialist Scanstrut (it was launched at the London Boat show this year, so is really made to keep the water away from our precious device). The iPad case is IP66/IP67 waterproof and shockproof, with models available to fit both the iPad 1 and iPad 2 in a range of bright colours. Full touch screen usability is available at all times, as are volume, on/off and home buttons, and both front and rear camera functionality is provided for the iPad 2.

Price £99

From: www.lifedge.co.uk

Nergy Grand

Once you get on site, if you like your home comforts, how about a tent with built-in power?

Camping specialist Eureka! has launched its N!ergy collection of tents, which have their own in-built power. The N!ergy Grand is top of the range but all the tents come with three easy-to-find outlets that glow blue when powered ON – they can even double as night lights.

The living area has seven ‘Clearvu’ windows, and a recreational zone offers enough space for a camping table with chairs and a kitchen area. The tent sleeps four in two rooms, and can be extended to sleep six people in three rooms. It packs into one bag, weighs 28kg, and the makers claim it can be erected in 10 to 15 minutes.

Price: £1,099

From: www.eurekaeurope.com

Craghoppers

If little pests spoil your camping trip – and I’m not talking about other people’s children, but midges and mossies – Craghoppers may have the answer. The outdoor clothing specialists have come up with what they say is the world’s only permanent insect repellant clothing, which it claims give 90% protection against bites from ticks, midges, mosquitoes and so on. The Craghoppers NosiLife leisure suit is designed for men and women and can be used for lounging or as pyjamas. The top is £25 and the bottoms £35, which might seem pricey for a pair PJs, but if you react badly to insect bites we reckon it’s a price worth paying.

Price: From £25

From: www.craghoppers.com

Helinox

Fed up with carting our camping chair about at festivals, outdoor concerts and picnics? Here’s a chair that folds up to the size of a shoe and weighs just 2lbs (about the same as a bag of sugar).

Dac, the makers of the Helinox Chair, claim it can hold up to 160 times its weight and is the world’s most compact folding chair. It should be a good choice for walkers and cyclists, as it can fit in a rucksack.

Dac are one the leading manufacturers of tent poles.

Price: £69

From: www.helinox.eu

Vaude Gravit LG

If you’re brave enough to face the elements, you might want a little extra protection from Vaude, who have the extremely tough yet lightweight Gravit jacket. The wrinkle-proof jacket has a dense fabric construction, which makes it 80% wind proof, breathable and water resistant. It also comes in a range of nice, bright colours and is in Vaude’s Green Shape clothing range so it’s enviromentally friendly to boot.

Out now for £125 from Vaude

If you’re off to a festival, you might want to pack one of Rohan’s Canopy Capes – this cape doubles up as a pitch-able canopy. It is mud, rain and wind resistant (useful for an English summer) and also doubles up as a shelter! It’s useful for walkers as well as festival goers if they get caught out when camping or walking in the wet weather.

In a classic dark green colour, the cape includes adjustable drawstrings, poppers which can be fastened as much or as little as required, and a hood complete with visor for rain or sun protection.

Price: £80

From: Outdoor retailers