Gear yourself up for a summer of camping

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

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

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

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

Tweetfields – Home of the ‘hottest’ festival news and yet more proof of the middle class colonisation of music festivals

Combine the words Tweetminster and Creamfields and what do you get? A rather boring and predictable anagram of the two enterprises – ‘Tweetfields’. This is, nonetheless, the name Tweetminster and Vodafone VIP have come up with in their creation of the first ever Twitter aggregator for music festivals, www.tweetfields.com.

Tweetfields

With more than 450 in the UK alone, music festivals have come a long way since the first ever Glastonbury took place in 1970 when you got a pint of milk with your ticket. Given the rising prominence and popularity of music festivals, it was only a matter of time before a site dedicated to ‘delivering the definitive information feed to music fans across the festival season and beyond’ occupied the wires and satellite links of the World Wide Web.

Tweetfields essentially works by identifying some of the most influential figures in the festival ‘Twittersphere’ and pooling and monitoring the content shared by these resources on one site. This information, analysis, news and developing trends are live and updated in real time – a bit like a live weather forecast site but infinitely less important.

So where does Vodafone fit in? Well the communication giants such as Orange and Vodafone have been increasingly involved music sponsorship events, such as Orange Glastonbury, Vodafone VIP and O2 Academy. Evolving this trend Tweetminster is working with Vodafone to power Tweetfields, consolidating Vodafone VIP’s position as a festival innovator and building on the company’s sponsorship of 11 festivals in the UK throughout the year.

So what will Tweetfields bring to the thousands of festival fans out there? Well as well as being informed about new trends and performances, visitors to Tweetfields will be offered the hottest tickets and ‘money can’t buy experience’ service through 48-hour advance access to festival tickets and on-site benefits, including a Vodafone recharge truck and Vodaafone VIP viewing platform – Who said that music festivals had returned to their ‘hippy’ roots after being colonised by the middle classes?

Get the power whether you’re at a festival or camping with One For All’s chargers

So Glastonbury is over for another year and you’ve got the muddy boots to prove it, but there are still plenty of other events where you might be stuck in the middle of a field suffering from gadget withdrawal symptoms. But fear not, for there are yet more gadgets that can help you keep connected.

Festival-Gadgets
Image courtesy of Flickr user john_charalambous

And of course they’re not only good for festivals – if you’re camping this year (or even glamping if you go in for that kind of thing) and are concerned about keeping yourself online, on your phone or maintaining your poker-straight hair –there is help at hand…

The folk at One for All have come up with a veritable plethora of charging implements to keep the watts (or is it amps?) flowing…

First up is the One For All car charger (£16.99), which turns your car cigarette lighter into a charging station and comes complete with seven tips for charging up your mobile phone, MP3 player, PDA, digital camera or game player.

If you want to use your laptop (or get at your barnet with the hair straighteners) you’ll be shelling out £29.99 for the One For All in-car power socket, which converts the cigarette lighter into a 220V mains power point. Also handy for hair dryers (and with the British weather what it is, that could be really useful!).

If you’re not a car owner and will be combining cycling or walking with camping, or indeed have got the train to a festival, there’s also a charger for you. The One For All Universal Travel Power Pack has a 1050 mAh battery which, once pre-charged, gives up to 100 hours of extra power (standby time) when the device’s own battery has run down. It costs £29.99. More on these devices at http://www.oneforall.co.uk

Finally if you need to charge up your phone or iPad quickly, then you might consider the TomTom high-speed multi-charger, which has a 1.2 amp USB charging port for mobile phones or MP3 players, plus a 2.1 amp port to speed-charge high power USB devices such as an iPad or iPhone. It also features a third port for powering 12V in-car devices such as DVD players, and costs £19.99. More at http://www.tomtom.com