As I said in my last post Rob and I, after years of tent camping, are very much enthusiastic novices when it comes to camping in a camper van.
After each trip I like to assess what kit we took with us, what we used, what we brought with us for no reason and what we need to add to our vans inventory. Much like inside my house I want everything that we take to be useful and to have a purpose. I really do not want to cart around a load of clutter that we do not need. I want us to be well oiled, streamlined, camping machine!
So here is our list of things we need to add to the van to enhance our future camper van adventures –
- A pop up washing basket. This would be very handy, as we currently bung our dirty clothes into a supermarket carrier bag and keep them on the front seats (not so nice if there are any damp and smelly* clothes in the van etc), and then when we travel home we put the bags of washing inside our respective packed bags (a backpack for Rob, a supermarket bag for life for me) with our remaining clean clothes. Yes this is a bit daft, but this how we did things camping at festivals in a tent. Now that we have the luxury of not worrying about the weight of what we need to carry etc, my thoughts are to buy a lightweight pop up basket that we can keep in the awning and line with a bin bag, so when we go home I can tie the sack up, throw it in the van and then back home I can just empty it straight out into the washing machine. Boom. Easy.
- Bag Clips. You know, these kind of things. Handy to keep half eaten bags of crisps fresh and to stop bread rolls from drying out. One thing that I can recommend that all campers can take with them is one of these, a bacon box. On one trip we had an incident where a half open packet of bacon and a open packet of frankfurters leaked meat juice all inside our Coolbox. The incident nearly put me off frankfurters for life and I wouldn’t wish drinking from meat juice covered cans of beer on anyone. Yuck.
- A draining board. Handy for drying washing up on. Self explanatory really. Im sure there must be special pop up, light weight, all singing and dancing camping ones out there. I must do some research. Or just buy a cheap plastic one from the pound shop.
- Fly strips. Its weird, I rarely get bitten. Where as to knats and mozzies, Rob is some kind of gourmet treat! They feast on him! I joke its because I am bitter that they don’t like the taste of me. Ok, I am only half joking about that really! While camping in Oxfordshire last week, boy did we suffer with flies. Well, Rob did anyway, they just got on my nerves. Who knew that Oxfordshire, that landlocked county with no huge lakes and rivers nearby where we camped had such a fly problem? We took our citronella candles, but the little buggers invaded the awning, so we need some kind of proper deterrent thats not a smelly aerosol can full of chemicals.
- A Kelly Kettle. Last week I was chatting to Rob and trying to describe this kettle thing I had seen on various lifestyle blogs but I could not remember the name of it. I think my words were something along the lines of “you know its a huge kettle type thing that bloggers take to the beach and to thier allotments”. Needless to say my description did not help. Back home, after a quick Google, I sent Rob a link and of course he now wants one. We both do infact! Its not strictly an essential item and its a bit on the pricey side. But hey, it appeals to the boy scout/Ray Mears/Bear Grylls in Rob and it appeals to the aspirational side of me who wants a slice of the good life and is over influenced by stuff she sees on blogs! I wanna have loads of cute photos of me camping in style on my blog too! Yeah, never gonna happen! I am not stylish nor very good at photography!
*After long muddy walks of course. We never drink too much and vomit on ourselves (eyes dart towards Rob).