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With so much stunning scenery to explore, the UK is absolutely ripe for a camping holiday, whether you’re chilling at the coast or roaming the mountain ranges. But heading out for a few nights under the stars doesn’t mean you have to leave your creature comforts behind, so we’ve rounded up some of the best camping accessories - from portable projectors to mobile fridge/freezers- to create your own home away from home.
Here - we’re looking at the stuff to elevate a camping experience from pleasant to transcendent. We know you’ll have a bed, a blanket or sleeping bag, a gas cooker, cultery, and lamps. But beyond the bare necessities, there are some bits of kits that can help make your camping experience memorable. They’re particularly winning if you’re on holiday with someone whose less convinced on the camping life than you are.
Additionally - we were fortunate enough to test drive the Ford Transit Nugget Plus, a delightful campervan - so we’ve reviewed our experience of this gorgeous moving home below.
Get kitted out for your hiking and backpacking adventures.
We have detailed guides to the best backpacking tents for your adventures here, or the best family tents, or four-man tents for festivals with your friends.
Want to steady your stride? These are the best walking poles for hiking.
We have detailed guides to the best camping stoves for great meals.
This collaboration between Ford and camper conversion specialists Westfalia truly is a home away from home.
Based on a long-wheelbase Transit Custom, this high-end campervan boasts sleeping space for four, a kitchen area with two-burner gas hob, fridge, sink and under-cabinet lighting, plus swivelling captain’s chairs and a quick-erect table to turn the rear compartment into a dining/socialising space.
There’s also a 240V power inverter, fold-out awning with sturdy camping chairs and a picnic table hidden in the tailgate and even a shower with hot and cold running water, plus a toilet if you really need your home comforts while wild camping.
Of course, if you’re looking for a home away from home, you’ll want to take your entertainment with you.
But why settle for an iPad propped on a knee when you can have a full-on mobile cinema at your disposal? The XGimi Halo+ is an incredibly compact portable projector that can project your favourite shows or movies onto screens up to 200 inches at full 1080p HD resolution.
The Android-powered Halo+ features Google TV with hundreds of popular streaming apps including Netflix and Disney+ and you can use Chromecast to share content via a smartphone. The Halo+ features auto keystone correction and autofocus to ensure the best image quality and features a fold-out stand and tripod mounting point.
The projector’s 60Wh battery is good for 2.5 hours of viewing but it can also run off a mains supply if you have access and features its own high-quality twin 5W Harmon Kadron speakers or Bluetooth for connecting to external speakers.
If you fancy adding a bit more oomph to your mobile cinema setup or are simply looking for a decent sound system you can take anywhere then the Wonderboom 3 packs plenty of punch into its compact and colourful form.
The rugged third generation of portable Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears is drop-proof up to 1.5m, comes with an IP67 rating that means it’s waterproof and dustproof, and it even floats, in case you’re feeling particularly adventurous/clumsy.
With a 14-hour battery life, 40-metre Bluetooth range, 360-degree sound system and elasticated carrying loop, it’s ideal for taking your music with you wherever you go and features a sound boost mode for use in wide open spaces.
These days most of us can’t go for very long without our electronic devices, which can prove tricky if you’re out in the wilds. Excitrus has a solution for that in the shape of its latest super-powered power bank. Not only can this 20,800mAh bank charge any phone or wearable several times over, its 100W output is enough to run a laptop via USB for up to 15 hours.
It features different charging outputs for various devices, from ear pods to smart watches, and has a fast-charging magnetic wireless connection for smartphones, all wrapped up in a rather nice fabric finish.
Perhaps more “spa break away from home” than home away from home, these two portable units offer a chance to sit back, relax and let the machines soothe away your stresses (handy if you’ve been fighting to put up a tent).
The fully portable USB-powered eye massager (£54.99) features four different modes that use 16 rotating and pressing heads to help ease eye fatigue and includes built-in speakers that can play preloaded soothing sounds or be hooked up to your phone to play your tunes of choice.
The neck massager (£49.99) needs a 240V connection, so you’ll need our kitted-out camper or a mains power supply to use it on the move. The device’s eight motorised nodes are designed to give a deep tissue shiatsu massage and it can be used anywhere from your neck, shoulders, back and back to arms and legs to help you relax. There’s an optional heating function, plus three speed and two direction settings.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a campervan with a fully equipped kitchen at their disposal but that doesn’t mean you have to survive on cold beans and Kendall mint cake. There are plenty of items out there to help create a usable kitchen.
The Camping Gaz Camp’Bistro Elite comes in its own carry case but can be set up in moments to provide a stable and powerful gas burner. A smart safety mechanism and piezo ignition ensure the gas is only activated when the stove is correctly set up.
Once you’ve got your stove set up, you’ll need something in which to cook your feast, which is where the HiGear Family Cookset comes in. The three-piece set features a lightweight aluminium lidded pot, saucepan and frying pan all with non-stick coating and removable handles for easy packing and carrying.
It never really feels like home without a proper cuppa, so a kettle is a must-have for any camping trip, no matter how luxurious or adventurous. The aluminium HiGear 1l whistling kettle is lightweight and durable and big enough to boil water for two brews at once.
Once the water’s boiled you can enjoy a cuppa from the stainless steel EuroHike Brew Mug, designed to be sturdy but incredibly lightweight.
Sure you could balance a plate on your lap to eat but why not bring a proper dining table with you instead? This lightweight aluminium option features foldaway legs and built-in carry handle for ease of transport and can be erected in seconds, giving space for four to eat together.
If you have a table, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to sit, which is where this fold-out camping chair comes in handy. The compact and light chair comes in its own carry case and folds out in seconds, folding away just as quickly. A quilted cushion and back offer extra comfort and there’s an insulation cup holder integrated into the arm.
Once again proving you don’t need an £85k camper to enjoy home comforts, this neat portable unit just needs a clean water supply in which to submerge its pump and a 12V socket to power the pump.
The unit features adjustable pressure and a suction mounting kit to hang the showerhead and is ideal for a quick rinse after a day’s outdoor activities.
If you don’t have access to a 12V socket, there’s always the HiGear 20L Solar Shower.
Simply fill it with cold water, leave in the sun for a while then hang it up with the built-in hook to enjoy a quick refreshing shower. Two and a half hours in 21C heat is enough to get the solar shower up to a hotel-standard 38C, although don’t expect hotel-standard water pressure.
Hate the feeling of never being able to get damp clothes properly dry when camping? The Aerative Portable Dryer offers a compact alternative to your at-home tumble dryer thanks to its clever hot air system.
The adjustable and extendable arms mean it will dry everything from jackets and T-shirts to trousers and shoes, and UV sterilisation can kill off bugs and bacteria. You’ll just need to make sure you’re on a campsite with a power hook-up or have a van with an inverter, as it requires mains power to function.
A decent light is vital whether you’re on an established campsite or out in the wild. The 1000-lumen output of this rechargeable lantern from HiGear is more than bright enough for any conditions and features a dimmer switch and flashing function if you need to attract attention.
Its rugged case features a carrying handle and hanging hook, and a USB output port means it can be used as an emergency power source for mobile devices.
You wouldn’t sleep on a roll-out bit of foam at home, so no home away from home camp is complete without a proper mattress.
This portable example is durable and lightweight and features a smart self-inflation system that takes the hard work out of setting it up. Single-bed size mattresses can be linked together to create a double mattress and the unit can be paired with an inflatable bed base for the next level in comfort.