The recent National Camping and Caravanning Week (NCCW) has had me thinking about some of the interesting things that have passed my way in 2014 - so far.
Here are three of my favourites.
1. Possibly the best camping road atlas in the world
Recently I’ve been using the new road atlas created from a collaboration between Philip’s and the Club. It’s not the lightest one on the market but that’s because it’s got so much in it.
The scale is 1:100,000 (about 1.6 miles to the inch) and it’s wonderfully clear. I’ve only had it a short while, but it’s already saved me an hour by finding a route round a traffic jam between Minehead and the M5, helped me swiftly pin-point a remembered spot from a previous photoshoot and found me the perfect Certificated Site for our front cover photoshoot – none of which would have been easy with my trusty Snooper satnav.
2. The neat cubbyhole on the Ford Custom Transit’s dashboard
I’m still amazed at this small feature on the new Transit’s dashboard. Why hasn’t anyone thought of it before? And will there be something similar in the new Fiat Ducato?
I’ve tested a couple of Transit conversions – from Wellhouse Leisure and Auto Campers – this year and loved them both. This cubbyhole has been the icing on the cake.
It has a flat top to secure your satnav in a visible position, without obscuring the windscreen, and the clever feature of a gap in the lid so you can plug the charging cable into a 12V socket and keep the cable out of sight.
Put this all together with a U-Grip stand and the Philip’s roadmap you’re all set to find the most remote campsite or intriguing tourist attraction.
3. Pocket Wellies
Perhaps this is a little premature since I haven’t tried them yet, but the principle is so good I’m putting them in this year’s Top Three Of 2014 So Far.
Feetz are knee-length overshoes, meaning you can wear something comfortable on your feet but still have waterproof protection if the weather turns. Perfect for a muddy camping field.
I’m off to the Hay Festival armed with some Feetz and will report back – weather permitting.
But here’s hoping I won’t need them...
Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning.
She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum.
Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.