What’s on your Christmas Wish List?
Oh dear, not many weeks to go until Christmas, doesn’t it sneak up on you fast! I thought I would put my ideas out there to help anyone who’s looking for a gift for the camping, caravanning, boating, fishing, outdoorsing, you name it kind of person.
I get stuck for ideas myself all the time but here are a few things that we find absolutely necessary when on holidays.
When it comes to cooking we love our Weber Baby Q, its perfect for two but we have easily catered for more. I love that you can close the lid down and take it from a BBQ to a mini roasting oven. Use non stick paper on the hot plate and cleaning is a breeze too. You can gets all sorts of accessories for them too including a folding stand to sit it on and it holds the gas bottle too – very handy, side tables that attach to the stand to hold all the necessary things i.e. tongs, beer etc… And as well as other cooking accessories the pizza stone for it is fantastic. A really quick way to cook you own pizza and a hit when we have holidayed with a crowd.
The other kitchen gadget I would recommend is a food vacuum sealer. This is a great way to seal food in an airtight bag and can be used for everything from vegies to meat and seafood and will extend the life of what’s inside. This can be good if you want to stock up on goodies from markets in your travels.
Speaking of markets, if you are a regular reader you’ll know how I love a market, one reason why is that you can buy some pretty great handmade, one off type gifts for people and help out a small business at the same time and you can pick up some delish food to give as gifts to the foodie fans you want to buy for. What caravanner doesn’t always need happy hour nibbles! Oh and while you’re at it – wine, beers, wine, wine (you get the idea) never goes astray either.
After happy hours and as the sun goes down its fun to bling up the van and your campsite with lights and candles. There are so many great light sets around these days and you can find some really cheap sets. Some need power, others are solar charged and others battery run so the choice depends on where you are going. Of course they have a real practical use to when you need to find your way back to your setup from a late night or early morning nature call.
Our holidays tend to be never too far from a beach so for the Landcruiser and sand driving we always have tyre deflators on hand to quickly let down tyre pressure. They simply screw on the tyre valve and let the air out, then shut off when the preset pressure required is met. So that brings me to the next must have and that is a tyre inflator. The type we have comes in its own case and was a real cheapy but…it does the job and has lasted for ages. Accuracy might not be fantastic and it can be a bit slow but it certainly gets your tyres back to a good enough pressure when back on the black top, until you can re-inflate properly at a service station.
On the beach and into fishing? You can’t go past buying the fisher in your family a good long sleeved, breathable shirt, good for being sun smart and they wash and dry really well and quickly! Saves going through a heap of other clothes if you can just go to ‘the fishing shirt’. A broad brimmed hat, again smart for sun safety, we really can’t be too careful in Australia. Some decent polarized sunglasses are a must for all the glare of our dazzling white sand beaches. Then there are rods, fishing line, tackle, squid jags – there is always something new and line and tackle is always needed.
When the fish aren’t biting we love getting a big group together and playing beach games, of course there is always beach cricket but try ‘Finska’, a Scandinavian game of knocking down pins, that actually takes a bit of skill but is heaps of fun for all ages.
Something that we’ve had a lot of fun with is a GoPro camera (there are lots of similar type cameras on the market now) for getting up close and personal with some elusive critters. Just have a look at how much fun you can have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o757uo_HuU
One of the best things we’ve bought has been the Rhino Rack and the shade awning to go on top of the Landcruiser. For days at the beach when you need shade it is just fantastic and works when you need a rain shelter too. Personally though I love the good old Moana Shade. You can get the basic green stripe old style or go for something a bit more fancy (expensive) if you choose. They are so simple to set up, give you shade and pack down into a bag not much bigger than you camp chair. Love it.
Speaking of camp chairs, again there are so many out there but I am a fan of the basic chair with a side table that folds out. Somewhere for the book AND the drink.
And finally, for me, you can’t go on holidays without a good book or two, anything and everything that holds your interest without having to think too much is right for me! Then there is always the idea of a magazine gift subscription, I would highly recommend ‘On The Road Magazine’. Then you can be happy knowing you’ve given someone a great present and helped a struggling freelance writer. (Ha Ha)
Oh, nearly forgot, whatever you do, get a gift for your best camping buddy too, Neo here is partial to rope toys he can shred and treats.
Good luck with your Christmas gift giving and let me know if you’ve found something fantastic out there.