It’s that time of year again, when thoughts turn to buying Christmas presents for family and if it’s any help for those that have a caravan and camping enthusiast on their gift list, here’s my Top 7 ideas in no particular order.
1. Touring Atlas
I don’t think there’s a caravanner who doesn’t love a hard copy of maps in one handy book, where you can see where you’re planning to go next and brag about where you’ve been! A touring atlas is a seriously handy thing to carry in the car or caravan, and for those times when you’re offline, you can still plan ahead.
They are particularly handy when you’re passing on touring tips to someone and the grey matter goes blank. ‘Where’s that place we stayed…you know the one with the beach, and the rocks’? Time to turn to the touring atlas.
2. Comfortable Camp Chair
This is one to check before you buy because everyone has preferences for their perfect chair. There are ones with tables or not, pockets or not, flat folding or those that fold down and fit into a bag, and you’ll find plenty of other varieties out there. The better ones aren’t cheap but they will put up with lots of use and last for years.
3. Natural insect repellent
This summer, more than ever, we are going to need it! With all the rain we’ve had across most of the country, mosquitos and other flying, biting, stinging nasties, are breeding like mad.
My ‘go to’ favourite is always the ‘Good Riddance’ brand. I love it because it is natural, you don’t smell like a chemical factory and best of all, it actually works. Whatever brand you buy, try and make it natural ingredients that are good for the planet and for you, because anything that goes on your skin is absorbed into your body. This Aussie made cream is my pick for keeping mozzies, midges and sandflies away and it smells great.
4. Camp Tables
Another minefield when it comes to the types out there and another gift to check on preferences before buying. Anyone who’s been caravanning for a while will know what works best for them, but personally I find anything that can either fold in half or fold down into a bag is best for fitting into a caravan.
Without question it has to be sturdy and a good height for eating at. The Outdoor Connection brand has been a hit with our friends for sturdiness and ease of setting up and packing away. Tables that have adjustable leg heights are a good idea too if you like to have one that converts to coffee table height.
5. Aqua Shoes
These are really handy shoes that take up hardly any space but are so useful for protecting your feet in any circumstances where your feet are likely to get wet. They are ideal for fishers, kayakers and anyone that likes beachcombing and wants to protect their feet from cut and abrasions especially in rocky environments.
The top is usually made of a neoprene mesh which enables water to drain away and a flexible rubber sole makes them light and comfortable while protecting your feet.
6. Books, Books and more Books
I know there are lots of travellers who swear by kindles and other reading devices, but give me a good page turner any day. There’s nothing better than relaxing in a deck chair on holidays and having that satisfying feeling of turning page after page of a good novel and seeing the bookmark progress through the book as the days go by.
There are plenty of good bookshops and department stores to buy them from and there are mountains of new releases to choose from to suit everyone. Lately I’ve seen a series of books that look particularly good – Ultimate Australia, and the titles include Ultimate Road Trips Australia, Ultimate Caravan Trips Australia and Ultimate Food & Drink Australia. These look like a great idea to buy and attempt to put a big tick next to everything inside.
7. Magazine Subscription
On the subject of reading, I can’t go past the idea of gifting someone a selection of magazines or even an annual subscription! If receiving hard copies doesn’t suit, you can always get online subscriptions which enable you to read the latest editions while you are travelling.
I’ve received great support from a couple of titles, where the editors have been really encouraging and are happy to take any stories that I send their way, so a big shout out to Fishing SA magazine and On The Road magazine.
Both of these publications are high quality in look and content, and have regular writers and contributors who are genuine and passionate about their travel and outdoor pursuits, and I’m proud to write for both of them.
Hopefully these few ideas will give you some inspiration and as always, I’d love to receive your comments and any other suggestions you would add to the list.
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