Ho ho ho! The Pitchup.com 2014 top ten Christmas presents roundup
Have you seen our festive blog on Christmas markets? Exeter, Padstow and Lille are among our selection for markety Christmas presents this year – make a weekend of it with a holiday park or campsite nearby.
If, however, your festive spirit is more Bah humbug and solitary than capering among crowds, we’ve once more rounded up our pick of the best Christmas presents for outdoor holidays.
We’ve picked items you can use whatever type of accommodation you prefer – tent, tourer, static, luxury lodge… and items from a couple of quid up to ones you can forcibly direct your beloved to with the line ‘If you really loved me you would’. Let the festivities commence!
Let there be fire
A camping stove for under a fiver quite frankly doesn’t sound like it’ll be much cop, and anyone unwrapping this teeny device on Christmas morn could be forgiven for looking at you askance and thinking you’re a cheap git. But produce a gas canister and force them out into the garden for a test run: this Ninjalike little firestarter is deceptively powerful and has had many a rave review. Be sure to have printed the reviews out too.
Hungry campers stop here
Published in May this year by Explore Australia, the Hungry Campers Cookbook is the latest from food writer and camping expert Katy Holder, with recipes using minimal equipment and many that can be prepped at home. Sizzle these over the campfire or at home over the barbie, using simple, healthy ingredients in all. From £6.49.
A swoon of mozzies
As with a cheap camping stove, plug-in mosquito repellent might not seem the most romantic camping gift, but actually we’d far rather have either/both than some overpriced ‘celebrity’ perfume picked up at ten minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve. (No, we’re not bitter.) Bring this to France, Spain or other warm lands for a summer lodge holiday free from being eaten alive – we’ve had immense fun with these mozzie zappers too .
It’s in the bag
Those tasteful folks at The Monster Factory have expanded their novelty VW range to include these dinky VW washbags , a Very Nice Present indeed for anyone in your life who is VW-obsessed (us). And… we have two to give away next week! Watch our Facebook and Twitter page for details – Merry Christmas! £19.99.
You too can wash up
This is one for the teenagers. Yes, really. If you’re staying in a static caravan and they loftily inform you they can’t help with the washing up because ‘there’s no room’, hand them this Kampa foldable washing-up bowl along with several grubby saucepans and send them packing to the site washing-up area. The campsite doesn’t have a washing-up area? Send your muttering teen to wash up outside the caravan instead. (Anyone who does give this as a gift to their teenager: please let us know how that goes.) From £5.25.
Another possibly unromantic present but again one we’d rather get than tatty perfume (no, we’re not bitter) and another that might be handy to drop hints to certain family members. Inspired by old-style washboards, the Scrubba is a portable washbag that takes three minutes to get clothes as clean as a standard washing machine cycle – we’re thinking festivals, tent camping, lodge stays, city travelling… From £39.95 .
Into the realms of fantasy
Glasses? That record? Avoid head clips or fixing your camcorder to your hat with masking tape (we got funny looks the last time we did that) by using these to document your to-ing and fro-ing of all types. The Pivothead camera specs take stills of up to 8MP or record up to 8GB of footage in HD – and we’re sure they’ll fit in our stockings. Cheers.
Toes of prune
You might expect geeky readers such as we to be sniffy about Kindles and the like. But to be sniffy about e-readers is to be sniffy about books: how else can one carry around the complete works of Dickens, Shakespeare and HP Lovecraft? (Even if we normally use it to read Stephen King and the Anne of Green Gables series.) ‘Ah, but you can’t read books in the bath!’ says the anti-Kindler triumphantly when we point out the e-reader’s portable prowess. IN YOUR FACE WITH THIS WATERPROOF E-READER COVER, ANTI-KINDLER . IN YOUR FACE. And it’s sandproof too. £29.99.
If you want to splash out (lol) a bit more, the new Kobo Aura H20 is fully waterproof and can be completely submerged – should you so wish – for up to 30 minutes.
Move aside, it’s my turn to cook
We’re a bit in love with this Looking fantastically Famous Five, this EZY Stove portable camping cooker needs only twigs to fire up, and is ready to go within two minutes. We can practically hear Julian ordering Anne and George to get dinner ready. £74.99.
For a lighter stove also using nowt but twigs, the Wild Woodgas Stove is small enough for backpacking and costs £49.99.
The 2014 Gift of Covet
It was a gold eleMMent Palazzo in last year’s Christmas pressies roundup blog , and a VW flower-powered VW tent in 2012 , but this year our Christmas envy is turned towards the Tentsile Stingray , a treehouse-type tent that looks so magical we’re not sure Muggles are allowed it (that's it in the main pic). No crawling beasties in this tent: find three anchor points and set up for three adults and their kit to sleep above the ground. Around £465.
Christmas presents – sorted. We also think it would be quite the idea to take yourself away for the festive season: here’s our guide to Christmas lodge breaks in the UK, France and Spain and one on winter caravan sites with suggestions for winter statics. See also: