Nikwax environmentally friendly product range for outdoor activities. Waterproofing, Cleaning and Conditioning for clothes and Equipment.
There are a couple of ways that you can reproof your gear, but here we’re going to explain how to do it in your washing machine. Not only is this the less time-consuming method, it also gets a better coverage of the coat.
Set your machine to 60C and run a cycle to clear any build-up of washing powder
STEP 2 – EMPTY POCKETS AND ZIP ZIPS
Empty out all pockets on your coat. Then zip all the zips shut. This helps to keep the shape of the coat while it is in the washing machine.
STEP 3 – TECH WASH
To make sure that your coat gets the best reproofing, firstly give it a clean first using Nikwax Tech Wash.
To do this, pop your coat in the washing machine and pour two measured capfuls of shaken product into the detergent drawer. Set to the temperature recommended on the label of your coat and set the cycle.
STEP 4 – WATERPROOFING WITH TX DIRECT
Without removing your coat from the washing machine, shake the Nikwax TX Direct and add two capfuls into the detergent drawer, as you did with the Tech Wash. This time, set the cycle to 30C delicates so that the coat gets a good coating of the reproofer and doesn’t get a hard spin at the end
Nestled within the beautiful Tamar Valley, in the perfect location for exploring the wonders of both Devon and Cornwall you’ll find The Copper Pot Campsite.
We’re thrilled to have supplied this gem of a site with some superb canvas tents and we enjoyed chatting to the team there about life at The Copper Pot.
Q: Can you tell us what’s special about your campsite?
A: I put a massive emphasis on wildlife and nature, I encourage all of it to try and create a wonderful natural balanced environment, where you can potentially see deer, foxes, badgers, owls, rodents, rabbits and many, many different species of wild birds. I’m also installing a high-powered telescope for astronomy evenings.
Q: In your opinion what’s the best thing about camping?
A: I personally love watching the stars and listening to the owls. But, at least on our campsite, it is a wonderful way to learn about the great outdoors.
Q: What tents have you bought from Devon Outdoors?
A: So far, I have bought three 5x4m canvas Touareg tents. They’re great, they’re warm, attractive, have loads of room and the guests love them.
Q: Any funny stories about the Campsite?
A: I have rules. One rule states that dogs MUST be on leads at all times. Last year some guests forgot that rule, they didn’t realise that their Yorkshire terrier had followed them to the toilet, and they didn’t take it out when they left the toilet.
The terrier jumped up onto the toilet seat and leapt down the long drop compost toilet…
Moral of the story: listen to and follow my rules. (The dog was fine. The guests have not returned)
If you’d like the sound of experiencing comfort, surrounded by natural adventure, staying in a beautifully furnished bell or Touareg tent tucked amongst the trees then take a look around The Copper Pot Campsite: http://www.thecopperpotcampsite.co.uk/
If you fancy a bell or Touareg tent of your own then check out our range of Quest tents here:
Many people are discovering the joy of camping this summer and also enjoying the delights of a UK holiday. Of course, with a British summer you can never quite trust the weather! Glorious sunshine one minute, and before you know it, the rain is coming down in buckets. So if you’ve invested in a tent then you need to make sure it stays waterproof!
A waterproof tent is a must! Some people routinely waterproof their tent after every few uses. Others may only do it once in the tents’ lifetime.
How often you waterproof tent depends on how much you use it, how well you look after it, and what the weather is like when you use it.
It’s a fairly easy process, but really well worth the effort so that you go on enjoying your waterproof tent for longer.
Here’s our simple guide:
1. Clean your tent
Before you apply a waterproofing treatment, seam sealant or repair tape, you’ll need to give your tent a good clean.
Set up your tent
Fill a bucket with warm water and add Nikwax Tech Wash or Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarwash – these products are detergent free and can be used safely on waterproof fabrics. You should never use standard detergent, as these will destroy any waterproofing.
Gently sponge down until it is clean, paying extra attention to the seams
DO NOT be tempted to put your tent in the washing machine!
Wet weather camping needn’t be a drag. A camping holiday is a fantastic escape from the stresses and strains of real life. Hanging out altogether, as a family and exhausted at night from all the fresh air and fun!
The reality can be a little bit different, however. Make sure that if the rain doesn’t stop play with our top ideas for wet weather camping
1. Invest in proper rain gear
Where would we all be without wellies and waterproofs? Rather than take shower-proof jackets on your trip invest in proper waterproof gear, including trousers, for the whole family. Tucked into boots they’ll keep kids warm and completely dry, opening up a world of outdoor fun in the downpour.
2. Book a campsite with a good laundry facilities
No one wants to put on damp clothes or soggy footwear. You’ll have a bunch of unhappy campers on your hands if they’re pulling on wet gear. Drying out clothing can be a challenge for wet weather campers. Make sure you do your research and book a campsite with decent laundry facilities and covered drying areas.
3. Pack plenty of newspaper to help dry footwear
Footwear always dries out best when toes are stuffed with newspapers. Help boots along by having an old newspaper or two stashed in the car. Be sure to pack extra socks too. There’s nothing like cold, wet feet to put everyone in a bad mood.
Rainy weather can bring dark skies and poor light, even in the middle of the day. Pack extra batteries for torches which may get lots of use.
5. Make sure you don’t get cabin fever
Whether you’re staying in a caravan, mobile home, campervan or tent, rainy weather can bring cabin fever. You may need to hide out temporarily, but if the rain looks set to be a long-term prospect you really will need to get everyone on a trip outdoors. If you’ve packed the right gear you can set off exploring knowing everyone will remain relatively dry.
6.Have a Plan B for barbecuing
Take a stash of non-perishable food that can tide you over if barbecuing is a no-no. Pack plenty of snacks too which can re-energise water-weary children. If bad weather prevents any outdoor cooking at all make sure you a bit of an emergency budget set aside for a dash to the local chippy!
7. Make fun of the rain
A wet weather walk can be great fun, so long as you don’t make it too long for younger members of the family. Forests, beaches, lakes and villages all change in the rain. Encourage splashing in puddles and games of poo sticks off bridges. By making the rain a feature of your games it becomes a fun thing rather than an annoyance.
8. Plan a rainy-day bag
Camping is all about travelling light, no matter whether you’re pitching a tent or enjoying a fully furnished mobile home. However, it would be foolish to leave home without a rainy-day bag. This can be your survival kit for days when you’re stuck indoors. Depending on the kids’ ages include colouring books, paper, pens, puzzle books and card games. A favourite family board game is always a winner but avoid one with lots of little pieces which may get lost.
9. Bring a laptop, for emergencies only!
As a last resort a fully charged portable DVD player or laptop can be used for movie time. Camping allows kids to escape the technology that increasingly dominates their lives, so only fall back on this one as a last resort.
10. Try swimming in the rain
Swimming in the rain is a wonderful experience – find an outdoor pool and give it a try!
You can’t predict the weather for your next camping trip, but you can adopt the Scout’s motto and ‘be prepared’. Rain doesn’t mean your holiday is a wash-out.
Do be sensible and stay safe though and avoid camping in storm force winds!
Driveaway awnings are fantastic for adding extra space without taking away from your daily mobility.
Having that extra bit of space on your holiday is so important, but what if where you sleep is also how you get around? If you are lucky enough to own a campervan or motorhome, then a driveaway awning is a fantastic solution!
Driveaway awnings are free-standing structures, just like a tent, that have a tunnel connecting your vehicle. This allows you to disconnect the awning from your van, drive away and come back to connect up your home away from home with ease after a day’s exploring.
Why buy a Driveaway Awning?
Driveaway awnings are self-supporting. You attach it to your van’s awning rail, but you can take it off and leave it, as you would a tent, on your pitch when you head off out for the day.
This gives you a a bit of extra space in your holiday home which can be incredibly versatile: a dining room, a bedroom to sleep extra guests, a play area for rainy days, somewhere to store bikes and boots and numerous other uses.
The extra space provided can be used however you wish. Most driveaway awnings will give you enough space to sit at a table and some will have an option to add a sleeping annexe to offer you even more space.
Top Tip: Mark your van position with pegs so you know the position to park back in when you return to the campsite and want to re-connect your awning.
Choosing your Awning
When choosing your driveaway awning the golden rule is to make sure it is within the correct height range for your vehicle.
You will need to measure from the ground to the awning rail/top of your vehicle, this measurement will determine what size awning you will need.
Our experienced team can help you find the perfect awning for your camper van or motorhome. We have an extensive selection of driveaway awnings from top brands like Vango, Outdoor Revolution and Kampa on display at both of our stores in Devon and Wales and we’re always happy to take time to discuss your requirements and show you around.
With a fantastic forecast for sunshine throughout the summer, enjoy a fabulous family holiday in the great outdoors. Roger and Julie Wickham from Devon Outdoor and The Camping & Kite Centre have been camping with the family for over twenty years so they know all about the challenge of holidaying with kids of all ages! Here they share their top 10 tips for camping with the family…
Tip 1: Keep it close…
One of the very best tips for family trips is to camp near to home. For short weekend breaks you will be more willing to camp more often if there is not a long drive before or after each trip. We’re spoilt in North Devon and in Monmouthshire for some fantastic campsites close to our stores, so why go anywhere else!
Tip 2: Get an inflatable tent…
Air tents are an innovative design that means you don’t need to use tent poles. The ability to have a four man tent up in seconds means you don’t need to hesitate to go away even if only for one night.
Tip 3: Double up…
It may sound expensive but having kitchen utensils just for camping (such as tin openers and graters) is so much easier than having the raid the kitchen drawers before each camping trip. And double up on your toiletries otherwise your toothpaste will be with the other half when you need it!
Tip 4: Plan your meals…
Work out a basic camping menu with food that is easily stored (tins etc) between trips. Pre-cook and freeze a few camping friendly meals such as spag bol or a chilli – they also be an ice pack in your coolbox.
Tip 5: Get some sensible storage…
Buy a selection of plastic crates or boxes – ideally with lids on, that you can store your camping items in. It makes packing easier and quicker and means you can prepack in the rain if you have to!
Tip 6: Pack lightly…
The less you pack the less time it will take. Sounds obvious but it’s very easy to over pack for a camping trip especially with regards to clothing. Just remember clothes can be layered, grime is part of the fun of camping and most sites have laundry facilities on site if things get really dirty. Do remember to take some footwear for wet conditions though – wellies and crocs are great for dewy grass.
Tip 7: Camp with friends…
Share jobs and responsibilities onsite but it’s also a great idea to take it in turns to plan and organise your camping trips – meaning all you have to do is pack the car and turn up, unless it’s your turn of course! And playmates = happier kids!
Tip 8: Keep the kids entertained…
Pack a bag of toys suitable for camping that the kids won’t miss at home – such as cards, drawing and outdoor toys. Squeezing in a portable DVD player that can be used in the car or on rainy days when the kids are bored will also be a lifesaver.
Tip 9: Stay warm and dry…
Everyone loves camping in the sunny summer weather but be prepared with extra layers for everyone. Avoid sleeping bags that are too cheap or too thin.On a chilly night put a hot water bottle in to warm them up before bedtime and you’ll stay warm all night (remove before children get in to avoid overheating).
Tip 10: Clean as you go…
Take a dustpan and brush. They’ll keep leaves, dirt and crumbs (and creepy crawlies!) at bay.
For more advice or camping equipment visit Devon Outdoor on the lower landscaping level at St John’s Garden Centre in Ashford, near Barnstaple or The Camping & Kite Centre at Raglan Garden Centre near Abergavenny.
Choosing a caravan awning is the perfect way to allow you to enjoy holidays any time of year. If you’re lucky enough to own a caravan you’ll enjoy spending time out and about but when you arrive and pitch up, sometimes you need a bit more room. Choosing a caravan awning will increase the amount of living space and create a real home away from home.
Awnings come in all shapes and sizes, from a simple sun canopy that provides shelter or shade, to a porch awning perfect for a bit of extra space and outside storage, to a full awning with add on bedroom annexes to extend your touring caravan’s accommodation and number of berths.
Before you decide which awning best suits your needs, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you a tourer? ie are you going to be moving around with your van or only going to pitch up for a week or two?
Are you going to be pitching up more permanently? For example on a seasonal pitch.
There are three common types of awning for caravans and motorhomes, the full awning, the porch awning and the sun canopy.
• A full awning is designed to maximise the floor space of your caravan – providing extra room for storage, significantly increasing your living space and increasing sleeping capacity, by using the whole awning rail. These awnings need to be bought in the correct size (see how to measure for your full awning below). These awnings are great for longer term pitching, as they provide a very good weatherproof living area, and tend to be stable in bad weather. Quite often these awnings are available in a tougher fabric and therefore are great for seasonal pitches.
A porch awning offers less space than a full awning (although the larger models still afford you a good amount of space), but they are lighter, easier to handle and quick to erect. These are often available in a light weight fabric but can be available in a tougher, seasonal fabric too.
Most new caravan manuals will tell you what size awning you need but you might not have this information.
To measure for a full awning, make sure your caravan is level and thread some cord (non-stretch!) up through the awning channel. Make sure it reaches the ground on both sides.
If you’re thinking of buying a porch awning, you need to take these key measurements:
A. The horizontal length of the awning rail (the flat part before it curves)
B. The height of the caravan from ground to awning rail When choosing a porch awning you should take into account where the windows and doors or lockers are. You want to make sure if possible that the edge of the awning doesn’t impede accessibility.
If you’re going to use your awning frequently throughout the year, or if you have a seasonal pitch, then it really needs to be durable. Particularly in the winter it will need to be highly weather resistant.
If you’ll only be using your awning occasionally through the summer, then it’s not necessary to go for such a durable product.
Q. What frame type is best?
Like a tent, there are two frame types for an awning – a traditional poled frame and an inflatable tube (air awning).
A traditional metal poled frame tends to offer a more stable awning in bad weather. They are generally heavier and can take a bit more time to erect. A carbon fibre frame will be lighter and generally less expensive, using flexible poles, like many tents. The poles will come in a separate bag so will make transportation easier.
An inflatable air awning is very easy and quick to erect and is usually lighter than a traditional full awning, although the airtubes remain fixed to the awning at all times, so bear this in mind when you are thinking about the weight.
Our experienced team can help you with choosing a caravan awning that’s perfect for you. We have an extensive selection of caravan awnings on display and we’re always happy to take time to discuss your requirements and show you around.
July is here and summer holidays are on the horizon. After a long few months of lockdown we’re longing to get away. But we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so what about camping and COVID-19?
Well, campsites and caravan parks in England are due to open on 4th July, Scotland on the 15th July and we’re still waiting for confirmation on Wales. So, our advice is to get your tent and gear ready and start planning your summer 2020 UK break!
Here you’ll find some helpful information about camping and Covid this summer – what we think you can expect and how you’ll be able to stay safe.
Things change quickly at the moment, so we advise you to speak to the campsite operators or the local Tourist Information Centre for local advice.
Q. When are campsites opening?
The government have allowed campsites to open from Saturday 4th July in England and from the 15th July in Scotland. It looks like lots of sites are aiming for these dates.
Something to look forward to at last!
Q. Should I book my camping holiday now?
Yes, we think so. Lots of campsites and caravan parks are open for bookings and word is, they’re getting booked up. Reduced capacity means less availability, so our advice is to book early.
Check the cancellation/changes policy in case the guidance changes over the next few weeks.
Check that your camping gear is in tip top shape and shop our range of tents and camping equipment to make sure you’ve got everything you need!
Q. What can I do to socially distance on the campsite?
For camping and Covid, it’s really important to maintain that 2 metre distance whenever you can and luckily, it’s pretty easy to do this when camping. All the evidence is that transmission is greatly reduced outdoors so as long as you maintain social distancing, the risk of infection is low.
We’ve heard that campsites will be reducing the capacity of visitors and spreading pitches further apart.
Floor markings have become the norm and campsites will be no different – expect to see these reminders around the site.
Contactless check-ins are also very likely.
Even before the pandemic, lots of campers use windbreaks to set up a boundary around their pitch to keep the area nice and private and enclosed. With social distancing windbreaks really come into their own!
Q. Will we be able to use the showers and toilets on the campsite?
As far as we can tell, the government haven’t placed restrictions on campsites with shared toilet and showering facilities. All that we know is that they need to be clean and ‘COVID secure’.
Lots of the campsites in our local areas are putting in additional cleaning regimes including regular deep cleans, staggered use times and limiting the number of people allowed in at any one time.
However, some aren’t opening their toilet and shower facilities and are only taking bookings from visitors who can be self-sufficient. This may mean taking your own toilet and washbasin or shower. Thankfully all these things are easily done!
Q. Will other facilities on the campsite be available?
Part of the government’s plan to ease lockdown includes allowing bars and restaurants to open from 4th July. So, we assume that many campsites will be opening their catering outlets, although this is likely to be takeaway only.
For that reason, make sure you have a good size table you can all sit at – somewhere to eat the fish and chips. And if you don’t want to eat chips all week, you may want to ensure you have a decent stove! Cooking outside is great fun, and this may be a great opportunity to expand your repertoire – and not just cook the usual sausages and burgers
We’re really excited about the new range of Kampa eco-friendly cleaning products.
Fantastic cleaning performance
The Kampa range of eco-friendly cleaning, care and toilet fluids have been designed for the outdoors. With the reassurance of over three years testing and the close support of caravan manufacturers, Kampa have developed a range of fluids which will satisfy all your essential cleaning needs. The eco-friendly cleaning range is the full solution for motorhomes, caravans, camping tents and awnings. Each solution has been designed and manufactured in the UK and rigorously tested to the highest standards, ensuring you’re fully satisfied with every spray, wipe and scrub.
Using the latest chemical manufacturing technology means the fluids are kind to the environment without compromising cleaning performance. There aren’t any of the usual unpleasant chemical smells which are often found with cleaning chemicals, each solution features a different aroma to keep your gear smelling great after each clean. You’ll enjoy the benefits of Kampa’s cleaning, care and toilet fluid range in your pocket too, by refilling empty spray bottles with our eco pouches, you’ll typically experience cost savings of over 50%.
Safe for you, safe for the environment
Innovative green chemistry ensures that Kampa’s cleaning, care and toilet fluids are safe for you to use and safe for the environment that you’re using them in. The entire range is 100% free from nasty chemicals including Formaldehyde, Phosphates and Ammonia – meaning they’re fully compliant and green friendly. Additionally, they’re cruelty-free, suitable for vegans and feature biodegradable packaging.
The innovative packaging concept truly puts protecting our environment when camping in focus. The combination of reusable spray bottles and eco pouches means that plastic pollution’s reduced by 80%, uses 15% less energy when manufacturing and uses 15% less energy to transport.
Why is good outdoor clothing important? Well because then rainy weather doesn’t mean you have to exercise inside. Most races aren’t cancelled because of poor weather so take advantage of opportunities to train in the rain.
Doing so builds mental toughness, and you’ll feel more mentally prepared if it rains on race day. We can help to make sure you’re prepared whether you’re running, cycling or just out and about in the rain.
Our full range of outdoor clothing and products include:
As runners and cyclists ourselves, we’re using some of our outdoor clothing products in our training at the moment. Here’s a few of our top tips:
Get ahead with a hat…
A hat with a brim can be a good friend during a rainy run. It will keep the rain off your face so you can see, even in a downpour. The SPIbeams LED Hat and Visor will keep the rain off your face and illuminate the path too!
If it’s very cold and wet, then you might prefer a beanie style hat. The stylish Dexshell beanie hats are both waterproof and windproof, guaranteed to keep you protected from all weather.
Team it with a head torch for running after dark and it could save you from tripping over a dodgy kerb and help you be seen by traffic. We have a wide range from market leaders Petzl, KombatUK and Coleman.
A jacket makes a great training partner…
Hardy runners and cyclists need a jacket that is lightweight and waterproof, designed with the active sport-user in mind. We stock the Keela Saxon and Storm Jackets in Men’s and Ladies designs – made from Flylite Aqua fabric, Keela‘s ultralight jacket is capable of withstanding the heaviest of downpours, is extremely breathable, quick drying and has a hood that can fit over a helmet as well as a scooped back to avoid those pesky drips when leaning over on a bike.
The orange version features additional reflective patches to ensure high visibility. We’re enjoying wearing these jackets on our runs – they performed really well during storms Ciara and Dennis!
Dry feet are happy feet…
Try to avoid stepping in puddles as much as you can. Your running shoes and feet will get wet from the rain, but they’ll get absolutely soaked if you step in a big puddle. Waterproof socks are a good idea – investing in a pair of Dexshell waterproof socks will help you go the extra mile
Top Tip: Store electronics in a waterproof carrier. The Ortlieb safe-it waterproof case offers lightweight special protection for your smart phone when you take it along on a ride or an adventure.
Energy gels are a quick and easy way to replenish carbohydrates and help you train harder for longer. We stock the High5 energy gel taster pack to give you a chance to try out a range of flavours from the range. We also have the High5 Zero Tablets – a refreshing, great tasting sugar free electrolyte drink with zero calories for during exercise and throughout the day.
Exercising in the rain will make you feel alive! As you slosh through the puddles and the rain is hitting your face, you’re building mental toughness and realising that you can handle any challenge that comes your way.