Swap bricks for canvas, early mornings, outdoor life. Body clock reset
Jonathan Cherry shares the details that take camping trips from good to great
FLOWERS FOR THE TABLE
One of the first things Gemma does on arrival at any campsite is set off with the kids to forage wild blooms for the table – picked responsibly, of course – leaving the adults to pitch the tents in peace. Display in a recently finished beverage bottle of your choice.
KUBB (VIKING CHESS)
With a handy carry bag, this game travels everywhere with us from the garden to the beach. Great as a family game with the kids but even better played late in the evening with a beer in hand. Just mind your shins!
HERBS & SPICES
Bex advises taking a ‘store cupboard’ supply of your most used herbs and spices – it’ll save your kitchen being overrun with duplicates on your return and means campfire dishes can be as flavourful away as they would be at home. Her favourites are ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, herbes de Provence and baharat.
Matt couldn’t survive a camping trip without the Firewok. Hand crafted by a small business in Bristol, this is our favourite portable fire pit and comes with great cooking accessories (firewok.co.uk).
Logs and kindling are readily available at most campsites but we always take our own tinder to ensure dinner happens! For every camping trip, Matt brings a mason jar of cotton wool balls and tumble dryer lint which he collects over the winter – free and a great fire starter.
SWEDISH LOG CANDLE
This is a self-feeding camp fire made from one log. Cross-cut 3⁄4 of the way down and stuff the top 15–20cm with tinder and kindling. Set a small fire on top of the log. Thin sections of the log at the top will start burning, sucking air down and drawing fire into the heart of the log. At this stage, it is possible to boil a kettle or cook on top of the candle.
You don’t need to write a diary of your trip in haikus to camp well, but if you fancy writing one or two like Matt’s on these pages (@Matt_633)... A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem of 17 syllables, broken up into 5/7/5. They often focus on nature, and in character are simple and direct.
How to write haiku:
Count syllables, be direct
Focus on nature
Turn to page 38 of August's The Simple Things for more of our camping special.