Virtually there - January 2010
So what are your plans for the summer break? Lying on a beach in the Caribbean? Diving at the Great Barrier Reef? Skiing in Whistler, BC? Visiting your in-laws in Whakatane? My wonderful husband, cyclist and wine buff that he is, told me that he had booked me my perfect holiday Ė a week watching the Tour Down Under and visiting vineyards in Adelaide Lovely thought, but he absent-mindedly forgot that Iím a non-cycling teetotaller. Last time I went to Adelaide it was shut and we had to hang around on the tarmac until someone found a cleaner to open the airport, but even a week in Adelaide is better than spending the summer camping.
I hate camping. Why would I spend the year making the kitchen perfect and the bathrooms divine, only to spend my precious holiday crouching over a gas burner and wearing jandals in communal showers? Why would I walk all day without shops to go to? However, if you should find yourself with no option in the matter (house burned down, new outdoorsy boyfriend to impress, hiding from the law), I suggest you at least take these essentials to make it bearable.
Letís start with the tent. My recommendation is the Indaba tent from Australian outfit Luxury Tents. It has a tolerable 48sqm of floor area, with wooden doors, glass windows and chandelier optional. Louis Vuitton does a nice line in camping furniture. My favourite is a fold-out bed in a suitcase (first made in 1878 for a Congo explorer). You can find it here. Follow the links to Services>SpecialOrders>Custom Made> From Past to Present to find the birthday cake box and the Stokowski desk trunk (1936), both of which I know will come in handy.
Even more important, Zodimake ducted tent heaters for those cooler evenings, and portable hot showers with tented surrounds for the more modest among us. And what about the toilets I hear you ask? Sorry, Iím not even going there. If you must, look at this. Donít say I didnít warn you Ė Iím just not eating till I get home.
If you didnít have the foresight to have all your food catered, you just might have to cook. The best-ever ultimate camp cooking appliance, from camping mail order super-store Cabelaís, is the outdoor turkey deep-fryer. I have often thought how fine it would be to relax at the end of a hard dayís camping by deep-frying a turkey. Iíd have a Fireflye drink bottle lantern(drink and illuminate simultaneously) from Guyot Designs.
They also make an easy-to-pack campersí Squishy Pet Bowl. For the finishing touch to a perfect meal, how about a Mypressi Twist portable espresso machine? The pressure comes from nitrous oxide cartridges so, if it all becomes too much, you can ditch the coffee entirely and just go with the gas.
After dinner, imagine the scene: relaxing on Kathmanduís inflatable camping sofaand watching your favourite TV from around the world thanks to the VuQube portable satellite TV antenna. Or listen to your fave tunes through the Regen solar-powered iPod sound dockĖ vital when you have had just about all you can take of the sounds of nature. Even better, a campfire singalong with your neat slimline Backpacker guitar. Or not.
Maybe the answer is to contract out the whole business. Glamping (glamorous camping) is the next big thing and www.GoGlamping.netis a great place to peruse luxury camping holidays from around the world. Just think, if you can pay someone to set up the luxury camp for you, maybe you can pay someone to go as well.
Story: Kim Rutter