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Friday, March 28, 2008

Cool camping: cowboy-print tipis and other chic accoutrements

Forget the need to worry about whether your gear is waterproof, breathable or even lightweight “The only question cool campers will be asking of their equipment this summer is whether they should opt for Ted Baker's flying duck-motif tent or Cath Kidston's cowboy-print tipi,” The Observer told us in ‘Cool Camping’. And that was only the start of it, they threatened. A mini reindeer skin was a must for getting cosy around the camp fire, as was the Ted Baker range (naturally) of blow-up tiger skin mattresses and foldable camping chairs that looked like padded leather chesterfields, available from Blacks. While at Millets, we could choose from Cath Kidston’s (of course) cowboy-print tipis, floral windbreaks, and stripy camping chairs. If the cool camper still couldn’t find anything to suit their style, they could simply create their own with the Eurohike Paint Your Own Tent kit, which comes with waterproof paints and brushes. If you’re taking your tent to a music festival you want to make it stand out after all. But how could the happy camping-by-day clubbing-by-night camper not find anything hip among the Hed Kandi range? Surely the Hed Kandi sun seat (“the perfect assist for those hazy days and balmy nights”) would be the first thing to go in the shopping cart? And right after it would be the Hed Kandi Snuggle Bag (which can be zipped to another) for a “close knit disco nap in your Boudoir tent”. Yes, the music festivals have a lot to answer for. Of course, I’d gladly pack away a tiny Grilliput barbecue, a portable shower, an Aerobie Aeropress espresso maker, and a compact travel mosquito net any day. They may not be covered in cow-print or daisy-patterns but they’re my idea of creature comforts. But if rainbow colours and kaleidoscopic patterns are what it takes to inspire some of us to get out and experience nature, then here’s to cool camping with all its chic accessories! Don't you agree?

And, um... yes, that is a mini-bar in the 'tent', and, yes, I'm afraid that is a bookshelf on the wall... but it is holding travel guides, there were mosquitoes, and the Mekong River and Burma are just outside. You can see them from the outdoor rain shower. Oh, and from the massage tables.

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