The 50 Best Camping Essentials - Sleeping

Whether it’s a rock festival or a faraway field, Simon Usborne finds the tents, togs and tackle for your outdoor adventure
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The Independent Online

Pure Wool Blanket

This isn’t hi-tech but, says Rob, “a nice wool blanket is an essential item that everyone needs in the back of the car, not only for the summer festival frenzy, but for breaking down on the motorway in the middle of the winter. A blanket will last for years, and when you need it, you usually really need it. I recommend British wool that has been reared and knitted close to home.”

Where: The Woollenmill (0131-220 3103;

How much: from £14.99

Fat Airic

Jonathan and Sophie say, “This chubby fellow is big brother of the Airics, a family of comfy, self-inflating roll mats. They are available in a range of colours, and pack away into handy bags when deflated. Designed for maximum camping comfort on bumpy fields and chilly ground, Fat Airic is the pick of the bunch as far as canvas companions go.”

Where: Alpkit (0115-932 5050;

How much: £45

Snugpak Travelpak Traveller

“You’ll want a lighter sleeping bag for summer and something to keep off biting bugs,” says Clive. “This bag ticks the boxes – high loft, low-compression filling and wicking inner – and it can be opened as a quilt or joined to another Traveller to form a double. The icing on the cake is the mosquito net that covers the face.”

Where: Snugpak (01535 654479;

How much: £49.95

Selk Bag

“Say ‘so long, sweet dreams’ to sleeping coffin- style in boring blue bags,” say Jonathan and Sophie, “and ‘hello’ to sleeping star-fish style courtesy of the Selk, the wearable sleeping bag. An ingenious cross between a catsuit and Puffa jacket, you don’t have to leave your bed to walk to the loo (even in temperatures as low as minus 8.4 degrees!). With handy zips to free your mitts for cupholding and fire-lighting, you’re free to do plenty, while remaining comfortably snug.”

Where: iWant One of Those (0844 573 7070;

How much: £89.95

Coleman Comfort Airbed

Clive says, “This comfy double has two chambers that allow you and your partner to select the required firmness for your own side of the bed.Not only will that ensure a good night’s kip, but if your partner should get up before you then your side remains stable – no more catapulting your loved one towards the door or spilling the coffee over the Sunday papers.”

Where: Coleman (01275 845024;

How much: £28.99

Flowies Sleeping Bag

Reluctant junior campers could be persuaded to spend a night under canvas if only the gear was a bit more appealing. Outwell does two winning ranges for kids including mats, daypacks and torches. The girly sleeping bag in the Flowies Rose range is fetching in floral pink and, with its ridge hood and generous filling, will keep its occupant as snug as a bug in a well-insulated rug.

Where: Outwell (

How much: £20

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