The best new outdoors books on… camping

My pick of the top camping titles just in time for a summer of sleeping under stars and canvas, including essential info on where to pitch your tent and what to cook up on the campfire.

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CAMPFIRE CUISINE

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If the beautifully illustrated cover of this lovely little tome doesn’t make you want to pack up a rucksack and head for the hills, the recipes inside will. Author and avid camper Robin Donovan doesn’t believe in burnt potatoes and baked beans, and instead offers up over 100 lipsmacking treats that are easy to cook outdoors, such as Pear and Prosciutto Bruscetta with Balsamic syrup, Foil-Baked Yams with Spicy Chilli Butter, Thai-Style Veggie Curry and Maple-Caramel Baked Apples. Each recipe comes with info on how to rustle it up over a campfire or prepare at home beforehand (great for barbeque and picnic ideas too), and the book begins with crucial info on what kit to take, how to start a fire and cook successfully on the embers, menu planners for longer trips and mini-recipes for marinades and flavoured butters that will make even simple camping fare taste heavenly.

• Campfire Cuisine (£10.99) by Robin Donovan, is published by Quirk and is on sale now.

COOL CAMPING: BRITAIN

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I’m a big fan of the Cool Camping series of books (and super-useful website) and this nifty handbook is a welcome addition to my collection. Including over 150 hand-picked campsites from England, Wales and Scotland, all exceptional for their beauty and tranquility, Cool Camping spots are picked for their ambience and friendliness instead of their facilities and capacity. All the worry is taken out of figuring out where to head on the weekend – instead, pick what you like the look of from myriad tranquil cottage gardens, remote Welsh wooded glades or rugged Scottish coastal spots, pack up the tent and go. Each site listing comes with an atmospheric little description plus handy essential info, but best of all are the gorgeous glossy photos of happy campers under canvas on every page – they’ll inspire tent-based wanderlust in you like nothing else. You’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite spot, although author Jonathan Knight recommends “The Secret Campsite in Sussex. With just 15 pitches, it’s exclusive enough but it’s the unusual entrance to the camping meadow that sets the tone for a special, chilled-out stay – a disused railway bridge, over which you must pull all your kit in a trolley!”.

• Cool Camping Britain (£16.95) by Jonathan Knight and friends, is published by Punk Publishing and is on sale now.

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