Morning sunshine! Getting ready for a spring and summer of little adventures? Pack the best new camping kit in my favourite new rucksack, get on my new go-to bike and go exploring.
Trakke Assynt 17 rucksack, £175
Ooh, pretty. Trakke’s waterproof waxed rucksacks are handmade in Scotland and are as gorgeous as they are functional. I love taking mine on bike rides and to meetings, as the roomy laptop sleeve holds a computer without an issue and the drawstring closure makes it quick to get at what you need. The waxed canvas only looks better and gets softer and more malleable with age – totally worth the investment for a beautifully made rucksack inspired by vintage outdoor gear. My only wish is that the Assynt had an outer pocket for water bottles.
Vans UltraRange trainers, £50
A hint of sunshine calls for fresh new trainers. Vans’ new UltraRange kicks are so light and breathable to wear, it barely feels like there’s anything on your feet. I love their bouncy yet rugged soles, ideal for coastal adventures and sports, and the well designed laces that stay put all day – you can tell these shoes were designed with feedback from Vans’ team of athletes. If you’re as mucky as me, though, you may want to pick a darker colour.
ON YOUR BIKE
G Tech city eBike
I was rather reticent about ebikes until very recently. But to give an electic bike a try is to fall in love with the easy joy of speeding along paths and climbing mountain tracks with little effort and more time to stop and enjoy the view. GTech’s excellent city ebike is a brilliant all-rounder electric bike for newbies to the world of battery-powered biking, and my new favourite thing for gadding about Bristol and for weekends exploring on country lanes. It may never replace my trusty road bike when I’m looking for tough cycles, but for ease of getting from A to B and going further on little adventures it’s wonderful, easy to charge, assisting you to 15 mph and surprisingly light. Totally worth the investment.
OUTXE 3-in-1 camping lantern, £21.50
One for your camping kit list. This absolutely genius waterproof lantern light is light, portable and waterproof to two metres. The pocketable size of an iPhone, it’s so durable you can step on it and chuck it about willy-nilly and never harm it, making it perfect for festivals and camping with mates. It’s not just a great lantern – it also has a long-reaching flashlight mode AND doubles up as a power bank – all you need for light and power supply on wild camping trips, and the light weight makes it great for bikepacking and backpacking, too.
Blaze Traveller heated jacket, £195
Feel the cold? I’m one of those chilly people who are never quite warm enough on winter walks and cold weather camping trips. Well, until I tested out Blaze’s Traveller jacket. Wrap yourself in the closest you’ll get to an electric blanket and you’ll be hooked. Flick a switch and a battery gently heats panels in the jacket (don’t worry, you can’t feel them), warming you up fast. Even when turned off, the jacket’s synthetic insulation fill is deliciously warm. You won’t want to take this beauty off until midsummer.
Van Loon Maxim zip top, £190
What do you buy for the sportswoman who has everything? I’d suggest this wonderfully luxe and lovely base layer from Van Loon, ideal for hiking, skiing and cold weathe travelling. Made from sumptuous Gojira wool, the Maxim feels incredibly soft and cosy to wear, with a high neck and retro styling. It look rather like something a stylish Bond girl might wear, which I greatly appreciate.