For a few weekends every year, my family and I (including the dog) all head out camping in Ireland. Last year, the weather was nothing short of glorious. The sun split the rocks, the water was balmy and the tent was ... sweaty. As soon as dawn broke I woke up in an oven and spent much of my early mornings yawning on the beach as the dog ran sprints around me (he doesn't normally get out that early either). It made me realise that maybe warm-weather camping isn't all it's cracked up to be.
So this year, I am not praying for sunshine. Instead, I'm to make our camping trip as comfortable as possible regardless of the weather with a few carefully chosen accessories.
1 You always have more than you can fit, making packing one of the biggest challenges of camping. The smaller your bag, the better and its a winner if the bag is waterproof – pitching up in the rain only to find your "dry" clothes are no longer just that is a hell we all know too well. This bag can also double up as a carrier for sundowners on the beach.
Blackpack VEL-OH, €186, Irish Design Shop
2 Even on the balmiest of summer days, the evenings can be chilly. Keep snug with these gorgeous woolly socks. Made from 100% Jacobs wool, knit in Ireland, then hand-dyed with natural plant dyes.
Pure wool socks, €39, Kathryn Davey
3 This easy inflatable, very cool couch will be the envy of neighbouring campers. Just make sure to pack it away on windy days.
Fatboy Lamzac, €74.50, Fatboy
4 Sitting around the campfire and terrifying our kids with scary stories is part of the fun. Keep snug with a throw but make sure they don't spill hot chocolate on this beauty when frightened.
House in the forest wool blanket, €136, The Blue Door
5 After many camping trips, I am still hoping to find the perfect camping mug. The traditional enamel mugs look great, but they just get too hot to hold and then cool off before you have a few sips taken. I spotted the Yeti mug online, and we are definitely going to try it out. The mug has a double wall vacuum insulation that keeps your drinks hot until the last sip and has a triple-grip handle that is comfortable for even the widest hands.
Rambler 14 oz mug, €22.17, Yeti
6 Almost more important than a tent is a barbecue. The Weber Go-Anywhere portable charcoal barbecue has steel legs that fold in to lock the lid in place for easy carrying.
Go-Anywhere Charcoal Barbecue, €99, Weber
Holding image Madam Stolz