Plan C

With holiday plans shattered, camping might be this summer’s greatest adventure. Are you in? 

We’re getting our heads around the prospect of a summer packed with cancelled trips and pared back plans and are slowly beginning to accept that we might have to embrace the c-word. Camping is endured rather than cherished at Brum Living Towers, however, this year we’re putting the likelihood of zero sleep, cabin fever and trench foot to the back of our minds and warming to the idea that it could be this summer’s saviour.

If SIFA Fireside’s Big Brummie Camp Out taught us anything – apart from Brummies being tremendously big of heart – it’s that camping in your very own garden might be our kind of camping. All the fun of the camp site with civilised facilities on tap. Whether you’re staying in your own back yard or going further afield, investing in the right kit will make it all the more enjoyable.


You need the right tent if pleasure is going to factor in this experience at all. Advanced materials and clever ventilation mean it’s possible to (a) stay dry in a downpour and (b) not be sweltering in the heat. Pay as much as you can afford, but shop savvy. Check out last year’s models which will be cheaper than 2020 versions that might only have the tiniest design adaptations. Also, consider where you’re planning to pitch. If you’re trekking and moving around, a lightweight tent is a must. If you’re staying put once pitched, go for size and comfort. Always opt for a tent you can stand up in if you’re in it for longer than a night. Shop around and check out brands like Coleman, Terra Nova, Vango and the North Face. `


Let’s get real. Unless you’re one of those people who can sleep on a washing line, accept you’re going to be sacrificing some shut-eye, but you can maximise your chances with decent kit. Whether you go for a foam-based mattress which is essentially a foam rectangle or an inflatable air bed depends on your budget. Foam-based beds aren’t as comfortable as inflatable. Having said that, they don’t absorb water, puncture or require pumping up. We’d go for comfort every time, but horses for courses. Go for the best sleeping bag you can afford too – Aldi’s middle isle is not your friend here. Buy cheap, buy twice. Shop around.


Portable speakers and the latest gadgets mean good quality music is a given and there’s no need to be cut off from the outside world, unless you want to be of course. Products with multiple functions or that charge themselves are great such as stoves that double up as chargers, self- charging torches or the trusty Swiss army knife. Pack lots of games – cards, rounders and bat and ball are always winners. The games table pictured is fab and doubles up as your dining room.

Remember the essentials like duct tape, cable ties, extra batteries and first-aid kit and most importantly pack your sense of humour. We’ve pulled a few bits and pieces together that might make your trip a little easier.

See the latest issue for more greta tips and cool products