Last weekend at Love Trails Festival was absolutely EPIC. Three days surrounded by amazing people, in a beautiful location, playing in the outdoors. It was all the things I love the most and I can't wait to share a little film of our adventures soon!
In the meantime though, I'm going to chat festival camping gear! I love camping. There's something about bedding down in a cosy tent after a day of outdoor adventures that I find really satisfying, and nothing beats waking up somewhere beautiful where you can roll out the door and get on with having fun. Nothing excites me more than digging out my tent and heading to a field for a weekend, and I'm gutted that our schedules mean we don't get to sleep under canvas more (I'd love to be exploring a different campsite every weekend!), especially as we've got some great Quechua camping gear!
I've loved Decathlon brand Quechua's camping gear for long time, and even before I got involved in the Decathlon blogger's community Mike and I had kitted ourselves out with everything we needed for a comfy night's sleep under canvas. So you can imagine how excited I was to meet the design team behind the products I love when I was in the Alps last month!
The thing that impresses me the most about Quechua products is how thoughtfully they're designed. Talking me through the design and development process for a new (top-secret!) product it was fascinating to see how the team works together to refine their designs using everything from 3D prototypes to feedback from customers to make sure that what they create works as well as possible. That's why the products are often so unique, they've been designed to meet real needs as efficiently as possible.
When I chat to people about Quechua they often raise an eyebrow at the price point. The tent we have retails at £54.99. I get that this feels really cheap, and that this might lead you to question whether the tent is any good. I can assure you that it is. It's really good. Robust, well designed and easy to put up and take down. So how do Quechua do it? They're efficient. The design focuses on how to get the best quality, most functional product for the best price. This doesn't mean cutting corners, but it does mean thinking creatively, things like reducing packaging, eliminating stockrooms in store and restocking shelves just in time.
Decathlon is all about making sure sport is for all (and I've got an exciting project coming up to make exactly that point!), and that it's brands support this ethos. If you're after camping gear you just have to look for Quechua, which is great if you're new to camping and aren't sure what you need, or if you need to grab something in a hurry. Or simply top up your kit stash - our latest addition is a cool bag, because camping without cold beers just isn't on!
Here are my Quechua camping essentials:
a pop up tent
I love our three man pop up tent (we go big so that there's room for our bags and other bits and bobs). The design is surprisingly user friendly pop up design (it really isn't as hard to put away as you'd imagine!) to quirky practical details like a 'sunroof' to let in light and ventilate the tent, its design is above and beyond anything else in the market at the same price point and it's the perfect option for a festival (the pop up means no time wasted putting it up, so you can get on with partying).
an inflatable mattress and cosy bedding
You never get much sleep at a festival (hello early morning wake up call from Project Awesome!), so you want to make sure you're as comfy as possible when you do get to snooze.
One of our favourite buys has been our inflatable camping mattress. A couple of years ago at Wilderness we discovered our airbed had a slow leak. Cue four nights of a gradually deflating mattress and not a lot of sleep. As soon as the festival was over we knew we had to find something better. Although this camping mattress was an investment, it's been a good one. It packs down small, has a foot pump built in and inflates quickly and easily. The double is perfect for festivals and camping where you're staying at one site (it might be a bit bulky for backpacking).
We take sheets and a duvet to festivals (it's more practical than it sounds!), but if we didn't I think I'd go for a couple of these Quechua sleeping bags, which look really cosy!
If you've ever been to Decathlon you know you pick odd things up on a whim, and that's exactly what happened with this lantern. Turns out it was the perfect purchase! There's a hook in the roof of our tent where we hang it and it means we can see what we're doing without faffing around with handheld torches.
What are your camping essentials?
*I am part of the Decathlon Blogger's Community, but I purchased all the products mentioned here myself.