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One of the best things about camping is that it takes us away from our everyday existence. We can leave behind the pressures of work and the sameness of home, and explore somewhere completely new, and most importantly: different. The very otherness of the outdoors is what attracts many of us to it, but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon all of the comforts of home. Camping, and indeed caravanning, may be about getting away from the everyday world, but that’s no reason not to enjoy delicious food and drinks as and when we’d like them.
Caravans come with cookers, refrigerators, storage space and kitchen surfaces, so that preparing a good meal is easily managed. This can be more difficult while camping. Equipment has to be lightweight and portable, which would seem to rule out many kitchen appliances, particularly fridges. But that need not be the case: mini fridges are a great means of keeping things cool, and many of them are now transportable, another option is an electric cool bag or cool box. We’ve outlined a few of the products available for keeping things chilled while you’re out in the wild.
A deluxe 15 litre mini fridge uses thermoelectric technology to keep things cooled to 20 degrees below the ambient temperature, and makes a great camping fridge or caravan fridge. It is powered through a UK mains socket or a 12 volt car cigarette lighter socket, which means that if you’re reaching your campsite by car, you can keep things nicely chilled along the way. It can also be switched to a heating function if you need to warm food, making this flexible little fridge a very handy item to take along with you. The fridge’s 15 litre capacity means that it can easily hold two large drinks bottles – or four if you remove the partition. If you’re looking for something even more compact, there is also a 5 litre model, which makes a great little storage device for cans.
For battery operated cooling appliances, we would recommend something like this 12 volt electric cooler bag (above). Attractively designed, and with closable outer pockets as well as net pockets, this bag is ideal for camping trips and caravan excursions. With a capacity of 32 litres, it is finished in hard-wearing polyester and has a two-way ventilation system for fast cold distribution. Easy to carry, and with plenty of storage space, electric cooler bags like this one are the fast becoming must have items. Another option is an electric cool box. Thermoelectric cool boxes are reasonably price, come in a range of capacity options and can cool up to 18 degrees below the ambient temperature.
At the other end of the price scale, there is always the option of a portable fridge, which comes with a compressor and electronic controls. Such fridges have an adjustable temperature range between plus 10 and minus 18 degrees. Not as lightweight as the cool boxes, they are nevertheless extremely effective as car fridges, and will keep your food chilled to precisely the correct temperature.
Whichever product is the right one for you, whether it’s a transportable mini fridge, an electric cooler bag or a portable fridge, it’s comforting to know that you need never be without at least this important comfort from home, no matter where you might be sleeping.