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Happy camping with Claire Thomson and the Sunday Telegraph

Happy camping with Claire Thomson and the Sunday Telegraph


I am sure everyone has their own vision of camping; some good, some not so good – the time the tent got washed away, the night you woke to find the site trampled by cows, the communal toilet block.

And the food……………. Tins of beans, dehydrated “meals”, half cooked sausages when the gas ran out.


But it can be so much better than that, especially with the current glorious weather and the choice of superior campsites now available.


Claire Thomson, aka @5oclockapron took her family camping for the Sunday Telegraph and to demonstrate to camping sceptics that, with a little organisation, camping can be charming and camp cooking delicious.

And whilst all the recipes in this article can be cooked on a camping stove, Claire used an array of Netherton cookware and outdoor cooking kit. 

This included our giant fire table, which allowed them the joy of cooking over fire, without scorching the grass and the split chapa, for direct cooking and pan cooking alike.  Because outdoors everything tastes better cook over fire, right?  And when supper is over, you can sit round the fire, under the stars, toast marshmallows and even sing a few campfire songs!!

With three children, camping kit and a cool box or two to pack into the car, there is a not a lot of spare room, so taking the legs off the fire table and chapa and storing them flat in the boot is ideal and space saving.


Here, in brief, is what Claire said:

Come summertime, escaping the city and setting up camp is a favourite holiday activity for my three children. Their dad, my husband Matt, is also a Kiwi and lifelong camper.

His camping tales from childhood are of the wilderness, day-long fishing trips and evening barbecues. Faced with this zeal for camping, from all members of my family, I am powerless to resist.

What I’ve learnt so far is that organisation is crucial if camping to going to have any charm. Comfortable bedding (why not take your duvet?), a good stash of logs for a fire to keep you warm in the evening is essential and foldable chairs are a total boon; home from home, almost.

As for food, this is where I come into my own, I may not be the world’s best camper, but I can cook. For me, the food needs to be low maintenance, but no less delicious than the stuff I cook for my family at home.

Photos by Emli Bendixen

And here are her camping essentials A tent (obviously) 

  • Roll mats - I find the sort that fill up with air are best 
  • Bedding - duvets all the way! 

Camping stove or barbecue with a solid top to cook and boil water - We have a camping grill complete with fire pit, dual purpose and very handy, but a camping stove will do.

Heavy pot with a tight lid for efficient cooking 

  • Stove-top kettle for boiling water 
  • Cool box (we have one with a USB that plugs into our car)
  • Head torches and spare batteries for reading at night, hands free 
  • Camping chairs for all the family 
  • Gaffer tape and cable ties for running repairs on the site 
  • Phone battery charger 
  • Easy coffee making system (we use an Aeropress)

Read this Sunday Telegraph article on line here

If you sign up for the free 30 day trial you get to see more photos and Claire's recipes. 

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