One of the most enjoyable parts of caravanning is that you can relax outside your caravan and enjoy the UK's beautiful summer evenings.
Enjoying your favourite drink and good company after a caravan-cooked meal is one of the most relaxing parts of a trip away. It is easy to make it even cosier, as well, whatever site you stay on.
If you are lucky enough to find a site where you can have a campfire, you might want to invest in a flint and steel firestarter, so you can build your fire and start it from scratch.
Bushcraft Survival Fire Lighter, £4.95, www.thebushcraftstore.co.uk
They are easy to use and all you'll need to gather for fuel is a little cotton wool, silver birch bark, kindling and larger pieces of wood. Starting your own fire from scratch is rewarding, fun and easier than you might think. However, there are shortcuts if this seems like too much work. Read all about how Clare Kelly and I learnt to build our own fire thanks to Original Outdoors' bushcraft course in July's issue of Practical Caravan, which is in the shops now and available as a digital download.
If you would rather not have a campfire, outdoor lighting can help to provide the same cosy atmosphere. These Kelty lights are perfect for either lighting your way to the toilet block or sitting around chatting.
Kelty's Flashback is flexible, with both spotlight and lantern functions using single LED and a top handle which would be useful to keep the light where you most need it.
Kelty Flashback £44.99 www.kelty.com
It also has a pivoting system so that the light can be rotated to alter the output of light. There are 5 different settings, from bright light to strobe lighting (just to make things a little more fun). It can also be 'closed' to provide a torch.
Another essential for the UK's evenings is a warm, cosy blanket so that you can stay out for longer. Tweedmill's traditionally made blankets are great quality and come in a large range of colours and patterns.
Tweedmill Tartan blankets £36 www.woolblanketonline.co.uk
Don't forget something to sit on! Although if you do, you can just sit on a blanket, picnic-style. Or use one of Tweedmill's great picnic rugs which are easy to pack and many styles have a waterproof backing.
Tweedmill polo with canvas strapping £59.95 www.beachfactory.com
Other styles from £14.95
But camping chairs are now so easy to transport, comfortable and even stylish that there really is no excuse.
The easiest to carry, most practical option is something like this folding mesh chair from Kelty. There are both a kids size and an adult size and you can get all sorts of different colours.
Folding chairKids: £29.99 Adults: £54.99www.kelty.com
If you want something to dine on, try the Quest Gloucester folding picnic table which has four seats and easily folds into its own carry case.
Gloucester folding picnic table £59.99 www.jacksonscamping.com
Alternatively, relaxing beach chairs like these from John Lewis come in all sorts of colours and patterns, and often even have matching wind-breaks which are great at keeping the area by your caravan private and sheltered.
Deck chair in pink £39 www.johnlewis.com
Plus, nothing says summer like a deck chair!
You can also get beautiful and funky windbreaks from companies such as Devon Daisy, plus you know they will be good quality because they are handmade and carefully checked.
Devon Daisy windbreak from £60 www.devondaisy.co.uk
An evening around the campfire or sitting outside your caravan would not be complete without some tasty food and refreshing drinks. Smores are a classic and can be made on either an open fire or on a barbeque, such as the Lotus smokeless grill. (Or you can even do s'mores in the oven!)
A great way to keep your wine and nibbles cool, without having to run back and forth to the fridge in your caravan, is with a cool bag.
Union Jack cool bag £25.49 www.theoldbagcompany.com
This lovely Union Jack cool bag from The Old Bag Company will cheer up even a dull evening while you are huddled in your blankets, determined to sit under the stars!
Enjoy an evening outside, whether sharing stories with fellow caravanners or sitting quietly with a glass of wine and a book.