Sail and Trail Blog

  • Top Christmas gifts for the caravan lover in your life

     

    christmas caravan print

    As Christmas rolls around again, it brings with it the familiar sense of dread; just what do I get for the person who has everything?

    Chances are the caravan lover in your life will be spending most of his or her time thinking about their beloved travel buddy anyway.

    However, here at Sail and Trail we’ve done the hard work for you and we hope you’ll be happy with the list we’ve rustled up!

     

    1) This beautiful caravan print is the perfect gift for the arty caravanner in your life. You might not be on the road, but this simple print is a lovely reminder of your next caravan trip. The print is £25 and can come ready gift wrapped!

     

    2) Give National Trust membership for unlimited access to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. With more than 500 National Trust sites made up of many historic houses, gardens and nature reserves, as well as events running throughout the year, you’ll never be far from a fantastic day out. Gift memberships starts from £63 for an adult, £105 for a pair, or £111 for a family.

     

    caravan christmas t shirt

    3) Perfect as a stocking filler or Secret Santa, the Nova Multi Quirl turns a miserable rainy day in the caravan into a cosy retreat. The tiny whisk is perfect for making the frothiest of cappuccinos, a perfect milkshake or delicious omelette. At just £13.99 and dishwasher safe, it’s not hard to see why they’re so popular!

     

    4) With this cool eco-friendly caravan t-shirt you don’t ever need to ask him what he’s thinking about again! Each design is hand printed onto organic cotton to ensure a long lasting t-shirt of the highest quality. £20.

     

    5) Not exactly a glamourous gift, but the Back2You Covert GPS Tracker is potentially a crimestopper and gives caravan owners the ultimate peace of mind by altering them to their caravan’s location on demand. This GPS Tracker is an essential bit of kit for any caravan owner. Save £50! Now just £175.

     

    6) Fun for all the family! This cute caravan jigsaw is the perfect way to spend an evening or rainy afternoon. £12.99

    caravan christmas jigsaw

     

     

     

  • 6 reasons why you should head to the waterways this autumn

    As we wave goodbye to the last of the summer we can already see some golden leaves underfoot as autumn firmly makes its way towards us. But while there may not be the long balmy evenings of the summer to look forward to, autumn is actually the perfect time to head to the waterways, either by boat, bike or foot.

    Here’s why:

    kingfisher sail and trail canalsBirdwatching

    As well as an abundance of berry-foraging birds, autumn is also the perfect time to spot the elusive Kingfisher. They’ll be out and about trying to stock up on as much food as possible before the cold winter and with the trees and bushes losing their leaves, it’s much easier to spot their blue and orange feathers.

     

    To stave off winter blues and colds

    While the damp and the cold can make heading outside seem unappealing, it’s more important than ever to get outside as the days grow shorter. Not only will you get a vital dose of Vitamin D (helping stave off illness and depression), you’ll also get your pulse going and heart rate up helping to keep you healthier for longer.

     

    Bat-spotting at sunset

    If you want to time your trip for sunrise or sunset you may also be lucky enough to see some bats, darting alongside the canals as they hunt. Dawn and dusk is the best time to see bats along rivers and canals.

     

    autumn canals sail and trailStocking up your cupboard

    It’s not just the wild animals who can stock up for winter, autumn is also the perfect time for you to forage damsons, blackberries, dandelion, horseradish and crab apples. Make sure to bring a sharp knife and plastic bag.

     

    It’s a great way to socialise

    Enjoying a good walk, bike or boat trip is a fantastic way to combine exercise and getting outdoors with spending quality time with friends of family. The waterways are some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and a great location to head to in a group.

     

    A pub is never far away.

    There are hundreds of waterside pubs and cafes alongside the canals, perfect for a refreshing drink after a long autumn excursion.

     

    But, before you set off on your trip – make sure you have the best outdoors equipment. SHOP NOW!

  • How to make your non-stick cookware last even longer!

     

    cooklite cookware pan

    Congratulations on your brand new Cooklite cookware – you are now an owner of some of the best pans on the market!

    Our pans are super tough and come with an easy wipe clean surface making them incredibly durable and long lasting.

    However, every little helps so we’ve put together a few tips for you to ensure your pans last for even longer!

     

    • Be nice to your pan!

    The extremely hard Petra Stone bonded coating means the use of non-sharp metal utensils is now possible with your Cooklite cookware.

    However, do try and avoid scraping sharp metal objects against the non-stick coating or cutting up food whilst it’s in the pan. Alternatively you can use plastic, rubber or wooden utensils to help prolong the life of your Cooklite pan.

     

    • cooklitepans frying panDon’t scrub your pans

    Our Cooklite pans have an easy wipe clean surface, so should be like new again in seconds.

    However, if your pan needs a deeper clean then avoid wiry or scraping cloths. Instead, wait for the pan to cool down and wash it with warm soapy water. Rinse and then dry with a soft towel.

     

    •  Don’t abandon your Cooklite!

    Your Cooklite pan is super tough and can withstand a lot, but if you frequently leave an empty pan on a hot burner for a long time, you can cause damage to the non-stick coating on the cookware.

    If you’re not using the pan just take it off the heat until you’re ready to cook.

     

    • Avoid oil sprays

    If you want to cook with fats, then use whole fats with a high smoke point, like oil or butter, instead of cooking spray.

    Oil spray and other fats with low smoke points can’t withstand high temperatures and will leave a sticky buildup of the spray that doesn't burn off during cooking.

     

    • Enjoy!

    We hope you love your Cooklite cookware as much as we do and want to explore the whole range.

    If you wish to browse, you can check out our online shop here! 

  • How to restore your old cooking pans

     

    cooklite cooking pot frying pan

    You’ve had a good time together over the years, shared some delicious meals and some heart-warming moments, but now your pans are a former shell of what they used to be.

    Perhaps they are refusing to heat, or covered in dark sticky goo, or simply making everything they touch taste of coal – but can they be rescued?

     

    Tried vinegar?

    Before your send your frying pans and cooking pots to the bin, make sure you’ve given them a good scrub with vinegar. This will work across all pan types including stainless steel, aluminium, non-stick and cast iron and should help remove nasty stains and burnt bits.

    However, if your cookware is non-stick and the coating has started to strip away, there’s very little you can do to fix it once you’ve exhausted your vinegar cleaning options.

     

    Are your pans peeling?

    In this case you should absolutely be looking at purchasing some new cookware. Not only can parts of the peeling pan get into your food, affecting its taste, texture and appearance, it can also be incredibly unsafe. No amount of vinegar can fix this!

     

    cooklitepans frying pan

    Time for new pans!

    At Sail and Trail we’re proud of our excellent range of Cooklite pans, not only are they scratch resistant helping them last even longer, they are also non-stick, oven proof up to 180 Degrees and ergonomic with an easy grip handle.

    We also offer the best prices around! So why not start making cooking enjoyable again with some beautiful new cooking pots and pans?

    Shop now!

  • The UK’s coolest camping sites

     

    With the value of the Pound dropping like crazy, it’s never made more sense to holiday at home. And with some of the world’s most beautiful countryside outside your front door, why wouldn’t you want to?

    But if a summer of wet canvas fills you with dread, don’t worry – we’ve compiled some of the UK’s coolest campsites that guarantee you an amazing break whatever the weather.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    The Dome Garden, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

    Set in the middle of the Ancient Forest of Dean, The Dome Garden is the ultimate nature getaway. Guests stay in stylish eco-conscious, geodesic domes that provide luxurious (and dry!) accommodation for up to eight people. All the domes have individual en-suites with flushing loos and wood fired showers or baths as well as a wood burning stove. The best part? No putting them up and taking them down!

     

     

    Bay View Farm Camping Site, Cornwall

    With wonderful sea views overlooking Looe and St George's Island, Bay View Farm Camping Site in Cornwall is definitely one of our favourites. The farm boasts seven Shire horses that guests can pet, and if you’re in luck you may even see them in all their show gear finery! There are also many picturesque coastal paths and nearby beaches to explore, as well as the  Lost Gardens of Heligan and Eden Project.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Wales

    Boasting sweeping views of the Gower coastline, the Three Cliffs Bay campsite offers an incredible viewing experience to guests. There are many beautiful walks around as well swimming in the sea opportunities for the brave! The on-site shop also offers an extensive range of local produce, BBQ Food, groceries, scoop ice cream and more.

     

    Bosworth Waterside Trust, Warwickshire

    This is a great option for families looking to enjoy an activity filled break in beautiful scenery. The stunning lakes offering lots of fishing, sailing and windsurfing options, with a large children’s play area and plenty of open space for games also. The site is grassed and gently sloping with a mixture of both electric and non-electric pitches.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    Muasdale, Argyll

    With panoramic sea views, stunning sunsets and an abundance of wildlife, Muasdale is a gorgeous option for campers in Scotland. Brave souls can try a spot of swimming, with lots of incredible walking routes also on hand. Should the weather not hold, there is also a good selection of distilleries, castles and historic attractions nearby.

     

     

     

     Don't forget for an excellent range of outdoor equipment to visit our online shop!

  • Five reasons caravanning is better with solar panels  

     

    Many people are aware that they can save money and the environment by using renewable energy but not many people know how. By simply investing in a portable solar panel, you can enjoy a much better caravan or motorhome experience than before. And while there is an initial investment (ours start from £49.99) the benefits soon make it worthwhile.

     

    • Free electricity

    The sun’s energy is, of course, free! This means that no matter how much you use, you will never see a bill or face a charge for using a hook up, giving you more money to spend on the things you actually care about. The amount of money you save will be dependent on how much energy you previously used, but the savings could be huge over your solar panel’s life time.

     

    solar panels caravan motorhome

     

    • Reduce your carbon footprint

    As holidays go, enjoying a trip in your caravan or motorhome is already one of the greenest options out there. But by using a solar panel you are no longer reliant on electricity produced from non-renewable sources, helping reduce your carbon footprint and keep our planet healthy and beautiful for longer.

     

    • Be safer

    We hope it never comes to it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and if the worst were to happen and you need the emergency services fast it would be terrible not to have a charged phone handy. A solar panel means that no matter what, you’ve always got a source of energy to power your communication devices.

     

    • solar panels caravan motorhomeElectricity, no matter where you are

    One of the most beautiful thing about having your own caravan or motorhome is that you can truly get away from it all. But what if you’re in a part of the countryside, so remote, there aren’t any electrical hook-ups? Having a solar panel means you can be on the furthest tip of the country, but still power a kettle – perfect!

     

    • Avoid falling foul to power cuts

    Unlike other energy sources, the sun’s energy never runs out, and even  in cloudy Britain, your solar panel will be sure to absorb some energy everyday (if it’s correctly set up and facing the appropriate way). This means that even if you have a hook up or generator as a primary source of energy, you’ve always got a reliable back up in solar.

     

    Check out our wide range of solar panels – starting from £49.99 here!

     

  • Easy Recipes to Impress With a Nova Multi Quirl  

     

    Known by many as the Miracle Whisk, the Nova Multi Quirl is the must-have kitchen accessory that’s been taking foodies all over the world by storm. But how to make the most of it?

     

    Meringues to Die For Nova Quirl Caravan Boat

    The difference between shop bought and homemade meringues is huge, and with the Nova Multi Quirl it’s no longer a faff to whip up your own, even in a caravan or boat kitchen!

    Method: With your Nova Multi Quirl whip up four large egg whites until they start to form peaks. Then slowly add 115g of caster sugar (a little at a time!) while still whipping, and then when the mixture looks glossy put down your Nova Multi Quirl and slowly fold in 115g of icing sugar. Dollop onto baking-paper lined trays and cook at 100 Celsius for 1hr 15 minutes (conventional or gas oven) or 1hr 30 – 1hr 45 if you have a fan oven.

    Top Tip: Use your Nova Multi Quirl to whip up some whipping cream, chop up some freshly picked strawberries and mix together with your crumbled meringues. Ta da! You know have a delicious desert of Eton Mess ready to go!

     

    The Mayonnaise to Beat all Mayonnaises

    Nothing makes a summer barbeque like the addition of some freshly prepared mayonnaise, and with the Nova Multi Quirl this is as simple as opening a jar – and way more delicious!

    Method: Using your Nova Multi Quirl whisk one egg yolk, a couple of pinches of salt and the same amount of sugar in a glass bowl. In a cup mix together 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a table spoon of white wine vinegar and add half to the whisked egg yolk, whisking thoroughly as you do so. Add a cup of oil to the mixture, one drop at a time, until the mixture emulsifies, and slowly add the rest of the oil and lemon mixture. Make sure you keep whisking using your Nova Multi Quirl while you add all the ingredients and then leave for an hour or so, and serve!

    Top Tip: Add a splash of Dijon mustard or mustard powder to give the mayonnaise kick if serving with meat products.

     

    nova quirl caravan boat

    The Perfect Café Latte

    Nothing beats a waking up in your boat or motorhome to a beautiful café latte, and with the Nova Multi Quirl this is no longer a treat that requires a trek to the nearest coffee shop.

    Method: Simply heat your milk in the microwave then use your Nova Multi Quirl to get it all light and frothy. Pour the milk mixture in your cup then pour your freshly brewed coffee through it and sprinkle with chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla.

    Top Tip: For an after dinner treat; add a generous slug of liquor like Baileys or Whiskey.

    Pick up your Nova Multi Quirl now! SHOP HERE...

  • Top Tips for Buying a Drysuit

    drysuit diving wetsuit

    We may have enjoyed a few sunny days, but the water hasn’t paid any attention and no matter whether you are planning an excursion in UK waters or in much more tropical ones, a drysuit is essential for dives in cool waters, dives with limited movement and lengthy dives.

    However, it’s important to get the right fit. Drysuits are an expensive bit of kit, so you want to ensure you get the most out of it. These questions and answers might help:

     

    Do I need a drysuit?

    Drysuits are essential if you are diving (or completing other activities such as kayaking) in cool water (typically below 15-16 Celsius). If you don’t wear one the cold can have seriously negative effects on your health.

    If you are completely an activity in water that is warmer than 15-16 Celsius you may also want to consider a drysuit if you will make limited or no movement.

     

    What are some key characteristics I should lookout for in the hunt for a perfect drysuit?

    One of the first things you should check is that your drysuit’s zips are fully functional and not going to let any water in. This is the one area you don’t want to compromise quality. It is also a good idea to invest in zipper wax, to lubricate the zip after every dive.

    You should also pay special attention to the neck and wrist seals, too loose and they let all the cold water you’ve been trying to avoid in, too tight and they can cut your circulation. It’s  up to you whether you opt for latex or neoprene seals.

     

    drysuit diving wetsuit

    Neoprene Suit or Shell Suit?

    Drysuits roughly split into two categories; tight and thick drysuits made from compressed or traditional foam neoprene, or shell (also known as membrane) drysuits which come with both an inner and outer layer. Both have their advantages:

    Shell suits:

    • Lightweight and flexible and easy to put on
    • Dry faster than neoprene suits
    • Can be used in a wide range of water temperatures depending on the undergarments worn.
    • Popular with technical divers

    Neoprene suits:

    • Popular with wreck and cave divers
    • Cheaper than shell suits
    • Ideal for beginners
    • Tighter than shell suits, so less drag
    • Hardier than shell suits, can take more wear and tear

     

     How long will my drysuit last?

    If you look after your drysuit correctly, a good quality one should last up to ten years.

     

    Drop one of our expert team an email, or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help you with any queries.

     Or check out our full range here: 

  • Top tips for sailing with your dog

    sailing dogs boat

    There’s nothing better than getting away from it all, the wind in your hair and only the open water ahead. However, there’s only one thing better than sailing, and that’s sailing with your four legged friend.

    But, while there is lots of fun to be had, there are also some really serious considerations to be made about taking a dog on board.  We’ve compiled a guide to ensure a super safe trip:

     

    • Getting on and off

    First things first, when it comes to getting your dog on and off board, the best way to do so is for him/her to be carried in some capacity or to use a ramp.

    Your dog’s natural instinct will be to jump on or off board, but it can be difficult for a dog to gauge this correctly and accidents can happen as the boat moves, or he/she gets confused by the fence.

     

    • Don't forget the essentials

    You will also need to bring fresh drinking water, waste bags and paper towels (unless your dog is trained to use a litter tray).

    Extra towels are always handy especially if you moor up for a swim or paddle. There’s nothing quite as lingering as the smell of wet dog, so you’ll want to ensure your pooch is as dry as possible so he/she doesn’t use your interior furnishings as a towel instead.

    It’s also a good idea to bring a couple of mats or bits of carpet to both protect the boat from your dog’s claws, but more importantly this will also stop him/her from slipping around and sliding overboard.

    dog sailing boat

     

    Lifesaving equiptment

    Should the worst happen and your dog does fall overboard, you’ll not only want him/her to float but also to be easily visible, it’s therefore important to invest in a dog life vest. As well as providing lifesaving services it will also help keep your dog warm from the sea or river breeze.

    Planning on fishing? It pays to be extra careful here, make sure you keep any bait you are planning on using stored carefully away in either plastic Tupperware or specialised bait storage. At best your hungry pup might gobble it all up, at worst they could end up deciding pre-hooked bait or lures are delicious dog food, ripping their throats or causing them to choke.

     

    • Enjoy the trip together :) 

    Finally, after all that hard work at being a good dog, make sure you have some treats on hand to reward him/her and enjoy the adventure together.

  • Preparing your caravan or boat for spring: The essential checklist

     

    As the nights are drawing out and it finally feels like spring could actually be here, we’re sure you are just like us and itching to get outside to explore the great outdoors, whether by water or land.

     

    However, the key to any successful trip is in the preparation – there is nothing worse than making it all the way to your destination to find out your generator won’t turn on, or your canopy has a hole in it – so we’ve put together some of our top tips to ensure that your first trip of the year is as excellent as it should be:

     

    • Go for a practise spin

    First things first; ensure that all your equipment is working before setting off. You will want to check your tires, engine, all safety equipment such as locks and alarms, as well as looking at your canopies, sails and soft furnishings for winter damage. It’s much easier to fix or replace damage when you are at home before your trip, than it is when you’re on the water or the road.

     

     

    • Spring clean time :) clean caravan

    If your caravan or boat has been inactive all winter, there will certainly be a build-up of dust (at best!). To get ready for the new season you will need a bucket of hot soapy water and some elbow grease to ensure your vehicle is ready to be occupied again.

    Ensure you are thorough as static vehicles are popular places for insects and small animals to escape the cold winter and you’ll also want to ensure you remove any traces of mould and mildew.

    Our best-selling range of cleaning products is available here:

     

     

    • healthy recipe caravan narrowboatGet ready for fussy eaters

    There are increasingly fewer and fewer places that don’t have a mini Tesco or Sainsbury’s within reach, but there are still some in the far flung corners of the British Isles!

    So if you are travelling with children, animals, fussy eaters or those with intolerances make sure you have stocked up on essentials and emergency rations. Hungry campers don’t make happy campers and you can’t always rely on there being an open and fully stocked shop at hand to save the day!

    It might help to create a meal plan for your trip before you head off, with recipes that work just as well with substitutions and are easy enough to rustle up in a caravan or narrowboat kitchen (see our easy summer and winter recipes for ideas).

     

     

    • Paperwork

    It’s always a good idea to ensure that your insurance is up to date and you have all the necessary paperwork in an easily accessible place.

    You will also need to check that all your services are up to date and that you have all the necessary documentation if you are planning a trip abroad.

     

    • Enjoy the Spring!

    No explanation needed :)

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