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Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • A Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

    healthy sail

    For most of us, time away from home goes hand-in-hand with a glitch in our attempts to eat healthily; it seems a lot easier to reach for the junk food, ready meals, or whatever is your particular temptation when you’re in the holiday mood. With obesity, diabetes, and heart disease on the rise, eating a balanced diet and staying healthy has to be a priority, whatever the circumstances.

    At Sail and Trail we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to return home filled with dread at the thought of stepping on the scales. Follow these tips on how to eat healthily while you're holidaying in your caravan or narrowboat, and, who knows, you may even come back a bit lighter than you left.

     

    Use What You Have

    The culinary equipment you have at hand will differ from one caravan or narrowboat to another, but most set-ups will include at least two gas rings. In this case, keep your recipes simple; wholesome soups made from fresh vegetables, stews that only require one big pot, or steamed vegtables with fish or meat panfried in a small amount of oil are good starting points for healthy, satisfying meals.

    Storage is often at a premium too, so don’t go for recipes that require a lot of ingredients. Before you set off, why not write a list of recipes that suits your particular kitchen set-up, to avoid the stress of last minute decisions. Depending on your situation, barbeques are a great way of keeping your meals healthy; the disposable types are cheap and easy to come by, but don’t forget to buy a stand or place them on rocks to avoid burnt patches on the grass. Stick to cuts of quality meat and fish with vegetables for optimum nutrition, rather than hotdogs and cheap burgers.

     

    The Eat-Well Plate

    Try and keep the proportion of the food on your plate looking like this:

    healthy eating mix

     

     

    corelleplate

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    By including plenty of vegetables, you’ll feel fuller without taking on too many calories, as well as getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that are so important. A great way of making sure you’re keeping your foods in the correct ratio, and sticking to a healthy portion size, is to use a divided plate, like this one, which is available from Sail and Trail.

    As well as being durable, lightweight, and stackable for storage efficiency, the Corelle divided plate comes with a warranty and is microwave and dishwasher safe.

     

    Local Produce

    Wherever you’re travelling to, chances are there’ll be some seasonal, local produce that you can try. If you’re heading for a rural destination, keep your eyes open for local smalholders selling fruit, vegetables, or other goods from their homes. You might also want to look online or ask around to find out when the local market is; farmers’ markets are a great way of getting incredibly tasty ingredients that don’t require fancy cooking; the quality of the food will speak for itself.

     

    Get Creative

    Don’t be tied down to the idea that caravan or narrowboat holidays are synonymous with tinned food. Before you leave, do some research on local cuisine for ideas of recipes that are inkeeping with the culinary tastes of the area you’re visiitng. See your cooking as another way of exploring the place, rather than an inconvenience.

     

    Be Realistic

    Having said all this, we know that a holiday without the occasional treat just isn’t the same; you deserve the occasional indulgence, and you can factor these in so you don’t feel guilty about them. Be realistic about what you can manage, and set your goals accordingly. When planning your time, choose activities that require plenty of movement to really maximise on your efforts to eat well.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • The Essential Generator Maintenance Guide

     

    If you’ve taken the time and money to invest in a generator for your caravan or narrowboat, it’s definitely worth your while to keep it in tip-top condition to lengthen its lifespan; the last thing you need when you arrive at your idyllic destination is to find that your prided piece of kit fails to start.

    Here at Sail and Trail, we’ve put together the essential guide to keeping your generator healthy and happy, and your holiday time stress-free.

    Generators suitable for recreational use fall into two broad categories: petrol fuelled, and LPG fuelled. Each of these types require slightly different handling for maintenance, but most of these guidelines are relevant for both.

     

    Kipor Suitcase Generator for Caravan Camping

    Service Regularly

    ‘Prevention is the best cure’ is a saying that’s probably overused, but never was it more true than for your generator. Serviced regularly, preferably every six months, a generator will provide you with reliable service for many a year.

    Left unused and uncared for, it’s likely to give up the ghost within the first five.  A quick search of the internet or Yellow Pages should provide you with an engineer who specialises in servicing them.

    If you are particularly mechanically minded, you may want to try some of these service tasks yourself, but it’s still a good idea to have a professional look over the unit regularly in case you’ve missed something.

    The service should include:

     1) Checking the distilled water in the battery and topping it up, and checking the voltage

     2) Changing the lubricant oil and filters; an air cooled generator needs its oil replaced every 30-40 hours, and a liquid cooled one every 100 hours.

     3) Cleaning the spark plugs, and replacing if necessary.

     4) Checking the gasket head and piston.

     5) Calibrating the fuel pump, turbocharger, injectors, and voltage regulator.

     

    Essential Checks

    SDMO quiet generator for camping and caravanning

    As well as professional maintenance, there are some simple tasks that even the least technical among us can perform. Inspect the unit for corroded elements, loose wires, bolts that may have come loose from vibration, and stuck buttons.

    Start your generator regularly, on at least four occasions a year, with two start-ups on each occasion. Before you do so, remove any debris or leaves that may have gathered in or around the unit, as these are a major cause of generator damage.

    For LPG generators, check the gas cylinder for corrosion, and rubber elements for any sign of perishing.

     

    Storage

    Make sure the unit is stored in a dry place, under cover and free of debris. For petrol generators, remember that the fuel has a shelf life of only a few months; add some fuel stabiliser and it should keep its efficacy for around a year.

    LPG will last for a lot longer, but make sure you detach the bottle from the unit and store it separately, upright so the pressure relief valve sits in the vapour section of the cylinder.

     

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