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  • Revolutionary product melts ice and snow faster and more safely than salt  


    melt snow and ice

    When it comes to melting ice and snow many people rely on salt, despite it being bad for the environment and actually being so corrosive it can actually damage concrete and carparks.

    But with the bad weather look set to stay for a while, what are the alternatives?

    Sail and Trail is proud to be a retailer of Miracle Melt, which is not only better for the environment than salt, but also melts snow and ice far quicker.

    Because the granules are less corrosive than salt and don’t leave residue, they are also ideal for using around the entrances of schools, nursing homes, factories, offices, carparks and other entities as they won’t leave lasting damage.

    In fact, they are so friendly they won’t even damage carpets, making it ideal for hospitality venues such as restaurants or bars where many people might walk through leaving permanent damage.

    What’s more, the premium granules get to work so quickly that they dissolve immediately upon application, breaking the bond between pavement and ice.

    melt ice and snow

    The reason for their fast and strong action is threefold:

    • Firstly, they have a low eutectic point which means they melt to a much lower temperatures than salt does.
    • Secondly, they are exothermic meaning that they release heat to activate the melting ability.
    • Finally, the granules are hygroscopic which means they rapidly attract moisture required for melting snow or ice.

    On top of all the positive points mentioned above, the product also does not harm the environment when left on the ground and is incredibly simple to use.


    Top tips for use!

    • Apply before snowfall to prevent snow sticking or freezing to your surface
    • If applying after snowfall remove top layer of snow, before sprinkling over surface
    • Use gloves when applying



  • Top tips for fun winter trips in your caravan or motorhome  


    Just because it’s getting darker in the mornings and evenings and the drizzle is getting just that bit closer to the bone, does not mean it’s time to give up on your favourite hobby.

    In fact, with the right preparation taking time out in your caravan or motorhome can be just as fun and rewarding in winter as it is in summer, if not more!

    Make sure you follow our tips to ensure you keep safe and warm though!


    • Check your tires

    If you are planning on travelling in icy conditions, make sure your tires are fit for the road. Most caravans have summer tires as standard, and if you are just making a short journey in relatively good conditions these should suffice.

    However, if you are likely to be travelling to an area where temperatures drop below 7 Celsius, it’s a good idea to invest in all-season or winter tires. These will have an optimised tread and grip to help your vehicle stick to the road. If in doubt, consult your caravan or motorhome guidebook to establish the effectiveness of the tires your currently have.

    Also, make sure to read up on local laws if you are leaving the UK as some countries insist on tires that meet certain specifications, especially in European countries.

    Of course, always err on the side of caution – if it doesn’t feel safe to be on the roads, leave it until another day.


    motorhome winter caravan
    •   Pack plenty of layers

    Piling on base layers and several thin layers which can be added to or removed as needed, has been proven to keep you far warmer than just one thick layer.

    It also means you can move around comfortably than if you are wearing say, one chunky jumper. A windproof fleece is always handy, and can double up as a pillowcase in the evening for maximum snugness.


    • Invest in gadgets

    While nothing quite beats the comfort of a hot water bottle, there are now countless other warming gadgets on the market that can help you make it through a chilly day or night, including portable gel hand-warmers, heated socks and, of course, the electric blanket.

    Also invest in a decent quality thermas flask, handy for keeping warm when you’re out and about.

    Please be careful about running a gas fire at night though, too many fire and carbon monoxide poisoning incidents have come from this.


    • Keep your eye on the water systems

    Even if you physically inside your caravan, a cold night can lead to burst pipes causing great damage at a great cost.

    Keep your eye on the tanks, pipes and cisterns and think about lagging them if you are concerned. At the end of your trip ensure to fully empty the water system and keep taps and other openings open.


    • Eat rightwinter caravan motorhome

    Earlier on in the year we shared some of our favourite winter warmer recipes that can be made easily on a gas stove. Keep warm with sausage cassoulet, stewed spiced apples, one pot pilaf and more – all at the click of a button!


    • Keep an eye on your awning

    A porch awning in winter is a great way to add an extra layer of insulation to your door and the windows on that side. It also gives you an area to store wet clothes and shoes without creating a damp atmosphere inside your caravan or motorhome (as well as obviously creating more living space!).

    However, it’s important to keep an eye on it in rainy, windy and snowy conditions. At worst it can get blown away completely, leaving your belongings open to the same fate, and at best get damaged.

    If it looks like your trip is set to coincide with some bad weather, it might be worth investing in a specialised awning complete with steep roof to help shift snow.


    Check out our online store for great motorhome and caravan buys!


  • Top tips for your first winter on a narrowboat

    winter narrowboat

    Narrowboat living all seemed so lovely during summer, the long evenings, watching ducklings become ducks and general social canal life.

    But soon the sun will be replaced with long dreary mornings and ice cold wind, so just what do you need to survive your first winter on a narrowboat?


    Inside is warmer than you think!

    First things first, a relatively modern narrowboat is actually pretty cosy inside. Most will have central heating as standard and if you have a fire as well, you can keep warm for free with kindling gathered from the towpath.

    It probably goes without saying that other top tips for keeping warm include dressing in layers and moving  around for extra heat.


    But outside is colder ….

    Hyperthermia is a real risk for anyone spending too long outside in the cold damp weather. Make sure you don’t spend too long outside in one go, and you have proper winter clothing and a good supply of hot drinks.


    Prepare for hold ups

    If you plan to keep on cruising during the winter it is important to realise you may need to be flexible with your plans. If the canal freezes over you can cause serious damage to your boat if you try to force your way through it. Make an itinerary that takes into account you may be hauled up for a couple of days while you wait for the ice to subside.

    If you are held up by ice, under no circumstances walk on it – nor let your dog or cat. It could be much thinner than you think and drowning is a real risk.


    Prevent burst pipes

    Not only are burst water pipes expensive, a pain to fix, and a creator of huge amounts of mess, they also leave you without central heating - something no one wants in the dead of winter.

    To try and prevent this, make sure you have about 30% anti-freeze in your water and heating system.


    Be safe

    A dark, slippery towpath is not your friend. If you are heading out alone always carry a torch and a charged phone and tell somebody where you are going. A safety whistle is also good idea in case you slip into the canal.



  • 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














    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.










  • Caravan cooking: Five simple winter warmers you can rustle up on your gas stove

    Whether you’re braving the bad weather in your motorhome, narrowboat or tent, it can be too easy to rely on packets of crisps and cheese sandwiches to sustain yourself rather than face the trials of a rickety gas stove.

    But we’re here to help for the Sail and Trail team is well versed in the art of filling the tummies of hungry campers and sailors!

    Here are some of our favourites:

    (All the recipes can be cooked in one pan, serve four and won’t break the budget).

    1)   Sausage Cassoulet

    After a day battling the elements, nothing is more welcome that this delicious hearty cassoulet.

    Cook the sausages, onion and garlic (if you have some) in a splash of oil over a low heat. When they’re looking nice and golden add the sliced carrot and cook for a further five minutes before adding the tomatoes, beans and stock cube.

    Leave to simmer for between half an hour to two hours depending on how thick you want your cassoulet to be. Serve with crusty bread and any herbs you have lying around.

    Ingredients: A packet of sausages, 1 stock cube, 1 tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 tin of baked beans,

    Optional Ingredients: Mushrooms, green beans, any other vegetables you want to throw in, garlic

    Top Tip: Swap the sausages for meatballs and the bread for baguettes to make meatball subs.


    2)   Spaghetti Carbonara

    Despite sounding and looking fancy this carbonara dish is super simple to make and (most important) is filling and warming.

    All you need to do is grate your cheese (or cut it up into small pieces) and mix with the eggs and chopped garlic.

    Cook your pasta in salted water, then drain the water out leaving the pasta in the pan and off the heat.  Add your cheesy mixture to the pasta, stirring well so it is all covered, then add the cut up ham (and thinly sliced mushrooms if you want) and simmer over a low heat until it is all piping hot.

    Add as much water (or milk / cream) as needed to give the dish a ‘saucey’ feel. Serve with any leftover cheese you might have and a smug grin.

    Ingredients: 100g ham, 100g cheese, 3 large eggs, 350g pasta, 2 peeled garlic cloves

    Optional Ingredients: splash of milk/ cream, handful of mushrooms


    3)   One Pot Pilaf

    Fancy a curry, but the takeaway won’t deliver to your pitch or mooring? Well why not rustle one up yourself?

    Simply fry the onion and chicken until cooked, then add the curry paste. Add the stock cube, vegetables, rice and about 3 mugs of water. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and you’re all done –no reason to give up your Friday night Indian, just because you’re on a narrowboat!

    Ingredients:  1 packet of chicken or turkey breasts or thighs cut into small pieces, 2 large onions, 2 tbsp curry paste, 1 stock cube, vegetables you have to hand, 200g rice.

    4)   Gloopy Mediterranean Couscous

    While couscous may conjure up images of summer picnics this staple dish is not only super warming and healthy, it’s also perfect for lunch or dinner as it takes just minutes to whip up.

    Prepare your couscous in a bowl and leave to one side and while it is fluffing up fry your onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and whatever other vegetables in plenty of oil in your pan.

    When cooked and to the couscous and serve; ta da!

    Ingredients:  200g couscous, vegetable or olive oil, 2 onions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 4 salad tomatoes,

    Optional ingredients: Feta, 1 stock cube, bell pepper, mushrooms

    Top Tip: If you are using a stock cube for your couscous then save a little to sprinkle over the vegetables while they are cooking


    5)   Stewed Spicy Apples

    A real nursery favourite, stewed apples makes a timeless winter pudding. Simply peel and cut your apples, bung in the pan with the sugar, spices and water, and cook until the apples soften.

    If you have any other bits of fruit dried or fresh lying around you can always add this too.

    Serve with some ice cream or regular cream.

    Ingredients:  500g apples, 50g sugar, mixed spice or similar, ½ cup water

    Optional Ingredients:  Sultanas, berries, pears Do you have any favourites you rely on when it get's cold? We'd love to hear them. Tweet us @sail_trail

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