Appealing Camping

fish curry on the table

Whatever happened to camping furniture with an appealing design? This is the question I was asking myself when I was looking at the plethora of industrial aluminium furniture that seems to be the current mainstay of many camping stores. For our bell tent adventures we need furniture that is comfortable, functional, and durable but just as importantly for us it must be elegant and in sympathy with the surroundings of the great outdoors.

At home we love our Ercol dining furniture as pieces of timeless and classic design that never date or show their age.

It is furniture that is as relevant now as it was when it was created in the 1950s.

It occurred to me that with a bit of miniaturisation, couldn’t camping furniture draw on this style?

Time proven craft in the Chiltern Hills inspired Ercol, – the beauty and colour of the timber and the soft curves of the table tops with their thumb moulded edges. Surely these would be much more in keeping with natural surroundings and superior to the icy coolness of any fabricated aluminium design?

We have found that a low stool that could double as a small table would be a perfect addition to our short trips when we want to travel with less equipment. We need one piece of furniture that adds to our tent life for meal preparation, eating, relaxing on plus able to organise our personal things off the ground. With nothing available that fits the bill, clearly the time has come craft something original to serve us in style and with simple practicality.

My first attempt at a solution is this little table that has outward facing oak legs and a reclaimed piece of solid Parana Pine as a top with attractive rounded edges, creating a simple contemporary feel.

The pine top means that it is quite lightweight and should be a great surface for prepping meals, but strong and sturdy enough to comfortably seat one, or even the two of us for a cuddle up by the fire. To save space on the move the folding legs are a must, and finding a locking mechanism to securely lock the legs when in use has been a puzzle. Eventually I came up with this ingenious solution, as it exploits the spring of a piece of plywood to keep the legs in place. With a get away on the horizon over the easter holiday we will see how it performs.

Posted by Brimstones.


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