Could Varta Torches, Lanterns & Powerbanks Be A Campers Best Friend?
As many of you will know, we are part of a group called the Outdoor Bloggers. We’re a community of like-minded people who love the outdoors and write about our experiences, and every few months we get together in real life, to hang out, go walking and do fun activities together. Most recently some of us met up on a camping trip, hosted by Varta, a brand probably best known for their batteries.
A visitor to our tent
Camping in Lancashire in March might not be many people’s idea of a good weekend, but as outdoor bloggers, we’re a pretty hardy bunch and there’s very little that will stand in our way in terms of spending time outdoors. For me the trip came only a few days after an accident that has left me with a torn ligament and hobbling around on crutches, but still, the lure of the outdoors was too much to refuse.
After changing our minds countless times as to which tent would be best to take (we settled on the Vango Solaris AirBeam due to ease of set-up), and gradual packing which lead to a living room over-taken by camping gear, on Thursday night we were ready to pack the car. Although we’d camped locally for 1 night just the weekend before, this felt more like a proper camping trip, and one we’d been looking forward to for months.
Inside our tent, finally cosy and dry
As well as a great chance to sleep under canvas and catch up with fellow bloggers, over the course of the weekend we were looking forward to having the opportunity to demo a host of Varta products. We arrived at Royal Umpire campsite in Lancashire mid afternoon on Friday and pitched the tent in relentless rain leaving us a bit of time to chill out and socialise before our planned meeting for dinner at a pub across the road.
Mr CWS indulged in a spot of pre-dinner Jenga, and once everyone had arrived we introduced ourselves and tucked in to a delicious dinner, before moving outside to a marquee to look at some of the lanterns and torches in the Varta range.
Breakfast time for the Outdoor Bloggers
Breakfast on Saturday morning was cooked for all of us on a George Foreman grill, oh and the veggie sausages were yummy! The above photo has got me wondering though; what’s the collective noun for a group of bloggers?
What caught our eye?
Fast forward to the product demos, and there are quite a few highlights to tell you about. Families with little ones will love both the Minions Bob night light and the Paul The Bear night light and matching head torch. The Paul The Bear night light in particular is fantastic as it casts the shape of stars on the ceiling, making a tent or bedroom feel magical.
Of great interest to me was the new Varta Sports Comfort Lantern 3D, a midge-proof lantern which can be switched from white to amber light, which is much less alluring to wee biting insects. I’ve got my eye on one for my forthcoming solo Scottish camping trip, so I’m hoping to be able to report back on their effectiveness, though the claim that use of the lantern results in 60% fewer insects is not to be sniffed at.
The glowing amber light that proves much less attractive to biting insects
I’m a big fan of Varta head torches, and I already use the LED Sports head Light, which for me is a basic camping must-have. Mr CWS particularly like the rugged Indestructible 3 Watt LED Swivel light. It runs on 4AA batteries and is about as tough as they come. It’s a great all-round torch and features an adjustable head so you can focus the beam wherever you want it, and it’s also magnetic, oh and water resistant…and it has a 3 year guarantee too – pretty cool huh?
Armor All Sheild Brake Dust Repellent looked perfect for protecting the wheels on my car. With all of the camping and walking we do, we frequently end up off road, resulting in dirty, muddy wheels. Armor All dust repellent is an award winning protective spray that makes brake dust and muck easier to clean off, and less likely to stick in the first place. We also liked the look of the Armor All Caravan, Canvas and Tent Spot Cleaning Wipes; like magic wet wipes for your tent; perfect for removing bird poo and as we found out on Sunday morning, mud too.
The weekend also included a fascinating look inside the world of Mountain Rescue, with the Bowland and Pennine Mountain Rescue Trust on hand to tell us about the job they do and to show us the kit they use. I genuinely didn’t realise that so much of their funding comes from public donations, and hearing about the dedication of Mountain Rescue team members left me with a new respect for the unsung heroes of the hills; though I learned it’s not just classic mountain rescues they get involved in, as they are increasingly called out to all manner of incidents, from floods to major crashes.
Bloggers Allysse and Sarah giving their first impressions of some of the products we were shown
With the brand presentations over, we were each given fabulous Varta goodie bags, packed full of torches, lanterns, car care products and batteries. After being interviewed on camera and asked to provide our first impressions of some of the products we’d been shown, we later met up back in the pub for a brilliant outdoor themed pub quiz, put together by Zoe at Splodz Blogz, and we all had a blast!
Our fantastic goodie bags
The Varta Power Bank Mobile Charger that was inside our goodie bag, was immediately useful. We always take a solar power kit away with us when camping, but the weather was so bad that it was unable to charge itself, leaving us with no way to recharge our phones. Being out and about with only 12% battery, makes for an exceptionally anxious blogger, but then I remembered the power bank and was delighted to find it already more than half charged – which was more than enough to recharge my phone and give me back my sanity.
The weather was horrendous all weekend, culminating in the muddiest take-down I’ve ever encountered, and believe me, we’ve camped in some terrible weather over the years! Howling winds and tents flapping around kept most of us up at night….in fact the weather was so bad that one tent quite literally flew away and we arrived back at the campsite one evening to find it had disappeared (it was later found, fully intact and re-pitched). Thankfully though, despite the wind and rain, it wasn’t cold and we all had a fantastic time.
This is where our tent used to be
Massive thanks to Varta, Spectrum Brands and Prova PR for a great event and for such fantastic goodies, some of which will be reviewed individually over the coming weeks, and thanks also to Zoe and Jenni from the Outdoor Bloggers group for making it all possible.