CAMPING can have many pitfalls. There’s obviously the weather plus that horrible dirty, sticky feeling after another day without a shower.
£149 from www.firebox.com, see www.jakpak.com
Even glamping isn’t necessarily a slam dunk; I was caught in an un-insulated retro Routemaster double-decker bus in the Sussex countryside on the coldest night of the year not so long ago. Running water was a luxury that I clearly didn’t deserve and the toilet had turned into an ice rink which hadn’t stopped a desperate fellow camper.
While we’re dwelling on negatives, there’s also the weight and inconvenience of hauling a makeshift mobile home up a hill on your back. That’s where the JakPak comes in. It’s a Transformers-style wearable tent, waterproof jacket and sleeping bag in one. Apart from feeling a bit like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle when I slipped it on, as a jacket it could almost pass as conventional. The transformation process started by releasing a cape- like sleeping bag stored within the jacket, clipping on the shoulder mounted braces to keep it in place, pulling out a mini pop-up head tent and lying on the ground. I decided not to stake the head tent into my carpet this time, but it’s always an option in the great outdoors.
Compact and bijou on one hand, claustrophobic and sweat inducing on another – the JakPak will undoubtedly divide opinion. Apart from the feeling that I’d just embalmed myself in an organic hillside tomb, my other worry was the trample risk, from stray cows, sheep or festival goers. Invented by the American version of Trevor Bayliss, this is a mad-cap idea for true camping minimalists.