If you have a keen motorhomer, caravanner, or camper in your life and are stuck for Christmas present ideas, check out some of these gadgets and goodies Wendy Montrose sampled at the NZMCA Motorhome & Caravan Show recently in Hamilton.
1. Mon’s Flavors
Monisha Sharma handcrafts her authentic Indian spice blends in Rotorua to create delicious flavour bombs without artificial colouring, refined sugar, MSG, or salt. Her ingredients are carefully selected for their high nutrient values, and her freshly ground and roasted products are also dairy- and caffeine-free. Mon’s award-winning blends and samples smell (and taste) amazing and her website (monsflavors.co.nz) is crammed with tempting recipes. These jars of goodness are the perfect way to add flavour to meat or vegetable dishes without having to carry lots of individual spices on board.
2. Juno Gin
Juno Gin delivers a blend of carefully blended botanicals, with the beautiful water of Mount Taranaki. Distilled in traditional copper pots at BeGin Distilling in New Plymouth, the smooth Juno Gin collection is the handiwork of husband-and-wife duo Jo and Dave James. They make a range of seasonal blends, but my favourite is the internationally acclaimed and award-winning London-style Extra Fine Gin, with its ‘well-balanced initial tastes of refreshing juniper and lingering citrus and peppery notes’. Stylishly packaged, Juno Gin makes a great gift (if you can bear to part with it). If you’re in the Taranaki area, their boutique distillery is worth a visit where you can sample it onsite at their Cellar Door or enjoy a tour.
3. SunSaver Power Bank
Weighting in at a mere 255gm, this plucky SunSaver Power Bank is barely noticeable in your backpack, but it could be a lifesaver. Two Kiwi blokes own and operate SunSaver, offering portable solar charging equipment that’s built tough for the great New Zealand outdoors. When you’re enjoying adventuring every corner of Aotearoa, it sometimes doesn’t take long for your phone battery to drain, whether from looking up maps, video recording the splendour around you, or chatting to family and friends. The SunSaver 10K provides enough capacity to recharge your phone several times. Clip the life-proof power bank onto your backpack or leave it on your dashboard and let the built-in solar panel work its magic while you’re driving, ready to use when you arrive.
4. Sabre Stool
For most motorhomers, space is usually limited to the essentials when travelling, and it can be difficult to accommodate extra seating for surprise visitors or to have an option whenever you need a portable pew. Sabre Stool offers a brilliant solution. They’re lightweight and pack down to the size of a frisbee, so you can poke a couple into a wee free space. With handy straps attached, you can sling it over your shoulder and take it anywhere. The stools come in a range of colours.
5. AdrieNZ coolers
With summer fast approaching, keeping cool starts to become a priority, particularly when you’re exploring New Zealand, walking through the bush or enjoying the cycle trails. If you’ve ever been so hot nothing seems to cool you down (and who hasn’t), then check out Adrienne Gregory-Hunt’s cool products. The AdrieNZ coolers are worn around the neck and work on natural evaporation. Simply soak in water and the non-toxic crystals turn to a gel form to help keep you cool for six to eight hours. The reusable coolers can be purchased ready-made in a variety of fabrics or can be made to measure. The coolers are available in a range of colours and can even be used for pets.
6. Touring Atlas
Call me a dinosaur but I love a good atlas, even in the age of Google Maps and GPS. An atlas not only shows you how to get somewhere but also what there is to do along the way. The one I bought at the NZMCA Show has symbols for everything from rest areas to wineries, mountains to movie locations, and walking tracks to ferry routes. We often pull out our atlas after dinner and plan the next day’s adventures. All of the DOC camps are also listed along with 20 Top Things To Do, 25 Must-see Attractions, a distance and travelling time chart, and a description of all 10 Great Walks. But that’s not all. There are street maps of major cities and towns, as well as maps of the National Parks. For 2024, I think we might start at Map 1 and work our way through the book.
This handy reusable alternative to plastic wrap helps keep leftover food fresh in the fridge and is perfect for those keen to prevent waste and utilise fridge space. Made from food-grade silicon, a pack comes with four seals of different sizes, designed to fit a variety of cut fruits and vegetables, glasses, jars, and cans. If you only use half a tomato, pop the other half cut side down into a seal. It will last longer, and you won’t need another container in the fridge. They come in an avocado shape too. FoodSEALS nest together for easy storage and are dishwasher- and freezer-safe.
8. Antimos 301
This mosquito and cockroach repellent is all-natural and comes in a handy plastic container. With citronella as its main ingredient, Antimos 301 is non-toxic and will help protect an area of 80 to 100sq feet. Just pop the opened container in a corner of the motorhome and let the pleasant lemony smell keep the bugs away. The repellent is the perfect way to help keep your motorhome or caravan bug-free wherever in New Zealand you are travelling.