Top camping tips from PaulCamper’s CEO; Dirk Fehse

With many of us embarking on camping staycations this summer, perhaps for the first time, Dirk Fehse CEO of PaulCamper (see above), Europe’s largest online platform for motorhome and campervan sharing, has collated some of his top tips targeted at assisting those new to, or less familiar with, camping.

Which motorhome you can drive – If you passed your test before 1 January 1997 you can drive a motorhome up to 7500kg on your B+C1 licence. If you passed after 1 January 1997, you can drive a motorhome up to 3500kg on your B (car) licence. To drive a heavier motorhome, you must take a C1 test.

Speed limits – Motorhomes with an unladen weight of more than 3050kg are restricted to 30mph in built up areas, 50mph on single roads, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways.

Picking the campervan or motorhome that is right for you – PaulCamper has a range of cool, quirky, fun and affordable campervans and motorhomes with summer rental availability starting from £100. Simply browse the selection and decide whether you want something more traditional with the cool quirks that offers; or whether you want something brand new with all the mod cons. We have a perfect campervan option for every budget, style and size.

Picking the best campsite for you – When choosing somewhere to stay, it’s important to make the right decision, being unhappy with a campsite choice could possibly ruin a trip. Start by considering your needs; a family with two teenagers will need a different set up to those with under 10’s, as will a couple or a group comprising of just adults. Budget is also another important consideration – sometimes a stay of seven nights or more can earn an extra night for free. I’d also recommend joining the UK’s major touring clubs – The Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Having access to their 4,500 sites, you’re bound to find one in your favourite area.

Loading your van – Heavy items should be stowed as close to the floor as possible. With only lightweight items being stored in overhead lockers. Trust me, it hurts when things move mid trip and hit you on the head! If there is a rear storage area do not exceed the manufacturers weight. Your owner can advise you of this before you set off.

Navigating narrow streets – Firstly, don’t panic! Ask one of your fellow travellers to stand in front of the van, far enough away to clearly see along both sides up to the top corner edges. They can then guide you taking any protuberances into account. If solo, simply ask a passer-by to help, they’re usually more than willing…

Changing a gas bottle – Gas fittings have a reverse thread so you undo the connections by turning the nut clockwise – this may seem counterintuitive. Simply ensure the gas bottle is turned off at the top tap and remove the pigtail pipe. It is normal to smell a small amount of gas at this stage but if the bottle is turned off, this is perfectly normal. Finally screw the plastic stopper into the bottle’s brad threat to protect it and help prevent minor leaks. When retightening the pigtail nut on the gas cylinder, ensure it is only hand tightened since overtightening may result in damage to the threads.

Changing a chemical toilet – One job no one enjoys. Always empty at a dedicated disposal point, unlock the cassette locker, and open the hatch, you can then nip the yellow or orange handles together with the grey grip to release the cassette. The orange grip doubles as an extending handle, so you can wheel the cassette. At your disposal location, twist the fill/empty nozzle and remove the cap. I recommend putting the cap well away from your disposal location, so you don’t run the risk of having to fish it out! Next, press the orange vacuum-release button on the cassette and pour your contents into your disposal point. Rinse the cassette with water and before replacing it add diluted blue or green cassette chemical.

Obtaining fresh water – You should be mindful of payload rules and considering that I recommend driving with your fresh-water tank around 20% full. You can fill it up as soon as you arrive and before you pitch up. Some sites have their own water connections but at most sites the supply is in a central location that isn’t always accessible. You will need to have a long hose which should be a ‘food grade’ hose – many garden hoses are not. Ask the owner to show you the location of the van’s freshwater filter point before you depart and don’t make a common error of mistaking it for the fuel point. Ask other campers for help if you need it – many will be seasoned and more than happy to help.

Changing a puncture – Most importantly keep calm and check all passengers are safe: ensure you wear high visibility vests and move as far from the road as possible. If you are unable to continue your journey, inform the owner, then call the 24-hour breakdown assistance helpline. You will find the number in the top right corner of your PaulCamper handover report and they will send a breakdown recovery service to assist you.

Commenting on his experiences and tips CEO Dirk Fehse said; “Camping is such an exciting way to explore the country and I hope my tips will assure those new to camping so they can feel confident in renting with PaulCamper to roam this summer. We have a diverse range of motorhomes and campervans available for summer staycations and all of our owners will be happy to share any tips or knowledge. I wish all of our summer campers, whether seasoned or new to the experience. Happy camping !”

Like all great double acts, Fish & Chips, Abbott & Costello , errrr Gym+Coffee

GYM+COFFEE is an Irish athleisure  and lifestyle brand with a focus on building a sense of Community. They believe in facilitating fun things to do, an awesome crew to do things with and quality gear to do things in.

Since its inception in 2017, it has been producing high-quality, Irish-designed clothing offered through its e-commerce platforms in Europe, the UK, North America, Australia + New Zealand, as well as through its 7 retail Clubhouses in Ireland and the UK.

In 2020, it launched its first collection of sustainable athleisure products and continues to broaden its positive impact through partnerships with organisations, like, One Tree Planted, where it has committed to planting 50,000 trees to help with global reforestation efforts. With its Waste2Wear project it offers award-winning sustainable products, like, its carry-bags made from recycled materials and via social initiatives with partners, like, The Sanctuary Runners, it works with refugees and asylum seekers living in Ireland’s Direct Provision system.

It recently launched its latest limited-edition collection from sustainably sourced materials. The Kinetic Capsule, made up of three hero items, offers high-performance fabric suitable for the toughest of physical challenges.

Fusing innovation in design and eco-friendly fabric composition, the collection is produced using the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. They ensure the fibre is grown in a way that protects and restores the environment, while also improving farmers’ livelihoods. The Better Cotton is combined with recycled polyamide which is certified to the Global Recycling Standards.

Choosing a manufacturer closer to home, Gym+Coffee partnered with the Valérius hub located in Portugal for their industry leading commitments to reducing their impact on the environment.  With initiatives such as textile waste recycling, electricity generation from renewable energy sources and chemical free processes across their supply chain, the supplier has proven that sustainability is at the heart of their strategy.

It joins the Amárach range in the sustainable product offering from the brand which is made of up to 100% recycled materials.

Gym+Coffee co-founder Diarmuid McSweeney said, “We’re thrilled to have worked with the industry innovators Valérius to bring these designs to life and look forward to working more closely with them in the future. From recycled wood fittings in stores, to our partnership with One Tree Planted, to fully compostable packaging, we are committed to contributing positively to the planet in all areas of the business. Our short-term goal for the end of 2021, is to have minimum of 30% of our entire range be sustainably made or made from recycled materials.”

Thinking of a hair cut ?

We caught up with award winning men’s hairdresser, Toni & Guy’s Jim Shaw(above) to spill the beans if what hair styles we should be considering ????

With us now out of lockdown, we have noticed a surge in men embracing their longer hair and coming into the salon for a trim or to have their long hair styled rather than a complete revamp with a lot of length being cut off.

For 2021 it’s all about modernizing these longer hairstyles and also informing male clients to be aware of the extra TLC their long hair will require between appointments. Below are my three top modern long hairstyles for 2021 that we will see male client’s requesting in salons and barbershops and hair products we can suggest to clients to keep their long locks looking their very best and healthy at all times in between appointments.

Long curls and enhanced natural textures – embracing the hairs natural texture is going to be very popular this year and we will see a lot of men loving their natural waves and curls. Giving your long haired curly clients a blunt trim will help accentuate the curls and enable them to be more manageable, as well free from frizz and flyaways, which are common with these hair types. To further keep curls and natural waves looking their best at home, smooth and healthy in appearance, styling is key. It’s essential to recommend that curly haired clients in particular use a styling product such as a lotion, serum or light paste and distribute this through their hair with their fingers, giving the curls a more polished look and more body to their hair. This hairstyle also looks great when the curls are brushed out and some texturising product is applied to give the hair softness yet a lot of body and movement.

The modern mullet – the mullet is a hairstyle that is becoming back on trend for both men and woman in 2021. We’ve seen many celebrities sport this look and wearing the mullet more choppy in texture to give it a modern appearance. For 2021 this style looks more contemporary and best when worn a little bit shorter on the top and even shorter on sides but blended together seamlessly. This gives the hair a different texture and allows the client to be able to style theirhair in a number of different ways. The versatility of this haircut is one of the best things about it – the client can wear it slicked back with a gel or serum or they can use a texturising spray or mattifying product to give the style added texture and body. With this hairstyle maintenance is key and it will require regular trips to the salon to keep the fade looking its best. This hairstyle also looks great worn natural, so a great recommendation for clients is to spray some leave in conditioner into their hair and leave to air dry to provide the hair with nourishment and keep the longer section of their hair looking its best and free from split ends.

Bowl cut – the bowl cut is back for 2021 but with a fresh approach – longer and thicker in appearance. This is great for men who love a more retro inspired haircut and who like wearing their hair more sleek and smooth in appearance that natural and textured. This hairstyle is also great for framing the face and showing off facial features and is a particularly good hairstyle for showing off colour if your client likes to opt for bolder and dimensional hair colours. With this haircut it’s important that clients are using a good quality shampoo and conditioner to keep their hair smooth and shiny, as well as regular hair masks to keep split ends at bay and hair free from damage.

Dance til your feet DON’T hurt – Jeffery West’s NIGHTCLUBBING collection

Jeffery-West was established back in 1987 and were best known for their quirky rock and roll inspired styles, which is no coincidence their fans include Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller.

Jeffery-West’s Co-founder Guy West has years of fun memories in some of the most legendary UK nightclubs and having lived for almost 18 months mostly in lockdown in our sweatpants, many of us are having big nostalgia for the halcyon days of dressing up with friends, hitting the dance floor (or field!) and having fun! So, in anticipation of nightclubs re-opening, Jeffery-West have launched its ‘Nightclubbing’ collection of six limited styles, paying homage to iconic British nightclubs and club nights from the 50’s to present day. The Blitz, The Saint, The Wag, The Hacienda, The Roxy and The Flamingo all bear the names of the iconic clubs and club nights on the soles.

The 70’s Playboy at Tramp; the Blitz Kid Dandy; the Wag club Soul Boy; the Hacienda Raver, most iconic fashion trends over the past decades have been born on the dance floors of legendary nightclubs.

In fact, whilst listening to the radio during the March 2020 lockdown, Guy heard two popular DJs discussing things they would not miss if they were to disappear when normality resumed. To Guy’s shock their main target was nightclubbing.

Having been inspired by, worked with and had years of fun memories in some of the most legendary nightclubs, these comments astounded Guy.

“I could not believe it! Vehemently disagreeing with them, I started to remember all the fan- tastic times spent in clubs and the incredible people I have met, many of whom have become lifelong friends. With these thoughts in mind, we decided to design an Homage collection for this significant part of our cultural history.”

10 Stylish Groomsmen Gift Ideas For Your Guys

Words by Jasmine Anderson

The job that groomsmen have to do is equally significant just as a bridesmaid’s job. As you are about to step into a new life adventure, you want to have your favorite guys by your side. They will be there to support you, give you a push if you start having cold feet, refresh you with a whisky or two, and undoubtedly follow you in every step of the wedding. Hence, you should treat them with a special gift. Getting a stylish present for your guys is both an easy and hard thing to do, as they aren’t picky but still mindfully look after their looks. Therefore, here are some ideas that could help you find the perfect gift for your mates.

1. A quality leather belt

What every single man needs to have is a sophisticated leather belt. No matter if they already own one, a man who keeps a watchful eye on his appearance will always know how to incorporate a good leather belt to make a complete look. You can pre-order a personalized belt for your groomsmen so they could wear it on your big day.

2. A personalized gift box

Fine whisky or wine, man soap, cutter, and buck leather money clip, you name it – and box it! Your friends will be utterly elated once they open a box of goodies containing some of their favorite accessories. If you don’t have an idea what else to put in their personalized gift box, you could check out The Gift Box Factoryand create a fantastic box with cool amenities they’ll surely love.

3. An engraved flask

Even if some of your guys already own a flask, they certainly don’t have a specially engraved one. What makes a flask such good groomsmen present is that they are practical, lightweight, exquisite, and stylish. A flask will surely come in hand, as there’s no better way to help a groom than by handing him secretly his favorite drink and help him ease up the tension on his wedding day. By engraving their names or some of your common remarks, you put a life-long stamp on your friendship.

4. A traditional necktie

If you strive to spruce up the look of your groomsmen on your wedding day, opt to get them a matching color necktie. Not only will they look stunning in the wedding pictures, but they’ll surely be able to reuse the tie on any other formal occasion. Make sure that you give them the tie in advance, so they don’t head off buying one.

5. A multi-purpose pocket knife

Let’s face it, men love knives. But to put funny things aside, a pocket knife is a rather useful gift as it can be used as a corkscrew, plier, saw blade, and bottle opener as well. Every groomsman will drop his jaw when he receives a pocket knife as a gift. If they are travelling back home, tell them only to report the knife at the airport in case it is confiscated.

6. A useful beard grooming kit

If your gang is into thick, glossy, bristly bears, or they are simple into long beards, gifting them with a fine beard grooming kit will leave them speechless. It’s more than crucial for them to look flawless and sharp on the wedding photos, so if you don’t want their beard to go out of control and look yucky, get them a kit that will help keep their facial hair tamed.

7. Sassy cuff links

Just because they mightn’t use them that often, doesn’t mean it’s not a stylish present. Cuff links symbolize elegance, sophistication, and grace, and if you wish for your friends to give out that notion on your wedding day, cuff links are a good way to go. They might be a little bit costly, but they represent that one gift they will have for a lifetime.

8. Barbecue kit

All men love to flip burgers, drink beer and enjoy a football game at the same time. Your groomsmen will know how to use a nice barbecue kit that comes will all the durable tools they’d need for a delicious barbecue party. If you want to get your bros something that both practical, fun, dandy, and which will make them create wonderful memories with friends and family, then this is the ideal present.

9. A handy weekend bag

Every man must have a practical weekend bag to carry all their essentials if they are either going on a short weekend getaway or if they need to pack their gym accessories. A weekend bag is also something that your groomsmen won’t buy themselves anyway, so you don’t need to worry whether you’ve selected an adequate present.

10. Unique money clips

Another personalized gift that will undoubtedly get a few noteworthy uses. Sometimes men just don’t prefer to carry a bulky leather wallet, but rather go for more practical money clips. You can give them a monogrammed money clip, engraved on each piece the name of your groomsmen, or just engrave their initials, and they’ll certainly be splashing it out on your wedding.

Each present is unique but traditional. There’s no need to spend a fortune on gifts, just keep in mind what your groomsmen preferences are and you won’t make a mistake.