Shiny new gadgets of the road V tried and trusted ‘old timers’

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old grey nomad gadgets
Camp ovens, billy cans, hand mixers and transistor radios are a few of nomads’ favourite things

Shiny new devices and ‘oh-so-clever’ innovations have transformed the way grey nomads travel over the past few years and past few decades.

There are very few long-term caravanners or motorhomers who would like to go back to a time when we travelled without solar panels, or air con, or mobile phones, or the internet, or even remote controls for TVs.

After all, was life really so much better before vans came with surround sound music systems, ensuite toilets, and ‘proper’ beds?

Yet, for all the progress we have made, and all the creature comforts we now enjoy, there is still a sense that ‘the good old days’ on the open road were just as much – and probably more – fun than today’s high-tech fuelled adventures.

Grey nomads can, of course, be guilty of looking back at the world through rose-tinted glasses. But some travellers are walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. Nostalgia of the road is alive and well and probably coming to a campsite near you.

There are travellers who still get out their trusty old ‘film’ camera who will never switch to those new-fangled digital devices because ‘they don’t take as good a picture’. There are those who are using toasters and whisks from a bygone age, who use cassette players instead of Spotify, and who would never dream of using GPS to navigate their way through a town or city when they’ve got a perfectly good map in the glovebox.

And then, of course, there are the ancient billys and camp ovens that have clocked up decades of service at campsites around the country.
They are inanimate objects that have shared the experience and to replace or upgrade would somehow be an act of betrayal. Those jaffle irons from 1962 are part of the family, for Goodness sake!

So, in a world when ‘smart devices’ are unveiled on a weekly basis, and many of the new gadgets are deliberately built not to last and will almost certainly be outdated in a few years’ time anyway, perhaps those ‘old’uns but good’uns’ finally deserve a bit more recognition.

Over to you.

• What is the oldest piece of equipment you travel with and why do you love it? Which of the modern gadgets could you not do without? Email us here to share your thoughts.

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