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Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping (Volume 1) Paperback – January 13, 2014
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About the Author
Cara Schulz is a journalist and author who lives in Minneapolis with her husband and cat. She loves glamping, red wine, and doesn't have any tattoos.
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The content of the book is broken down into four sections designed to ease the reader into more complex types of tent glamping: from a simple romantic afternoon camping picnic to a full on safari style compound complete with outdoor kitchen and your own private bath. Each section is spiced throughout with entree and cocktail recipes, equipment suggestions, and craft projects. I especially liked the instructions on how to sew pillows and create stylish (and useful) drop cloth rugs. Among the recipes the vegan mushroom pâté, pot roast dinner and ploughman's lunch three ways are real stars. And it is obvious from all the cocktail recipes and references to pitching tents drunk in the dark that Ms. Schulz loves her hooch so you'll never go dry should you follow her suggestions.
Unfortunately the book left me wanting (hence the four stars). Frankly at only 110 pages I would have loved more content. For example, I was looking for more detail contrasting the various types of tents, pros and cons. Cara only devotes one page (38) to the subject and it isn't enough. Same goes for choosing the best bed (p.90). There are also references to obscure equipment (like antique ice chests & grand tour mini-bars) that will require a good deal of creative effort to locate and purchase. The list of camping resources in the back on page 107 is very brief and could have used some more fleshing out.
I think of myself as a seasoned camper – done the primitive thing, done the fancy frilly thing, done the two weeks thing, done the weekend thing, and even recently graduated to the camper thing …. Then I read this book. The very first chapter on Trysting camping – now I really like this idea!
It’s playful, funny, and very informative. The recipe ideas are very doable either make ahead or whip up during your camping trip.
Beyond the first chapter (on trysting) are more insightful, well thought out and useful ideas that I think anyone can employ. Low cost, space saving, and fun – that seems to be the general theme of this book. Luxury camping doesn’t have to involve a 30 ft. RV decked out with enough power load to light Las Vegas – a simple tent, useful gear and wonderful people – that’s all you need!
The illustrations are wonderful - full color, explaining every step of the DIY projects. And the recipes (did I mention them before) I only wish tasting was an option in book format! I’m looking forward to Cara’s next project – Glamping Kitchens.
I wanted to bring a little more pizzazz to our site this year when we went camping over Easter so found some of the ideas in the book really helpful and if I wasn't so time poor I'd definitely have given more of them a go. Perhaps the next edition can have a section on how to fit everything into the car! that is always the hardest part going camping for me...!
Some of the recipes aren't that useful for international users as we don't have all the tinned foods in Australia but they sounded nice and interesting and I took found adaptions easily. I thought it was humorously written and I enjoyed the tongue and cheek of the author offering advice and reminding people not to get arrested...