Frankie has been a Snow-Peaker for about a year but has enjoyed camping since she was a child. As a crochet designer at her own label @nanafrank__ Frankie encourages working with natural fabrics when creating technical performance wear, challenging the overuse of synthetics. She is also regular workshop host at Snow Peak, bringing her unique style to the brand with her paracording classes, combining beauty with function.
Frankie spoke to us about her camping style and gear of choice, why she loves spending time outdoors, and how she would encourage other women to embrace nature.
How would you describe your camping style? And how has it changed over the years?
I would say my camping style is adaptable. I start with the lightweight basics so I can have an ultralightweight adventure and have more luxurious add-ons for longer, more comfortable camps. I live in London without a car and therefore a lot of my kit I have to carry in a 40 L backpack so it’s nice to be able to be very concise with my kit.
What is your best camp story?
I don’t have any crazy stories but I have some silly ones. I went camping for a week when I was 17 and completely forgot my sleeping mat. It truly was the coldest and worst experience but learnt so much from it. Or so I thought! The next year at the same site, I forgot my sleeping bag!
What key pieces of Snow Peak gear do you take on every trip, and which pieces would you like to add to your collection?
My Fal Pro. Air 3 and Light Penta Tarp set-up is a game changer. I can carry it on my own and is perfect for sharing. It’s also a nice conversation starter on a campsite hehe. The tarp extends the space so nicely and elevates the experience from a short light trip to a comfortable relaxing one. I would love to get the inner room for the tarp and be able to take that with me for Snow Peak Way this year. For winter camps, I love the flexible insulated range as a mid-layer. It’s great to layer and sleep in, and has changed the game for me completely. I also love the tableware and coffee range and use that at home also! I love being able to pack up my flat and go. It makes life so much simpler.
Tell us about your crochet brand, Nana Frank.
I learned how to crochet during lockdown, making myself reusable market bags. This hobby led to Nana Frank my crochet brand where I make balaclavas, hats, bottle bags and more. I love natural fibres and technical fashion and I wanted to challenge the idea that synthetic fabrics are best the performing for sports. I like the idea that my gear won’t release micro plastics when I'm out in the wild. I love dying with food waste and foraged materials, it really connects me back to nature in my little London flat.
When I joined Snow Peak I wanted to teach others how to make their own bottle bags, which in turn will teach a range of transferable camping skills; from tying guy ropes to making nets. I enjoy hosting these events because its wonderful chance to meet new people and hear lots of fun camping and outdoors stories. I can’t wait to do more of these!
Where are you planning to go next?
Next, I’d love to go to First Camp with Outsiders Store. I’m really hoping I get to go this year since the location is gorgeous and it's always a great laugh to go camping with friends I’ve met online. I’m also planning to bike-pack the John Muir Way from Dunbar to Helensburgh and then make my way over to Glasgow for my sister's wedding.
Who do you usually camp with?
I go camping with Chi my boyfriend. It’s always great to go with someone whos up for the adventure and will go rain or shine!
How did you discover camping?
I first discovered camping with my family but really started finding my camping style when I was 17. Family camping is great but it’s been great doing my own research and investing in a camping collection I truly believe I’ll be using it until I’m not able to go out anymore. I have a huge love for materials research from fashion to gear which takes me down weird rabbit holes online about tents and gear.
What advice would you give to other female-identifying campers to encourage them to spend more time outdoors?
I understand the fear and apprehension before camping for the first time. I would encourage connecting with women you know in person and online. Go with the friend you make or go alone! The first step seems so daunting but once you're out there you’ll be perfectly fine. Don’t worry about making mistakes, you truly will be fine and that’s all part of the journey. I’m constantly inspired and encouraged by the women around me when going outdoors. I’m grateful for the community I have around me, I can ask them for tips and tricks that help build my confidence.
I definitely encourage first-time campers to go to Snow Peak Way and our activations where we can connect outdoors. It’s a judgment-free zone where we can support you and I always love to chat and share my experiences.
Follow Frankie @nanafrank__ to see more of her designs.
Credit: Markus Brown.