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Summer of Net's discount tents ..; Stuck at home this year? The Web can virtually get you outdoors - and find you a nice grill, too.

SO you've no chance of heading off to the Greek islands for two weeks, thanks mainly to the price of kids' shoes and the fact that your "free" Internet service has landed you with a huge phone bill.

This means a Scottish summer and don't be fooled by the recent couple of nice days. Since Monday, the nights have been fair drawing in. Official.

The most obvious solution is to stay close to home - but the wife and weans will want something a bit more exciting.

Having pointed out the obvious advantages of being within running distance of shelter from the rain, you could suggest a barbie and try to pretend you are in Oz.

Ignore suggestions that your knowledge of outdoor eating is limited to lurching home with a kebab on a Friday - the Net will provide.

For a start, there's the excellent Barbecue'n website, complete with a resident expert just waiting for you to fire off a question.

The fact that he's called Smoky should not influence your decision on the competence of the answers.

The site is also stuffed with recipes, information on spices, a FAQ section and an online catalogue of stuff that will get you running into the back garden with a handful of charcoal shouting "smokin".

IF that hasn't whetted your appetite, you can try the aptly-named "3Men With Nothing Better To Do" website, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Three men, with nothing better to do, provide top tips, recipes and a bit of the Zen of outdoor cooking.

Mind you, they are laid back in balmy American weather.

ONCE you've surfed through that lot, you'll be ready to take your Masters degree in turning perfectly good minced beef into inedible charcoal. For this, you need the Cookshacks website, where you can find ... yes, more recipes, plus some handy tips and an online store where you can land yourself anything from a silly apron to a solar oven.

Better still, this is the place where, late at night, you can discuss the merits of a dry rub over a wet marinade ...

HAVING conquered the garden, you may want to really show what you can do and head for the Big Outdoors.

Camping is not simply the province of Julian Clary, it is one of the fastest-growing holiday industries.

Backpacking is the hip thing for rugged hiker types to try - but beginners may like to aim a little lower.

ScoutBase UK is the home of the world's happiest campers and this will remind you how to build a fire, create a campfire menu and a list of all the other stuff you may have forgotten, from Activity to Woggle. activity/outdoor/camping

FOR the really rugged, a packed lunch is not on - what do you do when the Spam sandwiches run out somewhere north of Glencoe?

If there isn't a witchity grub around and the local Scottish equivalent looks less than tasty, the Great Outdoors website offers ways of carrying outdoor cuisine as the lightest of supplies, with ideas on the minimum of equipment - and how to cook on the move.

OF course, you can take it all too far and the tendency is to become Crocodile Dunfermline and try to get the wife and weans to live off the land.

If they are daft enough to go along with it, you can transform yourself into Bush McTucker Man with the Great Outdoors Recreation Pages. This is where you learn about foraging and fishing ... just the thing when the last Snicker bar gets eaten by the dog. There may even be a recipe for the dog ... gorp/food/main.htm

BY now thankfully, an adult will have taken over, putting her foot down with a firm hand. She will guide you, clicking and screaming, to the Handbooks Partnership Homepage, a searchable database of camping and caravan sites all over the UK.

HAVING packed everyone else off, 'er indoors may decide to have a solo holiday and share it with the World Wide Wimmin.

Rough Guide's new edition of Women Travel is being produced as a work-in-progress on their website. Female travellers of all kinds are invited to submit their tales of wild times in wild places and you can read some hair-curling accounts.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Low, Bob
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 26, 1999
Previous Article:Even faster food.
Next Article:TECHLIFE Q&A.

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