School holiday checklist

Post by Allie Cherry
July 08, 2016

Packa Shack's guide to preparing for the school holidays.

Space, shelter, comfort, privacy & freedom Packa Shack style

School's out for summer!!

Family at the beach Packa Shack

So, it's checklist time...

  1. First check whether you have children or not - if not you're in luck! You can go on holiday at any time in the other 9 months of the year.
  2. If you do have kids and you live in Scotland, you will already be grappling with this annual challenge.
  3. If you are staying in our beautiful country, you will hopefully have prepared, or be preparing, an extensive packing list which includes all of the items required for a Scottish summer #4seasonsin1day. This list will include;
  • midge repellent (Avon's Skin So Soft is very popular with the SAS & Royal Marines, so will probably protect your family against the most ferocious variety of midge!)  Did you know it’s only the females which bite..? And that some of us aren’t apparently as tasty as others, not me unfortunately so I’m a popular person to go for walks with…
  • Wellies (cue Billy Connolly's 'If it wisnae fur yer wellies' for details of the benefits of this footwear) but don't forget your flip-flops just in case...
  • Waterproofs, 
  • shorts and t-shirts
  • thermals, jumpers
  • games for the car journey, Punch Bug is surprisingly popular with all ages…
  • Don’t forget the sun cream, because it’s not just called Summer, we do get amazing weather, just not always when we’re expecting it!
  • Wildlife books, to be able to identify the amazing range of flora & fauna Scotland has to offer.  We’re fortunate that we don’t have many beasties which bite, with the obvious exceptions of the midges (see above), but watch out for ticks and Clegs (horse flies to some of you).
  • Weaver fish can also give you a nasty scratch with their toxin toting dorsal fins, you’ll only encounter these at low tide so not common.  If you do have an encounter, advice is to put your foot in a basin of hot water (as hot as you can stand) to break down the toxin.

And last but by no means least, don’t forget to order your Packa Shack in plenty of time before your trip.

We have models for a wide range of vehicles, look at the product pages on our website,, to check which is the best one for your car or van. If you’re not sure get in touch and let me help you decide.

If you live elsewhere, you still have time to get things in place, phew!

Have a great summer, and remember to make Packa Shack part of your escape from the norm #packashack 

Talking about independence...

Post by Allie Cherry
July 04, 2016

What could a car and van awning have to do with Independence Day…?

A tenuous link you might think, but one of the many things Packa Shack offers you is independence from organised fun… we hereby declare you to be independent from the need to be tied to the requirement for changing facilities before deciding where to head for to enjoy your chosen activity


Packa Shack opens up your open-water swimming or kayaking experience to every body of water you can get to; making every mountain and forest track available to your mountain biking, hill-walking or fell-running adventures; and makes sure your kids can get changed after every planned (and unplanned…) exploit when you’re out and about.

Packa Shack is a tailgate awning offering freedom, privacy, shelter and independence from the need to organise your outdoor adventures around formal venues.

The Shack goes up fast, in 2-4 mins, and packs down small, to the size of a small sleeping bag.

 We have 4 models to fit on a range of vehicles from hatchbacks to estates, people carriers and vans.

 Hatch Shack 

Original Shack

Camper Shack

Barndoor Shack

Make Packa Shack part of your own personal independence day! #packashack



Packa Shack Vs the Forth Rail Bridge

Post by Allie Cherry
June 27, 2016

At approximately 12 noon yesterday 26th June, I was persuading my fingers to let go of the railing under the Forth Rail Bridge at 165 ft above S Queensferry, definitely a case of mind over matter.

But, I did it, and have currently raised £490 for VOCAL to support their fantastic work with unpaid carers.  So there's still time for find a tenner looking for a good home to help me meet my target of £500 by donating via



Packa Shack & the Forth Rail Bridge

Post by Allie Cherry
June 26, 2016

So what does Packa Shack and the Forth Rail Bridge have in common..?

Well, it's me, Allie Cherry!

I invented 1 (spoiler alert, it wasn't the Bridge), and am going to be dangling off the other later today, 26th June, to raise funds for VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian) by abseiling, Eeeek!!! down 165 ft of it.


Packa Shack @ Forth Rail Bridge

 Thus photo features a Hatch Shack at the Forth Rail Bridge, ain't they pretty!

Photos to follow if I survive the adventure, stay tuned Packa Shackers!

How does it work?

Post by Allie Cherry
June 25, 2016

"So, this tailgate awning...Is it water-proof? Self-supporting? How does it attach?"

Well, let me give you the answers.

Is it waterproof? it's very water resistant.

Water beading

Is it self supporting?  No, your tailgate or barn doors provide the structure, this means it's easier to put up and take down.

How does it attach? There's a simple system of suckers on the sides and on some models the roof, combined with shock cord which runs round the body of the van and can be tightened like the hood of a jacket.

simple sucker system 

Packa Shack making a great day an amazing day what ever the weather throws at you and wherever you and your vehicle can get to!

Make Packa Shack part of your escape from from the norm #packashack

Packa Shack - the story

Post by Allie Cherry
June 24, 2016

"So, where did the idea come from Allie?", I hear you ask, well if you're sitting comfortably I'll begin...

I had been surfing down at Belhaven Bay, Dunbar, south of Edinburgh one February day, and was getting changed out of my wetsuit in horizontal sleet at the back of my car, getting some shelter from the tailgate of my car and trying to keep my dry clothes dry, when suddenly I thought "I could add walls to this!" 

So, I went home got out my mum's old sewing machine and made the first Packa Shack for my own use.  It was only when people started asking me where I'd got it that I decided to share the love and start making them to sell to other people.

I found a manufacturer in Cumbria, where they are still made, set up the website, got some great reviews and started to sell them to hill walkers, kayakers, surfers, mountain bikers, scuba divers, families going to the beach, mobile businesses, and not forgetting the on location film crew from Coronation St!

5 years on we have 4 different models;

  • The Hatch Shack for hatchbacks & estates
  • The Original Shack for people carriers and small work vans
  • The Camper Shack for work vans with tailgates
  • The Barndoor Shack for work vans with double rear doors