While you can’t expect to have every creature comfort when you’re camping , there are things you should own to make your outdoor experience as pleasant as possible. Over the years, I’ve camped countless times and tried many good and not-so-good products. These days, I’ve whittled down my gear to just the essentials with the greatest return on investment.
Be the hit of the meteor shower party in the NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury. Its supportive headrest ensures you won’t get a crick in your neck as you lean back, swing and marvel at the night sky. Suspended on the included poles, the chair swings smoothly and gently no matter how rocky, sandy or uneven the ground is below. It’s like a rocking chair and a hammock had a child perfectly built for camp life. A supportive headrest lets you really enjoy the view without craning or straining your neck, and when you sit up the back shifts to support a more upright position. Oh, and the armrests are padded, too.
"Most comfortable camp chair I’ve ever sat in. Can sit up or recline almost like a hammock. Very innovative design for a common product no one else is making real effort to improve. "
Thinking about packing it up and heading off into the wilds for some much-needed quiet time in nature? While camping in a tent is great fun, some may prefer the added comfort of a trailer. But for those of us who have smaller cars and don’t want to spend to buy another vehicle, pulling a larger trailer is out of question.
But there are smaller, more lightweight trailers out there. Los Angeles-based company Happier Camper makes this cute, retro-styled trailer that weighs only 1,100 pounds, meaning that it can be pulled by certain mid-sized cars or station wagons.
The HC1 interior features custom designed fiberglass modular cubes that can even do double-duty as indoor and outdoor furniture. The camper sleeps up to five people with room for single, double or queen size beds, storage, hauling, cooking and even commercial uses (here comes the food trailer!). The exterior is a 100% high-quality fiberglass shell that comes with a colored gel coat of your choice. Both the shells and modular cubes are lightweight and designed to withstand harsh environments. Pricing for the HC1 is expected to start at $13,950.
There is nothing quite like gathering around a bonfire with friends and family. Whether you’re at a campsite or just hanging out in the backyard, the warmth and light generated by a fire can be incredibly relaxing. The downside of course is having to deal with the smoke, which can get into your eyes, permeate your hair and clothes, and even choke your lungs. At times, it can be enough to ruin the entire experience. But BioLite has come up with a brilliant new product that promises to eliminate these problems altogether.
Enter the BioLite FirePit – a portable device that offers the best aspects of a campfire without the smoke. With a built-in fan chock full of 51 separate jets, the FirePit pumps oxygen directly into a fire, allowing it to burn efficiently, reducing overall smoke output and generating more heat. BioLite also includes a removable grill that allows users to whip up a batch of wood or charcoal-cooked hot dogs, burgers, or corn on the cob, making this portable fire pit as versatile as anything in the company’s lineup.
The BioLite Wood Burning Phone Charger is a camp-stove that combines a lightweight backpacking stove with an USB charger so you can cook a meal while charging your phone.
The BioLite uses patented thermoelectric technology to convert heat (from burning sticks – no expensive pre-packaged fuel) into enough electricity to charge up your phone or USB flashlight anywhere/anytime. In addition, it’s also a functional camp-stove, so you can cook your meals while you wait on your phone to charge up.
It’s light (about 2 pounds) and small (about the size of a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle). As a result, it’s easy to stow or pack for when you need it
The Waterlily is a dual functioning device that uses either wind or water power to recharge your smartphone or GoPro — so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing in the backcountry. It’s perfect for campers, hikers, paddlers, bicyclers, and anyone living off the grid. This handheld device is designed to be placed in moving water or exposed to gusts of wind, aided by its structural durability.
The turbine can be placed into running water, whether it’s a running river or just a babbling brook to provide a boost to your smartphone or other gadgets. The turbine works at water speeds ranging between 0.6 mph and 6.8 mph, but it hits maximum output at 4.5 mph. The turbine is connected to a cable that anchors it to the shore while it floats in the current.
If there’s no water source nearby, don’t fret. The Waterlily also acts as a wind turbine, capable of producing electricity at minimum wind speeds of 6.7 mph, hitting its peak output at 45 mph. It can operate in wind speeds of up to 55 mph.
The Titan Stormproof Match Kit boasts some of the longest-burning windproof and waterproof matches around. Each match has a 25-second burn time, will fire up in the harshest conditions, and will relight even after being submerged in water. Each box includes 25 matches plus two extra strikers. The external, integrated striker makes for easy lighting, and the matches’ extended 4-inch length saves your fingertips from getting singed. Along with 37 matches and five replaceable strikers total (that’s 15 beautiful minutes of fire), you’ll receive a waterproof case that floats to keep contents dry and attaches to your lanyard via a sturdy cord.
Charger with the power of the sun. Simply spread out the solar panels or attach to your pack to start repwering your gadgets. Industrial-strength PET plastic faced solar panels sewn into high-wear polyester canvas ensure it’s able to withstand the trials of your outdoor adventures.
Enjoy cocoa, coffee or a gourmet freeze-dried meal in a jiffy with the new Jetboil Flash cooking system, which boils water in 100 seconds, allowing you to conserve fuel and dig in faster.
If you enjoy your creature comforts during camping, then having a functional kitchen is an absolute necessity. And, no, a single survival stove and a can doesn’t count if we’re talking about making real meals. You need an actual stove, a work top, and some real cookware for that. The iKamper EatOut gets you all that and more.
An all-in-one camp kitchen, it lets you enjoy a barebones kitchen setup while carrying nothing but a single box. Whether you’re camping in the backcountry, spending a day at the beach, or tailgating in the parking lot, this thing lets you pull out a functional kitchen without having to carry a whole lot of gear.
Don’t let cold wet feet ruin your outdoor fun! Crosspoint Waterproof Socks solve the soggy toe problem and to keep your feet dry while cycling, running, hiking, any outdoor activity in the rain. These socks are fully waterproof thanks to 3-layers: a wear resistant knit exterior (feels like a regular sock), a waterproof breathable Artex membrane, and a Coolmax FX moisture wicking anti-bacterior lining. The result is a sock that feels like a sock but protects like a rain bootie.
The Solar Spark Lighter is a unique pocket-size solar fire starter and lighter. It is a stainless steel parabolic mirror, like the one used to light the Olympic torch. It is designed to focus the sun’s radiant energy to a precise focal point that can reach hundreds of degrees! This great solar fire starter is perfect for backpacking, boating, hiking and as a great addition to a survival tool kit.
This compact and lightweight pouch belongs in every outdoor travel kit. It packs an emergency 2-person tent made from tear-resistant, durable HeatFlex mylar, can reflect heat outward or inward, and sets up in minutes using the included 20ft length of paracord.
This versatile stainless steel tool will not only make you feel like Batman, it’s a great way to get items up to a higher point. Its center prong detaches and works as a rope tie, and its claw can even open bottles. Not intended for climbing.