It’s that time of year again. When what was once dormant is now in bloom, what was gray is now blue, and what was pale is now sunburnt. Late spring; a great time to be outdoors. And what better way to appreciate the world around us, while unplugging in the process, than planning a summer camping trip? Be it a weekend excursion or week’s long retreat into the wild, camping allows us to clear our minds, and our lungs, and realign ourselves with our world.
Now, this may all sound highly intriguing from the safe confines of your home or office, but actually getting out there is an entirely different story. And heading out unprepared can spell anything from slight discomfort to downright disaster. It’s imperative, therefore, to do your homework before disappearing into the wilderness. At least for us, we like to come prepared with the essentials to make the trip as comfortable as possible. So, in preparation for the coming season (and saying goodbye to cold weather camping), we’ve put together a list of summer camping essentials to keep your mind and body at ease while you turn on, tune in, and drop out this summer.
Trangia 27-3 Ultralight Stove Kit
Going camping without the means of cooking isn’t recommended. Sure, there are other options out there that don’t require heat, but do you really want to eat granola for several straight days? A hot meal is always the way to go and the Trangia Stove Kit will get you there. Weighing in at a lightweight 1.63lbs and made from hard anodized aluminum, the kit comes with two saucepans and one non-stick frying pan.
Benchmade Buschcrafter Knife
Every camp needs a sturdy knife. One that’s sharp, tactile and versatile. This knife, in particular, functioned originally as a pure survival knife but was then upgraded to a drop-point blade style, satin blade finish, and leather sheath. Built by the folks at Benchmade, it fits comfortable in the palm of your hand and the sheath holds the knife tight for an ease of use.
Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad
A great day stems from a good night’s sleep. And with this sleeping pad, you’ll be set to take on the next day’s hike with confidence and endurance. It features advanced fabrics and a tapered design to make this the lightest 3-season backpacking air mattress available. The Thermarest is also made from low-bulk materials making it as packable as a water bottle.
Alite Designs Monarch Chair
Every campsite need a solid resting place. The 21oz, all nylon Monarch Chair provides just that, a little R&R during your R&R. It holds up to 250 pounds and features a durable and breathable fabric that cradles your body with ease because in the end you’re out there to relax.
Cards Against Humanity
What to do without a television or computer? Maybe, interact with your friends on a humorous level. Grab a cooler full of beers and settle in for an evening game of Cards Against Humanity. It’ll provide nothing short of belly-busting laughter that’s sure to echo throughout the forest. And if you haven’t heard of this game, not to worry, each set contains the game’s rules. Just make sure to pack your sense of humor.
Kelty TN 2 Person Tent
When it’s time to lay your head down for the night, comfort and shelter are key. Here’s a two-person tent to either spaciously accommodate yourself of comfortably house you and a guest within its nylon exterior. It measures 3ft high by 11ft wide and also comes equipped with a stargazer fly that’ll open you up to the brilliant night sky.
Osprey Kestrel 48 Backpack
The Kestrel series are some of the most versatile packs around, designed specifically to be lightweight and the functional. Each pack hosts several handy features such as an airscape back panel, hip belt pockets, integrated rain cover, a stretch woven front pocket, trekking pole attachment, and zippered sleeping bag compartment. You’d be hard-pressed to find something that didn’t fit in this pack.
Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock
It’s late afternoon and you just got back from a long hike. Luckily, you find some time to relax before filleting up the midday’s catch. Now’s the perfect time for a quick hammock-induced snooze and the DoubleNest is the perfect companion for this feat. It’s high-stretch, lightweight and is quick and easy to setup. What do you have to lose?
AVEX FreeFlow Water Bottle
It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s sunny. Water is imperative. Cold water is a luxury. Be sure to pick up one of these FreeFlow water bottles then to experience the joy of ice-cold water in the middle of the day. Its durable 18/8 capacitor stainless steel keeps drinks cold for up to 29 hours. Yup, you read that right.
Fjallraven Abisko Summer Hat
Sunscreen only goes so far when you’re outdoors all hours of the day. So, keep that summer sun off your face with a proper summer hat. Nothing says sun protection like a 65 percent polyester G-1000 fabric hat. Each piece also features a wide brim that can be folded and attached to the sides if needed, along with an adjustable chinstrap for additional comfort and stability.
Roark Revival Savage Jacket
When those hot days turn into cool nights you’ll be glad you packed a lightweight jacket to keep comfortable. Featuring 100 percent nylon ripstop material taped seams, elasticized cuffs, and drawstring hood attachment, it’s definitely enough to keep the body heat where it’s supposed to be when the sun sets. The Savage also boasts a 3k water-resistant coating in case the weather turns as well.
Repel 100 Insect Repellent
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and bug bites. And when camping, there’s nothing more irritating than getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Not to mention the risks you run these days with these flying disease factories. It only makes sense then to cover up with some serious insect repellent fit for the jungle. Repel 100 comes in various sizes and repels all mosquitoes that transmit Zika, Dengue, and West Nile.
Marmot Always Summer 40F Sleeping Bag
One of the keys of summer camping is finding that happy medium between overheating in a sleeping bag or shivering the night away. The Marmot, as a 40-degree sleeping bag, is the perfect option. It’s treated with Down Defender for water resistance on damp trips and encased in lightweight nylon ripstop LT fabric. Perfect for those cool summer nights.
Petal – Tikka XP Headlamp
Life without electricity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there’re significantly fewer distractions. On the other hand, visibility tends to dwindle once the sun sets. And if you’re looking to solve the problem of seeing at night, check out this headlamp, featuring a 120-lumen output that doesn’t decrease as the battery wanes. There are two beam patterns that serve different purposes and it’s compact and simple to use as well. Light up the night.
Five Ten Men’s Camp Four Mid Hiking Boot
Don’t be that guy who comes unprepared for the hike. Leave the tennis shoes at home and get with the program. Five Ten’s hiking shoe assists in this manner with a molded polyurethane heel cage, and sticky grip outsole to ensure stability in a less than stable environment. They’ll help you keep footing, regardless of how many trail beers you’ve consumed.
Patagonia Merino Daily T-Shirt
Spending time outdoors requires clothing that can take a beating while working just as hard as you do. Patagonia specializes in such clothing and really shines through with their Morino shirt. The luxurious, yet hardworking shirt features a soft, lazy feel of an afternoon siesta. Morino wool is naturally breathable, regulating body temperature and stretches for comfort. Can’t go wrong here.
TAD Force 10 AC Cargo Pants
First off, shorts invite all sorts of issues when camping. From insects to poison oak to downright cuts from exposed skin, shorts are better left at home. Now if comfort and staying cool is your motivation for shorts, be sure to check out these cargo hiking pants. They’re crafted out of TAD’s Amphibious Cloth nylon fabric making them durable, quick-drying, packable, and lightweight. The perfect marriage of protection and comfort.
Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler
Camping without beer is like owning a home without a roof. It just doesn’t make sense. And if you’re looking to keep your brews cold for days the Yeti is the answer to your prayers. They feature PermaFrost Insulation, NoSweat design, an interlock lid, and folding carrying handles for easy transportation. Oh yeah, and it fits food too.