There’s not a lot we can do to circumvent the country-wide shelter-in-place orders (and the greater global lockdown). However, just because you’re stuck in the comfort of your own home — or, more accurately, the confines of your property lines — that doesn’t mean you can’t simulate the experience of heading into the great outdoors.
So long as you’ve got some sort of outdoor space, preferably a backyard, you can transform that area to mimic a campsite. Sure, it’s not the same as actually going camping, but it can be a welcome change from the humdrum feelings of being stuck where you are. And that’s what inspired this month’s guide to the best outdoor gear on REI. Stock up on this collection of equipment and you can turn any yard into an ad-hoc campsite to help you stave off at least a measure of the cabin fever we’re surely all feeling.
Wild + Wolf Glow in the Dark Playing Cards
One of the joys of camping is in disconnecting yourself from the world. But, as humans are easily bored these days, we still often need things to keep us busy. A deck of playing cards can offer up hours upon hours of entertainment with friends and/or family. And these ones have even more value because they glow in the dark for low-light playing.
REI Co-op Long Way Home Pants
Most sweatpants probably aren’t well-suited to outdoor wear. But the REI Co-op Long Way Home Pants aren’t most sweatpants. Made from a polyester-spandex blend, these are ultra-comfy for all-day and/or all-night wear, but they’re also plenty tough to wear in an outdoor setting. Not to mention, they’re machine-washable, so you can just toss ’em in with the rest of your laundry between outings.
Coleman OneSource 1000 Flashlight
A flashlight is an essential piece of camping gear, whether you’re out at your favorite state park or just in your own yard. And the Coleman OneSource you see here is pretty formidable. Not only is it water-resistant and has an impressive 1,000-lumen maximum output, but it can also run for up to 100 hours per charge. You can even use it as a mobile power bank to charge your other small electronic items.
OluKai Moloa Hulu Slippers
Extra cozy thanks to knit uppers and a wool-blend lining, these slippers are hard to beat. That does double when you realize the heel can collapse for easy on and off. But the big highlight to the OluKai Moloa Hulu Slippers is the rubber sole — which allows you to wear them outside, even in the dirt, without ruining them.
Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho
In your own backyard, you may not need a hefty puffer coat or a parka. However, it might still get a bit chilly. That’s where the Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho comes in handy. It slips over your head with ease, boasts a water-resistant exterior, and has enough insulation to keep you cozy and toasty even if the mercury dips.
JBL Charge 4 Portable Speaker
Unless your backyard is fully-loaded with an outdoor speaker system, you might want to bring something along on your urban camping trip that can pump out the tunes for everyone’s enjoyment. And what better to do that than the JBL Charge 4 Portable Speaker? It boasts IPX7 waterproofing — meaning even a light sprinkle or even a brief dunk underwater won’t harm it — can be wirelessly paired with up to 199 other speakers via a single device, and it boasts a whopping 20 hours of playback per charge.
Primus Primetech Stove Set
Campground cooking can be a bit of a hassle if you’re unprepared — even in your own backyard. However, if you’re clever enough to pick up the Primus Primetech Stove Set, you’ll get an all-in-one solution that works as a camp stove, a cooking pot, and a built-in wind shield. All you need is a propane tank and you can boil up to a liter of liquid in 3.5 minutes. Just imagine the delicious campfire meals you could cook with this bad boy.
YETI Roadie 24 Cooler
One of YETI’s best offerings, the Roadie 24 Cooler has actually just recently been improved to weigh 10% less than ever, holds 20% more inside, and offers 30% better insulation. What that translates to is space for 18 cans of beer that will stay cold for days — not hours. This is an adventure cooler you shouldn’t pass up.
NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair
An obligatory piece of kit for camping, the camp chair actually can and has been improved upon courtesy of NEMO with the brand’s Stargaze Recliner. Not only is this seat super comfortable for campfire gatherings, but it allows you to lean back and take in the majesty of the universe above your head. And it manages that without giving you neck kinks and with a construction that’s tough enough for any outdoor adventure.
Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 500X Portable Power Station
Truth be told, this gargantuan lithium power station is probably overkill for most. For those with a bit of a tech obsession, however, it might just be a godsend. This beefy power bank is actually 20% lighter and packs 20% more power than its predecessor — which translates to 505 watt-hours of power. For reference, that’s enough to power a family’s worth of electronics for a full weekend. If you only use it for camping, that’s totally fine; but it’s also a superb emergency backup for large-scale power outages.
Scoured: The Best Outdoor Gear On REI - April 2020
If you actually can get away from home — be that because your home is isolated or because you’re a quick drive away from the woods — you might be more interested in our blacked-out collection of gear from last month’s guide to the best outdoor gear on REI.