Whether you’re planning a family trip or you’re dropping the kids off, camping is an American summer tradition. For some, camping is a cause for celebration; there’s nothing like relaxing by the creek. For others, the idea of being one with nature simply doesn’t appeal.
We’ve compiled a list of camping gear that will make everyone feel right at home.
The comfort factor
There are all kinds of swanky tents out there, including solar-powered and hammock-based tents that are suspended in the air. For a basic, down-to-earth option, we like the REI Kingdom 4 Tent This tent fits a queen-sized air mattress and has a divider for additional privacy. Plus the fly is easily removed to reveal a mesh vestibule for sleeping under the stars.
Nothing ruins a camping trip like not being able to get a good night sleep. Forgo roughing it on the ground with an air mattress or comfy camping pad. The MegaMat is self-inflating, so you never have to worry about losing the air pump. Two mats can be connected to create a sleeping area as large as a queen-sized bed.
Hiking boots are great for rugged expeditions, but they’re too stiff and heavy to wear all weekend. Timberland Radler Trail Camp shoes have a hardy tread with a cushy fleece interior, so they’re perfect for lounging at base camp.
The kitchen is the heart of your camp
It can be fun cooking kebabs over the campfire and baking brownies in a Dutch oven, but camp stoves can add diversity to your weekend’s cuisine. Don’t sacrifice your foodie sensibilities to the constraints of camping. The Camp Chef Everest stove is big enough to hold both a 10-inch frying pan and a 1-gallon stock pot at the same time.
Keeping cooking and dining gear separate can be a challenge when everyone is using the same picnic table. The Bass Pro Kitchen set-up has space for everything, including a spice rack, pantry, and wash basin.
Cups of hot cocoa are great for huddling around the fire at night, but it’s not exactly an all-day beverage. That’s what the GSI Outdoors Glacier wineglass was made for. The base unscrews and fits into the glass for storage.
There’s no place like home
Bringing home with you puts everyone at ease. Adding little touches like throw blankets and pillows can up the comfort factor of any tent. An indoor-outdoor rug (like this one from Vivaterra) adds color and character to camp while reducing the dirt you’re tracking in and out of your tent.
We’ve all had flashlights and headlamps shone in our eyes when on a camping trip. The Snow Peak Hozuki LED lantern offers bright atmospheric lighting. It even has a dimmer and a candle mode that flickers in the breeze.
Stay connected, even in the wilderness. The Anker Portable Foldable Outdoor Solar Charger can keep you powered up throughout the weekend. And the GorillaPod for iPhone and Android doubles as a tripod and stand, so you can take action photos or watch a movie from the comfort of your sleeping bag.