Cool Stuff for Camping
Going beyond the tent and coolers, here's a list of things to bring.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: July 12th, 2012
When camping, always make sure to bring enough socks; wet socks are the worst!
s the heat winds down later this summer, a great vacation to take with family or friends is to one of the many campgrounds this country has to offer. But if you've ever been camping before, you've probably already got your tent and a cooler or two, so we're here to give you a roundup of other things you might want to bring with you on your trip.
If you've got a sleeping bag, that's fine, but chances are you could use a better one. Coleman is nice and all for beginners, but if you're a more serious outdoor sleeper, the SwissGear Outdoor Crevasse Mummy Sleeping Bag gets high reviews across the board, with some users reporting that it's the "best sleeping bag [they've] ever used." It runs around $50, which puts it in a relatively affordable category as some can cost up to $600. Those more expensive ones are designed to be most effective in colder weather, so it really depends on where your trip is taking you.
If you'd rather sleep outdoors (read: not in a tent at all), consider the Outdoor Research Bug Bivy, which is basically just a mosquito net that you zip around your sleeping bag. It's probably not for the claustrophobic camper, but it's a neat idea nonetheless.
If you want a little more coverage but don't want to buy a big tent, check out the JakPak, which is an all-in-one jacket, sleeping bag, and tent; it folds up into a jacket, but folds out into a sleeping bag with a tent-like cover. It'll run you about $250, but considering that covers three things you'll need, it's not bad.
You'll also want a lantern to keep things brightly lit after the sun goes down. There are models that are gas and battery powered, so it depends on what you are looking for, but for the money, Rayovac's SE3DLN Sportsman Xtreme LED Lantern delivers the best, and it's just $24.99.
But aside from the essentials, there are some things you might want to bring just to make your life a little easier. Things like a propane-fueled coffee maker will help you get out of bed in the morning, and you might want to bring a waterproof stereo or camera to keep yourself and your group entertained if there's any lake-swimming to be done.
For things like cooking, check out Coleman's range of camp stoves, or bring your own charcoal grill—just make sure you clean up after you're done. If you're going to be doing cookouts on an open flame, it might be helpful to bring campfire starters and a fire extinguisher.
As for beverages, you can bring along a cooler packed with refreshments, but if you want to conserve space, there's always the Trek 'N Eat powdered beer packets—just add water! They're non-alcoholic, and the company also makes powdered red wine, so while it might not get you drunk, it's good for the novelty. In the same vein, a company called Faerie's Finest produces a root beer powder, to be used in soda water to create root beer in an instant. We can't vouch for how delicious these powdered drinks might or might not be, but it's intriguing all the same.
But enough of the novelty. Here's a straightforward "DO NOT FORGET THIS STUFF" list: s'mores skewers; beer cozies; beach balls/innertubes; soap/water to wash up with; bug spray, the good kind; sunscreen; and this sounds silly, but bring enough socks—if it rains, you will thank us for this, because wet socks are the worst.