Birds twitter in the treetops overhead. A warm breeze rolls off the hills above the tree line. The sun shines just a bit brighter and, with each passing day, sets a little later.
Nature is waking from a season-long slumber and its invitation is dazzling and clear. Spring has arrived to rescue you from winter’s frozen embrace. It’s time to go camping!
Interest in camping spiked in 2020. People seem to have realized that preferring to stay indoors is different from being ordered to stay inside. Yuppies and newbie backpackers seeking getaways forced outdoor retailers into a supply crunch! Tents and sleeping bags were soon in short supply.
But manufacturers seem to have adapted to the new normal. It’s a little easier now to find camping gear. That’s great news for anyone who wants to go off-grid.
Below is our list of the best basic gear for your weekend campsite this spring or summer.
The Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent is perfect for the solo traveler or backpacking couples. This tent may be one of the smallest in the Coleman range but it has some impressive features.
The tent uses a pin and ring design with InstClip attachments. We liked that it was easy to set up. If you are not sure what to do you can follow the instructions sewn into the carry bag. You should have it up in 10 minutes.
The tent comes with privacy vent windows and Variflo airflow ventilation. Inside, you’ll find an interior gear pocket and an electrical access port. The floor is made from Polyethylene while the tent material is Polyester mesh 75D.
All in all this is an excellent tent for the price it commands. We like it and we think you’ll like it, too.
The Oaskys Camping Sleeping Bag comes in both single and double options. The bag is cozy and comfortable, promising a good night’s sleep every night.
The cotton filling keeps you warm and dry thanks to the use of special double filling technology. The bag features a full-length zipper, hood, and a separated bottom zipper. You can pop your feet out if you overheat in the night.
The cover is made from 210T Anti-tearing Polyester. The material is waterproof, breathable, and sturdy. But the inside lining is soft and inviting.
We like this sleeping bag but it’s on the heavy side as far as sleeping bags go. That might be a problem if you expect a long hike to your campsite.
Bedding down at a campsite in rocky terrain? You’ll hardly notice it with Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad. Even though it’s not the thickest pad around, it’ll support a side-sleeper who weighs 350 lbs. or more.
That’s because this sleeping pad is made with interconnected air cells that adjust to your resting needs. All it requires is a few additional breaths to support the extra weight.
The pad measures 75“x23”, which should keep most users satisfied. But while it’s wider than most other regular-sized pads, it packs down to the size of a water bottle!
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is equipped with a sturdy ripstop nylon fabric that’s tear-resistant. Buy one now and you’ll be using the same sleeping pad many years down the line.
The pad comes with a lifetime replacement warranty, which we like. What we like even more is that Sleepingo offers a money-back guarantee, too, if you don’t like the product.
A camp stove doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. It should cook food and boil water quickly, and be rugged enough to withstand travel. You also need a stove that does not require a burdensome amount of fuel.
The Coleman Classic ticks all those boxes. It’s a simple, functional stove that boasts rock-steady performance outdoors. It will boil your water, cook your food, block the wind, and simmer sauces admirably.
Fuel efficiency? The Classic can cook with both burners on high on a 16.4-ounce tank of propane for about an hour. That’s good enough for us.
This stove is simple to set up, lightweight, and packs down to a compact size, too. We love the adjustable windscreens, which allow you to widen the cooking surface to accommodate a larger pan.
This model does not have a Piezo ignitor. That’s the little red button that lights the gas – so you’ll have to bring a lighter. That might be a deal-breaker for some. To us, that’s just one less thing that’s bound to break.
The Stanley Adventure Cook Set just might be the best-priced camping cook set on the market. Sturdy, dependable, and compact, the set is excellent for a weekend campsite. In fact, it outperforms several cook sets that boast a higher price tag.
The main element of this set is a 710ml stainless steel pot. The pot is tall and slim and fitted with a folding lockable handle.
There are easy-to-read volume markers inside and outside of the pot wall. The lid is vented for exhaust. But the vents also allow you to drain the pot of water if you happen to be cooking pasta.
Stored inside the pot are two Stanley green nesting insulated cups. The two cups fit snugly inside the pot so there is minimum rattling. Each cup can hold about 295ml. of liquid. The pot, lid, and cup are all dishwasher friendly
The set is readily available online and in many big-box stores, which makes it a great option. Like many Stanley products, the set comes with a lifetime warranty. Need we say more?
Chopping vegetables and cooking meals can be difficult when you’re in the great outdoors. That is, of course, unless you have proper utensils. A good set of camping utensils ensures a more efficient campsite kitchen.
The compact and durable Camp Kitchen Utensils Travel Kit has everything needed to charm you with convenience. The kit includes a spatula, a soup ladle, a steel steak fork, two knives, and a cutting board with non-slip silicon edges.
You’ll also find two plastic spice shakers, stainless-steel tongs, and scissors inside the tough, woven cotton travel bag. Every utensil has its pouch to avoid scratching or damage. Each is dishwasher safe.
When folded, the bag fits snugly into a backpack – or you can simply hang it on a peg once you’ve established your campsite.
First Aid Kit
The woods are full of unexpected blisters, splinters, biting bugs, and ankle-twisting potholes. That’s why, if you’re going camping, you’ll need to pack a good first-aid kit.
For minor cuts and scrapes, the First Aid Only 299-piece All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit is a good choice. Sure, its components are not as high-quality as those of more expensive kits. But that’s to be expected given the price.
The 299-piece kit has a wide variety of bandage choices and adequate cleaning materials for patching up minor injuries. The kit is small enough to fit into a backpack. Inside, you’ll find first aid supplies in clear, open pockets.
The pack doesn’t have many tools and supplies you’d find in a first aid kit for home use. But we think the First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit is excellent for a weekend campsite.
Whether in the woods or on a beach, a good camping lantern means you’ll never be in the dark. That’s especially true if your lantern happens to be a Vont LED Camping Lantern.
The LEDs inside this lantern generate 140 lumens. That should be more than sufficient to light up your tent. The 30 LEDs are organized in a circular pattern, so you get 360 degrees of light.
The light is adjustable. The clever collapsible design allows you to reduce the lantern’s output. You get less light if you do not expand the lantern completely.
The Vont LED Camping Lantern works with three AA batteries. The battery life is around 12 hours if you keep illumination to a maximum. They’ll last 90 hours if you use the lantern on low settings.
The Vont’s build quality is just as impressive as its illumination. At 10 oz., much of it is made from aircraft-grade material. This lantern will survive a 10-foot drop, which is something that might happen during a camping trip.
Your campsite will need basic furniture, of course, and we’ve got recommendations. First up is the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair.
This chair’s unique design has a hydraulic rocking system and padded solid armrests. The technology behind the rocking system is simple. The chair is raised above the ground, resting on two ground bars. This allows you to rock the chair even if the ground bars sink a bit.
We like this portable rocker around the campsite. It’s comfortable and stable. The only downside is its weight. The chair weighs a considerable 12.1 lbs. – so you’ll need a car to transport it.
Your campsite needs a table, too. A table is among the most effective strategies for storage when you’re camping. Trekology’s Portable Camping Side Table does that job quite well.
At 3.5 lbs., this table features a streamlined design that packs into a small area in your auto or RV. It has an aluminum shirt that’s weather-resistant and waterproof. It’s also stain-resistant, which makes cleaning a snap.
The blue tabletop looks amazing with all the metallic colors on an aluminum metal frame. But you can choose from a range of different sizes and colors to fit your preferences, too.
If you’re still having difficulty finding what you need, try renting gear from an outdoor retailer. That said, renting isn’t ideal for folks who plan to camp often.
But rentals could be a cost-effective option for occasional campers, according to the New York Times. It’s also a good way for newbie campers to learn their preferences before buying equipment of their own.