Andrea E. McHugh
You’ve packed the high tech tent, rented the cabin or reserved the RV, mapped out your trek, and reserved the campsites – now comes the fun stuff! For a successful pack in/pack out that ensures you’ll leave nothing but footprints behind, start with a checklist. A first aid kit, hiking day pack, headlamp, food and water, cooking utensils, fire starter, warm bedding and a satellite messenger if you’re out of cell phone range, are a good start. Once complete, turn your attention to the non-essential gear, which can instantly up the fun factor. If you’re ready to leave the laptop behind and get back to nature without abandoning creature comforts, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve rounded up six not-critical-but-a-whole-lot-of-fun finds to make your next camping adventure one to remember.
AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker
Camping sans caffeine, for many, is a nonstarter. Fortunately, catching the sunrise with a cup of piping hot dark roast in hand is a reality with the AeroPress’s Go travel coffee maker. For the cost of a handful of lattes, this convenient, campsite-friendly coffee maker brews up to three cups of espresso-style coffee – all with one press in under one minute. When ready to hit the trail, the compact contraption conveniently packs up into its own reusable mug and lid which double as a traveling case – ideal for that late afternoon cold brew or cappuccino to carry you through.
Bonfire 2.0 by Solo Stove
An easy-peasy campfire? You betcha. The Bonfire 2.0 by Solo Stove is a transportable fire pit geared to “light up smokeless fires anywhere life takes you.” The stove can easily turn backyards and campsites into a s’more-ready gathering spot. For campfire enthusiasts, Solo also offers add-on accessories like pro-grade tools for fire-roasted foods.
The Breeze Inflatable Paddle Board by BOTE
Lakeside camping is one of the most beautiful ways to experience the great outdoors, and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is arguably the most peaceful way to tour and explore. There are more than half a dozen inflatable SUPs by BOTE, but campers should consider the WULF or Breeze models. Both are under 11’, super stable, considerably lightweight at less than 30 pounds, and specifically designed to grab-and-go. Suitable for first-timers, experienced paddlers and weekend warriors alike, both the WULF and Breeze are easily packable, portable, and able to be stored compactly in the car, camper or RV.
If you can’t imagine starting the day without your power smoothie or protein shake, the BlendJet will be your sunrise ride-or-die. Compact but powerful, this lightweight portable blender has the capacity to blend up to 16 oz. with ease. Its stainless steel blades blend at a rate of 275 times per second, creating a tornado effect resulting in fresh smoothies and shakes in seconds. A full charge lasts 15+ blends but when you’re ready, recharge in a snap with the water-resistant USB-C charging port. Campers can also use the BlendJet to make salsa, dips, dressings, purées and, when it’s happy hour, frozen drinks.
PizzaQue Portable Pizza Oven
For the camper who balks at the idea of living off the land, enter the PizzaQue. This propane-powered, portable pizza oven preheats in 15 minutes and can make a 14-inch pie every six minutes. If you can operate a gas grill, making artisan style pizzas on PizzaQue will be a piece of cake. An integrated thermometer, matchless starter, and temperature control knob promises you can make your pizza crust as crispy or chewy as you like. Camping with kids? Set up a simple build-your-own-pizza bar with plenty of toppings for either a classic or creative pie.
Stanley Adventure Happy Hour Shaker Set
When nature calls for campfire cocktails, be your own bartender with this six-piece set that nests into one compact 20 oz. shaker. Longtime Stanley enthusiasts are dedicated to this century-old brand that seems to be having a moment with trendsetters from midtown to mountaintops. Whether craving an après hike highball, mid-trail martini, or fireside fuzzy navel, this all-in-one cocktail shaker keeps drinks icy cold, and the twist-to-lock top is leakproof, so you can traipse all kinds of terrain without a spill. Part of Stanley’s Adventure Series line specifically designed for outdoor living, this set has all the drink-making components complete with a pair of double-wall insulated rocks glasses, so your mobile bar unit will be ready to roll when you are.
Camerons All-in-One Tailgating Table
With an insulated cooler, four beverage holders, and mesh food basket for snacks and tension straps that create a stable surface, the Camerons collapsible table is perfect no matter if you’re camping on the beach or nestled deep in the woods. Folding into one, slim, lightweight piece (just about four pounds) that tucks away into its own travel bag for easy portability and storage, this table is also a convenient game day gizmo whether tailgating at the stadium or on your child’s soccer game sidelines.