A Little Bit of Luxury
You’ve taken care of the essentials and your eating and drinking needs. But this is the ultimate campsite. Not the “this’ll do” campsite. To elevate your outdoor abode to another level, there are a few more things you’ll absolutely need. First is a hammock. At this point, so many companies are creating portable camping hammocks, it’s almost impossible to not buy one. One of our favorites has to be the ENO DoubleNest Hammock. It’s the OG of portable camping hammocks and it lasts you a lifetime. It hangs up in minutes and is great for post-hikes naps or spending a lazy morning reading.
When it comes to setting the mood, portable speakers are a must. While one of the joys of staying in the woods is having the luxury of experiencing the most soothing nature sounds, sometimes the moment requires some enjoyable beats. Music brings people together. Plus, have you ever had a fireside dance party in the middle of the woods? It’s amazing. A speaker we’ve always been a fan of — for its great battery life, durability in the elements, and portability — is JBL’s Charge 4. You can leave this out in the rain all night and it’ll start right up the next morning. And if someone else brings their JBL speaker, you can sync them together… which is perfect for fireside dance parties.
Another luxury you may want to bring is a power station — like one of these from Jackery. These things are equipped with AC outlets, a DC carport charger, and USB charging ports. It’s an entire off-the-grid power supply that can support appliances, small grills, small refrigerators, and all your tech gear (should you be bringing cameras, a laptop, etc).
You’ll also want to bring a pocket knife. Now, I know this seems like an essential, but when you’re car camping and bring a hatchet, you won’t really be using a pocket knife that often — unless you’re really into whittling. Which is cool. We always recommend the CRKT knife because it’s small, sharp, and designed with minimalism in mind. Everything you want from a pocket knife, and nothing you don’t. Opinel also makes a great one that’ll always be a conversation starter. The final item in this category is the gazebo. It’s a bit bulky to pack, so you’ll want to make sure you have the room, but if a storm approaches and people need a place to stay dry, the gazebo becomes a sort of town hall. Everyone gathers under it, you can cook under it, drink under it, talk about when you think the storm will pass under it, and of course, stay dry under it. Bonus points if you add string lights around it.