Camping can seem a little silly, given the level of comfort we’ve created for ourselves in modern civilization. We are streamlining it, however; we go camping to escape everyday life, to come into contact with nature, to find ourselves or, like Thoreau, to “live consciously”. Or, unlike Thoreau, getting dirty and drinking beer next to a roaring fire. The common denominator here is simplicity, but camping gear can get complicated and expensive. Most essential items – a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat – typically cost over $ 100. And yet quality can also be found on a small budget. We set a limit per item of 50 USD; Here are some of our favorite things in the field.
Gear Aid Stubborn repair tape
If any of those things that are too expensive to make on this list, such as: If, for example, an insulated jacket or tent rips (because it is common to beat up your gear when camping), Tenacious Tape is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to fix it.
Nalgene Sustain drinking bottle
Nalgene redesigned their classic water bottle with 50 percent recycled materials, but it’s still super durable and super cheap.
Cast iron furnace pan
On the heavier side of the camping equipment spectrum is the tried and tested cast iron pan. While new boutique versions of the classic cookware can cost up to $ 200, Lodge’s range is adequately non-stick and extremely affordable. Throw it on a grate or, if your campsite doesn’t have one, throw it directly into the coals of your fire. (Just don’t leave it out in the rain overnight.)
A typical cheap lighter will suit you well for most firelighter needs. But if you’re worried about wind and temperature, this $ 20 add-on will turn your last-minute gas station purchase into a mini blowtorch.
MiiR 12oz Speckled Camp Mug
It looks like the classic camping mug made of enamel with speckles from yesteryear, but is double-walled, vacuum-insulated and made of stainless steel, so better.
Hydro Flask 1qt bowl with lid
Tupperware is always the right camping tableware. However, Hydro Flask’s bowl is better because it’s insulated so your food will keep its temperature longer, and because it comes with a lid so you can safely store leftovers.
Nemo equipment competition
If you’ve ever tripped over a tent pole in the dark, consider Nemo’s sweepstakes as a simple safety upgrade. The glow-in-the-dark part slides up and down on the pole, which helps repel dirt when packing.
Nite Ize ShineLine
Give your camping ambience a new twist with this 3-foot light cord. It comes with four zip ties for easy set up and runs on a rechargeable battery.
The compleat is one of those things that makes so much sense that one wonders how it didn’t exist before. It has four separate tools that offer more than double uses: spoon, fork, spatula, tongs, scraper edge, cutter, can opener, bottle opener, peeler. They all nest neatly together and weigh just over two ounces.
Sea to Summit eVent compression dry bag
Getting wet is one of the inevitables of camping. Your clothes can get wet, your shoes, your backpack, your tent – but the last thing you want to dampen, the dryness you want to keep at all costs, is your sleeping bag. This compression bag is the foolproof preventive measure (and you can also pack it with clothing or electronics if needed).
GSI Outdoors Java Press
The real hero of a camping trip is whoever gets up early enough to make coffee for the rest of the crew. The Java Press is insulated to keep you warm if you sleep longer than expected.
Gerber armbar cork
The Armbar Cork can cut, cut and open (cans and bottles, even corked ones). That makes it the perfect multitool for camping, and it’s a lot lighter, not to mention less expensive, than the full-size gadgets that might come to mind.
Black Diamond Spot 350 headlamp
Black Diamond’s Spot 350 is one of the best headlamps available – it’s waterproof, has multiple light modes (close-up, beam, strobe, red night vision), and is bright enough to shoot photons up to 282 feet away. Plus it’s only $ 40.
Nemo Equipment Fillo Elite pillow
Packing a sweatshirt and pants as a headrest always seems like a good idea until you wake up in the middle of the night with a tingling sensation in your neck. This backcountry pillow is inflatable, has a soft cover and can be reduced to the size of a deck of cards.
Sea to Summit Alpha Pot, 1.9 liters
Sea to Summit’s Alpha cookware collection was named one of the best products of the year in 2017. This ultra-light pot has a lockable hinged handle and a notched lid for draining pasta water without losing a single pasta.
MSR TrailShot water filter
The TrailShot is bigger than iodine tablets, but smaller than a bike pump filter and also lighter. If you don’t want to pack multiple jugs of water to your location, bring these instead and filter them as needed.
BioLite Charge 40 PD
Like it or not, electronics are a part of camping now, and having enough power for your devices is important. A backup charger is not essential, but can be useful in an emergency. This has both USB-C and USB-A ports.
Big Agnes TwisterCane BioFoam sleeping mat
It might not be a fancy inflatable camping mattress, but the TwisterCane is light, comfortable, and (mostly) made from sugar cane-based foam.
REI Co-op Camp X chair
High-quality camping seats – complete with a cup holder and a storage bag for your headlamp and bug spray – can cost a bundle, but don’t have to be. Thanks to REI you don’t have to sacrifice quality either, which makes this collapsible seat both comfortable and light compared to similar models.
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