Summer of 2018 Camping: What to Pack This Season
Whether you heading out to the wilderness or a pull-up campground this summer, spending a few nights under the stars in the great outdoors does the body, mind, and soul a world of good. Especially in these digitally obsessed times, when detoxing from electronics for a few days is not only trendy but also mentally necessary. But before you unplug completely, you’ll want to hit up the online shops for the best gear to bring with you. These are some of my favorite picks for what I’m packing in our SUV for the family camping trip to the Colorado high country this summer.
1. Mountain Standard Camp Chair
A good Camp Chair is definitely essential to any camping trip and I am loving this one by Mountain Standard this season. It is really comfy to sit in and has a breathable back panel for hot days. It is also easy to maneuver thanks to its light weight, quick assembly and carry bag.
2. Lek Sub 1 Chair
Another camping chair that is super lightweight and great for the campsite is the Leki Sub 1. It weighs next to nothing and folds down to a super compact size that can slide right into your backpack. One of the coolest features of this chair, however, is the ability to attach is carrying case to the front of the chair, fill it with us and use it to chill your beer or soda. The chair comes in a number of colors including sky blue and lime green.
3. ICEMULE Coolers
Coolers are also imperative to pack when camping in summer. I like the ICEMULE Classic because it is made to keep your beverages super cold for up to 24 hours. ICEMULE coolers are made with soft-sides and can be rolled up completely to carry or store, which is another perk I love. The cooler is also fully waterproof with welded seams and no zippers, which means if you want to take it tubing, it will float!
4. Orca Cooler
You can never have too many coolers for summer camping and the Orca Cooler has four new 35-quart hard sided coolers I am digging this summer. They are illuminated inside using LiddUp® technology that uses a first of its kind built-in LED lighting system to make it super easy to see whatever is inside the cooler even when it’s dark outside. This is an awesome feature for the campground and also your next backyard party. The company also makes a totally wild koozie known as the ORCA Rocket, which is a two-in-one 12-ounce bottle and can holder that keeps your beverage icy cold.
5. Zeal Optics Idyllwild Sunglasses
You need a solid pair of sunglasses for sunny days setting up the tent or long hikes in the woods and Zeal Optics is one of my favorite companies. Their products are entirely plant-based and eco-friendly. The Idyllwild has a black frame and a dark grey polarized lens that helps reduce sun glare and intensity to give you a truer color perception.
6. Mountain Standard Hybrid Men’s Camp Jacket
This one is for guys, and my husband absolutely loves his. The Hybrid Men’s Camp Jacket is perfect for camping in the mountains. Made with Primaloft gold insulation it is the perfect mix of flannel and light puffy and is really versatile. Besides the campground, this jacket looks great riding your bike around town and even works for a casual restaurant dinner.
7. Motorola Talkabout T600 H20 Two-Way Radio
My family loves to go backpacking in the wilderness, where the cell phone signals don’t penetrate, but one problem with this is losing touch with my husband if one of us is out walking around and the other is back at the campsite. So I love having a two-way radio around because it means we can still reach each other in an emergency but don’t have to worry about having cell signal. The Motorola Talkabout T600 H20 two-way radios are a good pick for this. They feature a handy flashlight that includes a white and red LED and is activated in water and the two-way radios are entirely waterproof and also float.
8. FINEX Cast Iron Skillets
For cooking over the coals or on a grill check out FINEX’s cast iron skillets that come in 8”, 10” and 12” sizes. They not only look quite cool with their sleek geometric designs and stone-polished cooking surfaces, but these quality skillets are perfect for everything from searing steaks to salmon in the evening then frying perfect eggs come breakfast. It can even be used to bake cornbread or muffins.
9. Fizzics’ Waytap
Impress your friends at the campground by pouring them a beer that tastes like it just came from the tap at your favorite craft brewery. How? Bring along the Fizzics’ Waytap, which makes beer from a can, bottle or growler instantly taste fresher thanks to Fizzics’ micro-foam technology. The Waytap is also durable, easy to carry and works with 4 AA batteries.
10. Tossware Disposable Tumblers
You may not want your camp cup to last forever, but if you’re going to use disposable cups while on a camping trip, you want to make sure the one you pick is durable and environmentally friendly. That’s why I am choosing Tossware Disposable Tumblers as my glass of choice this season. The 18 oz. Tumblers are durable and built to last for an entire camping trip with one cup per person. In addition to the cups, this company also makes spill-proof lids that come with a hole you can break to pop a straw through if you’d like.
11. Belkin Pocket Power
The Belkin Pocket Power is perfect for charging a battery pack on the go. It is slim and lightweight in its design and is actually made to fit in your pocket to quickly charge your smartphone, smartwatch, headphones, camera or even a small drone. This company also makes a great Integrated Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone that was awarded a Best of Innovation award at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.
12. Princeton Tec Axis Headlamp
A good headlight is super important for camping trips — who wants to stumble into the darkness to use the bathroom at night without a lamp? And even more important, you don’t want to have to carry something in your hand! Princeton Tec’s Axis headlamp is the latest design from the company known for this type of product. It is a 200-lumen headlamp that runs on AAA batteries with 120 hours of burn time and is bright enough to light up nearly any adventure from night hikes to bathroom runs. The headlamp has a few different modes that can dim or brighten lights with the touch of a button.
13. Bugs and First Aid
From repelling ticks to first aid, it is important to carry some medical and bite prevention essentials on a camping trip. For mosquito, tick and other biting insects that require repellent try Natrapel Tick and Insect Repellent, which uses Picaridin instead of DEET to protect you for up to 12 hours. The product is safe on your gear too and won’t hurt your clothes or even fishing line should you accidentally spray it on that as well. Even with insect repellent though you can still get a bite so I like to carry After Bite Outdoor with me. It provides fast and powerful relief from itchy bites or burning stings. Finally, it is always good to have a first aid kit on hand and the Adventure Medical Kits Backpacker are a favorite for camping trips as they are organized by injury and come packed with supplies for multiple people.
14. KeySmart Pro
No need to worry about misplacing your keys while camping or backpacking when you use the KeySmart Pro. It is a handy little tool that lets you store up to 13 keys in one place and even lets you add on camping accessories like a firestarter, duct tape or bottle opener. It also features tile location tracking to let you use your keys to find your phone with the push of a button that will light up your phone — great for dark tents.
15. RinseKit Lux
The RinseKit Lux is a portable shower kit that works great for an arm shower or to rinse off your pup’s paws following a muddy hike. It also works in a snap to wash dirty dishes in your campsite. The LUX has a soft tote exterior design and can also double as a soft cooler if you just take out the pressure chamber. It also comes with some cool accessories like the Hot Rod Water Heater.
16. Para Kito Mosquito Repellent Wrist Bands
Instead of spraying yourself with DEET infused bug-spray try putting on a Mosquito Repellent Bracelet by Parakito instead. These bands can be worn either on your wrist or ankle (or both) and provide long-lasting protection — up to 15 days and then you can refill the band’s pellet. The bands work in both temperate and tropical climates and are even waterproof. Besides the campground, I like wearing mine on the bike trail. Also, note they are sourced with natural essential oils and completely DEET free. And Parakito outfits the entire family by making bands for adults and kids.