It’s camping season! Time to air out the tent, dig the sleeping bags out of the basement and, of course, invest in some of the latest and greatest gear! Whether you’re a casual camper or a die-hard woodsman (or woodswoman), the following products are way too cool to pass up…and they’ll make your outdoor experience a whole lot better.
If you’ve ever woken up on a cool morning at the campsite and struggled to build a fire, you’ll worship this handy tool. The “Fire Defender” is a bit on the pricey side, but some things are worth the cost. Designed to keep your coals warm as you sleep, the Defender literally defends your fire, keeping your coals hot for up to eight hours. Through rain, dew and even snow, your fire will be ready to go the moment you wake up – so you don’t have to start your day shivering while you wait for breakfast.
We’re all familiar with the dichotomy: a big, comfy inconvenient camping chair or a compact one that digs into your… you know. But these brilliant seats have somehow transcended the limits of reality, boasting compact size and maximum comfort. They make packing a breeze, folding up to the size of thermoses without being flimsy and unstable. And since they boast a “realistic seat height and width”, you can say goodbye to awkward crouching and enjoy nature spread-eagled!
Where there’s no plugs, there’s often no coffee, right? Wrong! Caffeine headaches and deprivation-induced mood swings can make for a crummy start to your camping day, so do yourself a favour and invest in one of these little lifesavers. They’re sturdy, easy to pack, and they make coffee so good you’ll want to use it in the comfort of your home!
Familiar with the horror of sleeping with a rock poking into your ribcage? Sick and tired of wrestling with air mattresses only to wake up on a deflated rubber surface? Say no more. This dream-inducing sleeping pad is as light as it is comfortable, it’s easy to fold up and – by some scientific marvel – it keeps you toasty warm. It “withstands years of abuse”, which is an important quality in a product whose sole purpose is to protect you from the hard, cold ground. Trust me – it’ll add hours to your sleep and years to your life.
Even if you literally live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of tea tree oil. This bottled miracle, otherwise known as Melaleuca, has more uses than I can count on one hand. In the great outdoors, it’s useful for repelling bugs, healing wounds, and cleaning dirty surfaces. Bring along a bottle on your next camping excursion, or blend with water and put it in a spritzer bottle for convenience’s sake. Either way, it’ll make your #campinglife much easier.
Sometimes unplugging completely is impossible, and hanging out in the car while your phone charges is a huge bummer. This convenient device harnesses the power of the sun to charge your phone, laptop, GPS and other electronic devices. It’s also durable, so it won’t be useless the moment it comes into contact with outdoor air. Plus it comes with a case! So soak up some rays and let this little fellow do the same!
Emily Watson is a freelance writer and certified yoga and medical Qi Gong instructor. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and has been writing – creatively and otherwise – for ten years. Off the mat and away from the keyboard, Emily can be found hiking, camping and traveling with her wife and fur babies. She currently lives and works for a publishing company in Peterborough, Ontario.