Even a passing mention of camping conjures up vivid memories of sleeping under the stars, watching the sun rise and the quintessential smell of a campfire. An adventurous way to escape the daily grind, we've prepared a few gear round-ups for different levels of outdoorsiness. This first—for the more sedentary car camping set—includes a few items that will enhance your time at the campground.
As a perfect addition to any road trip (especially ones ending at camp sites), Courtney Heffernan's Vehicle Field Notes offer cleverly designed notebooks to assist in some of the less exciting aspects of car travel.
Three originally illustrated notebooks are available to help with determining gas mileage, notes for accidents, oil changes and servicing. Clear, bold design makes these small journals a pleasure to look at even if they're not frequently used. Contact Heffernan directly to inquire about ordering.
Standing at just over nineteen inces high, the Tundra 105 from Yeti Coolers is big enough to hold food for the whole family, with thick enough insulation to keep it cold for longer than you might expect—all the while working as an extra, and always needed, seat around camp. The Tundra series is one hell of a cooler; its wrap around freezer style gasket seals in the cold and its unbreakable hinges ensure that your supplies are kept fresh. The dual nylon rope and handle grips are a nice touch as well. It sells online for $430 from the Yeti store. A more affordable but also heavy-duty option, Coleman's Heritage Cooler is a workhorse that holds up to 223 cans, 55lbs of ice and comes with a tray and cutting board—perfect for cutting up all those limes to help wash down a cold beer. The classic cooler sells online from Coleman for $250.
Black Diamond's Titan Lantern provides light for all camping needs. Capable of producing up to 250 lumens of light you may just be able to light up everyone else's' campsites too. Dimmers are essential to controlling the mood, and we really appreciate that feature on this lantern. Plus it's collapsable so it'll pack away easily and it's sturdy hook allows it to be hung from most places easily. The Titan Lantern is available through their online shop for $80.
Design Salt's Cocoon series makes great lightweight travel products, including "sleeping sacks" that are designed to either line your sleeping bag or simply replace it on hot summer nights. The OutLast Coolmax is made of extremely breathable fabric that wicks moisture and dries fast, perfect for humid nights. This machine washable travel sheet comes in an assortment of colors and sells for $60 at
Weighing in at less than 6 lbs. theBodum Picnic Grill is constructed of lightweight steel with an easy to clean colorful enamel coating. Bodum's clever design features clamps that hold the lid securely in place for transportation. The performance is top-notch and the delicious smokey charcoal flavor infused in your burgers and eggplant will throw your friends off the fact that you really bought it for one of its six summery colors.
Of course no camping trip is complete without s'mores made over a fire. STL-600 S'More Maker sells from Amazon for $15. To get the fireside snack melting fast, start with Fidibus Firelighters. These pure wood fibre sticks are soaked with natural paraffin and come 18 to a box. The German kindling can be picked up online from ManuFactum for €7.