Summer is upon us, the season synonymous with vacations and good times in the great outdoors. If you really want to experience nature, the best way is to be fully immersed in it with a camping trip.
There’s no need to be intimidated if camping is new to you. Many established campgrounds have running water at each campsite, plus bathroom houses for when “nature calls.”
With the proper gear, camping can be a fun, safe and a relaxing experience filled with memories of roasting marshmallows by the campfire—paired with a nice Lambrusco, perhaps.
Coleman Sundome Tent
In a survival situation, the first thing to establish is shelter, which is easy to find with the vast array of tents on the market today, most of which only take a few minutes to pitch.
A good tent gives you a place to sleep and spread out your belongings and provides shade from the sun or protection from the rain.
The Coleman Sundome is a great choice for the beginner camper and sleeps 2–6 people depending on the size. It’s a relatively inexpensive tent with big netted windows to let the breeze in but keep the bugs out. There’s even an “e-port,” if you want to run an electric extension cord to the inside.$ Varies Amazon
Coleman Gas Camping Stove
Sure, you can cook meals over a campfire, but a much easier, safer and less time-consuming way is to use what many seasoned campers have: a portable gas camp stove. In fact, some campgrounds with no open fire rules require them.
If you’re camping near your car and lugging a stove isn’t an issue, the Coleman Triton+ two burner model is ideal. It easily attaches to a portable propane tank and the two burners allow you to fry up bacon and eggs on one side, while making coffee in a kettle on the other.$111 Amazon
Pinnacle Camper Cooking Set
If you’re going to cook while camping then you’re going to need kitchen equipment. No need to bring your clunky pots and pans from home as the GSI Outdoors, Pinnacle Camper set includes four plates, four mugs, four bowls, two pots with strainer lids, a nonstick frying pan and even a kitchen sink in the form of a flexible wash basin/carrying case. And the best part? All the utensils fit together into a small package, which weighs just over three pounds.
Add GSI Outdoors’ Destination Kitchen cooking and dining utensil set, and you have everything to be your inner chef, outdoors.$150 Amazon
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Cooler
To keep your food and beverages cold, you’ll need a good cooler to shield them from the summer heat.
YETI has prided itself on having one of the best insulated coolers on the market. Its Hopper series has portable soft coolers, each with a handle and shoulder strap. And they are available in different sizes.
If you’re going to be camping with chilled rosé, make sure you get the Flip 18 as it’s wide enough to hold full bottles.$300 Amazon
NEMO Stargaze Recliner Camp Chair
Weighing just under seven pounds, this strong, reclining chair can hold up to 300 pounds and swings on a portable frame that’s easy to install. Through a clever strap system, you simply lean back in the chair, and it supports and holds the position you choose.
Bonus: With a beer holder on the left and a pocket on the right to hold your cell phone or book, there’s really no need to get up.$220 Backcountry
Celsius Regular Sleeping Bag
A quality sleeping bag is essential for getting a good night’s rest. This model from TETON Sports will keep you warm in temperatures down to 0°F and has padding along the zipper to keep the drafts out.
A hood extends out from the bag to keep your pillow clean, and there’s also an interior pocket to keep your belongings. When the outdoor sleepover is over, storage is easy as it fits into a 15″ x 10″ x 10″ compression pack.$62 Amazon
GSI Outdoors Wine Glass Gift Set
Camping with wine is easy with this portable wine kit, which includes a soft, 750-ml carafe to hold a full bottle of wine of your choice. It fits inside a neoprene tote with a shoulder strap, which also holds two clear plastic wine glasses. These aren’t mere tumblers; they are sturdy stemware, assembled easily by screwing in the stems into the glasses’ bases. This will allow you to daintily hold your Cabernet Sauvignon—pinkies up—by a roaring campfire.$62 Backcountry