The Gear to Get You Going and Where You Should Go
Camping is a quintessential part of every wild child’s adventurous childhood—and then if we’re lucky, those children grow into adventure-seeking, outdoor loving adults. Whether you pitch a tent in your backyard for the night, you drive into a state park and use their pre-established facilities for the weekend, or you pack in for a week long thru-hike, it’s important to have the right gear, so we’ve compiled a short list of our essential EDC camping gear recommendations. (And, for kicks, we listed some of our favorite National Parks—but that’s really just because we wanted an excuse to include beautiful pictures of the great outdoors…)
Whether you’re using a flashlight to signal for help, to illuminate the night, or to show off your hand-puppet talent, flashlights are key to a successful camping trip. We recommend flashlights by VSSL because they’re so versatile and customizable.
If you’re looking for something smaller, you could also check out the Litra Torch. Though it’s not a traditional flashlight per se, it is an amazingly small and impeccably bright light source that’ll do the job!
When you’re living in the great outdoors—especially on a more intense thru-hike—a good night’s sleep is essential for keeping your energy up to make sure you’re able to log your miles. Don’t go calling us Goldilocks, but most of us sleep best when we’re a comfortable temperature, snuggled in with just enough padding—that’s why we recommend the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 sleeping bag. It’s a camping/backpacking crossover sleeping bag that’s rated for 19ºF and weighs less than 2.5 pounds. It’s a great sleeping bag to invest in because you can grow into it as your casual backyard camping develops into more adventurous weekends and thru-hike trips!
A multitool is a must-have. It’s literally all about preparedness. There’s a whole hodgepodge of things that can happen on a camping excursion, so you want to have an abundance of tools without the weight of a lugging around a toolbox. We personally recommend the Toolcard Pro because it packs an industry leading 40 tools into a gadget that weighs 1 ounce.
If you’re comfortable with something that has a little more bulk about 7.8 ounces more bulk to be exact, you could also give the Leatherman Charge TTI a try.
Ya gotta eat. And as much as camping is equated with “roughing it,” we’re not barbarians here, so pack some cutlery and enjoy your campfire meal. For your cutlery, you’ll want to give The Muncher by Full Windsor a try. Why? Well, because it’s so much more than your standard fork, spoon, and knife set. It’s a full blown multitool with a can opener, bottle opener, peeler, fire starter, cord cutter, pry-bar, box cutter, and flathead screwdriver in addition to your handy-dandy spork and serrated butter knife.
Food. Water. Shelter. The essentials of survival. When camping, weight is likely a concern—especially on thru-hikes. So, for the sake of weight conservation (and because we think it’s a pretty good bang for your buck) we’d recommend the Platypus SoftBottle. Paired with a water filtration system like this one, you’ll be hydrated when you hit the trails.
On the other hand, if you’re on more of a backyard adventure and staying hydrated isn’t one of your highest survival priorities—you may want to check out some of the fancy gear Brümate offers for your beer, wine, and other non-water beverages.
Now, on to the fun part! Look, we love gear, but we love getting out, adventuring, and getting to use our EDC camping gear even more. From our personal experience, you can’t go wrong visiting these National Parks!
Acadia National Park, ME
Love the land and the salt water and the fresh water? Try Acadia National Park in Maine! There are vast, amazing, beautiful views (just watch out for the bears!).
Dry Tortugas National Park, FL
Getting there may be a bit of a challenge with the this National Park being located 67 miles west of Key West, but it’s worth the trip just to satisfy your inner Cap’n Jack Sparrow!
Grand Teton National Park, WY
The Grand Tetons were discovered by Frenchmen. They looked at the three peaks and said—”Man! Those look like three big…” Well, let’s just say the name “Teton” didn’t come out of thin air.
Yosemite National Park, CA
Thanks to Ansel Adams, Yosemite feels like an American classic. We highly recommend witnessing Yosemite’s Firefall.
Hot Springs National Park, AR
And, finally, we have Hot Springs National Park. This park is a little lesser known (But, hey! Sometimes avoiding the crowds is all you want to do when you’re getting outside). It offers an incredibly peaceful environment and is literally nicknamed “The American Spa.” Could you really want more from your National Park?