16 essentials for comfortable camping
16 essentials for comfortable camping (Charles Dustin Sammann)

Our Favorite Camping Gear for 2018

Sleeping in a tent doesn’t have to mean roughing it

16 essentials to make camping comfortable

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GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station ($120)

Large Camping Cooking Station
(Courtesy GCI Outdoor)

No more digging through Rubbermaid bins to assemble your camp kitchen. The Master Cook Station has room for a two-burner stove and a cutting board, and provides a prep area, a built-in sink with a drain, and a drying rack.

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Thermacell ­Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent ($50)

Small Black and Blue Mosquito Repellent Bottle
(Courtesy Thermacell)

The soda-can-size Radius creates a 110-square-foot sucker-free zone without sticky lotions, buzzing sounds, or noxious deet. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery activates the secret sauce—a wick packed with the same ingredients that make chrysanthemum flowers deter insects.

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Hults Bruk Arvika 5-Star Ax ($169)

Silver Ax from Hults Bruk
(Courtesy Hults Bruk)

With a 5.5-inch-wide head handcrafted in Hults’s 321-year-old forge and an American hickory handle, this ax makes short work of chopping and splitting even the knottiest wood.

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Kelty Galactic Sleeping Pad ($70)

Orange Rectangular Sleeping Pad
(Courtesy Kelty)

Usually, this much comfort requires a hard lung workout. But the Galactic self-inflates in a few minutes, then needs just a few breaths to firm up its 2.2 inches of padding. At 25 inches wide, there’s ample real estate for tossing and turning.

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Klymit Versa Blanket ($80)

Blue and Orange Camping Blanket from Klymit
(Courtesy Klymit)

The Versa is the Buff of blankets. Lay it out for stargazing, or fold the corners together to form a cape. With synthetic insulation and a built-in footbox, it can even substitute as a sleeping bag in summer.

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Snow Peak Field Barista Kettle ($133)

Silver Camping Kettle
(Courtesy Snow Peak)

The Field Barista has minimalist good looks, courtesy of its sleek stainless-steel build. The handle unscrews to save space, and the spout pours drip-free.

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LifeProof Aquaphonics AQ10 Speaker ($100)

Green and Gray Waterproof Speaker
(Courtesy LifeProof)

If silence is golden, tunes are platinum. This Bluetooth speaker shrugs off water, snow, dirt, and falls, plus it floats. The battery lasts up to 13 hours—plenty of time for campground neighbors to come around to your taste in music. The speaker is currently on sale for 50 percent off.

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Fjällräven No. 4 Duffel ($150)

Red Duffel Bag
(Courtesy Fjällräven)

Designed back in 1973, this timeless waxed-­canvas bag has proven to be a worthy hauler. In addition to the 40-liter main compartment, there are three smaller pockets to organize essentials.

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Outside Inside Freestyle Barrel Toss ($40)

Mesh Barrel with Frisbees
(Courtesy Outside Inside)

A mashup of basketball and disc golf, Barrel Toss is a perfect campsite pastime. This version is easy to set up and packs flat.

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Gili Beach/Camp Mat ($120)

red camping mat

Lay this upcycled mat by your tent to help trap dirt before crawling into bed. It shrugs off the elements, too: the vinyl mesh doesn’t absorb water and is UV and mildew resistant.

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GSI Outdoors Santoku Knife Set ($30)

Orange and Black Camping Knife Set
(Courtesy GSI Outdoors)

Channel your inner Gordon Ramsay with this three-blade kitchen kit. The parer handles smaller jobs, the chopper dices, and the serrated knife saws perfectly. You also get a cutting board, soap bottle, and cloth, which have spots in the zippered carrying case.

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Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch Dog Tether ($60)

Red Dog Tether
(Courtesy Ruffwear)

The Knot-a-Hitch uses a series of daisy chains, 36 feet of rope, and a locking system to make sure your pooch’s play area stays well within your campsite and not your neighbor’s.

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Big Agnes Titan 4 MtnGlo Tent ($400)

Gray Tent with Built-In Lighting
(Courtesy Big Agnes)

A proprietary exterior pole system attaches outside the fly and surrounds the entire structure, making the Titan a do-it-all tent. In the rain that means covered setup and takedown, and on bright days a retreat from the sun. The 56 square feet of interior space is illuminated with a strip of lightweight LEDs that hang from the ceiling.

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Rovr Rollr 60 Cooler ($399)

Green Rolling Cooler
(Courtesy Rovr)

With a tough roto­molded shell, two inches of foam insulation that keeps ice frozen for days, lockable bearproof latches, and ergonomic handles, the Rollr 60 fits right in with the new breed of rugged coolers. What sets it apart are the accoutrements, including drink and speaker holders, a side table, and interior dividers. Our favorite aspect is the sand- and trail-worthy axle system, which makes lugging an unwieldy cooler a thing of the past.

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Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit ($150)

Silver and Black Portable Fire Pit
(Courtesy Primus)

The Kamoto unfolds from a flat rectangle into a two-level firebox, ideal for roasting s’mores where campfires aren’t allowed. Air vents in the upper V help feed the fire until the coals are hot enough to deploy the included grill.

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BioLite SolarHome 620 ($150)

BioLite Blue Solar Camping Light
(Courtesy BioLite)

Developed to power abodes in Kenya, the SolarHome 620 can brighten your campsite with four 100-lumen lights, pump out music as an MP3 player, and serve as a battery bank. An LCD screen monitors it all, including incoming juice from the six-watt solar panel.

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From Outside Magazine, August 2018 Lead Photo: Charles Dustin Sammann

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