The past four years have seen a gross negligence on my part.
You see, I’m all about the outdoors. In fact, when I got my very first real-job check at age 15, the first thing I bought was a cabin tent so I could live outside for the rest of the summer.
Camping is sort of my thing. But due to other constraints, I’ve only been camping once in the past four years.
Now that me and Zach are moving to the Pacific Northwest and will have more free time on the weekends, it’s time to change all that.
I’ve been scoping out a lot of cool camping gear lately, and am proud to present it here to you. While I’ve kept an eye out for budget items, there’s also a caveat.
There’s a ton of cheap gear you can buy, but camping — even the backyard variety — is notorious for eating up and spitting out cheap camping gear.
Thus, camping is one area where I think it’s worth spending a bit more money. Trust me, your wallet will thank you when you don’t have to buy the same item 20 times over the next 10 years.
Related Post: 15 Budget-Friendly Things To Do This Summer
This most amazing hammock
Words fail me. This is the most amazing hammock I’ve ever seen. It’s got a spreader bar, bug net, tablet holder, and a beer holder.
A BEER HOLDER!
It’s currently up on Kickstarter, but check it fast, since the listing ends on 6/20/18. They were shooting for a goal of just $20,000, but have shot that out of the tree (hehe, pardon the pun) with a whopping $415,830.
Plus, if you back it before the listing ends, you can get 40% off of the retail price.
Even cooler, this can double as a sweet hangout and a tent if you put a tarp over the top while you’re camping. Now that’s what I call “budget.”
Backpacking Recipe Book
As any backpacker knows, there’s only so much Mountain House you can eat before your taste buds try jumping clean off your tongue. And that’s before you factor in the dehydrated cheese.
Instead, try making foods you like before you leave.
Perchancehow, you may ask?
With one of these sweet recipe books.
The last time I went backpacking (in 2013 – UGH!), I made fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast. CINNAMON ROLLS! IN THE WOODS! Need I say more?
Solar Tent Light
Solar camping gear is all the latest rage — as long as you live in a sunny place. Too bad I missed out on this stuff while I lived in Alaska, where it was daylight all summer long!
Anyway, here’s a super-affordable solar tent light. Depending on how bright it is, you could charge it up for a full four hours of night shining. And if the sun fails, you can still charge it with a micro USB converter.
It has three modes: high, low, and blinky. Because nothing’s more fun that flashing the blinkies at your spouse trapped in a mummy bag inside of a tent at night.
The Water Filter To End All Water Filters
All you have to do is fill up the bag with untreated water and screw on the hose. Then, squeeze the bag like all your hopes and dreams depend on it (it’s not that hard, really). It takes up way less space and is WAY cheaper and easier to use than a traditional water filter.
Handheld Washing Bag
This is for when you get really dirty and are running out of clothes.
Personally, I just bring extra clothes with me since I’m not usually out camping for more than a few days, but if you’re on a long trip this could really be useful.
I love Osprey brand backpacks. They simply make the best.
Even better, they offer a lifetime, unlimited, no-BS warranty on all of their products, no matter where you buy them. I’ve used this a couple of times with my current backpack when the snaps broke. I filled out a simple form, and within a week, I had not one but two extra snaps show up on my doorstep.
Pressurized Water Bottle
You can use this as a regular bottle to drink water from. OR, you can pump it up and pressurize it, and then you have a few more options:
Seriously, I can see TONS of uses for this bottle.
Squirting Zach with a blast of water aside, it’d be super handy for washing hands and cleaning things.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I get stuff on my hands. I dunno why, but this is completely at odds with camping. Normally I bring a 5-gallon aquatainer and plop it on its side to wash my hands, but frankly, that sucks.
This is a much better option, and I’ll definitely be purchasing this for our summer camping. Plus, it’s got great reviews.
Big Agnes Sleeping Bags
If you haven’t heard of Big Agnes sleeping bags yet, I’m about to shake up your world.
Big Agnes bags don’t have any padding on the bottom.
Why, you ask?
So that you can slide in one of their matching sleeping pads.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS?
You will never slide off of your sleeping pad again. Ever. And, if you’re a backpacker, that means it’s even more lightweight since you have less sleeping bag material to carry around.
Zach’s got one Big Agnes bag and our goal is to save up for another one. That way, we can zip them together and I won’t be left rolling off my crappy ¾ length sleeping pad like a schmuck.
Marshmallow Lounge Chair
While we’re on the subject of inflating things, here’s an awesome find! This is one of my favorite pieces of cool camping gear.
If you end up getting the discount hammock above and your spouse steals it (ZACH), then this seems like a perfectly viable backup. I could even see sleeping on this as an air mattress.
TAKE THAT, Zach and your fancy Big Agnes bag!
Plus, it’s hella cheap and has great reviews.
Solar Powered Battery Charger
OK, ok…I know, I’m supposed to putting that damn phone away while I’m camping.
But since my phone is now also my camera, and sometimes I like to use my phone to go geocaching, I value my phone even in the Great Outdoors now.
What’s your favorite cool camping gear? Leave a comment below!