Camping isn’t reserved for only the rough-and-tough types. That means...gone are the days of impossible tents and mosquito bites! Anybody can enjoy the great outdoors, especially with so many fun, interesting, and quite fashionable camping accessories to bring along!
Do you enjoy a night under the stars in your own backyard? Perhaps a 5-star glamping trip might be more up your alley. Maybe you’re hardcore and a no-running-water-or-indoor-toilet situation makes you feel wild and free!
No matter the destination or style, these 5 creative camping-inspired gifts are sure to keep you and your camping aficionados totally content!
SAY YES TO THE PILLOW
Two words you don’t often see written together are “comfort” and “camping.” While there’s a certain “roughing it” expectation one can have while spending time outdoors (especially overnight), you may want to consider just one leisure product.
Wake up feeling refreshed (and sans any neck cricks) with an inflatable NEMO Fillo Pillow from REI. Sidenote: REI is every outdoor lover’s best friend. Weighing only 9 ounces, remove the flattened pillow from its mango-sized stuff sack and twist open the ergonomic valve for easy inflation. The 3” l-Beam baffled air cell creates a natural pillow shape and eliminates that awful balloon feeling of other inflatable cushions.
For $39.95, the pillow comes in three colors including abyss (a deepwater blue), goodnight gray, and koi stripe (like the fish). Investing in a good night’s sleep during a camping trip ensures a full day of triumphant nature exploration, so rest your noggin on its thick luxury foam covered in machine-washable microsuede.
KNOW YOUR BERRIES, BUGS, AND WEEDS
Picture yourself on a day-hike in the middle of the forest. Maybe you’re deep in the mountains or beside a rushing river. You spot scrumptious, round and red berries hanging from a tree over yonder and pull a few down from the branch. About to toss one into your mouth, you remember… “Wait! I should probably check my copy of Good Berry Bad Berry before I eat this miscellaneous treat.” What if it’s poisonous?!
It’s a good thing you checked because not all berries (or bugs or weeds) are created equal! For the inquisitive campers out there who live to unify with their natural surroundings, we’re loving these three books:
By Helen Yost, Good Berry Bad Berry: Who’s Edible, Who’s Toxic, and How to Tell The Difference is a one-stop guide to identifying safe-to-eat and can-make-you-sick-or-worse berries. It’s packed with full-size images and clear descriptions of 40 of the most widely available berries in North America...in water-resistant matte-laminated pages. How handy!
By Jessica Walliser, Good Bug Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically is the go-to field guide for quick and easy identification of common insects, both invasive and beneficial. If you’re not squeamish, you can study all 41 bugs in full color!
By Nancy Gift, Good Weed Bad Weed: Who’s Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance features the good, the bad, and the not-so-bad types of weeds found in the yard. Backyard campers, get ready to discover how certain weeds can actually enrich a garden as opposed to only destroy it!
All three books can be found at Target for $15.59 (Berries) and $13.29 (Bugs and Weeds).
START THAT FIRE, IN STYLE
Lighting the campfire. It’s a quintessential camping right of passage.
There are plenty of fancy ignition gadgets and gizmos on the market, but there’s something so primal about rubbing two sticks together. Okay, we won’t go that far. Instead, we’re suggesting you whip out a really funky matchbox and wow your campsite comrades.
The decorative matchboxes from Museum Outlets have so much personality, you’re bound to find the right “match” for every type of camper personality. Ranging from $4 to $12 per pack, the various box designs range from floral, retro, fine art, and folk to graphic, vintage, expressionism, and antique. Perhaps you’ll have to visit Museum Outlets’ website to see for yourself - there are tons of designs worth checking out!
Some boxes are rectangular in shape while others are square and contain anywhere from 24-60 matches. They also offer extra-long “safety” matches, which are perfect for staying a reliable distance away from those fiery flames!
STAYING HYDRATED IS COOL
Most campers are aware of CamelBack - the handsfree, backpack water bottle (bladder inside a compact backpack) that separates boys and girls from men and women. Well, this hiker favorite has been given a very hip upgrade.
The hydration packs and backpacks from Vibedration combine two essential elements: hydration and vibe (never leave home without them!). They sell several pack sizes that can hold anywhere from 1.0 to 2.0 liters of water, but today we’re going to focus on the camper-friendly VIP 2.0-liter hydration pack. Made from Ultra-Premium HEX2o™ water-resistant polyester fabric, these packs range in price from $59.99 to $79.99 and comes in various partners like pineapple, alien, daisy, cosmic pizza, neon flamingo, and even holographic.
The BPA-free antimicrobial bladder is included in the pack, which measures 17” in height, 10” wide across the shoulders, and 3.5” deep. With 3 pockets (main, front, and secondary), the compact size and weight (only 1.5 lbs - before you add water and other “stuff”) makes this pack perfect for day-hikes away from camp!
WAKE UP, UNZIP TENT, MAKE COFFEE
We may have fibbed when we suggested the NEMO Pillow as your one and only luxury tag-along. Can we bring two, please?!
The portable mini espresso machine from Wacaco will make your campsite morning complete. It’s lightweight (weighs less than 1 pound), manually operated (no battery or electricity required), and super simple to operate. Just combine ground coffee (you have to bring that from home) + hot water = extract 50 perfect milliliters of espresso.
For those who like to know what’s going on under the hood, this device is actually quite innovative for its unassuming stature. The semi-automatic piston injects small amounts of water into the coffee adapter. Perform a few pump strokes + 161 PSIs of pressurization = wah-lah.
The best part of waking up (in your tent), is Wacaco in your cup.
Now that you’re equipped with some vital camping paraphernalia, you’re all set for an open-air adventure. Of course, don’t forget your tent, sleeping bag, toolkit, toilet paper, flashlight, skewers (for hot dogs and marshmallows), jackets, bug spray, quick-dry towel, sunscreen, and ukelele. Did we forget anything?