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10 Clever and Well-Designed Camping Essentials

August 7, 2014  |  9:30am
10 Clever and Well-Designed Camping Essentials

If the thought of an outdoor excursion makes you want to bathe in bug spray, you may not be cut out for a trip up Mount Rainier. Chances are, you can’t afford a yurt in Chile either. But if your friends are dead-set on spending a weekend in a tent, there’s no reason you can’t introduce a bit of luxury. Any of these accessories will make your nights in the wild more civilized— or at least more aesthetically pleasing.

10. Poppytalk for Target matching floral Lantern, skewers, and thermos
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Target is a good bet if camo isn’t exactly your thing. Their home and garden lines have been characterized by dorm worthy brights, and the new camping gear is no exception. Vancouver-based husband and wife team Poppytalk are the perfect pair to bring vintage wildflowers back to the wild. This glamorous touch clocks in at less-than-luxury prices; each product runs you less than $15.

9. Pendleton National Park blankets
Pendleton Natl Park Blankets.jpg
Since 1909, the homegrown Oregon wool spinners at Pendleton have been inspired by Native American folklore and symbolism, expanding over the last hundred years to workshirts, towels, and even surfboards. In 2011, they paid homage to America’s expansive National Parks, immortalizing Yosemite, Acadia, and the Grand Canyon in wool. Though a tad pricey, these creations are still made in the U.S.A. and last forever.

8. BioLite camp stove with grill top (not included)
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The BioLite is not just portable, it’s green. That’s because you can burn what you find around you— namely, those twigs you didn’t want under your sleeping bag anyway. Eliminating the need for fuel, the wood smoke percolates in a copper chamber, decreasing your carbon footprint. What could make it a better addition to your lightweight pack? You can use that energy to charge your gadgets. Biolite comes with a USB port for whatever you need— flashlight batteries, smartphones, even the source of your movies…

7. Pocket Projector by Brookstone
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With an interchangeable smartphone battery, this projector is easy to charge and take on the go. IPhone users need to buy an additional adapter, but this baby connects to other phones, cameras, and laptops, no problem. Just hang a sheet and you’re set to binge-watch Netflix under the stars. S’mores, anyone?

6. Coolest cooler
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Currently beating its Kickstarter goal a hundred and forty times over, the Coolest cooler definitely lives up to its name, and that’s not just because of the margaritas. Okay, it’s partially because of the margaritas. It’s also because you can simultaneously blend a margarita, listen to a sweet jam, charge your phone, and crack open a cold beer for the not-so-tequila-inclined. With a sleek 1950’s design and the idea that a space-taker should be a space-saver, the Coolest is an essential for your next trip.

5.Coleman portable coffeemaker
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A hot coffee before a long day is just as essential as a cold beer at the end. Coleman’s red design means you won’t miss this gadget in the car, and with 10 cups of coffee in 18 minutes, your whole party is sure to be placated before the bugs descend. If you’re opting for a propane stove, you can use the same canister for up to four hours. It definitely beats instant coffee.

4. Lifestraw portable water filter
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You know what’s not glamorous? Sweating out all the water you carried up the hill. Worse—you’re not sure whether that spring has been hit with acid rain lately. That’s where the Lifestraw comes in—this handy filter loops around your neck or belt for easy access to drinkable water. Or, fill your bottle and fasten the filter to drain those toxins. Brag about being one with nature without being the one with malaria.

3. Telescope Casual cabana chairs
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Also popular as beach chairs, the cabana comes in 19 colors and weighs a mere 12 pounds, making it an easy choice for the relaxed outdoorsman. They may not have a cupholder or charge your phone, but they sure are great places to watch a sunset. Manufactured in New York since 1903, these durable chairs feature timeless design and could very well become your family’s camping heirlooms.

2. Verterra dinnerware
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You’re no longer bound to “leave only footprints.” Verterra plates, bowls, and utensils are completely biodegradable and compostable. Leave them outside and they’ll break down in less than two months. That’s less waste to stink up your car, attract bears, and eventually end up in a landfill. Better yet, you won’t get bacon grease on your lap—these plates hold their shape regardless of heat.

1. Tentsile Stingray hammock tent
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The keystone to the glamping experience, treehouses have long been hailed as the new way to experience nature. British treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith had this in mind when designing the Tensile, hoping it would become an affordable, portable way to experience treehouse life. Using the design as eco-friendly inspiration, Shirley-Smith was able to found a treetop settlement in Fiji last year suspended above an organic farm. And though the tent will run you upwards of $600, it can be used anywhere that trees are found. Happy exploring!

Are these luxuries worth the price, or best left at home? If you have a swanky campsite to share, make sure to link it in the comments!

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