Camping gear you won’t regret buying – TechCrunch
Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2021 Year-End Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We have a lot of them. Looking for our other guides? Find them here!
Buying camping gear is all about making tradeoffs.
Lightweight hiking gear can be perfect for trips where you take everything with you, but may not be as sturdy as the heavier (usually cheaper) options. Little luxuries can make a trip lavish, but every dollar spent can make you just drop your bag and go for a swim in the lake. Like I said, compromises!
You don’t need to spend a ton of money for a good setup. While there is always something else upscale to buy, you can take comfort in the fact that better camping gear rarely makes for a more fun time outdoors.
I’ve found that the best camping trips are the ones where you can completely unplug, so this year’s outdoor / camping guide leans more heavily on low-tech gear.
Your phone is the perfect camping companion with tunes, maps, and details on the nearest place to snag a six-pack, but it’s also a place where distractions abound and it can be hard to leave them behind. SMS and unanswered emails. My best memories of camping are trips where I was fully present in the region and with the people with whom I was there … so on a more philosophical note, when it is an option available to you, the better gift you can give yourself is to leave your phone locked up in a safe, silent place and out of reach.
One final note: You can spend a ton of money on premium “indestructible” gear, but the best way to make your camping gear last is to take care of it. Clean up your gear when you get home from a trip, keep things packed so you don’t lose key parts, and fix small issues before they have a chance to turn into bigger problems.
All of the items on this list except one are new from the guide I made last year, but I’m still a huge fan of all of these products as well. So check this list too!
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Aurelle TOOB brush
Camping trips are known for many things, but good hygiene usually isn’t one of them. Truth be told, most toiletries are optional when it comes to sleeping outside for several days, but you can never forget the toothbrush.
I bought this little travel toothbrush a few years ago and am a huge fan of it. It incorporates a mini-tube of toothpaste in the handle and has a small cover to keep things hygienic. I was initially worried that the little toothpaste containers in the handle might be a DRM controlled racket, but it’s actually very easy to fill the tube with the big tube in your bathroom.
Price: $ 7 from REI
Opinel No. 8 Knife Beech Handle
Opinel knives have a bit of a cult following, and in a world of camping knives over $ 100 and up with tactical handles, these knives are a welcome return to simplicity and are a great (and inexpensive!) Addition to a camping kit. There’s always a bigger / better knife for the job, but for people who need something basic that meets all of their cooking needs, this one does.
Price: About $ 20 from Amazon
Once safety and shelter are taken into account, there really is nothing more important to camping than the camp cafe. The sun is rising and you get up much earlier than you would in the real world, so you have to kill the vertigo and enjoy the day. I’ve had a few setups over the years, but after building up a substantial collection of hiking gear, my recent pick was the Jetboil MiniMo and its complementary French press attachment.
The Jetboil is a mainstay for many backpackers due to its design which basically aims to get the most out of the smallest amount of fuel, which leads to really fast boil times. The MiniMo is nice because the part of the 1 liter jar is quite shallow and can be used as a bowl for eating without any problems. These are all use cases that are somewhat specialized for backpackers traveling alone or in fairly small groups, but the Jetboil is also available in larger sizes.
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Water Cube
When hiking, having an accessible water source is one of the most critical needs of campers. When camping at an established site with a constant supply of water, you may want to have a large container for the water so that you don’t have to venture back and forth to fill your water bottle or bottle. camping pot.
I bought the GSI Outdoors Collapsible Water Cube, which is a fairly easy way to store water for filling water bottles or doing dishes near your camp. This thing is clearly not designed to be beaten, but unlike other options, you can put it away a bit. I wouldn’t expect to do more than a few trips – but if you’re looking for something a little harder and have space to spare, a more rigid container like this one from Reliance might be a better bet.
Price: $ 16 from Amazon
This one might come as a surprise, but when you find yourself in the woods with no cell signal, you also often find that you haven’t downloaded as much music to Spotify as you thought. Having a dedicated MP3 player in 2021 might sound as silly as it sounds, but sometimes there’s a peace that comes with bringing a single-use tool to the commute and leaving the versatile distraction unloaded and without. disturbance. Best of all, your iPod – unlike your phone – doesn’t have your entire digital footprint on it, so it can stay unlocked and accessible to the whole camp to choose songs.
You can of course use any MP3 player. I have a very strong nostalgic connection with the iPod and its click wheel. If you’re tempted to just reuse your old-fashioned iPod, be sure to check its battery status; it is probably in urgent need of replacement, which is quite difficult to do on your own. I recommend looking on eBay for a nice refurbished option with a brand new battery.
If you go this route, make sure you are prepared for whatever it entails, namely digging up your old collection of song files and uploading new tracks you might want, as well as making sure your camp speaker is on. also ready for AUX cord.
GoPro Hero10 Black
In the age of smartphones, dedicated cameras are still luxury goods designed for niche moments and I can say with absolute certainty that a sizable percentage of GoPro owners probably don’t need them … but there is no need for them. There are definitely times when their extra durability and portability can create more memorable adventure videos and clips. It’s also another great way to leave the phone in the car while still being able to capture memories!
The latest GoPro Hero10 Black takes 5.3K video with a streamlined waterproof design that’s more powerful than ever. If you have the money to spend, go for the most recent, high-performance version; if you know deep down that this is a device that you can only use a few times, the latest generations of the company are worthy companions.
Price: $ 449 from Amazon
MPOWERD color solar string lights
I had Luci solar string lights on my list last year and they are still one of my favorite things to go out on the campsite. I am strongly considering purchasing the multicolored variety of these lights which are an even more festive way to light up your campsite or tent. Like I said last year, lights make for a good time not long, and I’ve had mixed luck with solar charging. You’ll definitely want to charge them every other day, which might make them less ideal for trips where you don’t have a car charger nearby.
Price: $ 45 from Amazon
A better cooler
So-called “roto coolers” are all the rage thanks to the Yeti. These coolers are machined to have as few seams as possible allowing cold air to escape, which means these products tend to stay cooler for longer. The wrong side? If you’re used to buying everything cooler Target has on sale, these can be insanely expensive. RTIC makes cheaper ones, but they’re still a lot more expensive than most people probably spent on their last cooler.
A big downside to these coolers is that since the wall thickness is roughly the same from model to model, the smaller versions actually have a pretty tiny amount of usable space inside. . In these cases, you might be better off going with a conventional coolerâ¦ or if you’ve got the cash to spend on something arguably over-designed, go for a nice soft cooler. I have a lot of friends with the YETI Hopper BackFlip 24 Cooler, which at $ 300 is quite expensive but is a high quality luxury for something meant to keep your food and drinks cool.