Pick Six: Favorite Camping Gear

Travel Light, Travel Right


We travel small, so we like to travel light. Every item in our beloved Vanagon camper has to prove it is “worth the weight” before it becomes family cargo. Below are my top picks for best camping gear.

Worth the splurge for its winning combination of comfort, style and portability. Built for backpacking, it’s ultra light and packs small. Unlike competitors, the XL size of this “Chair One” doesn’t sit too low to the ground.

The warm glow generated by flames is so much cozier than LED. These long-lasting candles are spring-loaded, so they remain the same height while burning.

This inexpensive tent serves as our bathroom, shower and dressing tent. It folds flat like a Frisbee and pops itself open. Affectionately referred to as “the pee tent”.

Flannel for the win! I’ve tried high-tech, expensive bags, and none have been cozier than the sleeping bag I’ve relied on since childhood. It’s well-made with heavy zippers that glide smoothly and easily fits into its stuff sack, which is monogram-able. For the money, you can’t do better.

The problem with a picnic table is you can’t sit your drink on it around the campfire. You need something movable and lower to the ground. This lightweight solution is our camp coffee table. The top rolls around the collapsible base for easy storage.

A tie-out stake is a must if you camp with pets. This one swivels at the top so your lead stays tangle-free. Comes in a variety of colors and can hold multiple cords. A big improvement over cumbersome metal chains.

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