Fall Camping Upgrade!Posted by Whole Earth | 09.17.2020
Fall Camping Upgrade
This past summer some of our fellow Earthlings were out on the road visiting national parks and public lands far from Texas. When they finally returned home, they shared their stories and photos, and we tried hard not to be too jealous. And, as always, the subject eventually turned to one near and dear to all our hearts – gear. What worked? What didn’t? And what are they planning to bring with them next time? Here’s a sampling of the items we’re adding to our gear collections for a fall camping upgrade.
One Earthling vowed that on the next trip each family member will have a duffel of their own. There will be no more ‘family size’ suitcase that takes up room when open and whose contents easily descend into chaos when too many hands are searching for a particular item. With duffels, each family member can keep their clothing and essentials separate, greatly increasing the prospects for family peace and goodwill. The Patagonia Black Hole Duffels are tough, come in a variety of sizes, and are useful for all sorts of travel and for transporting gear.
Another upgrade is to a soft cooler that can fit behind the seat in the car and carry drinks, snacks and meals for a day outing or a road trip to the next campsite. The tote is lightweight, waterproof, with soft sides and easy to carry with handles or a detachable shoulder strap. The Unbound has hinged lid for easy access into a large 24 liter compartment that’s easily cleaned, mildew resistant, and has an anti-microbial food-grade BPA-free liner. It’s also a favorite for runs to the farmer’s market or the grocery store.
We like YETI Ice for day trips, visits to the grocery store and keeping drinks cold at parties. But it’s also a winner for camping trips. Add a YETI Ice or two to your cooler as a supplement to a bag of ice. It chills a cooler quickly and makes ice last longer. That can be a big deal when you’re camping in hot weather or driving through the middle of nowhere. It keeps your food safe and your drinks cold. And when your travels are over, pop the YETI Ice in the freezer, so it’s ready for your next adventure.
Sometimes when we’re camping a time comes when all we really want to do is sit down in a comfortable chair, preferably one that rocks. Hammocks, picnic tables, stools and logs all have their time and place, but there’s something special about sitting and rocking by a campfire. The GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker is comfortable, sturdy, and folds flat when not in use. And you’ll want to use it for more than camping. The Freestyle Rocker is ready for the backyard, sidelines and tailgating too!
At the end of the day, sometimes we prefer a gentle light to the bright glare of a powerful lantern. Hanging a few Solight Helix Merlin Solar Lanterns around a campsite or in a tent or camper creates a peaceful atmosphere in the evening. They’re also useful for kids to light their way to the bathroom so they won’t blind their adult companion with a misdirected beam from a headlamp. The Helix Merlin is lightweight, folds flat, and has multiple functions and colored lights.
A good night’s sleep when camping makes the next day so much better. But for some of us, even when we’re dead tired, we don’t sleep well away from home. Fortunately, upgrading our sleeping pad can make a big difference. The MondoKing 3D Sleeping Pad delivers on a good night’s sleep with its 4+ inches of thermal foam that keeps us warm and cozy. It can also be easily adjusted to the degree of firmness that’s most comfortable. Using two one-way valves, it’s easy to inflate and deflate. Kids on sleepovers and overflow guests will appreciate it too.
Does your day get off to a rocky start without that hot cup of homebrewed coffee? Same for us. And just because we’re camping doesn’t mean that our morning cup has to be subpar. The AeroPress Go was made for use while traveling. Its compact design makes it perfect for camping or backpacking. All the coffee making tools are stored in the travel mug ready to be deployed when needed. All we need to add is hot water and ground coffee for a great start to the day.
Even though we’re getting away from it all, we still need to use our phones on occasion while camping. And if we’re camping with kids, some quiet time with their screens may be in order. The Goal Zero 36 Power Bank is a battery backup charger that can keep our phones and their screens running when there’s no outlet available. And the Goal Zero’s small pocket size makes it handy to stow in your everyday bag to be sure you won’t be in the red zone when you need to make an important call.
So after a summer of outdoor adventures, these are a few of the upgrades Earthlings are making to their gear collections for Fall camping. What would you like to add to your gear closet?