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Car camping is the best. The thrill of sleeping outdoors—the chill in the air at night, the warmth of a fire, the chit-chat around it—is still yours to enjoy, but unlike backpacking, you don’t need to test your physical limits by carrying a ton of gear. By bringing a car to a campsite, you can invest in heavier, more durable supplies that will keep you comfortable. Plus! You can construct a good camp kitchen. Below, the gear for that person in your life who likes to be outside … and also comfy.
Standing up in a tent is a luxury, and makes doing things like changing clothes way easier. The Marmot Halo 6P is more than 6 feet tall, which is quite spacious in the wild world of tents. It also comes a rain fly that goes over the top to keep you dry on dreary nights. $450.
It’s a key rule of camping: Put something between your body and the ground if you want to stay warm and comfortable. While backpackers carry thin, light pads like those made by Therm-a-Rest, this 6-inch-thick air bed made for two is a cushy choice for the car campground set. $129.
Sleeping bags are cocoons meant to keep you warm, and that’s a good thing in the outdoors. But they sure do make it hard to snuggle. The North Face Dolomite Double sleeps two, so layers of down or synthetic feathers won’t separate you from your partner. $169.
Don’t sit on the cold ground. Plunk your butt into this Kingdom Chair, and enjoy your time outdoors from an elevated perch. This 10-pound chair folds up for easy storage and has a military colorway that might match the nearby trees. $50.
And while you’re sitting down after dinner, wrap yourself in a Matador Pocket Blanket. Packed into a tiny shape, it’ll fit in your hand or a coat pocket, but spread out it’s over 5 feet long and about 3.5 feet wide. One side is water-resistant, so you could take shelter under it in a light rain. $30.
Campfires generally burn logs made of wood. But if you kindle a Pine Mountain Java-Log Firelog, your campsite will have a coffee-tinted smell—because this “log” is made from recycled coffee grounds. $25.
Backpackers frequently carry small, light stoves like WhisperLites. But in a base camp, it pays to set up something more stable. The Camp Chef Everest stove features two burners, so you can make eggs in the morning and heat water for coffee, and runs off propane. $100.
Whether you’re consuming hot chocolate at night or coffee in the morning, you’ll need to heat water to make it so. This aluminum kettle holds nearly half a gallon, and its handle makes pouring the hot stuff easy. $30.
Campsites need kitchens, even if they’re ad-hoc. Snow Peak makes a classy-yet-practical table with a bamboo surface that provides a clean place upon which to cut veggies or set down a drink. It folds up for easy transport, too. $115.
You’ve heated water in your kettle over your nice two-burner stove. Now put it in something tough-but-swanky (in an outdoorsy kind of way). Famous for their coolers, Yeti also makes rugged drinking vessels, like these 10-oz. tumblers meant for hot or cold beverages. $80.
If you’re hiking as well as just camping, you’ll want to wear hiking boots or shoes. At the end of the day, take them off and wear these KEEN Howser Slippers around the campsite instead. Warm, lightweight, and water-resistant, they’ll protect your feet from stones but still give you a much-needed break from the sweaty shoes you hiked in. $80.
Maybe you want to cook eggs and sausage for breakfast, or enjoy a beer at night. Either way, you’ll want a place to keep that stuff cool. The OtterBox Venture Cooler is bear-resistant (a metric you’ll hopefully never need to test), but more important, it will keep your stuff cold for as long as two weeks. Bottle opener included. $350.
Usually being outside means enjoying the quiet, but sometimes you just might want to listen to some music. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, so it will survive a drizzle, and runs off a battery that’s rated for 10 hours of play. $72.
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