Nature is the main event, but the right kit keeps you focused on the show. The tools we use to break free from endless suburban sprawl haven’t changed: tent, clothes, and a pack to haul it all. Why not stay a while?
MSR PocketRocket Canister Stove
Some places don’t allow campfires. Others simply have nothing to burn (think snowy mountains). A canister stove has your back. The PocketRocket folds to the size of a softball and will stick with you forever.
$39.95 on Amazon
Fjallraven Kajka 65-Liter Pack
When camping for a few days, 65 liters of gear is plenty. The frame on this pack adjusts to men’s and women’s body types, and the lid can be used as a light bag for quick trips from camp. No, it doesn’t come in neon.
$370 on Amazon
Black Diamond Ion Headlamp
From helping you find that lost s’more to lighting the path for your 2 a.m. pee break, the camper’s headlamp is a crucial piece of your kit. They’re easy to lose though, so don’t spend a ton on one.
$24.95 on Amazon
Oru Bay Kayak
In less than five minutes, the Oru transforms from a folding-chair-size box into a fully functioning boat. Made of tough corrugated plastic, its cockpit features everything you’d expect in a nice kayak: a backrest, butt pad, and braces for your feet.
$1,175 on Amazon
Sea to Summit Trek II Sleeping Bag
Mummy sleeping bags are a dream for keeping you warm, but a nightmare if you’re claustrophobic. This three-season sleeper’s design opens a bit at the top—so you won’t feel like you’re being prepped for burial.
$279 on Amazon
A versatile knife will always serve as the centerpiece for any outdoor kit. The Griptilian is a worthy companion: Its coated steel blade stays sharp and will beast through rope, food, and kindling. Its rigid locking mechanism is both easy to open and super secure.
$115 on Amazon
SnowPeak Trek 1400 Titanium Cookset
Cookware is a camping essential. But steel pots and pans are noisy, add weight, and take up space. This cookset locks together to save your ears from the clanking. And at half a pound, it’s also astonishingly light.
$55.95 on Amazon
Mountain Hardwear Optic Two-Person Tent
Mesh walls give you a 180-degree panoramic view of your surroundings. And that fresh cross breeze helps with your awful foot odor. Screens don’t do much for precipitation, so yes, it does come with a rainfly.
$240 on Amazon
Vuarnet 60th Anniversary Glacier Glasses
Mick Jagger made Vuarnet glasses rock-star classic in the ’80s, but these are more than just hot. Designed for bright slopes, their lenses and side shields protect your corneas from glacier-reflected sunlight.
$600 on Vuarnet’s official site
This article was originally published in the Popular Science, January/February 2017 issue of under the title “Gear for the Long Haul.”