10 Products under $100 That Will Improve Your Next Camping Trip

"Roughing it" doesn't need to be all that rough.

I'm a pretty low-maintenance camper (and person). I'm perfectly happy to pull over on an empty back road, throw down my sleeping pad and bag, and crash for the night if that means I can wake up close enough to get to some good climbing or surfing first thing in the morning. That said, if it's less of a strike mission and I'm setting up a real camp for a couple nights or more, there are a few pieces of gear that always make camp feel that much better. Here are a few of my favorite camp comforts:

1. Alps Mountaineering Table - $99.95 (on sale now for $54.97!)

I don't actually own one of these myself, but have used friends' before and they're pretty awesome. They're light, sturdy, and packable. If you're camping someplace that doesn't have a picnic table (shout out to BLM land and taking advantage of free camping in Southern Utah growing up), then bringing this little guy with you will be a lifesaver. 

2. Coleman 2-Burner - $74.95

There's no need to limit yourself to a backpacking stove when you're car camping, especially if you're cooking for a group. This thing is timeless and gets the job done every time. I especially love that it's made of durable steel...it's not going to get battered from packing and unpacking into your car over and over again. I'm really rough on gear in general, and after two years of me beating this thing up, it only shows minor nicks and scratches.

3. Stanley French Press - $58.50 (on sale now for $46.80!)

French press is my favorite way to make coffee while camping because you can make a pretty large pot of coffee pretty quickly. Coffee is the first step in the morning and I'd rather not sit around waiting for individual pour overs.

4. Nemo Helio Shower - $99.95


A friend shared this little gem with me on a long camping trip this summer. For short camping trips, this would be a little excessive, BUT there are certain trips where this would be extremely valuable. If you're on a camping trip where you'll be really active somewhere without fresh water you can swim in to rinse off, this would be rad. Or if you're on a surf trip to Baja, this would be great for rinsing salt water off of yourself and your gear.

5. MPOWERD Luci Lux Pro Inflatable Solar Lanter - $19.95


I love these little things! There's something very nostalgic about the low hiss of a good old-fashioned propane lantern, but these are the future. They charge during the day via solar panels on top, pack down super small when not in use, and are so light and easy to hang, you can put them all over camp. This model in particular is my favorite because the light is a little softer and warmer, almost like a candle. 

6. Helinox Chair One Camp Chair - $99.95


I've used a handful of other low profile, packable chairs like this and Helinox stands up with the best of them. I made an impulse purchase years ago right before a camping trip and bought REI's version of this chair...Helinox's is substantially more sturdy and comfortable. 

7. ENO Doublenest Hammock - $69.95


At the Pursuit Series events, these hammocks were a saving grace for a quick rest and are surely the most contested seat at any campsite. They're super comfy, easy to set up, and pack down tiny. Win-win-win.

8. MSR Reflective Utility Cord - $22.95


I love having a little extra cord around in my camping kit. It has so many uses: fixing up tents, hanging extra rain protection, and setting a line to dry wet or sweaty clothes on. Bonus: this cord from MSR is also reflective so you won't trip over it at night.

9. Leatherman Sidekick - $49.95

I've had my Sidekick for over five years and it's still going strong. There is a certain appeal and cool factor to the single blade knives (like this one) but I love having the multi-tool. It comes in handy multiple times on virtually every camping trip I've been on.

10. Settlers of Catan - Priceless / $49.00


If you know, you know. If you don't, it's time to learn. This is the best board game out there! It's a great one to play during downtime on days just hanging around camp and I love bringing it when I'm camping somewhere that doesn't allow fires as alternative night time entertainment. 

   

Cover photo: Matthew Swartz

Published: September 5, 2018

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