With the current COVID spike in Colorado, gas prices going through the roof, and international travel being shaky at best, now is the best time to embrace your inner outdoors person and see the beauty of nature. Whether you’re just planning on spending a night camping in the backyard or going on a week-long mountain expedition, there’s nothing like unplugging and enjoying the wonders of the natural world.
Considering how relatively inexpensive hiking or camping is compared to a traditional vacation, lots of folks are going to be on the trails this year. Please be courteous to other campers, and remember that your improperly disposed of trash is going to be on earth a lot longer than you or I will be. Pick up after yourself (and others). Think about your kids and their kids and how you want them to experience nature the same way you did.
Please remember to always practice Leave No Trace principles.
- Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
This year we’ve compiled some of the greatest outdoor equipment and gear to help you make the best of your summer adventure. We’ve split the guide into three segments just like last year: survival and emergency equipment, backpacking and hiking equipment, and luxury gear.
Survival & Emergency Equipment
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep…” — Robert Frost
ReadyWise Camping Variety Bundle
$96.99 at readywise.com
With a 15-year shelf life, the ReadyWise Camping Variety Bundle provides a lightweight and delicious solution to eating in the great outdoors. All you have to do is add water and eat the meal right out of the bag. This bundle includes 12 meals with an additional pouch of cookie dough bites as a tasty snack or dessert.
Lifestraw Peak Series
$19.95 at lifestraw.com
The Lifestraw is a small and convenient water filtration system that can fit right in your pocket. What makes the Lifestraw more convenient than other filtration systems is the fact that you can literally use it anywhere at any time—You don’t have to wait for the water to drain through a filter. Just suck the water in through the straw and it’s instantly filtered.
Compass Culture Solar Hand Crank Radio
$29.98 at compassculture.com
Get a load of this all-in-one radio and flashlight. The Compass Culture Solar Hand Crank Radio can be powered with its built-in hand crank, solar panel, USB cable, or three AAA batteries. The Compass Culture Hand Crank Radio is extremely lightweight at only 13 ounces, making it easy to take on any hike or outdoor trip.
KOSIN Survival Gear, 18 in 1 Emergency Survival Kit
$37.99 at ussurvivalkit.com
The Kosin Survival Gear, 18 in 1 Emergency Survival Kit has just about every tool one could ever need in the wilderness. With everything from a Swiss Army knife to an emergency whistle, The Kosin Survival GearSurvival Kit has you covered for nearly every situation. As an added bonus, a waterproof carrying comes with every kit.
UCO Stormproof Match Kit
$8.95 at rei.com
These aren’t your mama’s matches! The UCO Stormproof Match Kit includes 25 matches, three strikers, and a waterproof case that floats in water. The case can hold up to 40 stormproof matches and fits conveniently in any backpack. The matches themselves are wind and waterproof with a 15-second burn time, triple that of a regular match.
Everlit First Aid Survival Kit
$34.80 at amazon.com
The Everlit First Aid Survival Kit can help you survive just about every situation outside of a nuclear blast. The kit contains 250 pieces of survival gear including knives, alcohol pads, a compass, and pliers. The case itself is water resistant, making the entire Everlit First Aid Survival Kit as durable as it is affordable.
Garmin inReach Explorer®+
$449.99 at garmin.com
Cell phone coverage in the great outdoors can be spotty at best. The Garmin inReach Explorer®+ works even when you don’t have cell coverage. Equipped with a GPS, text messaging system, and SOS button, the unit connects to the Iridium global satellite system allowing you to contact emergency services or loved ones with the touch of a button no matter where you are.
Morakniv Garberg with Survival Kit Carbon Knife
$87.68 at amazon.com
“That’s not a knife, this is a knife!” The Morakniv Garberg with Survival Kit Carbon Knife is a Swedish-made, fixed blade survival knife. It includes a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and a patterned, high-friction grip that makes the knife comfortable to hold and easy to handle.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoes
$150 at rei.com
Shoes can be make-or-break for a lot of outdoor situations. The Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoe is lightweight, comfortable, extremely durable, and waterproof. Not only are these hiking shoes designed for all types of terrain, they are also available in men’s and women’s sizes and can be ordered for both slim and wide feet.
Condor Summit Softshell Jacket
$92.95 at tacticalgear.com
High altitude hikes can get a bit chilly even in the summer. The Condor Summit Softshell Jacket is ideal for mountain hikes by being both lightweight and water resistant. This jacket is made with moisture-wicking fabric that retains body heat to keep you warm in colder conditions and a stowable hood for additional protection from the elements. The Condor Summit also features underarm zippers for ventilation to help prevent overheating and keep the wearer cool when temperatures start to rise.
Tact Bivvy 2.0 – Emergency Sleeping Bag w/ HeatEcho® Technology, Paratinder, & Whistle by Frog & CO
$18.73 at survivalfrog.com
The Tact Bivvy 2.0 is a revolution in sleeping bag technology. When fully packed, it can fit into the palm of one’s hand. When fully unpacked, the Tact Bivvy 2.0 is large enough to comfortably fit a 7-foot tall person. This sleeping bag is also completely wind and waterproof, making it ideal for all types of camping or survival conditions.
The SOG Entrenching Tool
$24.95 at sreoutdoors.com
Meet the ultimate outdoor shovel. The SOG Entrenching Tool is a multipurpose, lightweight, and foldable shovel that is ideal for any outdoor survival adventure. The shovel also doubles as a small saw with a serrated edge that’s ideal for cutting wood and small branches for fire building.
Gear Aid 550 Paracord
$14.95 at rei.com
While unassuming, a high quality paracord is often one of the most important pieces of gear in an outdoorsperson’s arsenal. The Gear Aid 550 Paracord is strong and heavy-duty, ideal for securing a shelter, hanging a bear bag, or tying things down. This paracord can also be pulled apart into seven individual strands that can be used for fishing line or thread.
Backpacking & Hiking Equipment
“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” — Mary Davis
REI Co-op Backpacking Bundle
$244.95 at rei.com
First rule of backpacking: keep it light! The REI Co-op Backpacking Bundle is extremely lightweight coming in at just under ten pounds! It’s water resistant, and will keep anyone inside the tent warm at temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
$200.00 at warbonetoutdoors.com
The Blackbird XLC hammock is sleek, stylish, and durable. The Blackbird XLC is only about a pound but can hold up to 350 pounds. If black isn’t quite your color, don’t worry! There are 20 other colors to choose from.
Sea to Summit eVac Dry Sack, All-Purpose Compression Dry Bag
24.95 at amazon.com
Don’t feed the bears! The Sea to Summit eVac Dry Sack is the ideal anti-bear bag. The bag has a “laminate fabric base” that makes it waterproof and extremely durable. It can also be sealed with a buckle system, keeping bears out without any compression straps!
RTD Recreational Services
$5.25 at rtd-denver.com
RTD is one of the best ways for an outdoors erson to find the best spots to hike, camp, or just take a step off of the well-worn path. RTD has over 100 different routes, so you’re all but guaranteed to find something you’ll like!
TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack
$46.38 at amazon.com
The TETON Sport Oasis Hydration Pack not only keeps you hydrated but also has enough storage space to hold all of your backpacking gear. The Oasis holds two liters of water, has two different water ports so the user can decide which to put the nozzle in, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is available in seven different colors.
Sea to Summit Camp Cutlery 3-Piece Set
$4.95 at rei.com
A great way to be more environmentally friendly on your backpacking adventure is to bring reusable silverware with you. The glass-reinforced polypropylene Sea to Summit Camp Cutlery Set is an inexpensive and eco-friendly alternative to plastic silverware. These utensils come with an aluminum carabiner that can easily clip onto any backpack and makes keeping track of your silverware a breeze.
Leki MCT 12 Vario Carbon Trekking Poles
$211.99 at moosejaw.com
If you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable set of trekking poles, then look no further. Leki MCT 12 Vario Carbon Trekking Poles are ideal for all types of hiking terrain. They also break down with the push of a button, making them extremely easy to store in any backpack.
Copper Spur HV UL2
$499.99 at bigagnes.com
The Copper Spur HV UL2 is a backpacker’s dream. This tent is easy-to-store, durable, and spacious. This modern marvel is only three pounds when packed, has a 40-inch tall interior, can sleep two average-sized adults, and can be used year-round.
Nescafé Taster’s Choice® House Blend Instant Coffee
$9.29 at riteaid.com
Nescafé Taster’s Choice® House Blend is one of the best-selling instant coffee blends in the world. The convenient 7-ounce container is ideal for backpacking while the coffee itself makes for a quick, delicious, and easy energy booster.
Enlightened Equipment Enigma
$355.00 at enlightenedequipment.com
The Enlightened Equipment Enigma is a revolutionary way to sleep in the backcountry. Made of ultra-lightweight nylon fabric, this sleeping quilt weighs a mere 21 ounces. As an added bonus, the Enlightened Equipment Enigma can be customized to your size, color, and temperature specifications.
Toaks Titanium Single Wall 450ml Cup
$19.95 at rei.com
The Toaks Titanium Single Wall Cup is the ultimate backpacking mug. It’s ultralightweight and holds nearly 16 ounces of liquid. The titanium design eliminates the metallic aftertaste that plagues similar cups while keeping hot drinks nice and toasty.
Even Naturals Premium Mosquito Head Net
$ 7.99 at amazon.com
Summer hikes are always guaranteed to result in a bug bite or two. The Even Naturals Premium Mosquito Head Net does double duty. Not only does this hat’s netting keep bugs off your face, but the hat’s brim is wide enough to prevent sunburns.
Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger
24.99 at us.anker.com
In the great outdoors, outlets are few and far between. The Anker PowerCore 10000 is one of the smallest portable chargers in existence. It’s roughly the size of a deck of cards and as light as a baseball. Despite its small size, it holds enough power to completely charge an iPhone three times over. This wonderful little piece of technology is also backed by an 18-month warranty.
“Is it weird that I’m taking Louis Vuitton camping?” — Jessica Simpson
*Solo Stove Ranger Fire Pit
$199.99 at solostove.com
The Solo Stove ranger Fire Pit puts any regular campfire to shame. This smokeless fire pit is as durable as it is stylish. Its innovative high airflow technology lets the fire pit get extremely hot with a minimal amount of kindling, and the patented solid stainless steel design makes the Ranger Fire Pit super heat-conductive and extremely hardy.
Coleman Camping Cot, Air Mattress, and Pump Combo
$161.99 at amazon.com
If roughing it on the hard ground isn’t for you, go for an air mattress! The Coleman Camping Combo is one of the most luxurious air mattress bundles money can buy. This combo pack comes with a portable mattress stand, the mattress itself, two bedside stands, and a battery-powered air pump for easy inflation. Best of all, the mattress is available in both twin and queen size.
Camp Chef Outdoor Oven
$325.00 at bbqguys.com
Once you go camping with a portable oven, you’ll never want to cook your food over a fire again! The Camp Chef Outdoor Oven sports two upper burners. The internal oven can fit a 9-by-13 pan and a 3-sided windscreen protects the upper burners from unwanted wind. This unit is also extremely efficient! The Camp Chef Outdoor Oven can run at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for seven hours on a 1-pound propane bottle.
GigaTent Portable Pop Up Changing Room
$26.43 at amazon.com
The GigaTent Portable Pop Up Changing Room is an easy and convenient way to get instant privacy even when there’s no shelter nearby. If you ever need to make a quick outfit change or if you just need some privacy, this privacy tent has you covered. Standing at 6-feet tall, this tent unfolds and refolds in an instant.
GCI Outdoor SunShade Rocker Camp Chair
$79.99 at cabelas.com
The GCI Outdoor SunShade Rocker is a lawn chair on steroids. This wonderful chair provides a camper with both comfort and protection from the sun. The retractable shade rotates front to back so you can block the sun from any angle, and it folds flat for more overcast days and nights around the campfire.
Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan with Stand
$34.95 at rei.com
The summer heat is notorious for making tents go from comfortable sleeping quarters to heat boxes in a matter of minutes. The Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan brings portability and cooling power to your tent. This battery-powered fan has three foam blades that are child- and pet-safe. The magnetic base allows this tent fan to be placed just about anywhere inside or outside of your tent.
PerfectDay Solar String Lights
$19.99 at amazon.com
When you don’t have enough flashlights or can’t build a fire large enough to illuminate your surroundings, the PerfectDay Solar String Lights have you covered. These solar-powered lights eliminate the need for lanterns, have four different modes, and can run for eight hours on a five-hour charge.
REI Co-op Cool Trail Split Pack Cooler
$79.95 at rei.com
The Sunflora Picnic Backpack gives the humble picnic basket a much needed upgrade. This picnic basket can hold a day’s worth of camping equipment, six pounds of ice, and up to 12 regular sized soda cans!
GigaPower Folding Torch
$64.95 at snowpeak.com
This foldable torch puts the fun back in lighting a fire. While there’s something to be said about using matches to start a fire, the GigaPower Folding Torch is a far easier way to get a fire started. Just unfold the torch, twist the gas knob, and tada!
Pro Issue Waterproof Binoculars
$295.00 at nocsprovisions.com
With the Pro Issue Waterproof Binoculars you’ll be able to see every bird, bee, and bear within a 429-foot field of view. These binoculars are sold in 8×42 or 10×42 sizes and are specially designed to prevent peripheral vision distortion.
GSI Gourmet PourOver Java Set
$49.99 at moosejaw.com
This pour-over set is a very elegant way to enjoy a cup of coffee while spending time in the great outdoors. Featuring a snap-on storage cover and durable, nylon mesh, reusable filter, the GSI Gourmet PourOver Java Set is both fancy and functional.
Orca 75 Quart Cooler
$429.99 at orcacoolers.com
If you’ve ever had to suffer through a warm drink on a hot day while out in nature, then you know the importance of bringing a high quality cooler with you when you camp. The Orca 75 Quart can keep its contents cold for up to 10 days and features a lid gasket to create a airtight seal and an easy drain system to make clean-out a breeze.
WattFun Solar Generator Backup Battery
$359.99 at joojet.com
When you need an electric charge and don’t feel like getting hit by lightning turn to The WattFun Solar Generator. With 11 outputs, three ways to charge, and enough power storage to recharge a phone 45 times, this portable battery is the perfect way to keep all of your camping accessories energized.
White Duck 13’ Regatta Bell Tent
$699.99 at whiteduckoutdoors.com
While you can’t take your house camping, the White Duck 13’ Regatta Bell Tent is pretty close. Standing at just over 8-feet tall, the Regatta Bell Tent is both fire- and water-resistant, features galvanized steel poles, and includes electrical outlets, making even the most stubborn camper feel like they have all the comforts of home.