Salute Your Shorts
It's time to plan your great escape. Away from your cold cubicle and dreary fluorescent lights, and into lush forests lit by the millions of stars that never seem to make it into the city.
Mother Nature, we've missed you, and we're ready to explore—and eat, drink and repeat—everything that makes the outdoors so great. Thankfully, we've come a long way from burlap sleeping bags and fussy tents. Here's our guide to the best camping gear out there.
You'll have fun. Scout's honor.
Fjällräven Greenland Daypack
Channel your inner scout—and Wes Andersonian aesthetic—with this retro leather-trimmed backpack. Lightweight and made with a durable polyester and cotton blend, it's perfect for taking on hikes, storing provisions and, yes, toting your laptop if you can't seem to unplug.
Why fuss with stuffing awkwardly long, pronged pokers into your pack when you can make your own from Mother Nature? Simply snap these stainless steel wires onto any spindly tree limb you come across, and you're in s'mores and hot dog heaven. It pulls double duty as a fire poker, too.
shop.coolmaterial.com, $13 for two
Izola Multi-Language Water Bottle
One of the most important things to figure out once you've got your camping site is its water source. So whether you're exploring Sweden's rolling meadows or Japan's Five Lakes, this stainless steel bottle can help point you in the right direction (and meet fellow adventurers) with its list of translations for the word "water."
The Adventure Log
Hand-scribbled notes, or it didn't happen. Jot down your nature-inspired musings or chronicle your great outdoor odyssey with these simply designed, compact notebooks. A collaboration between Word. Notebooks and Bradley Mountain, the mini folios have little sections dedicated to conditions and companions on each page, and a whole section for your bucket list (aka next adventure).
wordnotebooks.com, $12 for three
Woolrich Mill Vista View Throw
Sleep under the stars on this lush wool blanket. Woven by Pennsylvania's beloved mill, this bright ombre throw is outshined only by the constellations above.
Opinel India Knife
Whether you're whittling a little memento from nature or cutting off the tent tags, hack away in style with this French stainless steel blade. The slender hand-painted walnut handle evokes signal flags and serves as a trusty all-purpose pocketknife for any explorer.
Stainless Steel and Leather Camping Flask Set
There was probably a little more than instant coffee in your old troop leader's canteen. Make a batch of something strong and divide it among your camping mates with the accompanying shot glasses to loosen everyone up before ghost story time.
Sanborn Field Hankie
Gather wild berries, keep yourself cool and fashion an on-trend head wrap with this woven chambray cloth. This self-dubbed "fabric Swiss Army knife" can squeeze you out of nature's curveballs, whether you're shielding yourself from the sun or need a makeshift mitt for hot cooking equipment.
"Bringing Home the Bacon" Merit Badge
Maybe you didn't catch dinner, but you clock in 9-to-5 at home—and survived without Instagram for a few days—so you deserve this. Hand-painted and embroidered by artist Lee Meszaros, this cute little badge affirms your job done well, even if it's off the campgrounds.
Sanborn Firestarter Kit
Save face from feeble fire-starting attempts with this handy tool set from the Minnesota paddle maker. Its burlap sack comes with a nickel-plated match safe filled with matches, paraffin wax-covered fire starters and kindling made from leftover cedar canoe scraps.
Best Made Hobo Knife
Skip the plastic stuff and invest in this hefty four-in-one gadget. That's fork, knife, spoon and, brilliantly, bottle opener. Each can be taken apart easily—minus the opener—and the slot-and-tab function locks each utensil into place, or away, securely.
Montauk Rope Hammock
Who says camping is all about wood chopping, tent building and strenuous activity? Let the hikers do their thing and hang up this comfortable yet sturdy handwoven hammock. It's a roomy king size and made with antiflip technology, so go ahead and invite fellow languishers aboard.
Stormproof Match Kit
No sudden downpour or whistling winds can dampen your love for the great outdoors. Same goes for these weatherproof matches. Douse them in river water, and they'll still light up when struck against the container, and burn up to 15 seconds—even in gusty conditions.
Roll-Up Backgammon/Checker Set
No Wi-Fi, no problem. Entertain yourselves the old-fashioned way with these totable games. The cloth bag doubles as checkers and backgammon boards on either side and can hold extras, like, ahem, another flask to keep the matches interesting.
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