In myyyyy day, camping meant putting a good knife on your belt and wandering off into the wilderness. You’d hollow out a bear to sleep in, and in the morning you’d jump in a pond and punch a fish or two for breakfast.
Nowadays, there are tents and sleeping bags and puffy vests. Solar-powered lanterns and quadruple-sized marshmallows. Today’s camper is comfortable, relaxed and, in some cases, absolutely pampered.
Whether you’re a gritty survivalist or a full-on glamper, we can all agree that there are some things that just aren’t necessary. But that doesn’t mean you should feel ashamed for totally wanting them on your campsite. Here are five camping unessentials to make your getaway weird and wonderful. And weird.
It’s a sleeping bag with arms and legs. It’s a mega plush Snuggie. It’s…a snowsuit. Whatever it is, when nature calls in the middle of the night, you won’t have to make the choice between potato sacking it or running to the loo in your skivvies. And if you want to wear it during the day, the feet zip off so you can wear your boots.
If your day of fishing goes well (and why shouldn’t it?), you’ve got some work to do before cooking up some fresh filets. Sure, you can skin a fish with a knife, but wouldn’t you rather snag it with a half-joystick/half-electric razor and zip that trout through in a hot second?
You need electricity for this one, so if you don’t have outlets or a power source, the awesome horror show can happen when you get home.
Gazing into a campfire calms us and makes us more sociable. It even lowers blood pressure. This goes back to the stone age when early humans would gather and feel safety in warm numbers. Speaking of staring at flickering lights, what do you do when you’re out in the sticks and your phone dies? How are you supposed to know how many likes you got on that photo of Ramona gathering firewood?
Now you can use the power of fire to charge your USB devices while you boil water, grill sausages and get in tune with your inner australopithecine.
GSI Vortex Blender
Don’t even talk to me if I haven’t had my morning smoothie. Frozen blueberries, almond butter, oats, kale, banana, yogurt. Açaí if I’m celebrating. So what is a smoothie-enthusiast to do after an intense morning meditation sesh out in the woods? And what about frozen margs in the afternoon? Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said we’d be roughing it. There’s got to be a better way!
There is! Pump those guns and prepare to get reeeeeal smooth in the great outdoors. You deserve it.
Bubble Tree Bubble Lodge
You’re feeling free and easy in your walking-around sleeping bag, your trout is turbo-skinned and on a grill that’s keeping your phone and tablet fully charged. You’ve hand-cranked a heckofa daiquiri and you’re ready to call it a day. Why ball the way you’ve been balling only to retire in some floppy, beige tarp? There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight.
You should’ve dropped a grand or three on a silently inflating bubble tent. Bubble Tree is a French company that doesn’t seem to sell their tents online, but there are other retailers (and knockoffs) out there.
There’s plenty of camping equipment out there that you don’t really need. Collapsible egg whisks, tents that store in your shoes, panini presses with extending arms, and…okay, that one’s pretty great.
Okay, here’s a thought. You could head out with some reasonable supplies and enjoy the simplicity of being out of the house with your friends and family. For the camping enthusiast or would-be enthusiast in your life, we’ve got lots of crates of outdoor gear. So grab an axe and hit the trail. With or without giant bubbles.