SHELTER

1. REI KINGDOM 6 

This tent by REI is one of our favorites when we want comfort and space. Laying at 10' x 8', don't let the 6 person capacity intimidate you. These numbers usually mean that a maximum capacity of 6 people can technically fit in the tent - excluding gear space - like sardines. For you and your significant other, this tent has two rooms with a divider in between, which you can easily unzip down the middle and tie to the sides if you only want one open room. This means you can have a bedroom and a living room! In the middle of the forest.. or desert... or mountains! Amazing. One room has a mesh roof and walls, which means nights can get chilly. We usually make this side the "living room" with all our gear. But if you're camping in warmer climates, switch it up and make the mesh side the bedroom - pop that air mattress in there and have a cozy night gazing at the stars. If worried about wind or rain, a rainfly is included. We were at Arches National Park in almost 40-50mph winds, and with sturdy stakes on this sturdy rainfly, the tent stood there... undamaged and proud. Just make sure you get lots of extra stakes and a mallet to help with the stubborn ground.

Snag the REI Kingdom 6 Footprint too, to protect the bottom of the tent from rocks and sharp objects. It's basically a tarp that are the exact dimensions of the tent - this keeps any moisture/rain from collecting under your tent that a larger tarp would cause. This tent comes with it's own carrying case with backpack straps so you can keep your hands free to carry everything else. We would still get a larger tarp under the footprint for a little area you can wipe off before getting into and out of the tent, or to place your shoes and dirty gear.

Don't forget to add on the REI Connect Tech Garage to add even more space or shelter for your outdoor gear, or just to make a nice little tent foyer. 'Cause why not?

(photos from rei.com)

 

comfort

2. REI KINGDOM QUEEN SLEEP SYSTEM

YES, PLEASE! Along with your new REI Kingdom 6 (at #1), this air mattress fits perfectly into one room (half of the tent). It also comes with a top quilt (in two colors!), an attached top sheet, a fitted mattress pad, and inflatable headboard. There's no way you'll feel those rocks and twigs poking at your back anymore. With this mattress, you'll be waking up bright and early for some coffee and hiking.

(photos from rei.com)


3. THERM-A-REST COMPRESSIBLE pillows

This compressible pillow is made up of some memory foam cubes that will compress when you roll it smaller, and expand once you unroll the pillow. It compresses to about a fifth of it's final size (depending on what size you get). It takes a few minutes for the filling to expand, so don't freak out if the pillow isn't fluffy yet at the first unrolling. It's so amazingly comfortable, you'll want one for your bed at home. This item is also featured in the Modern Duo Gear Guide.

(photos from amazon.comwww.globetrotter.de)


4. KELTY LOVESEAT

Snuggle up by the campfire with this dual camping chair that becomes a loveseat! Each armrest even comes with 2 cup holders so you can put your glass of wine and your iPod somewhere while you're cooking s'mores ;)

(photos from backcountry.com)


5. WOOLRICH FAWN GROVE 100% WOOL BLANKET

A wool blanket is a MUST while camping. You can use it for added warmth when you sleep, wrap it around you while walking around the campsite, or use it to cozy up with your loved one on your Kelty Loveseat (above at #4). These Woolrich blankets are top-notch - super warm and soft, and come in a billion beautiful color patterns. Pendleton also makes a great wool blanket you can snag at REI.

(photos from woolrich.combackcountry.com)

 

gear

6. EVERGRN PICNIC TABLE

A table? Why, you ask? You'll realize how handy this in in your tent if you want to keep valuables off the floor, or if it's too cold outside to play cards or a board game. It's especially useful if you have a separate "living room" area in your REI Kingdom 6 Tent (above at #1), prop this in the middle of your room and have enough space to eat dinner in case it's raining outside. It also folds and comes with a nice carrying case for easy portability.

(photos from rei.com)


7. TOPO DESIGNS ROVER PACK 

You're going to need a stylish, simple daypack on your hikes during the day. Topo makes a sturdy and minimal backpack that you can barely feel on your back. You don't need to worry about a billion different pockets to put things in. The Rover Pack has a main drawstring compartment, a zip pocket in the front for small items, and a zip pocket at the top for things you want to easily access. This top pocket is life-changing! No more asking your partner to grab your hand sanitizer or bandaid for you. You can reach over and grab whatever is in that top pocket without having to take your backpack off. It also comes in amazing color combos.

(photos from topodesigns.com)


8. HERSCHEL SUPPLY co. novel duffel bag

This duffel bag is perfect for lugging your clothes into your camping adventure. It has lots of room, but the best part is the separate shoe compartment where you can store your hiking boots without worrying about getting your clothes dirty.

(photos from herschelsupply.com)

 

CAMP KITCHEN

9. REI Table Top French Coffee Press

Can't live without your morning coffee? Say no more! Bring your fresh grounds on board and this REI French Coffee Press, boil some hot water with the GSI Outdoors Hae Tea Kettle, and make yourself a cup of joe before your first hike of the day. 

(photos from rei.com)


10. Best Made Co.'s Seamless & Steadfast Enamelware

For those of you who are unaware of the beauty of enamelware - it's easy to clean, lightweight, and can be in direct heat! These Best Made Co. pots can be cooked right on top of the campfire. Perfect for a quick oatmeal breakfast, or warming up delicious soup or chili for dinner. The plates and bowls are scratch-free. Overall, they are so well-made and will last a long time. Set up a kitchen sink with the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink, and throw these dishes in for easy cleaning later. 

(photos from bestmadeco.com)


11. GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Stemless Wineglass

What's a romantic camping trip without some wine? Get a pair of these stainless steel, stemless wineglasses and sip some Riesling as you exchange your best ghost stories around the campfire. These glasses have a slanted bottom to prevent any spillage.

(photos from rei.com)


12. Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove

Talk about glamping! Of course you need a stove, but what's stopping you from bringing an oven too? It's great for warming up food while you're cooking on the stove, or baking an extraordinary dessert. Nothing will stop the inner baker in you now! Soufflés, anyone? Bring a cast iron skillet as it can be cooked stove top, fire top, and in an oven. Don't forget to snag the custom cover/bag for this oven to keep it from scratches or damage.

(photos from williams-sonoma.com)


13. CABELA'S DELUXE CAMPER'S KITCHEN

Who says you can't cook a gourmet meal in the wilderness? With this camp kitchen, you have ample room to store all your kitchen essentials including dry food, spices, utensils, pots & pans, and even a lantern that can hang on one of the poles overlooking the stove you can place on one of the table top sides. There's room for a stove, prepping food, and even a built-in sink to wash your dishes. Best of all it all folds up neatly and comes with a carrying case. (*Note that the cabinets in this kitchen are not bear safe! Place food in bear lockers or a separate cooler in your car if camping in a bear-prone campsite)

Accessories to help you stock your camper's kitchen:
Stansport 24-piece Enamel Tableware Set (Plates, Bowls, Spoons, Forks, Knives, Mugs)
Texsport Black Ice Hard Anodized Trailblazer Cook Set (Fry pan, Large & Medium Pot with lid)
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet (Various Sizes)
MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set (The rest of your kitchen needs, including cooking utensils, cutting board, knife, towel, squeeze bottles, and a carrying case!)

(photos from cabelas.com)

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

14. Coleman Quad LED Lantern

This lantern will be the last one you'll ever need. It's amazing as a universal lantern and is divided into 4 personal lanterns. If one person needs some light in their tent or a night visit to the bathroom, they can peel off a panel off of it and avoid leaving the campsite in the darkness behind them. You can also space them out to evenly light the dinner table. Each LED panel lights up independently and has its own off switch. They each get charged on the base, which is powered by 8 D-Cell batteries

(photos from amazon.com)


15. GardenJoy Solar LED Garden Lights

This is just a little aesthetic perk we thought we'd add to the list. These solar powered garden lights are a nice touch to line the entrance of your tent. It gives a little romantic ambience, and makes sure you don't miss the entrance! They aren't too bright that they would disturb your neighbors. Each has an off switch in case you want to switch them off while sleeping or stargazing.

(photos from amazon.com)

 

WANT TO SUGGEST AN AWESOME PRODUCT TO THIS GUIDE?
We're always open to finding new products and gear that makes your adventures that much better. If you find something that you think is an essential item and is not already on this list (or is way better than something that is already listed above), please let us know! You'll get credit and we'll even send you a little thank you gift. Click the button below to suggest a product!