From gourmet trail food to cook stoves and camp kitchen supplies, these are a few of our new favorite must-have campsite essentials we’ve been testing (and loving) on our summertime adventures in the South.
There’s nothing like a summer full of camping trips, hiking adventures, and awesome outdoor memories! And while nothing beats the simple pleasures of a campfire, fresh air, and good friends, we’ve found some great new gear this summer that’s topped our lists of must-haves for the campsite.
From new gourmet meals and campsite-friendly gourmet pour-over coffee to new cooking gear and warm-weather sleeping bags perfect for the South, these are some of our all-time favorites we’ve been testing this summer. We’ve included some fun and funky camp lighting, and a new backpacking-friendly mosquito repeller, too, to help keep the campsite fun and bug-free.
Cool camping gear: our must-have favorites for summer in the South
Here’s the gear that wowed us the most, and has found a permanent home in our camping gear closet:
Patagonia recently launched Provisions, an ultra-delicious new line of packaged trail food that’s the perfect way to fuel any adventure. Patagonia fills each meal with nutritious, organic ingredients sourced from farmers and fishermen committed to environmentally sustainable practices and conservation. Patagonia Provisions include creamy, hot breakfast cereals, savory grains, hearty soups, wild caught salmon, and buffalo jerky. The meals are quick and easy to make and are full of rich, bold, restaurant-worthy flavors. We’ve been loving their taste, and their hearty portions are a satisfying way to fuel an early morning hike or wind down after a long day on the trail.
Available at Patagonia Provisions
ENO Eclipse Lantern
The ENO Eclipse Lantern is a fun and functional lighting accessory for the campsite. The retro-shaped lantern features a bright white setting for task lighting and wayfinding, and fun lava-lamp-like color mode that gives the campsite a 70’s disco vibe when the sun goes down. The lantern features a handy folding hook on the bottom for easy hanging around the campsite or inside the tent. It’s been a big hit around the campground.
BioLite CampStove 2
We recently upgraded our original BioLite CampStove to the CampStove2, and have been thoroughly impressed with BioLite’s second-generation model. We love the efficient, functional design and newly upgraded features, and the stove has become a staple in our car camping bag. With just a few twigs and sticks found around camp, we can have a blazing-hot fire ready to cook our favorite camp meals in minutes. The CampStove 2 features several notable upgrades and improvements from the original, including a removable, onboard battery that can be pre-charged at home, an improved, four-speed fan for greater cooking control, and an enhanced LED interface showing fan speed, fire intensity, and battery charge. Check out more details in our detailed BioLite Campstove 2 review.
Available at BioLite
Ruffwear Jet Stream
Our Black Lab, Jake, loves to get outside and enjoy the trail as much as we do, but quickly overheats in our steamy Southern summers. The Ruffwear Jet Stream is a game changer for our warm weather adventures. The cooling vest features a spandex panel along the top that provides shade from the hot sun, and a sponge-like material that wets down to cool his core through evaporation.
And for the ultimate super cooling, the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler provides the same sponge-like material over the back, sides, and chest. We’ve been super impressed with both the Jet Stream and Swamp Cooler and their ability to keep us on the trail during the warmest months of summer here in the South.
Available at Ruffwear
Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller
Mosquitos and bugs are a fact of life here in the South, but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin an otherwise amazing backpacking or camping trip. This compact, lightweight device creates a blissful 15-foot mosquito-free zone around the campsite or backyard patio, allowing us to relax and enjoy the outdoors, bug-free. Simply attach the Backpacker to a camp stove fuel canister and ignite. The heat activates the insect repellent-filled mats, and bugs disappear. The long-lasting mats repel for four hours each, and the super-efficient Thermacell Backpacker can burn for 90 hours on one 4 oz. fuel canister.
Available at REI
Morning coffee is an absolute must-have at our campsite: there’s no better way to watch the world come alive and soak up that golden morning glow. We’ve tried just about every method and gadget available to get the best tasting cup, but Kuju Coffee eliminates the need for fancy gadgets and presses and produces a fantastic cup of pour-over coffee in minutes. Three different roasts are available (Bold Awakening, Angels Landing, and Basecamp Blend), each individually blended with on-the-go brewing in mind. Simply open the individually wrapped packet, hang the mesh filter over the cup with the anchor tabs, and pour hot water over the grounds. Then enjoy the perfect cup of coffee for mountain-top sunrises or lazy campsite mornings. (And Kuju is fantastic at home and on road trips, too!)
MiiR Vacuum Insulated Drinkware
The MiiR Wide Mouth Bottle and Camp Cup have joined us on numerous sunrise adventures, keeping our first cup of morning coffee hot well after sun-up. The Wide Mouth bottle comes in three sizes and feature a BPA free, medical grade stainless vessel with a double wall vacuum insulation, keeping hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold drinks frosty for 24 hours. And our Camp Cup is the perfect way to share our favorite drinks on hikes or around the campfire, with the same double wall vacuum insulated technology and stainless steel construction as the Wide Mouth bottle, and features a tight fitting plastic lid that aids in insulation and helps prevents splashes and spills.
And as a bonus, we love that each MiiR purchase also helps fund clean water projects all over the globe. A Give Code on the bottom of each cup or bottle lets you see how your purchase has made an impact.
Available at MiiR
Morakniv Eldris Knife
A quality knife is a staple in our camping and backpacking packs, and we recently upgraded to the Swedish-made Eldris from Morakniv. The knife’s ultra-light, stainless steel blade measures 2.3 inches and features a grippy polymer handle and locking sheath for safety. It’s the perfect size to stash in a pocket or backpack for use on the trail or around camp, and the ridge of the blade is also compatible with a fire starter for quick campfire lighting. They’re ultra-sharp, ultra-durable, and make quick work of cutting wood and rope… this is pretty much the perfect knife for camp.
FNO Integrated Camping Blanket
This versatile, three season camping blanket blends the best parts of a sleeping bag and a comforter. The Father Nature Outdoors camping blanket makes a night under the stars extra dreamy, especially for side sleepers or those who can’t get comfy in traditional mummy bags. The blanket’s quilt-like design is perfect for summer camping when we don’t need a lot of covering during warm nights, but need a little something for chilly mornings. The enclosed foot box keeps the blanket on our feet, and a closure system allows us to use the rest of the bag as a blanket with room to move and turn. The blanket also attaches to most sleeping pads for an extra-comfortable night at camp.
UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
We’ve used waterproof matches in the past – but they were nothing like the UCO Titan Stormproof. The kit includes twelve 4” long matches that each burn up to 25 seconds, three replaceable strike pads, and a waterproof, floating canister. At first strike, the match emits a serious flame that easily lights kindling, a gas cook stove, or barbecue grill, even in wet and windy conditions. Sorry, Mother Nature, you’re no match for the Stormproof.
Thanks for your support! - the Trailful crew