November 29, 2011
Santa's Little Helper...Backpacking & Camping
You gotta see...
A headlamp is one of the best camping accessories EVER. It allows you to have your hands free for everything from cooking to swatting away gnats. Plus they are so much lighter than a flashlight, and every ounce counts when you are backpacking. There are a ton of brands and varieties available at many different price points. We have had great luck with the Petzl brand.
You gotta eat...
A camping stove is a must when you can't build a fire or when you get sick of eating power bars and gu. Since we tend to go backpacking more than 'car camping' our camping stove is lightweight and packs up small. The MSR Dragonfly is great because it can use multiple fuel sources. The Pocket Rocket is another fine choice that, while it only uses one fuel type, makes up for it in price.
If car camping is more the speed you are looking for this larger option is sure to please. I am so used to backpacking I can hardly imagine having 3 burners to cook on at once!
A spork is light weight, folds up and does exactly what you think it would ;)
You gotta sleep...
The Eureka Timberline tent is quite possibly the most durable tent on the market. My husband bought one of these tents over 20 years ago and it is still going strong! I think any product that can last that long is worth every cent. And the best part is, this tent is only around $100! It weighs in at 5lbs 13 oz. which is a reasonable weight for the price.
If you are looking for an ultra light weight tent and are willing to spend the cash check out the Big Agnes Copper Spur. This bad boy is a 3 person tent with 44 sf weighing in at only 4lbs 12 oz. It is huge on the inside compared to the the Eureka and has doors on each side for easy entry and exit.
A sleeping bag and sleeping pad are other great ideas but its hard to provide a recommendation on those. The type to buy is very dependent on how they will be used and personal preference.
More gifts under $30....
Comfy socks that wick sweat, an indestructible water bottle, stuff sacks, a crazy creek chair (that can doubles as a sleeping pad), a tiny lightweight lantern to light up your tent or campsite, or maybe a million tools in one knife. I personally take all of these things with me on every camping trip. They all make life so much easier in the woods.