Summer is around the corner, it’s prime camping season. During these crazy times, there’s one thing that has remained constant: Mother Nature is still her ever-expansive, beautiful-self, free for you to explore with your friends. There really is nothing like camping. Falling asleep under the stars, breathing in air that isn’t fuel-exhaust, waking up to the birds chirping with a fresh cup of coffee. Roughing it with your friends is the perfect way to get out of your routine, and into the wild. This is your sign—get your buddies and get out there. Leave the emails behind for a weekend, put your phone on airplane mode, and try to use an actual map (it’s worth it.) In the meantime, we have the ultimate checklist to get packing for a dude’s trip of a lifetime.
1. Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-All
It’s not just a cast-iron skillet, it’s 6 pieces of cast-iron to make your “roughing it” life a bit less rough. This is the most versatile pan you’ll ever own. It’s a grill, a pan, a griddle, a dutch-oven, and even a pizza oven. Plus it comes with a little recipe booklet so you can get some cooking inspo without the wifi. While it might seem like a lot, it’s super-packable so you won’t be taking up too much space in your suitcase. It’s a cast-iron so good, you might become Mother Nature’s Gordon Ramsey. Find it on rei.com for $119.00
2. Tushy Portable Bidet
First of all, if you don’t have a bidet at home in 2021, what are you even doing, man? Not only do bidets give you a squeaky clean feeling that toilet paper just can’t, but they also happen to be environmentally friendly. Our good friends at Tushy don’t just make bidets for the comfort of your home, they made a portable, collapse-able version for when you need to “go” on-the-go. Limiting the amount of trash and waste you use while camping is always a power-move. We want our National Parks and campgrounds to be used for years to come—and also not be and also not spend the weekend with a less-than-clean behind. Hey, you’re camping but it’s not Lord of the Flies. Trust us, get this and you’ll be using it for more than camping. Public bathrooms, your friends’ house, it truly comes in handy. Or should we say booty? Sorry. Anyway, get this at hellotushy.com for $29.
3. The North Face Eco-Trail Bed Sleeping Bag 20
Mummy sleeping bags might be all the rage right now, and if sleeping like you’re in a coffin is your thing then just skip ahead. We sourced this bag as the best “overall” sleeping bag when it comes to quality, price, and durability through the seasons. It keeps you snug and warm at a minimum of about 10 degrees, so it’s perfect for 3-season sleeping. Plus, rectangular bags come in handy when you just want to fully unzip and use the bag as a quilt in the warmer seasons. At only $120 this puppy is a mega-steal. Don’t even get us started on the soft-factor. We’re all about a cozy bed even if we’re in a tent for the weekend. This is the first step for a restful night in the great outdoors. Get it at thenorthface.com
4. Big Agnes Q-Core Sleeping Pad
Like we said, we love a cozy bed situation even in a tent. Just ‘cause you’re not at home on your Casper mattress doesn’t mean you can’t get the best sleep of your life. Let’s put it this way, this sleeping pad is not your budget air mattress, we’re not in college anymore buddy, it’s time to upgrade. It’s packable, lightweight, and made with a soft, quilted pillow-top material so tossing and turning in your sleeping bag is just a nightmare of the past. Think of this as an investment for a good night of shut-eye before a major hike with your friends. Find it at rei.com for $119 and get the best rest in the woods you ever did have.
5. Yeti Tundra 75 Hard Cooler
Yes, it is worth the hype. Yes, you need this for an epic trip with your friends. Yes, it also looks badass. This cooler isn’t just for your 12-packs, it keeps meats, and veggies nice and chilly so you can really utilize your cast-iron to be the best camping-chef of all time. The beers help, too. Plus, Yetis are guaranteed to last, like forever. So you won’t be purchasing a new cooler any time soon after this. Get them at yeti.com for $449.99 in all sorts of colors. When you have a Yeti, it looks like you know what you’re doing.
6. Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Camping doesn’t mean subpar coffee. In fact, camping means fresh cups of hot joe every morning with an impeccable view and no work to look forward to. This is a tiny luxury that you need. It’s easy to use, easy to pack, and makes the perfect cup every single time. Just make sure you bring some quality beans. Find it on Amazon for $29.95. It even works at home so you can bring that perfect camping cup with you everywhere.
7. Orvis Unbreakable Hip Flask
What is a camping trip if you’re not tossing back a few shots with your buddies? Camping and booze just go hand-in-hand. Chugging beers gets a bit old, and they’re harder to travel with (not to mention the waste.) But this flask, this flask keeps your beverage of choice temperature-controlled and safe for your drinking. Go on that hike, pack your favorite tequila, and sip in front of views you won’t see from your office—even if it has a window. Get this on Orvis.com for $49.99. Your friends will thank you for your impeccable planning.
Well, what’re you waiting for? Get your friends out of the group chat and into the wild. These will be guaranteed hits amongst your friends to get the party started and feel a lot more comfortable when you’re in the middle of the woods. Just make sure you pack plenty of ice and beer—don’t make that rookie mistake. Enjoy your weekend.