Weekend Camping Gear: Five Essentials

Heading out on a camping trip this weekend? Make sure you have these five essentials!

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129186524@N04/

Are you planning a camping trip this weekend?

It’s not too late to gear up—take a look at these five essentials, as recommended by Explore Magazine editor David Webb:

Therm-a-Rest Ventana Duo ($270)

When comfort counts most, I turn to the Ventana Duo. This roomy sleeper functions as a summer-season bag for one—dual drawstrings cinch in slack—or, preferably, opens to accommodate two cuddling campers, snapping to sleeping pads via its mattress coupler. (Match the Ventana’s comfort with the decadent, eight-centimetre-thick Therm-a-Rest LuxuryMap; $110.) Stuffed with lofty synthetic and DWR-treated, it keeps cozy well into single digits (rated to four degrees Celsius). It weighs two kilograms—but you only need one bag per two campers—and, in a compression sack, squeezes to the size of a sourdough. (thermarest.com)

Vasque Skywalk GTX ($230)

These are my wife’s favourite boots—and the retro style, Gore-Tex protection, deep lugs and overbuilt construction causes me to covet them. They offer the best of both worlds: thick, roughed-out leather matched with synthetic mesh makes for a tough and breathable combo. I’ll own a pair in size 12 soon enough! In her words, “They’re not the lightest boots [1,494 grams]—but I’m prone to ankle injury, so I feel very supported. The tread is awesome for wet and muddy terrain, common here on the West Coast. Plus, I love the look.” (vasque.com)

Canada Goose Alderwood Shell ($425)

This is my top-choice for a three-season shell. Made in Canada with lightweight, waterproof-breathable, seam-sealed construction, this jacket easily deflected a downpour while I kayaked on Oregon’s Willamette River last spring. Scalloped cuffs add hand protection and back-vents breathe well during high-output activity without comprising waterproofness. I appreciated the hefty storm flap over the two-way zipper, which furthers protection. It even packs into its own stuff-pocket. Plus, since it’s Canada Goose, this slim-fit shell is stylish and as at-home in urban environments as it is in the wild. (canadagoose.com)

Lifestraw Personal Water Filter ($20)

Owning a Lifestraw makes me feel like a real survivalist. While sipping H20 right from the source, I’m confident in the unit’s ability to filter out its claim of 99.9 per cent of protozoa and 99.9999 per cent of bacteria. No chemicals, no moving parts, no expiry date—and it weighs less than 60 grams and is only 22 centimetres long. It’s handy for backpacking-backup or a bug-out bag, and funds from every Lifestraw sold go to providing water purifiers to schools in Africa. (eartheasy.com)

Hotcore Mantis 2 ($175)

Confession: I hate setting up tents. Or at least I used to—Hotcore’s Mantis 2 eases this burden. The one-piece aluminum pole design snaps into place in seconds, forming a support that resembles a giant bug (a mantis, I suppose). Simply lay out the tent, unfurl the pole system atop it and clip the two together. The polyester rain fly also attaches quickly, via four buckles. This simple-setup, two-person tent offers a lot of bang for your buck: oodles of venting, multiple interior pockets, twin doors/vestibules and a mesh gear loft. Slim-packing and only 2.8 kilograms, it’s backpack- or kayak-ready. (And I love supporting Canadian companies.) (hotcoreproducts.com)