Camping season is nigh! We can always smell when it’s time to flee the paved world of sweet, hot city trash for a night with Brood X in the Catskills, the Sierras, or that one park by the Walgreens we probably shouldn’t be camping at, but YOLO. It’s been a rough past 12 (15? whatever) months of this COVID-19 quar life. We are grateful for The Indoors. But now we’re fully 5G loaded up on Pfizer et. al., emerging from lockdown like a less gross version of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, and ready to camp, and camp hard. We want to feel like we’re in the BTS DVD of Predator. We want to zip up our sleeping bag and feel like a hibernating cosmonaut.
If you’re an experienced camper, a lot of this jingle jangle gear will sound familiar, including talk of goose down fluff power and “plunged” coffee. Or perhaps you’re new to camping, but agreed to go on this whole hike escapade thing [gestures in centipede] with your friends during quarantine. So, have some fun with it. Buy some polarizing, polarized 1980s style shades and split your friend group in half before reaching the mountain top, just so you can have a dramatic reconciliation at the peak.
IDK. We’ve been inside too long. Take these pocket knives and sprint towards the sun.
What do you call the villain that’s secretly the hero?
...And why does this giant, 850-fill-power grey goose down conical sleeping bag look like it’s about to make a speech, and we better listen to it (or else)?
REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30, $299 at REI
We get it, you like Tim Burton
Never-have-I-ever [pops bubblegum] seen someone *actually* file their nails with the Swiss Army Knife file. But if we were to start, it most definitely would be with this Scissorhands-esque, 17-tool-equipped pocket knife thing, from various knives to wire strippers.
Rebar, $69.95 at Leatherman
Not a penis pump!
The AeroPress is one of our favorite ways to make coffee, camping or not, because even the laziest of sloths has the 10 seconds needed to wham, bam, slam (well, pump...plunge?) the grounds through to make the perfect small serving of coffee. You can also throw it off a mountain, and it probably won’t break. Super light and sturdy.
AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press, $31.95 at REI
This would be the meanest alien on the ship
...But it would smoke out one hell of a prime rib. This camping stove is both minimal in design, yet doing the absolute most to look kind of, really, intense. Maybe it’s the serrated legs, or the fact that it’s made out of titanium and aluminum alloy. Maybe it’s because it’s literally called “Blade 2.”
Fire-Maple Blade 2 Ultralight Backpacking Stove, $69.95 at Amazon
If you Google “1988 sweaty slutty ski Oui Magazine spread,” you just might find these sunglasses. If you want something a little more deranged, Wish.com has this pair of Snake Pliskin-worthy shades for just eight dollahs.
Uvex Pheos Sports Style Safety Specs, $15.31 (a pair) at eBay
You think Arnie goes anywhere without his shit shovel?
Ah yes, the best part of camping—digging holes to shit into. Or, as savvy outdoorspeople put it oh-so-euphemistically, “proper waste disposal.” However, trail turds are pretty high on the list of things we’d rather not run into on camping trips (see: bears, snakes, our exes), so do you part, grab your trusty trowel, and dig.
GSI Outdoors Cathole Sanitation Trowel, $5.50 at REI
Some plot line in your movie involves a sea cave
Cue the obligatory, stressful scene in the trailer where you shine your headlamp into the sinkhole. Or just use this to go pee in the woods with none of that stress, and all of the drama. That’s 6,000 Lumen worth of spotlight on your wee tree!
Cobiz Brightest High 6000 Lumen LED Work Headlight,
$35.99 $25.99 at Amazon
Skiing, except it’s uphill, there’s no snow, and it’s way less fun—uh, we mean… more intense!
You didn’t rent a Zipcar to ~not~ bust out your hiking poles for a trek in the woods, did you? If you’re planning on bragging to your friends about how many miles you suffered through, you’re going to want to invest in a solid pair of poles. This set from Black Diamond (sick, we know) offers easy handling and a sweet name.
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles, $129.95 (a pair) at REI
You made it to the summit—time to crush a Claw (or four)
What’s the point of climbing a literal mountain if you don’t crush a few ice-cold victory beverages at the peak with your buddies? This stainless steel single-can koozie will keep your beer, Claw, or celebratory Red Bull (you monster) cold until you reach the top, or decide you need to take a break for some liquid lunch.
BrüMate Hopsulator Slim Double-walled Stainless Steel Insulated Can Cooler for 12 Oz Slim Cans, $19.99 at Amazon
This coffin tent
Two of the big selling points for this Darth Vader Party of One tent are: ventilation and personal space. SCREECH. But we were also told by an actual camping person that this is a tent much-beloved by long way cyclists, as it breaks down easily and compactly, and is great for napping when you need some pop-up shade. Fair enough, though a little too close to death for us Outside laity.
Superlight Bivy, $149 at REI
This tent that’s just a bunch of inflatable Pentagons
Elon Musk wishes he invented this odd-looking inflatable dome tent, but thankfully, he didn’t, so go ahead and cop one. (That is, if you’re okay with looking like an interplanetary colonizer.) It can also withstand wind speeds up to 110 miles per hour, which is perfect for sleeping through those, er… “bracing” mountain breezes.
HEIMPLANET The Cave 2-3 Person Inflatable Dome Tent, $789.00 at Amazon
However you decide to camp, just make sure it’s in tents.
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