Gear Up: The Manual’s Summer Camping Essentials

summer gear roundup

Now that summer is officially in full swing, it’s time to gear up for all the warm weather adventures you’ll soon be having. We’ve come across a slew of incredible new outdoor gear in the past year, so to help you get prepared for your next trip, we took some time to round up a few of our favorite products.

1. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Knife – Regardless of what you think about Bear Grylls, this knife is awesome. Inside the blade’s rubberized handle there’s a flint firestarter, which, if struck against a steel surface (like the back of the blade) will send off a burst of sparks. You might not need the flint on every trip, but on the off chance that your lighter runs out of fuel, you’ll be glad you’ve got it as a backup.

2. SteriPen Adventurer – If you want the confidence of knowing your water is safe to drink, but don’t want the nasty taste of iodine, the tediousness of reverse osmosis pumps, or the  arduousness of boiling it first, then get yourself a SteriPen. These badboys use high intensity ultraviolet light to kill 99.99 percent of waterborne illnesses in just a few seconds.

3. ECOxBT Waterproof Speaker – take your tunes along for the trip with Grace Digital’s ECOxBT wireless bluetooth speaker. This thing is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, completely buoyant and self-righting, and holds a charge for up to 10 hours. The sound quality is pretty good too.

4. NiteIze Reflective Rope – Tripping on your tent’s guylines in the dark will be a thing of the past if you pick up a length of this awesome rope from NiteIze. It’s woven with super reflective material into it, so even just a tiny bit of moonlight makes it shimmer and stand out in an otherwise pitch black campsite.

5. Kammok Roo Hammock – Woven with Kammok’s proprietary diamond ripstop fabric called LunarWave, the Roo backpacking hammock is lighter and more durable than most camping hammocks on the market, and also packs down into a package no bigger than the palm of your hand.

6. Shwood Ashland Sunglasses – Shades are a must when you’re out in the summer sun for extended periods of time, and while any pair of shades will likely get the job done, this pair of wooden specs from Shwood will protect your pupils with style. The tri-layered zebrawood frames just seem fitting for a woodland environment.

7. Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit – Face it: assuming you drive there, you’re probably going to have to bring your keys along on any trip you’re planning, so why not make them useful instead of just extra weight tucked away in a pocket? This rugged little keychain from Kaufmann Mercantile features a bunch of useful tools that’ll come in handy in the backcountry, including a capsule lighter to get your campfire going and a pair of needle-nose tweezers that’s great for loosening up tight knots.

8. NeverWet Waterproofer – Unsure about the weather you might encounter out in the wilderness? Just pack a couple cans of this stuff and you won’t have to bother packing along GoreTex. This superhydrophobic spray can be used on anything – tents, clothes, boots, backpacks, matches, and basically anything else you might need to keep dry.

9. Vipukirves Leveraxe – Summer camping means summer campfires, so you’d better be prepared to split some wood this season. This Finnish-made axe improves on the design of the traditional splitting axe by using a lightweight, off-center axe head that splits wood more efficiently. Check out the video to see it in action.

10. Ceramic Growler – Let’s not kid ourselves here; if you’re going camping, you’re probably bringing beer. If you plan on packing brew along, skip the six packs full of bottles and grab yourself a growler. This one, made by Portland Growler Co, features thick ceramic walls and a rubber seal, ensuring that your brew stays cold and contained no matter where you go. When it’s all said and done and you don’t have to pack a bunch of empty bottles out of your campsite, you’ll be glad you picked one of these things up.

11. BioLite Campstove – ditch your climate-killing gas campstove and hop on the biofuel bandwagon with this awesome little stove from BioLite. It runs on nothing more than twigs and bits of wood, can boil a liter of water in just under 4 mintues, and also features a thermoelectric generator that can charge up your USB-powered gadgets with all the waste heat the stove creates.

12. Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet – Sure, you probably don’t need this, but you definitely want this. Think of Earl as a map, compass, GPS unit, weather station, two-way radio, and survival manual all rolled into a thin, durable, and lightweight slate. In addition to being completely waterproof/dustproof/shockproof, it can be charged just about anywhere via the twin solar panels on its backplate.

Did we leave out any of your favorite backcountry gear? Tell us about it in the comments below!