Summer camping essentials 2021

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If possible, try to set your tent up in the shade to prevent the interior from heating up during the day

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CAMPING IN SUMMER 2021

It’s finally that time of year again when the days are long and the nights are warm. The start of the summer season also signals the busiest time of year for most campgrounds. Before you head out for a relaxing weekend in nature, you must have all the necessary equipment and accessories to ensure you have a smooth and memorable campout.

This guide will cover everything from your basic shelter and sleep system to vital tools and essential accessories that can help improve everyone’s summer camping experience. 

ESSENTIALS FOR CAMPING IN SUMMER 2021

Camping gear

Your tent, sleep system and technical clothing are essential items to consider when planning a camping trip. 

Tent

The tent size you’ll need depends on how many people you bring camping. Even during the summer, you’ll still want to choose a tent that comes with a waterproof fly since you never know when a surprise storm might blow in. If you prefer to sleep in a hammock instead of a traditional tent, you’ll also want to install a rainfly or tarp, considering you’ll be more exposed.

Sleep system

Your sleep system should consist of a quality sleeping bag, sleeping pad and pillow. Sleeping bags rated over 32 degrees are great summer bags, though high elevation campers may require slightly warmer bags. Sleeping pads are not simply for comfort. They also form a protective barrier, insulating your body from the cold or damp ground. 

An inexpensive inflatable pillow may not seem like a necessity, but having a comfortable place to rest your head can lead to an improved night’s sleep and a better camping experience. 

Clothing

It may be summer, but evenings can still get chilly. Depending on where you’re camping, you might encounter some wet weather. Having a packable rain jacket on hand can help in a variety of weather conditions.

SUMMER CAMPING ESSENTIALS

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 4-Person Tent

With no confusing or frustrating assembly required, this budget-friendly, four-person tent offers superior quality that backpackers and car campers appreciate. The mesh sides and doors will let the summer breeze in, but the waterproof fly will keep out any inclement weather.

Sold by Amazon

Kelty Cosmic Down 40 Degree Sleeping Bag

Kelty Cosmic Down 40 Degree Sleeping Bag

This mummy-style sleeping bag can easily fit in a backpack, and the 550-fill down will provide the warmth you need without causing you to overheat on warmer summer nights.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Coleman Biscayne 40 Degree Sleeping Bag

Coleman Biscayne 40 Degree Sleeping Bag

If you’re looking to camp on a budget, this traditional sleeping bag will allow you to sleep comfortably in most temperatures, providing extra room for even the tallest campers.

Sold by Amazon

Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad

Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad

With a temperature rating of 35 degrees, the Big Agnes Air Core is a great warm weather pad with an antimicrobial treatment and uses a high-volume valve for quick inflation. An insulated model is also available for cooler weather.

Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

When packed, this pillow fits in the palm of your hand, taking up hardly any space in your pack or stored at home when not in use. All it takes is three to five breaths to inflate, making it a no-brainer for overnight trips.

Sold by Amazon

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Even if you don’t plan on spending the night in your hammock, it is still a great piece of camping gear to have when relaxing around your campsite. Just make sure you’re in an area with adequate tree coverage for proper setup.

Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

Columbia Watertight II Jacket

Columbia Watertight II Jacket

Bringing a rain jacket along on your camping trip is a bright idea no matter what time of year it is. Not only will it keep you dry during summer downpours, but it can also serve as a windbreaker on breezy nights.

Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

SUMMER CAMPING TOOLS

Multitools, fire starters and headlamps are essential items to bring along on every summer campout, as it’s always best to prepare for any scenario. 

Leatherman Sidekick Multitool

Leatherman Sidekick Multitool

A classic multitool, the 14 unique features on the pocket-sized Leatherman Sidekick include a sharp blade, saw, pliers, bottle opener and more.

Sold by Amazon

UCO Sweetfire Biofuel Fire Starter

UCO Sweetfire Biofuel Fire Starter

No campout is complete without a campfire. These strike-able firestarters will burn for up to seven minutes, giving you plenty of time to add kindling and build a hefty fire for cooking dinner or roasting s’mores.

Sold by Amazon

Black Diamond Astro 250 Headlamp

Black Diamond Astro 250 Headlamp

Headlamps are beneficial on multiple occasions, and this water-resistant model has a convenient dimming feature for those times when you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or need to search for extra firewood.

Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

SUMMER CAMPING ACCESSORIES

Once you have all the necessary gear and tools, it’s time to focus on the camping accessories that will help elevate your camping trip. 

Igloo BMX Cooler

Igloo BMX Cooler

Hot sunny weather means you’ll have to take extra effort to ensure your food and drinks stay cold throughout the duration of your campout. The durable Igloo BMX cooler can keep ice frozen for four to five days at 90 degrees.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chairs

MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chairs

Whether you’re at an established campground or roughing it in the backcountry, these extremely portable camp chairs let you set up anywhere and weigh only 2 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Solar Inflatable Light

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Solar Inflatable Light

If you don’t want to waste the batteries in your headlamp, a solar-powered lantern is a great eco-friendly way to light up your tent at night. This particular solar lantern can provide 24 hours of light on a single charge.

Sold by Amazon

Stansport Deluxe 24-Piece Enamel Tableware Set

Stansport Deluxe 24-Piece Enamel Tableware Set

When camping with a group, you’ll need a durable and long-lasting tableware set. This enamelware contains everything you need for a camp meal. Backpackers may want to opt for a more packable option.

Sold by Amazon

Coleman Company Triton 2-Burner Propane Stove

Coleman Company Triton 2-Burner Propane Stove

Unless you plan on cooking everything over an open fire, you’ll want to invest in a camp stove. This dual-burner model from Coleman can fit a 12-inch frying pan and operates even in windy or wet conditions.

Sold by Amazon

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

A trusty portable charge is necessary if you don’t want to find yourself stuck in the wilderness with a dead phone battery. Fully charge your phone up to three times with the small and lightweight Anker PowerCore.

Sold by Amazon

Ben’s InvisiNet Bug Repellent Head Net

Bug spray works great, but sometimes when summer camping, especially in the mountains, mosquitoes can be relentless. In those cases, mesh head nets can keep the bugs away and prevent you from being confined to your tent when they start to swarm.

Sold by Amazon

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Matthew Young is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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