Busy sidewalks, city sidewalks…
I’ll bet most of you can name the popular Christmas carol that contains those lyrics. “Silver Bells” is a cheerful holiday hymn that captures not only the magic, but also the hustle and bustle of the season. Even as we joyfully celebrate the holidays with friends, family, and co-workers, we can’t help but feel the stress of the season upon us. We do too much. We eat too much. We spend too much. And when it’s all said and done, we need a break. Camping is the perfect gift–an escape from our busy lives. Having the proper gear plays a crucial role in determining whether a camping trip is a pleasurable and invigorating experience or a miserable and exhausting one. After the hours you put in during the week, you’re due a break. Make it a good one. Give yourself and your loved ones gear that is designed to enhance the camping experience. Here are some suggestions:
Your family’s camping fun begins with the shelter. It is your home away from home in the great outdoors. You need to make sure the shelter provides ample protection from the elements, is constructed of quality material, and has plenty of space. The Mountainsmith Conifer 5+ Person Three Season Tent features a huge fly, spacious vestibule, sturdy aluminum alloy poles and stakes, bathtub floor construction, taped floor seams, and ample interior storage compartments. With 6’2” head height and 83.5 square feet, there is ample room for two adults, three kids, and the family dog. Plus, the large vestibule offers an additional 33.5 square feet of space to use as a front porch, store gear, and/or serve as the port-a-potty area. In addition, a removable ceiling loft pocket and several mesh storage pockets provide excellent off-the-floor options for storing clothing and gear. The tent is sturdy enough to stand up against windy conditions, and having the components of a good fly and bathtub floor, it should also keep you dry when it rains. This tent includes all of the necessary components of a quality shelter. It’s a gift the whole family is sure to love. At the price of $359, it’s a great deal. Check out my review of it here.
Get out of the kitchen and into the outdoors. Cooking family-sized meals outdoors is easy and fun with the Coleman Signature Series InstaStart Stove Oven. Not only will you enjoy the food you prepare with the stove-oven, but you will enjoy the process of preparing it. The unit’s two 6,000 BTU burners are easily lit by the matchless igniter and cook evenly and efficiently. The large oven can accommodate a 12” pizza, and it also cooks evenly and efficiently. The overall dimensions of the stove oven are 26.13”L x 19.13”W x 17.81″H. The oven dimensions are 15″W x 5.5″H x 13.5″D. The unit weights 41 lbs. Carry handles on the sides provide ease of portability to and from your site. This is the perfect gift for the outdoor foodies. Suggested retail is $249.99. I had a chance to review this one as well, check it out here.
LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots ($220.00)
The Renegade is the most popular boot in the LOWA All-Terrain collection. It is designed with a new Monowrap Evo comfort construction for a lighter, sleeker profile with a more supportive stabilizer. The first time you slip these boots on, you’ll feel like you’ve been hiking in them for years. They are comfortable and lightweight with no breaking-in required. In addition, the waterproof GORE-TEX lining keeps your feet dry while allowing them to breathe. Great traction allows you to traverse all types of terrain with ease. Stabilizing shanks provide ankle support and underfoot stability. Your LOWAs will provide you with years of comfortable service. When you finally do have to trade them in for a new pair, you will do so with regret. In fact, they are so comfortable you may find that you enjoy wearing them on a daily basis. Listed at $220.00.
Mountainsmith Scream Day Pack ($69.95)
This is a well-designed, lightweight, and water-proof day pack. Weighing in at under a pound with a carrying capacity of 24L, the Mountainsmith Scream allows you to transport your minimalist kit into the backcountry without adding unnecessary weight to your shoulders. It is made of high tenacity nylon to ensure years of use. Its unique features include side bottle pockets, side compression straps to adjust pack volume, equipment loops, and a reversible zippered front panel for “tuck and stash” carrying. The pack is compact and light enough to fold up and fit in its own pocket which makes it ideal as a secondary pack for travel and summit hiking. Suggested retail on this day pack is $69.95.
The Pinnacle Camper by GSI Outdoors provides all the tableware and cookware you will need to make and enjoy a fabulous meal in the outdoors, and you won’t have to think about what to pack. The set includes a three-liter pot, a two-liter pot, two strainer lids, a nine-inch fry pan, four 14 fl. oz. insulated mugs, four 14 fl. oz. bowls, four 7.5” plates, four sip-it tops, a folding pot gripper, and a welded sink that doubles as the stuff sack. In addition to being a complete and compact set, the cookware is coated with a non-stick coating using an advanced technology that enables it to reach higher temperatures faster. Faster cooking means less energy is used which in turn means a fuel savings can occur. The surface of the cookware is treated with a hard anodized aluminum to ensure even-heating and durability. The tableware is ultra-light, stain-resistant, and odor resistant. The Pinnacle Camper set is designed for four-person car camping, but can be reconfigured for two-person backpacking. You can get more info in my review here. The Pinnacle Camper lists for $129.95.
A campsite is not complete without the smell of coffee brewing. The Coleman 10-Cup Portable Propane Coffeemaker brews a fresh pot of coffee just like at home in about 15 minutes. The coffeemaker holds up to 10 cups of coffee and operates on a 16.4 oz. propane cylinder. The coffeemaker will keep a constant heat, no matter the conditions: cold weather, high altitudes or low fuel. One 16.4-oz. propane cylinder will power the coffeemaker for up to 4.4 hours. I would suggest Torke Coffee as a great choice for your camping or outdoors adventures. It has a wonderful taste and aroma and would make the perfect stocking stuffer. My review of the Coffeemaker can be read here. Suggested retail for the Coffeemaker maker is $129.99 and Torke Coffee ranges from $4.95 to $6.95.
This classic flannel shirt made out of 100% heavy cotton flannel is soft, warm and comfortable – perfect for all your outdoor activities. The modern bi-wing elastic back and underarm gussets allow you to comfortably extend your arms and move about freely. The long shirttail stays tucked in even when you lift your arms above your head. In addition to the comfort, the shirt comes in a variety of stylish colors for men and women. Add a pair of Duluth Fire Hose Work Pants and you have the ideal outdoor ensemble. The shirt runs $39.50 retail.
Images of tent and stove courtesy Andy and Tami McDaniels, all other images courtesy respective manufacturers