Review: Car Camping Gear
Food is the all-important consideration when car-camping—and the Primus Atle BBQ Stove facilitates some fine lakeside dining. Lightweight, durable, and easy to set up, this camper’s mini-kitchen has a standard burner for boiling and a grill for steaks and burgers. Both sides cook fast and evenly, and are extremely easy to clean. Available at Timber Trails. $99; primuscamping.com.
While spendy, the MSR Reactor Pot 2.5 pays for itself with versatility. Designed for use with MSR’s Reactor stove, and best utilized in harsh backcountry conditions, this pot works great on a conventional stove, too. This allows you keep your overall gear inventory to a minimum, leaving room in the garage for… well, more gear. Nevermind. Available at Northern Lights, Round House, Barrel, Girls Outdoors, Timber Trails, Grizzly Outfitters, and Gallatin Alpine Sports. $90; msrgear.com.
A longtime favorite on river floats, the Camp Time Roll-a-Table provides a sturdy surface for dining, drinking, or playing card games. It rolls up tight, sets up fast, and unlike the standard pop-up table, doesn’t sag in the middle. Load up the seven square feet of space with food, throw a couple chairs around it, and you’ll never worry about finding a picnic table again. $78; camptime.com.
To remain civilized at camp—and instantly become the life of the party—bring along a GSI Vortex Blender and whip up some midday margaritas. With a two-speed hand-crank and a clamp for securing the blender to a table or tailgate, this baby will transform your Spartan campsite into a blended-drink extravaganza. You’ll never go back to tepid PBR again. $90; gsioutdoors.com.
From slicing limes to cutting kindling, the Wenger RangerGrip 179 Patagonian Expedition Race Knife is all the knife you need for a weekend in the woods—or a month, for that matter. Makers of the famous Swiss Army Knives, Wenger designed this multi-tool to take a beating. Eleven tools with 15 functions mean you can space everything from toolbox to can opener and still be fine. $70; wengerna.com.
Make short day hikes from camp more pleasant with the Hydrapak Streamline Pack. This sleek, lightweight back-hugger holds 70 ounces of water and has several pockets for gear storage. Ventilation keeps your back cool and a sternum strap provides extra comfort. Available at Owenhouse Bike Shop. $58; hydrapak.com.
From the table to the outhouse, the Black Diamond Titan Lantern will keep your camp illuminated. A 45-foot-diameter lighting area, frosted globe, and dimming switch give you as much light as you want, where you want it. A collapsible top loop means you can hang it in the tent or topper, too. Available at the River’s Edge and Northern Lights. $80; blackdiamondequipment.com.
As temperatures drop, you’ll be glad you brought your Rab Vapour-Rise Lite Jacket, a light and comfy softshell with a high collar to keep out the evening chill. Wind-resistant Pertex and a wicking lining makes it great to stash in your pack for day hikes as well, and whip out when those afternoon thunderheads roll in. Available at Barrel Mountaineering. $150; rab.uk.com.