Five Items You’ll Want for a Quick and Easy Camping Retreat

You should already have a great tent and sleeping bag, so let’s make the experience better with some fun, convenient gear.

April 28, 2021
A group of people surrounding a campfire.
When your biggest goal for a relaxing getaway is maximum privacy, well, it’s time to throw the tent in the car and gas up. Shutterstock

If you haven’t taken a few days or even one night to go camping in recent months, you need to rectify that ASAP. At a time when you want privacy, seclusion, and plenty of peace while enjoying your natural surroundings, a nice tent might be your best investment. Heck, you can even get the two-compartment style and a portable wireless hotspot to turn one of the rooms into an “office” for your own woodsy workation.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Camping is a personal experience made great by the things we love most. Some people love throwing a sleeping bag on the dirt while others want to be Tom Haverford and bring the Sky Mall catalog’s greatest hits with them for the ultimate in glamping. Whatever your preference, these items are beneficial for almost anyone and belong on your packing list for your next getaway to the Great Outdoors.



Moonshade tent next to an SUV.
Not nearly as bulky and hard to manage as your tailgate tent, this awning turns any parking spot into a lounge. MoonFab

Tailgating tents are great for a variety of occasions—well beyond just getting ready to cheer on your favorite teams—but we absolutely love the MoonShade because it’s a far more convenient alternative to the big, bulky pop-up style. First and foremost, if your camping adventure is also part of a road trip (it should be) then your automobile already plays a significant role. Thanks to this awning, it can play an even bigger role, allowing you to stop and make a camping or even resting spot out of almost any location. All you have to do is set up your folding chairs and kick back to enjoy your favorite tunes.

Maybe you don’t have a tent and your SUV is your accommodation for the night. Just park, attach the MoonShade and anchor it in the ground, and you’re all set to grill some dinner before doing some stargazing in the back of your ride. Or it gives you a place to enjoy a nice campground breakfast before hitting the trail on your bike or setting up a hammock next to your favorite fishing hole. Who doesn’t love having options?

Best of all, it’s lightweight and incredibly easy to break down, so it’ll basically live in your trunk.


NomadIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill

NomadIQ portable grill.
When you prefer to be a little cleaner and not cut back on your favorite meals, you’ll want this. NomadIQ

We’re already huge fans of the NomadIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill, so it’s a permanent staple for all of our camping adventures moving forward. Lightweight and extremely easy to set up, it’s a great alternative to the bigger and bulkier options that take up way more space in your trunk—or require a bigger ride altogether.

And if you also have the NomadIQ protective sleeve, then you can transport it in your trunk without worrying about making a mess, and later store it away in the garage without sacrificing precious space.

Kate’s Real Food Organic Energy Bars

An assortment of granola snack bars.
Never forget to bring delicious, healthy snacks on adventures, or else your stomach will never forgive you. Kate’s Real Food

For those moments where you’re away from the campsite, though, you’re going to need plenty of snacks, especially when your trip includes a lot of activity and adventure. And since you’re outdoors, you obviously don’t (or shouldn’t) want messy gas stations bags of chips or high-calorie candy bars. So, consider bringing our new favorite backpack bites: Kate’s Real Food Organic Energy Bars.


You’ve probably packed plenty of granola bars in your duffle or lunchbox over the years, but you’ve also more than likely never confused those treats with something that offers a ton of flavor options. Kate’s bars are borderline unbelievable with variety, as an explorer with a sweet tooth will love the Dark Chocolate Cherry and Almond or two Peanut Butter and Chocolate choices, while more subtle adventurers are sure to appreciate the Peanut Butter Hemp and Flax or the Lemon Coconut and Ginger.

Our recommendation? Mango Coconut. It’s wizardry how they pull off so much flavor in such a small wrapper. And best of all one will do the trick so well you won’t even think about eating the next one. But you can… we won’t blame you.

Morrison Outdoors Big Mo Kids Sleeping Bag

A father holding up his child.
Nothing better than introducing the joy of camping to a little one. Morrison Outdoors

Do you remember your very first camping trip? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but some of us who started very young probably still recall that feeling of fear the first time we zipped up the tent and sleeping bag and then attempted to fall asleep to the strange, often creepy sounds of nature. So, parents should want to calm those fears for young, first-time campers, and the Morrison Outdoors Big Mo Kids Sleeping Bag is a great step in the right direction.


Designed for kids aged 2-4, the Big Mo is lightweight yet thick enough to keep little ones warm on those cooler evenings and especially cold mornings when the sun hasn’t done its job yet. That’s where the sleeves come in handy, so kids can come out and watch mom and dad make flapjacks and eggs on the campfire griddle and not have to huddle around the fire at the same time.

There’s even a version for babies so parents can get them accustomed to the Great Outdoors and never have to worry about those “scary” nights. Well, almost never.

SearBQ Press and Griddle

A cast-iron sear griller.
Even if you’re a grilling perfectionist, the ability to cook more, faster is always beneficial when the day will be spent exploring. SearBQ

Did someone say griddle? At home or the campsite, we love grilling. But when it comes to the latter, we prefer anything that helps limit messes (it’s already dirty enough outside), but the catch is that it can’t also cut down on the types of food we can cook and enjoy. A griddle and press goes a long way in doing both, and the pre-seasoned cast iron version from SearBQ is arguably the most versatile you’ll find.

Not only can you pop it on the grill or a portable burner, but you can also use it in ovens. What makes it truly convenient for camping trips is how much faster it cooks. We used it to make a nice cool Florida morning backyard breakfast and the eggs and pancakes were done so quickly that we burnt quite a few of the first silver dollar flapjacks. And if we’re being honest, making it so that we can make fajitas anywhere is always the quickest way to our hearts.


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