We put a lot of thought into just about every aspect of camping, and for good reason. Proper planning can, in the worst-case scenarios, be the difference between life and death. A lot of the planning we do before heading to the great outdoors isn’t necessarily about preparing for life and death situations. A lot of it has to do with basic comforts. In the grand scheme of things, anyone with a bit of outdoor survival knowledge really doesn’t need all that much to survive, so a lot of what we pack comes down to comfort or simply making the experience a bit easier.
It’s easy to think about our own comfort, or the comfort of the human members of our family, because let’s face it – they’ll make their discomforts known, loud and clear. There are other members of the family, however, who can’t necessarily do that quite as easily. There’s a growing trend in the camping and outdoors universe, and it’s something that animal lovers are getting behind in a huge way.
That’s right, now Rover can enjoy the great outdoors with some extra accessories to boot, and it’s not all about comfort, either. We’re going to be taking a look at products that can not only keep your four-legged friends comfier, but also safer, which is the top priority. Most dogs love the great outdoors, and they don’t really NEED anything, they’ll amuse themselves chasing squirrels, swimming, and just being by your side as you relax and become the best version of yourself with the help of nature.
We’ll be going over some of the best products when it comes to dogs and camping. Are all of these essential things that every dog owner needs to rush out and order immediately? No, of course not. We’re not suggesting that you go and buy every single item mentioned in this article, but there are certainly some products here that are worth considering, depending on your pup.
Not all dogs have the same wants, needs, interests… they’re as unique as the memories you’ll create with them while camping. For example, if you live in Texas, you can skip the section about the best dog boots for snow but if you’re planning to go camping or hunting up in Canada during the winter, it might be worth considering!
Now, for all you dog owners out there (Or people with friends who own dogs that want to earn some Brownie points), let’s take a look at the best camping gear for dogs.
Winters can get really cold, and uncomfortable for dogs that aren’t used to that kind of weather. If you’re camping in the winter, and your dog gets soaking wet, they might have a tough time drying themselves and staying warm. Megipet makes a versatile pair of booties for dogs that are insulated, with a rubber bottom to prevent slips, and they’re water resistant.
They’re available in different colors and sizes, and are a great choice for any dog, but especially for dogs that might not be used to the colder weather in particular. Sometimes in the winter you’ll come across slush, and then at night it can freeze, so is your dog gets wet they’ll be freezing cold all night.
There are other styles of boots that mostly cover just the paws, but these ones are nice because they keep the entire leg warm, and prevent water from leaking in.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/Megipet%C2%AE-Resistant-Protector-Waterproof-Reflective/dp/B01AN2YKQ4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1476208352&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=megipet+dog+shoes&psc=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=survive343-20&linkId=68fa8ca15e9884c771863558dcf91b02″]
Hiking backpacks for dogs are a very practical way to be able to carry more supplies with you. Your pup can help carry some of the weight, and will be happy to do so just as long as you choose the best hiking backpack for them, something that’s going to be comfortable and practical without putting too much stress on them. They might not whine or complain if the bag isn’t comfy, or if it’s irritating them, because they’re so eager to assist you – so it’s up to you to ensure you’re getting something good for them, they deserve it for being such hard workers!
Ruffwear makes a great quality pack, and even just by looking at it you can tell it’s a lot more comfortable than a lot of the options out there. It’s a saddlebag style, and you can full up both sides with whatever you’d like.
Try to ensure that there’s an equal distribution of weight between both of the attached bags, and most importantly ensure that your dog is comfortable carrying the amount of gear that you give them, especially if you’re going on a longer hike.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”http://amzn.to/2baSEDo”]
OneTigris also makes a great dog harness for hiking trips. It includes detachable pouches, and has a very tactical style to it. It’s more versatile and customizeable than the previous option, and still costs well under $100.
The pack features what the military and NATO Forces refer to as Molle on the pack or Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. If it’s used and trusted by several Military forces, then it’s something you can ensure your dog’s safety and satisfaction with.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”http://amzn.to/2bvR98g”]
There’s another product to think about before the camping trip even gets started. When you’re driving out there, you may want to consider getting a car seat cover, in particular the hammock style works very nicely. A waterproof hammock seat cover will ensure that your vehicle stays dry, and will allow your dog to comfortably chill out in the back until you get to your destination.
There are different styles out there, but generally they attach to the headrests of the seats in the front of the vehicles and the back of the vehicle, and they stop the dog from being able to get into where your feet would normally go if you were in the rear passenger seats. The hammock style keeps them up on the rear seats, and protects the seats at the same time.
You don’t need anything terribly fancy, this model by Solvit will definitely be able to handle the job. There are, however, some other styles that have sides to them, which would prevent water from leaking out over the edges, assuming your dog is soaking wet when they get into the car. However, for most typical usage, the Solvit waterproof hammock will be just fine.
It’s cheaper to buy one of these and use it once, than it is to pay to have your car professionally cleaned if the seats get covered in mud and dirt after a camping trip with your dog.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”http://amzn.to/2bdjlrn”]
Not all dogs are naturally strong swimmers, and just like people can be overwhelmed and taken under by a strong current, the same can happen to a dog, even if they are strong swimmers. It’s a terrible thought. Just as humans who know how to swim should still wear life jackets while out the water, some dogs should, too.
Outward Hound makes an affordable and very well-reviewed option, which is adjustable to fit a variety of different dogs, and also available in 6 different sizes. Whether you have a tiny little pup or a massive hound, they’ll be safe and secure.
This lifejacket for dogs isn’t very bulky, it’s low-profile. It’s great for boating, if your dog hops into the water for a swim, so that you can easily pick them up and lift them back into the boat, which can be a bit of a concern. Dogs don’t really understand the dangers of a boat motor, either, so being able to quickly grab them and remove them from harm’s way is something you’ll be very glad you have should you ever need it.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”http://amzn.to/2bygMFF”]
Whether or not you’ve taken your dog camping before, here are some tips and pieces of advice that you’ll want to keep in mind. Taking your dog camping can be a very fun and rewarding experience for both of you, but there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind, and not all of them are obvious.
Camping with your pet dog can be an incredible fun experience, but it adds a certain degree of difficulty that you may not be used to if you’re used to camping alone. Common sense will get you most of the way, having the right products and gear will take you further, and taking some time to plan and think ahead will seal the deal.
Just like there are humans who don’t enjoy the outdoors, believe it or not there are also dogs that won’t adapt well to being out in the middle of nowhere with you. Sometimes, it just takes some patience and an adjustment period, other times it’s just not a part of their nature – and that’s okay, too. But chances are you’ll both have an amazing experience, so pat yourself on the back for taking the time to ensure that they get as much out of the experience as you will.
Incredibly well constructed and highly versatile, the Fivejoy folding shovel is a great addition to the backpack of any outdoor adventurer, camper, hiker, and even military personnel. While most multipurpose tools are bad at doing anything else other than their main objective, this folding shovel is excellent at doing a variety of tasks, in fact it can be used as a shovel, knife, hoe, axe, hammer, fire starter, and much more. It is designed from premium grade machined aluminum and high-carbon stainless steel, this multipurpose tool is sturdy, ergonomic, lightweight, and fail-safe.
The shovel actually consists of two main parts- the blade and the handle. The blade can be set into multiple angles in order to use the tool for different purposes. When the blade is fully aligned with the length of the handle, it is a shovel. When you rotate the blade 90 degrees, it becomes a hoe. When you angle it in, you can even use it like a hook since there is a seven-strand paracord attached to the back of the handle that allows you to throw the lightweight shovel at a tree branch or post. The blade is locked into position with a fail-proof rotating lock that keeps the blade firmly locked into whatever angle you choose.
The main blade is designed from high-carbon stainless steel and measures 4.5″ x 5.5″ in width and length, respectively. It has a nice, sharp point in the front and its sides are wedged and serrated. This allows you to strike the blade sideways and chop off small branches with a few hits. The serrated edges allow you cut roots, bark, food, and much more The bottom of the spade is broad and thicker than the rest of the blade, hence you can use it as a hammer to drive in nails and posts for your tents and hammocks while setting up camp in the woods.
The handle is made from aviation grade machined aluminum and has soft, textured grips on it to prevent your hands from straining. The handle can be taken apart into two segments, while the top section can be further divided into two more. On the bottom section of the handle, you will find a two-edged knife that is also made from high-carbon stainless steel, just like the main blade. One side of the knife is a plain sharp edge, while the other side is serrated and about 3″ long. The tip of the knife is not pointed, but shaped like a “V” so that you can pry open stuff. At the foot of the knife blade, you will also find a handy little bottle opener.
This entire package is very ergonomically designed and weighs just 2.15 Lbs. It is 18.82″ long, and comes in a fabric bag that is very well stitched, especially around the edges where you can see that they have added double stitching. The bag seals up with Velcro and a snap latch system. There are even two little grommets to drain away the water inside the bag if you get it wet. The bag has a handy little shoulder strap, as well as a backpack strap. All in all, it is a very handy multipurpose tool that is extremely well constructed and is a great addition to the kit of amateur, as well as experienced campers, hikers, and survivalists.
The Gerber E-Tool is an important outdoor tool especially for military personnel; it can be used for digging, scooping and sawing through hard materials. It is multi-functional as it can also be used for various outdoor activities like hunting, camping, and other more tactical requirements.The spade can be carried very easily due to its collapsible design. It is made from excellent materials and can take a serious beating.[box type=”info”]
All Gerber Products are Field Tested!
This device is constructed from a powdered alloy of carbon and boron. This construction is well formulated to ensure the spade suits heavy duty usage. Its strong glass-filled nylon handle makes gripping comfortable, easing its usage and maneuverability. The anodized shaft made of aluminum gives this stunning instrument more strength therefore enhances its lifespan.
Choosing a durable tool like this one from Gerber saves on the costs that could be incurred from buying new brands yearly. Additionally, the handle is of comfortable length, about 23.4 inches. This reduces energy expenditure, and less straining and leverage is required.
As outlined above, the Gerber E-Tool is constructed from aluminum and nylon. These materials are very light yet strong. The shovel weighs in at 2.7 pounds and measures 9.4 inches when folded. This makes the shovel very portable, and makes this spade perfect for outdoor activities. In hiking, camping, or even survival situations where weight must be kept to a minimum to reduce energy consumption.
On its blade, one side is serrated. This feature makes the spade a powerful tool for chopping tough bush or timber for your fire. The serrated edge can be used to saw various grass, undergrowth, or even rope. It can also be used to crack ice and stubborn dirt.
Any time you open the spade, the lock system that is incorporated into the design will keep it in place. This ensures maximum stability when digging. Furthermore, this protects the user since high pressure is applied in shoveling. It is very easy to secure simply by turning the ridged knob that surrounds the shaft.
Every tool has strengths and weaknesses. Lets look at a couple of those now:
Some prefer steel versus aluminum but bear in mind the weight is reduced as a result of improving portability.[/box]
The above video features 10 great uses for the Gerber E-tool, some we didn’t even think of during our own testing.
The Pagreberya multi tool shovel can do many things- it can serve as a regular heavy duty shovel, it can be used as an axe, it can even be used as a hoe and a hammer. But the best part about it is the amount of machining and precision that went into designing it parts. This particular shovel is similar to many other multipurpose shovels on the market, but what sets it apart is the fact that it is built heavier and stronger than most of its competition. Also, it is longer than most multi tool shovels at nearly 26″. This means that you can use it without having to apply as much leverage as you would with the smaller multipurpose shovels that only measure about 16-18″ in length.[box type=”info”]
The Pagreberya Multi-Tool Features 30 Functions!
The Pagreberya has a tough, high-carbon shovel blade at the end of the handle, which can be rotated to set it up along different angles. There is a locking collar to hold the blade in place once you have rotated it When flat, it can be used as a shovel to dig up dig up holes and ditches in the ground. When you lock it in a perpendicular position, the shovel is transformed into a hoe that can be used to dig up earth and debris. When the blade is brought closer to the handle and is held at a sharp angle, it becomes a hook that you can throw over branches or poles. The bottom end of the handle is heavy and is made from stainless steel. This allows you to use the bottom as a hammer or for breaking windows and glass in case of an emergency or road accident. One side of the shovel blade is serrated and can be used to cut small branches, tree bark, and food. The whole outer lining of the main blade is extremely sharp and is shaped like a wedge, meaning that you can use the shovel as an axe if you strike it sideways on a log or branch. There are two wrench cutouts on the base of the shovel blade, and you will find the markings for a metric ruler on the serrated side.[box type=”info”]
Here are some of the possible uses of the Pagreberya:[/box]
A shovel, hammer, slice, chop, saw, axe, ruler, blade, hex wrench, whistle, spear, etc.
The whole handle of this shovel is composed of three sections, and each of the sections is connected to the other by screw threads and the connection is made watertight by 0-rings. The G1 pipe is the section that is attached to the shovel blade and it contains no accessories, instead its purpose is to act as a base for the blade. The G2 pipe is equipped with a high-carbon stainless steel knife. This knife is about 3″ long, and has a serrated edge on one side, and a plain edge on the other.
The base of the knife is cut into a bottle opener, while the top is shaped into a “V” notch that can be used to pry open cans. The G3 pipe is placed above the G2 section, and houses a magnesium fire starter, a screwdriver, and a very loud metal whistle. There are holes on either side of the bottom to run a paracord through the base, and the tip is extremely hard and heavily built.
To sum it up, this is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for survival, self-defense, rescue operations, and much more It is a great addition to every person’s own “bug-out” kit, and is an inexpensive substitute to carrying a dozen separate dedicated tools. And, it comes in a really nice looking camouflage carry bag with a shoulder strap on it Whether you are a hiker, mountain climber, survivalist, or adventurist, this is definitely a tool that you should consider carrying with you on your expeditions.[/box]
We can go on and on about all the best parts about camping and enjoying nature, but let’s be honest, it’s the little things that really make it great. All those little details that fill in the blanks, those perfect moments that you might not remember after the fact, but that really set the tone while you’re out there.
What’s better than waking up on the trail with a perfect cup of hot, aromatic coffee? Sure, it might not be a French-pressed to the latest hip coffee shop specifications, but who cares? The only downside is that it’s a bit of a to-do to get it brewed in the first place, maybe not something you’ll want to do multiple times each day, so don’t! Grab yourself a decent Thermos and you’ll be spill-proof with hot coffee to last you the entire day.
Let’s just take a moment to reflect on the utter beauty and splendor of caffeine. Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive right into our buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect camping thermos just like a sugar cube dives into a fresh cup of coffee.
Here are 5 great choices. Every item on this list is great, so you can feel confident purchasing any of them. The reason we don’t just list one and end the article is because different items are best for different budgets and different situations.
For example, if you want a Thermos for food instead of hot drinks, we’ve got you covered in that regard as well. Variety is the spice of life, and each of those choices will suit you, so pick the one that best matches your needs and your budget but remember that you can’t go wrong with any of these options.
When you tell your friends that you’re chilling and sipping from a forty, this isn’t what they’ll be expecting. This particular 40oz Thermos is for beverages. It’ll keep them hot, or cold. It can keep your drinks either hot, or cold, for up to an entire day. 24 full hours. Let’s face it, your drink isn’t going to last nearly that long anyways.
There are over 3000 positive reviews, and it’s been selected as Amazon’s editor’s top pick – and for good reason. The stainless steel interior keeps the temperatures just how you want them, thanks to some support from the insulation. The lid also serves as a cup, and it’s easy to pour from without having to remove (and potentially misplace) the stopper.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017IHRNM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0017IHRNM&linkId=464811a1571c25a4d6b5177a8d8d35c8″]
Here’s one for the tea drinkers out there. It’s suitable for any hot or cold beverage, but it has an infuser at the top made specifically for steeping loose leaf teas, or for making fruit infusions with your water. You could use a tea bag with any Thermos or camping cup, but every tea connoisseur knows that loose leaf is just simply a better way to go, and this particular Thermos makes it an easy process, even when you’re camping. You could even brew your coffee in here using a slow pour and coarse-ground beans.
You can remove the steeper/infuser attachment if you don’t want to use it. This one will keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 8 hours, and is available in three different colors.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ESIMPF2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01ESIMPF2&linkId=5c5a2741e517cc5daa807080b97cbf6a”]
Here’s one for your food. It will keep your meals hot for 9 hours, and keep things cool for up to 14. The folding spoon is also handy if you don’t have any extra camping utensils already because it tucks in perfectly under the lid without taking up any extra space in your pack. This is the right size to hold your leftovers for the day.
It prevents condensations from building up, which is important if you have it packed away with your dry clothes, for example.
You can cook up some soup or whatever you feel like in the afternoon, then put the extras in here, and have a warm meal waiting for you later in the day. At 16 oz, it’s a decent size, but not so big that it becomes cumbersome.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017IFSIS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0017IFSIS&linkId=f6a6549ea0da6aefaa16d93bfe31f9aa”]
If you want something a bit larger to hold your food, here’s a great choice. It’ll keep your meal hot (or cool) all day, so you can cook a nice breakfast and finish it off as a midnight snack without having to cook again.
The wide mouth makes it great for things like soup, chili, or whatever else you can fit inside. It’s made with 18/8 stainless steel and won’t rust on you. It’s also available in sizes all the way down to a mere 10oz, if you’re into that sort of thing, but we tend to work up a bigger appetite that than. It’s BPA free, for all you BPA haters out there. Finally, it won’t leak on you, it seals perfectly tight to keep your food on the inside and to keep everything else on the outside where it belongs.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011OLKB3O/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B011OLKB3O&linkId=26505f8007d25e7efca93138af210f15″]
If you’re still not sure exactly which option to go with – let’s make it easy. This one comes in at under $20, and is perfect for beverages. 30 oz is a good size and will contain all your beverages hot or cold. There are so many great things to say about Yeti but we will let their customers do the talking.
You won’t get any leaks or condensation with colder drinks, which is always a plus. If you just need something relatively simple for a great price, and you want a travel Thermos with countless positive reviews so you aren’t stuck with any last minute surprises, you can’t go wrong with this option.
It’s advised to stick with well-known brands and products with a long track record of quality, because these days it’s not too hard for anyone to order up a bunch of bottles from overseas and print their name on it, but brands with track records and reputations have mastered the supply chain so you can count on getting something quality, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping you’ll get the best camping Thermos from some fly-by-night brand.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/RTIC-RTIC30-30-oz-Tumbler/dp/B019D9HESO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=aps&srs=12034488011&ie=UTF8&qid=1477405949&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=yeti&linkCode=ll1&tag=survive343-20&linkId=056437947c7dc1c48d17d715b31221e5″]
No matter how coordinated your weather dance is, and no matter how many times you cross your fingers hoping for clear skies for your next camping trip, when Mother Nature wants rain – it’s going to rain. You can’t do anything about that, but there are some things that you can control…
Being prepared for anything that nature may throw at you is all about recognizing what you can control, what you can’t control, and that whatever happens will usually fall somewhere in the middle.
A storm can be exciting and invigorating when you’re dry and inside of your tent and all of your supplies are also dry, but what’s worse than being out in the thick of it with soaking wet gear? It can really put an – ahem – damper on the whole experience.
Having things like rubber boots for camping and water proof matches is a good start, but you’ll have a lot of gear that simply doesn’t exist in a water proof version – so that’s where a waterproof backpack for camping is essential.
This allows you to take your crucial belongings with you on the trail without worrying about them getting soaked, so if you’re caught out in a storm you can make it back to your tent, dry off the outside of the backpack, and you’re all set. It’s much better than dealing with a water-logged backpack in the middle of a storm.
The term “best” can be subjective, so let’s take a look at a few different sizes, price points, and levels of quality. Everything on this list is a good choice, we don’t feature any duds, it’s just a matter of choosing what fits your budget and adjusting your expectations accordingly.
We need to preface this by saying that this bag isn’t 100% water proof, but it’s water resistant and a lot of the time that’s good enough. It’s versatile, light, and can even fold up into itself. We’re featuring it first because it’s very affordable, well made, and has thousands of 5 star reviews. It’s available in two sizes, 20L and 33L. Now, if you need something that’s completely water proof, you’ll want to check out some of these other options, but for a lot of people – this is going to be a solid choice, especially if they’re not looking to spend a lot of cash. This isn’t the best bag on the list, but it’s very, very good for what it is.[maxbutton id=”7″]
This pack is loved by campers and hikers a like. It includes a suspension system which makes it a lot nicer to wear when you’re carrying a heavy load. It holds 40L worth of whatever you can throw at it. It’s made with 420D polyester, which is waterproof, and also includes a rain cover that goes over top to further keep the water out.
This bag has a lot of storage pockets, including a safe place to put your cellphone. It usually retails for well over $100, but you can find it on sale for a lot less than that sometimes – so keep an eye out, because it’s definitely worth grabbing when it’s on sale, if not at full price.
Next up, let’s take a look at an alternative before we head into the home stretch.[maxbutton id=”7″]
If you already have a backpack that you love for camping, but it doesn’t hold up great in the rain, consider just purchasing a cover for it. This cover will repel the vast majority of rain, but it doesn’t cover the straps. None the less, if your pack isn’t already waterproof or water resistant, you should really consider tossing this inside – just in case!
It won’t take up much room at all, and it could make a huge difference if push comes to shove. The nice thing about this cover is that you can use it while you’re wearing your backpack, but if you just want a completely water proof bag, and aren’t as concerned about wearing it, check out the next option.[maxbutton id=”7″]
Here’s a great pack for hiking, camping, and the like. It’s not ideal for everyday use, it would be a bit much, so if you’re just looking for something for school – this won’t be your best bet. For hitting the trails and the campground, however, this is an excellent choice with great reviews and many happy owners.
The material is very light weight, which is what you want when you’re carrying it around on the trail, but it might not last as long if you’re using it every day to carry around books, etc. It has very comfortable straps and breathable mesh, and includes a free rain cover for extra protection from the rain. It weights under two and a half pounds, and has plenty of compartments for organizing your belongings.[maxbutton id=”7″]
As you’ve likely noticed, there’s always going to be trade-offs. If you want something completely, 100%, dunk-it-underwater-and-it’s-fine waterproof, it’s not going to be as functional or practical as a regular backpack. If you want external zippers and to be able to wear it, you’re going to be making certain sacrifices in terms of how waterproof it is. A regular waterproof backpack like the Kimlee or one of the other models we looked at is a solid option for most people, and you can’t go wrong with any of these choice. Just choose the one that fits your needs, shut off the computer, and go enjoy nature after patting yourself on the back to take a little time to do some research first.
There’s something to be said about roughing it with nothing but a sleeping bag and tent, but there’s no shame in being a little more comfortable than that. A mattress will add some extra weight to your pack, but if you don’t like sleeping right on the ground, you’ll be happy to have it.
Nothing’s worse than carrying the extra weight for an air mattress that ends up being a total dud, or falling asleep on a perfectly inflated mattress only to wake up flat on the ground. This can be avoided by going with a sleeping pad, for example. A sleeping pad is more reliable in terms of survival gear and if you opt for one you need to keep that extra weight in mind. We ensured that the weight was kept below 5 lbs for our reviews. Anything higher would be too taxing for your pack.
There are options, but how do you choose the best bed for camping? It’s easy. Take a look at the pros and cons of all the highest rated options, figure out what best fits into your budget, and you’re well on your way to finding the best camping mattress. Don’t worry, you aren’t on your own. As usual, we’ve got you covered with an informative and helpful guide that takes the guesswork out of buying camping gear.
We’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you, so here are our top choices in several different categories. No matter which type of camping bed you’re looking for, we want to help you pick out the best one. Even if you aren’t really sure what you’re looking for yet, by the end of this page you’ll know more than enough to make up your mind.
This is a smaller, lighter version of the traditional air mattress that you might be picturing. It gives you that little extra bit of cushion between yourself and the ground, without taking up as much space in your pack. It’s a good compromise if you want to save room compared to a full air mattress or a camping pad, but when you also want a little more comfort. It’s also very affordable, and has great reviews. It self-inflates, but you’ll need to blow up the pillow yourself. If there’s a single weak point to this item, it’s the pillow – so just keep that in mind, you may want to bring something better for your head, or just wrap up a couple of shirts to use instead.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BF9IYO4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00BF9IYO4&linkId=38ac151788a3db69f8e4d246459c86f5″]
This is a great camping pad. The Adventurer Camp Pad weighs only 4.25lbs, which isn’t negligible but if you’re backpacking and have the extra room, it’ll make life a lot more comfortable. The foam is two inches thick, so it gets you off of the ground and helps if you’re not on the flattest surfaces, too. It’ll fit on most standard size cots, and has ties on the ends to make sure it stays in place, along with a fold for your pillow. It includes a roll-assister which helps you pack it up as small as possible when it’s time to pack up camp. Overall, it’s a very solid choice with hundreds of 5-star reviews.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P6DJ8O/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B000P6DJ8O&linkId=c1d2ce2896fe1ce6dbb98dced77b1657″]
But if you don’t want your pad right on the ground, and you’ve got some extra room and don’t mind the extra weight, you can grab a nice camping cot to go with it.
As usual, Coleman’s got you covered. This easy-folding cot stores away into a small carrying bag, and is super simple to setup. You can put your camping mat on it, and you’ve got something close to the best bed for camping without breaking the bank.
It can support up to 300lbs, and somebody who is up to 6 feet 8 inches tall. The little table that attaches to the side is also handy, we all know how hard it can be to keep track of our belongings in a tent. For its size and weight, it’s a very solid unit – not flimsy at all. You’ll be using it reliably for many seasons to come.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043AK0O4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0043AK0O4&linkId=5fea2fc701809ab9015f09823f53bf47″]
If you’re looking for a full-size air mattress for the ultimate in camping luxury, this is going to be your best bet. With almost 10,000 positive reviews, you really can’t go wrong. It includes a built-in pump so you don’t have to remember to bring one, and you also don’t have to stand around for an hour with a hand pump trying to get in inflated.
Now, keep in mind that you will need an outlet in order to power it up. This really isn’t the choice for people who are camping in any kind of deep woods. This is the “luxury” option, it’s basically designed for in-home use but it can be used in a camper, trailer, tent, cabin… it’s great if you have a significant other who isn’t too keen on camping, tell them it’ll be an incredibly comfortable sleep and they’ll be a little more excited.
We usually cater to the more serious and hardcore of campers, but every now and then we like to throw in a little something for the rest of ‘em. It’s also great to keep at home for when you’ve got guests.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FAW4O0A/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00FAW4O0A&linkId=e87357caaf5d50a524fed105ca25b1d9″]
Now if that last one had you thinking “Uhh okay, but… that’s not really what I’m looking for,” here’s a similar bed by the same brand, which also has tons of great reviews, that’s specifically made for camping. If you want to sleep on the best air mattress that’s available at an amazing value, this has got to be it. It also includes a built-in air pump, except this time around the pump is rechargeable. The bed itself won’t be quite as comfortable, but it’s more than good enough for a great night’s sleep under the stars. It’s not as thick as the previous one, but it offers more support than just a plain mat or than the thinner Coleman self-inflating camping bed we looked at earlier. It’s a good compromise. We’ve looked at thinner mats, we’ve looked at an epic inflatable mattress – and this one right here falls somewhere in the middle.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WL0227G/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00WL0227G&linkId=33a8acedb9340f16d4a97bed09c85180″]
Between all of the different options, you’re bound to find the perfect balance between price, size, weight, and comfort.
Lastly, save your money on expensive pumps or even hand pumps. Nothing says survivalist like doing it yourself. The video below goes over how to blow up an air mattress on your own, without wasting your own energy and oxygen supply. I always carry a trash bag, regardless of the situation and this is one of the reasons why.
An alcohol stove is a popular choice for camping because they can be very small and compact, and make a solid alternative if you don’t want to lug around a large propane camping stove or if you don’t want to cook over your campfire.
There are guides out there that show you how to make a basic alcohol stove out of a drink can, and they definitely work, although they’re made from thin aluminum and can become damaged easily. If you’d rather opt for something sturdier right off the shelf, we’ve got you covered.
The pros for alcohol stoves are that fuel is easy to come by, they’re very lightweight, and the book Long-Distance Hiking reports that after speaking to many hikers, this is the only type of camping stove that had a zero percent failure rate overall. The fuel is very inexpensive, there aren’t any essential moving parts, they’re durable, and dead-simple to cook with.
Cons include things like the fact that it doesn’t quite get as hot as other fuel sources so you might need to carry around more of that affordable fuel, although an oz or two of fuel should be plenty to cook a meal, so one 16oz water bottle will keep you going for days and days. If a gas stove takes about three and a half minutes to boil some water, the alcohol stove may take about five or six minutes instead.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to reveal our top 5 choices. Each stove on this list could be considered the best backpacking stove in its own right, so there really aren’t any wrong choices here. As usual, it comes back to finding the best value stove for your budget – and that’s exactly what we’re here to do.
This set includes the burner itself, along with a ‘stand’ for it (in other words, the stove.) You usually can’t put your pots or pans directly onto the burner, so in most cases you’ll need to purchase your burner and the actual stove separately. We’ll be taking a look at a great choice for a burner, and some stove options as well, including one that folds up into practically nothing. This one, on the other hand, doesn’t fold up but that doesn’t matter because it can all nest inside of the pot (which is going to take up the same amount of space either way), and only weighs 15 ounces.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UEL76Q/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B001UEL76Q&linkId=4d59e2ae9ce637681654d23d2c69a627″]
Here’s a really simple option that is akin to the homemade pop can stoves we mentioned earlier. The difference is that it’s stronger, you can even step on it without breaking it. It also has a stability plate along the bottom to prevent tipping or spills, and you can put your pot right on top of it. It’s simple, classic, durable, and it does the job.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G61KLU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B001G61KLU&linkId=078b24ca61002bb7f981c258eed2ffe4″]
This one is semi-foldable, and has longer arms that extend out for holding larger pots and pans than the Vargo Decagon is able to. It’s very affordable, and you’ll just need to add the fuel and something to cook inside of.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CY40FGE/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00CY40FGE&linkId=3a6d428bae884f191022d8fdd25b547d”]
This simple little burner and something to hold your pot is all you need. You can pop it inside of a windscreen like this (click here to learn more) for a much more fuel and heat efficient experience. The nice thing about this little burner in particular is the fact that it has the screw-top so that you can toss it into your pack when you’re done with it and not worry about getting leftover alcohol on anything.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AR7970/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B000AR7970&linkId=e770da129a6e4ba6894db2d6ac537160″]
This is the priciest item on our list, but it includes everything you’ll need except for a really nice pot, which you can grab here (click here to learn more). You’ll get the solo stove, a very useful and big foldable windscreen, one of the best little alcohol burners, the Light My Fire Swedish firesteel, and a tinderstick to make starting your fire, and keeping it burning efficiently, a pain-free process.[maxbutton id=”7″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ABY69M/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=survive343-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008ABY69M&linkId=9dcd8d27d5146d071570c1501e4665eb”]
As you can probably tell, the core idea for all of these is essentially the same. You need a little reservoir to put the alcohol to light, and you need something to put your pots or pans on to absorb the heat of the flame while holding it steady and secure over the burner.
While it’s a simple idea, there are some key differences between these various products, but it’s all pretty clear and self-evident what those are just by looking at them. So, all that’s left is to check them out, and pick the one that makes the most sense to you now that you’re armed with knowledge from your research.
In an attempt to grow our blog and audience more, we have recently worked with the team behind the Varmint Hunter Magazine to grow Survival Gear Experts to the fullest. People finding our site through theirs, don’t fret! Our blog and content is already geared towards what you are used to reading in their magazine. The internet has rapidly expanded since the 90s when the Varmint Magazine was established. The cost of blogging as apposed to physical magazines is substantial and we hope to offer the same flare that you are used to. Our writers offer the same blue-collar writing style, and completely cut the fluff.
Well, as the name implies, we like to think of ourselves as Survivalist. On our blog you will find reviews of products as well as top 5 comparisons of equipment that doesn’t suck. With the inception of the potential Varmint Readers, we plan to start offering content purely related to small arms and varmint hunting in general.
If you have any questions for us or want to more, you can contact us via the menu bar above.
One of your most important hunting and survival gear purchases is your knife. This is also one of the more difficult purchases for beginners, too. Why’s that? Because frankly, to the untrained eye, most knives look exactly the same except for some cosmetic differences. So, how can you tell the difference between the best hunting knife and the worst?
We’re going to be looking at different styles of buck knives, folding knives, camping, and hunting knives… Whatever you want to call them, they all have a few things in common: quality, value, and from brands with great track records.
This fixed-blade knife by ESEE has a very comfortable canvas handle, and at just over $100 it’s certainly not the cheapest knife on this list, but it’s also worth every single penny of your hard earned cash. It comes with a Kydex sheath, and pre-equipped with ferrocerium fire-starting flint and tinder tabs hidden inside of the handle. It’s made from high-carbon 1095 steel, so you’ve got to take good care of it – it may rust if you aren’t careful. This knife is for somebody who understands the philosophy that sometimes you’ve got a pay a little extra for quality, and that having nice things usually means you’ve got to take better care of them, too. It’s not like it’s high-maintenance or anything, just keep it properly lubricated and clean it when you’re done using it. To top it off, their warranty is basically perfect: “If you break it, we will replace it. Warranty is lifetime and transferable. In other words, we warranty the knife no matter how many times it’s been traded, sold or given away – no sales receipt or proof of purchase required.” In other words, you buy it once and you’ve got a knife for life.
ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles
This fixed-blade knife by ESEE has a very comfortable canvas handle, and at just over $100 it’s certainly not the cheapest knife on this list, but it’s also worth every single penny of your hard earned cash.
It comes with a Kydex sheath, and pre-equipped with ferrocerium fire-starting flint and tinder tabs hidden inside of the handle. It’s made from high-carbon 1095 steel, so you’ve got to take good care of it – it may rust if you aren’t careful.
This knife is for somebody who understands the philosophy that sometimes you’ve got a pay a little extra for quality, and that having nice things usually means you’ve got to take better care of them, too. It’s not like it’s high-maintenance or anything, just keep it properly lubricated and clean it when you’re done using it.
To top it off, their warranty is basically perfect: “If you break it, we will replace it. Warranty is lifetime and transferable. In other words, we warranty the knife no matter how many times it’s been traded, sold or given away – no sales receipt or proof of purchase required.”
In other words, you buy it once and you’ve got a knife for life.
This beautiful knife by Benchmade is in a higher price point than the previous one we looked at, but we’re going to feature some less expensive (yet still high-quality) knives in just a moment. This particular knife is also great for an everyday carry.
There’s no shortage of positive reviews, and the wood grain handle is gorgeous. This knife is popular amongst hunters, campers, fishermen, collectors, and just people looking for a new EDC. It’s made in the USA. It’s not spring assisted, so you don’t have to worry about the added headache of maintaining that or having it fail when you need it. It folds out smoothly, and can be adjusted.
Before we take a look at a couple more affordable options, let’s climb higher up the ladder and take a look at a premium knife by Spyderco.
This knife is an absolute treat. It’s not always in stock, so if you’re able to catch one – consider yourself one of the lucky ones! It’s designed by Chris Claycomb, and is just an all-around piece of art that can also get the job done.
It’s a collector’s item, no doubt, but don’t let that stop you from taking it out into the bush with you. This might be one of the best hunting knives you’ll ever own, and that your children will ever own, and that their children will ever own…
It also includes a premium leather sheath, but you’re never going to want to put it down.
This knife is specifically for skinning, in particular in the field. It’s the most affordable, but it’s not versatile at all. We really need to emphasize that. It does one thing, and it does it very well. It is made by a brand that is primarily known for making surgical equipment, so when you want to skin your game with surgical precision, you’re covered.
<Want to whittle away at a branch by the campfire? This isn’t the knife for you. If you apply any side pressure, the blades will break. It comes with 12 replaceable blades, and even if you toss it after they’re done – it’s still an amazing value when you compare function and price.
Here’s our value option if you want to spend under $50 but still get a high-quality knife from a reputable brand that will last you for as long as you’re willing to care for it.
It has over 1400 positive reviews, ships fast, folds up into an included sheath, and is very sharp. It’s a versatile blade, unlike the last one that we looked at, so it’ll have your back in any situation you may encounter.
It’s referred to as “the most copied knife in the world”, but why not own the original?