I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of our camping essentials. It took us a few years to really get the feel for what was necessary and what wasn't. It also takes a while to figure out what you should really spend a few extra bucks on. Here is our go-to list:
We use an Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2. This tent is great for any kind of camping, even backpacking. It packs up super small, and has enough room for the two of us to sleep comfortably. You can either sleep with the tent open, or with the rain fly. If you don't need privacy, and the weather is nice, sleeping without the rain fly is fantastic. You can get the breeze and see the stars while falling asleep. It's one of my favorite ways to sleep honestly. If you are with a group, or rain is in the forecast, then you just slip on the rain fly and are completely protected from the rain. We have used this tent in thunderstorms and have never gotten a drop inside the tent. Also, the rain fly gives you 2 vestibules (I used to call it the porch before I could remember the name) to store your pack and shoes. I really can't say enough how much I love this tent.
I have had the Osprey Ariel 55 for a few years, and I absolutely love it. I know a few people with the same one, and they agree that it's great. It can be a little pricey, but it's totally worth it if you're planning on doing some backpacking. The only thing I have to say is, the 55 might be a little small for longer trips, but it does just fine for a day or two. I absolutely love having the little pocket up top that comes off and converts into a fanny pack for day hikes. It's especially nice because they come in several sizes depending on your torso length, then the strap that goes around your hips (where you hold most of the weight) is heated in the store to form fit your body for extra comfort. Fancy!
The Sleeping Pad
I don't know how I ever slept in the woods without this. The Adventurer AC sleeping pad is so comfortable, it's almost like sleeping on a mattress, but it packs down super small, so it's great for backpacking. I have to admit, this is Alex's but usually he lets me borrow it. I need to get my hands on one soon though, it's a life saver. You can't really hike or paddle if you've had a bad nights sleep.
The Cooking Supplies
These are pretty much basic camping needs. Jetboil offers lots of different varieties of pots, and even accessories like a french press! We have this one. The sporks are found here, and I would be lying if I said we hadn't used these once or twice when all our spoons were dirty...
So there you have it. Our basics for a great camping adventure. I hope you can get out and enjoy the world a little bit this summer. It's for sure on our to-do list... a few times.
And for a little Music Monday treat, our go-to song for once we reach the park...