Hooniverse: What are your go-to things to bring when you go camping?

I’m building my Montero up more and more to be a great camping rig. Recently, I’ve added a roof rack in order to next add an awning. I plan to add a proper mounting place for my Dometic powered cooler. Solar power is coming soon too. And all of this is in addition to the standard bit of camping kit I own, such as a JetBoil for coffee, proper utensils for food and cooking as well as a small one-burner stove, my sleeping pad, and more.

There is always more that I would like to add of course. Dometic recently launched some more gear as part of its Deomtic GO lineup. There are some hard and soft storage options but it’s the water jug and faucet that are catching my eye. The water storage system holds about 3 gallons of water. It’s nicely designed with a carrying strap but also integrated tiedown guides. With the faucet, you use this to turn the jug into a handy water dispensing station. The idea behind using this instead of, you know, just pouring the water out, is that it helps you be smarter with your water use. You won’t simply be pouring water out, spilling a fair bit. This allows for far more accurate water use, which is important when you’re out at your campsite.

Dometic GO Hydration Water Faucet

It’s not cheap of course. Nothing is these days. And you can probably make something like this with a run through the aisles of your local Home Depot or Lowes. But there’s something about a well-designed product that gets my wallet itching.

What are some of your favorite things to bring camping beside the obvious? And yes, beer and MEAT is obvious. So is a tent, a sleeping bag, and means to start a fire.

7 Comments

  1. A lot of it depends on the trip, the group, and how light you are trying to travel. If you’re with kids and want to tire them out in the afternoon so they won’t be awake all night, an ice cream ball is a good choice. If it’s a beer-drinking trip, then bring a chair that you can pass out drunk in without falling out of. I’ve had scouts challenge each other to camp with only the bare minimum of gear so they slept on the ground and ate meals using a Frisbee as a bowl/dish/cup.

    I like to bring enough sleeping bag/liner combinations to cover a temperature swing of at least 60 degrees F. I don’t like sleeping in a pool of sweat or shivering all through the night, so I keep enough layers nearby that I can make quick adjustments in the middle of the night and then nod back off.

  2. Over the last two decades, I’ve pretty much moved in the opposite direction. Less and less equipment, but of higher quality. For the most part, I am a fan of taking the tent out of the equation, too. So just a good few sets of clothes, a good mat or two to sleep on, and a good bag. Then it’s just some ski or shoe repair kits for safety, first aid kit, a saw, food and, usually, a good fair share of alcohol. Because that’s what we do around the camp fire.

    The kids will want to sleep in a tent, or a snow cave, not in the open. But we take good care to go places where there’s something to keep them occupied; like rock formations or wildlife to watch. Can’t bring any more stæsh.

    Here’s how I typically spend the night, this particular trip was at a cold -22°C last winter:

  3. Over the last decade or so all of my camping has involved either:

    (1) Class 2 high-power rockets, weather balloons, and related equipment and instrumentation

    or

    (2) at least one 24 Hours of Lemons race car.

    I haven’t managed to combine all of these into a single trip. Yet.

  4. Camping’s primary utility is that it enables some other activity or location that is not possible otherwise, so you’re only really limited by your personal tradeoff between dealing with your gear or enjoying whatever it is that gear allows you to do. If the idea is to be more immersed in your natural surroundings, well, de gustibus non est disputandum. I’m not overly motivated to go so far as a couple hours drive from lodging with running water and a bed, and given my travelling companions, even that far will require something really interesting on the other end.

  5. After two unsuccessful experiences in 2012 my camping involves either a travel trailer or a cheap hotel 😉

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