If Camping Is NOT Your Thing, These Accessories May Change Your Mind
Growing up I hated camping. Absolutely hated it.
Between the cold weather, the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and the bugs, the horrible bugs, there was nothing I found appealing about spending a night or two in the woods.
Just last year, I was invited on a camping trip for the first time since my childhood, and my initial (and obvious) impulse was to say no.
But then, I tagged along with a friend to REI, an outdoor recreation store, and my eyes were opened to the endless amount of amazing camping gear and accessories that exist. I bought a few items, and headed out on the trip. Let me tell you, it was so much more enjoyable.
Now, a year later, I have loads of accessories and actually enjoy camping, hiking and roughing it—heck, I even just went on a five day trek in Iceland!
If you want to give the outdoorsy lifestyle a second chance, scroll below and see just 13 items (some I've personally invested in myself) that will make you actually want to head outside.
Cotopaxi Daypack: $49.95
This sleek 18L daypack by Cotopaxi is colorful, practical and totally unique. Each pack is designed with complete creative control by employees in the Philippines, which means each bag is different—pretty cool. I took this along with me to Iceland and it was the perfect bag for both small and long hikes. This would be perfect for a weekend camping trip with your friends or family.
Super Nova S'well Water Bottle: $35
Most important part of enjoying the outdoors? Staying hydrated. Am I the only one who finds it so much easier to drink water when I have a cute water bottle in tow? If you feel the same, try checking out S'well's amazing line of eco-friendly bottles. I'm obsessed with this super nova one that's got a galactic vibe.
Gentleman's Hardware Enamel Mug: $11
Although I'm not a huge fan of camping food, I can never say no to a morning mug full of hot cocoa or coffee. I've had my eyes set on this Gentleman's Hardware Enamel Mug for quite some time now. It's adorable and it keeps your drink piping hot. What more could you ask for?
Patagonia Synchilla Fleece: $99
I am in love, I repeat l-o-v-e, with my Patagonia Synchilla Fleece. This was my first real camping piece, and I use it all the time (even when I'm not camping). It's made of warm polyester fleece and comes in loads of colors and designs. If you're heading to a colder climate, I would 110% recommend it.
Reversible Napsack: $150
This is another item on my wish list. If I'm going to have an enjoyable camping trip, I must be cozy and warm. This Poler Napsack is just the solution. Essentially, it's a wearable sleeping bag that had zippered shoulders (so you can still use your arms) and a drawcord at the bottom so you can shorten the length of the sleeping bag and walk around. Absolutely amazing and perfect for lounging.
(via Poler Stuff)
Thermarest Compressible Pillow: $29.95
Again, when you go camping, comfort is key. The first few times I went I didn't bring a pillow and was totally miserable. I just invested in a compressible pillow and I am absolutely obsessed—it's almost as comfortable as my own pillow at home! I'd check out this Thermarest Compressible Pillow which comes in a few colorful designs.
(via Poler Stuff)
Retro Camp Vibes Hat: $32.95
I wasn't a hat person until I started camping, and now I cannot get enough. Not only do they shade your eyes and protect your scalp, they can be amazingly cute. This Camp Vibes cap is proof.
(via Poler Stuff)
Camera Strap: $29
I haven't invested in a nice camera quite yet, but when I do, this colorful camera strap will be the first accessory I purchase. It's made with heavy duty climbing rope so it will stay secure around your neck through your many adventures.
TE14 Headlamp: $50
When I first started camping, I didn't realize how frequently headlamps are used. In my mind, they were only utilized for caving trips or intense night time hikes. I've learned now that they're perfect for walking around the campsite in the dark and getting up for late night bathroom trips. I have a plain black headlamp, but this TE14 one is on my wish list as well.
ENO Double Nest Hammock: $89.95
Don't like tents, or just want a cool hangout area during your trip? You need a hammock. ENO makes great quality ones that are so fun to hang up between trees.
ENO Twilights LED String Lights: $19.95
If you want to amp up the fun factor of your hammock, get these ENO Twilights LED String Lights. You can hang them up in your hammock and make your sleeping nest glow like the night sky.
Evrgrn Pendleton Campfire Rocker: $109.93
If you want the comfiest campfire situation, I highly recommend getting a chair of some sort. I have a collapsible chair, but I'm completely in love with this rocker. How amazing?!
BioLite CampStove: $129.95
Okay, this one is a bit of a big ticket purchase, but I still want it and would recommend it, nevertheless. Although you should leave the fire-handling to your parents, suggest they invest in this super cool BioLite CampStove. This thing creates a smokeless fire which will allow you to cook meals, make coffee and—get this—turn heat into electricity. You can charge your iPhone with this bad boy. Oh, technology.
(via BioLite Energy)
If you're ready and eager to go camping, but have no idea where to go, check out THESE amazing campsites across the U.S.