The Ultimate Camp Kitchen.
In order to cook outside almost nighty, we had to gear up with quality outdoor kitchen ware.
The Table A table might seem like a simple thing, but it has proved a conundrum.
The pros: the bamboo is durable and looks great; it swivels open and closed easily; once erected, it’s as unfaltering as your home table; it has a simple carrying case to protect it.
Even bring your camp chairs to the store with you, as it’s the only way you’ll know what works.
I like a good knife when I’m cooking, but I didn’t necessarily want my fine home stuff bouncing around the inside of a drawer.
Then I found the Snowpeak Cutting Board Set L ($56).
It works great, and I wouldn’t trade it.
We use it basically as much as the cast iron, and though I feel as though I should get rid of one or the other, all three pieces fit in their cabinet, so, for now, I’m hanging onto both.
The Totally Essential Ice Cream Ball I hate clutter and never would have bought it, but we received the Industrial Rev Softshell Ice Cream Ball ($35) for a Christmas gift this year, and truthfully, I’ve come to love it.
We wanted to capture some of that freshness in a camping meal, so we decided to make our version of pasta primavera.
Featuring lightly cooked vegetables, goat cheese and a squeeze of tart sunshiny lemon, this dish has a wonderfully bright flavor that perfectly complements the season.
For your next camping trip, give this summertime-fresh meal a try!
Makes 2 servings Total time: 30 minutes 1 zucchini 1 yellow summer squash 8-10 cherry tomatoes 2 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 oz.
Once hot, add the vegetables and sauté until the squash is soft, about 8 minutes.
Add the dry pasta and salt to the skillet with just enough water to cover.
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and cook uncovered until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes (this time may vary depending on the pasta you use).
Once the pasta has cooked to your satisfaction, remove the skillet from the heat.
Stir in the goat cheese to coat the pasta.
Add the vegetables back into the skillet and stir to combine.
Maybe you feel a little trickle on your skin, or you see rain soaking into your jacket where it used to bead right off.
What went wrong?
Even the best-built shells lose some water-repellency over time.
But that DWR finish wears off as the garment rubs against rocks or backpack straps.
A new high-performance DWR, called Altopel F3, which by the way contains no perfluorocarbons, is currently being field-tested by several outdoor brands to make sure it meets their durability standards and most importantly your DWR performance needs.
But until such shells hit market, you can prolong the life, just a little, of your current jacket until you are ready to buy a new one.
Wash Away Dirt Laundering your shell lifts away dirt and oils that may be smothering the DWR molecules embedded in the fabric.
But machine-washing is also abrasive, so don’t clean garments unless you suspect that dirt is inhibiting performance.
When you do decide to invest in a new shell, do some research on the new innovations in DWR.
A little research goes a long way toward making sure your jacket meets your standards for durability and sustainability.
My daughter, Nora, spotted the treehouse from across the field.
We were camping on California’s Sonoma Coast and the treehouse, a weathered wooden platform about the size of a two-person tent, sat perched in a giant oak not far from our campsite.
What is this mysterious treehouse that pops up in minutes?
The TreePod is just one example of a new and growing market of so-called suspension tents—hanging, above-the-ground shelters like hammocks, car-rooftop-tents and tree tents.
“This elevates your camping,” Bottome said.
You may want this tent on your next camping trip if you’re going to a place known for decent-sized trees and terrain that’s marshy or good snake or tick habitat.
That way, you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect place to pitch your tent—just pick three sturdy well-spaced trees and you’re set for the night.
The Yakima SkyRise 3 rooftop tent is a spacious, easy-to-assemble three-person tent that you access via a ladder.
As for my daughter, she loves bugs.
But she also loves having her own private space—whether we’re camping or just playing in the backyard—and an elevated view of the world.
A Pocketknife So Good It Hasn’t Changed in 62 Years.
With its carbon-steel blade and elegant beechwood handle, the knife has undergone only one adjustment since then: a locking ring, to hold the blade in place, added in 1955.
The Opinel ($15) may look like something people carry only for its antique appeal, but there’s a reason you can find these tools at REI and Patagonia.
Opinel knives come with a blade you could probably shave with, made from a thin stainless steel that’s easy to sharpen.
(With a little ingenuity, I once was able to whet mine using the edge of a magazine and some toothpaste.)
The locking key allows you to fix the blade or lock it shut.
Over the final few days of my trip through the South, I used it for all manner of food preparation, from meat cutting to oyster shucking, in addition to electric-wire stripping, tire-hole repair, mud scraping, screwing, and unscrewing.
The knife has become a travel talisman for me; all it wants to do is serve.
Luckily, the Opinel is also very serviceable itself.
If you’re in a country that has banned locking knives in public, you can simply pop off the locking ring.
Can You Unplug for 100 Hours This Summer?
Can you unplug for that long?
OARS, one of the largest rafting companies in the world, is asking you and your family to do just that with the #100HoursUnplugged Challenge.
How to participate?
That can equal a long weekend camping trip, multiple summer hikes, or two hours having fun in your yard or neighborhood park every afternoon for seven weeks.
The challenge is meant to be doable, and OARS intentionally launched the campaign during the summer when families often take their vacations.
Children eight to 18 years old spend between six to nine hours a day consuming media, excluding screen time for schoolwork.
Now television lures the young ones in and sets them down for hours and hours every week.” Not much has changed, except that in addition to television, now computers, smartphones, and tablets compete for children’s attention (although television still dominates).
As Richard Louv, the co-founder of the Children and Nature Outdoors Network and author of several books about connecting families to nature wrote, “The truth is we’ve always used technology to get outside.
Families that participate in the challenge get to decide what going “unplugged” means to them—whether that’s going into “airplane mode” or disconnecting from digital devices entirely.
The World’s Most Portable Gear.
With that in mind, we compiled a list of space-conscious outdoor accessories that don’t just fit in your carry-on—they could fit in your pants pocket.
Stow it in your running or hiking shorts and whip it out for full-on protection when the weather turns.
The PNW Sea to Sky pack ($89) Bringing an extra pack on any mission can turn into a travel nightmare.
Unfolded, this 24-liter Cordura beast is fully waterproof.
Yes, wallets are generally designed to fit in your pocket—but the Night Out Wallet has streamlined the billfold, offering a minimalist approach with just an ID pouch and a pocket for bills and cards.
Leatherman Style PS multitool ($25) Whether it’s cutting a strip of gauze or unscrewing the back of a GPS monitor, multi-tools have saved more adventures than everything else in our packs combined.
Unfortunately, carrying a multitool can get a bit tricky when going through airport security, and more than a few of us have lost our trusty tool companions in transit.
Luckily, Leatherman thought ahead with its Style PS, a TSA-compliant mini version that features a screwdriver, scissors, and five other tools at your beck and call—wherever the road (or flight plan) leads.
Mpowerd Luci EMRG lantern ($15) If you don’t know about the Mpowerd’s Luci portable lanterns, study up.