Labor Day weekend is right around the corner. And while you may have forgotten up to this point, there’s still time to plan a proper camping trip. One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday is to pack up your car with all the gear you need for a weekend away, and head to the backcountry. It might be too late to book a hotel, but it’s not too late to sleep in your car — or in a tent.
To help you get started, we created a list of some of the goods you’ll need for a weekend in the woods.
EcoVessel Double Barrel Insulated Coffee Mug
This double-wall insulated stainless steel mug works as a vessel for your coffee in the mornings and for your drink of choice at night. The open/close slider lid keeps both hot and cold inside and is BPA-free. The handle on this mug makes it feel like you’re in your kitchen or on your patio sipping vino or a cup of cold brew, but with much better views.
Pelican 50QT Elite Cooler
When you have a car, a hard cooler is easier to pack and store in your trunk. It also doubles as extra seating if your party grows during the weekend. You can quickly pack a weekend’s worth of food in this 50-quart — be sure to come with a plan.
Red Paddle Co. 9’8″ Ride MSL
An inflatable SUP board might not be at the top of your list, but if you have one or are interested in one, now’s a good time to check it out. This beginner board is stable, yet easy to turn. Pop it in the trunk of your car, then carry it on your back to the closest body of water once you hit your destination.
Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Blanket – R100
Camp blankets are all the rage these days, and the new NanoLoft Puffy is Rumpl’s first foray into synthetic insulation that’s 100 percent post-consumer recycled. The fabric is still ripstop with a DWR finish, weighing slightly less than the original at 1.8 pounds (down from 2.1 pounds). Warm and comfy on cool nights, too.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent
A two-person tent built for three seasons that’s also on sale is an excellent place to start. It’s freestanding so you can take it anywhere, and the 20-denier ripstop nylon fly and body will hold up to just about anything — tack that onto a 30-denier ripstop nylon floor and even your dog can hang out inside your tent without a worry.
Fjällräven Skule Two Season Sleeping Bag
Depending on where you live, this sleeping bag can last you for more than just two seasons. It’ll keep you warm down to 45 degrees. The synthetic microloft insulation will retain its heat-keeping capabilities even if gets wet. And if you decide to sleep in your car, this bag will certainly do the trick. A two-way zipper is an essential and the internal pockets will keep your phone close, but not lost in the bag the next morning.
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Sleeping Pad
If you plan to sleep on the ground, you’re going to need a sleeping pad to make it semi-comfortable. This one weighs just under two pounds, so if you’re hiking in somewhere, it’s easy to carry. The 40-denier ripstop nylon will hold up to under-the-stars evenings and the air dump port means it’s a breeze to pack up and get moving the next morning.
Helinox Camp Chair
A best-selling camp chair, now 25 percent off. The addition of a camp chair to your backcountry kit is invaluable. You no longer have to worry about finding a stump to sit on, and you can wander away from the car to enjoy a seat anywhere — maybe even overlooking a waterfall or a tree-covered nook.
Hydro Flask 32-ounce Wide Mouth Water Bottle
32-ounces is a solid size to bring with you into the woods. The wide mouth top means you can fit ice cubes inside, and the TempShield insulation will keep your beverage cold for up to 24 hours. The flexible loop on the lid is easy to grab and attach to bags or backpacks.