Don't Leave Home Without It

Why rough it? This deluxe garageload of gear makes car camping a home-in-the-woods blast.

Dec 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Front to Back: Eureka! tent, L.L. Bean sleeping bag, and Slumberjack cot; Byer table and ARB fridge; Zodi shower (back right), Lafuma chair, and Paha Qué screen house.

The Eureka! NightScape 6 tent ($530) stands seven-feet-four and boasts nearly 100 square feet of floor space—yet it weighs just 21.6 pounds. Pull the cord hanging from the ceiling and the fly folds back, uncovering a massive screened skylight for stargazing. [ / 800-572-8822 ]

Dining out? The Paha Qué Screen Room ($250) includes roll-down panels so you can block out wind, rays, or less-than-satisfactory views. Roomy enough for a picnic table, it erects in minutes. [ / 888-700-8368 ]

Short of bungeeing your Serta to the roofrack (effective, but arduous), you won't find a more comfortable sleeper than the Slumberjack Big Lux cot ($100); it's nearly as wide as a twin mattress. [ / 800-233-6283 ]

No claustrophobic mummy shape here—the L.L. Bean XL Camp Outfitter ($90) is a proper rectangular sleeping bag, like the one you had as a kid. No, it won't keep you warm in an emergency bivy on a big wall, but this is the bag to pick when comfort is king; the lining is oh-so-comfy Portuguese cotton flannel (in plaid, of course). [ / 800-809-7057 ]

Lafuma's RSX Lounge Chair ($190) poses a serious threat to camping's image as a robust, healthy activity. Crank it upright for eating or, you know, watching nature and stuff, then recline for a nap. [ / 303-527-1460 ]

Cold shower, my ass. Stick the inlet tube of the Zodi Hot Tap DP Continuous Flow Shower ($200) into a lake, flip on the battery-operated pump, fire up the twin burners, and the supply of 100-degree water is limited only by your cache of propane canisters and D-cells. [ / 800-589-2849 ]

There's six inches of tepid water sloshing around in your ice chest. Pathetic. And, thanks to the ARB refrigerator/freezer, no longer a problem. The 41-quart unit ($790) draws a maximum of 3.5 amps on 12 volts, or just plug it in to the outlet at the KOA. [ / 888-427-2872 ]

Hang an enamel coffee pot over your campfire for atmosphere, then plug the Burton 12-Volt Coffee To Go drip brewer ($31) into your cigarette lighter and make yourself a perfect cup. [ / 800-272-8603 ]

Dehydrated beans and beef jerky? Nonsense. Blackened steak and roasted corn is where it's at. The Coleman Propane Party Grill ($50) is perfect for real meals, and it runs off standard propane. [ / 800-835-3278 ]

Spread out a banquet on this four-foot-long wooden Roll Top Camp Table from Byer of Maine ($100)—it's big enough for four people to get sloppy. Diagonal leg braces lend it impressive stability under a load of grits, brisket, and elbows. [ / 800-338-0580 ]

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