With summer just around the corner, I have camping and hiking on the brain. Although I’ve transitioned to more local/car camping trips, I still look forward to quality gear that is easy to set up and ultra light weight. I’ve found the best of the best and I can’t wait to take Athena on her first official camping weekend.
Big Agnes’s Copper Spur UL3 is just right in almost every camping situation. At 3lb 14oz and plenty of space, it beats out the competition where it matters most. The Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight 3-Person 3-Season Tent gives you enough room to move at night without adding too much weight to your pack. Thanks to gram-saving poles and a silicone-treated, ultralight nylon rainfly, it offers 44 sq. ft. of space at an ultralight weight. The lightweight hubs, featherlite pole system with press fit connectors, color-coded rainfly attachments, and curved clips make the Copper Spur quick and easy to pitch, while abundant mesh, two roof vents, and good cross-ventilation kept warm nights cool and cold nights condensation-free ($499.95; www.bigagnes.com/).
Camp Cooking is made easy with the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper. Tucked inside its tidy nest are settings for four, including mugs, bowls, and plates. Its three-liter pot, two-liter pot, and nine-inch frying pan are coated with three-layer Teflon. The lids are strainers and everything is color coded. While it’s designed for car camping, not backpacking, it tips the scales at a mere four pounds ($120; www.gsioutdoors.com).
This weekender 40L panel loader is built with durable, lightweight high tenacity nylon and loads of ergonomic features ensuring years of fast, light, and comfortable use. The Breezeway trampoline suspension backpanel sports a coated mesh sling for increased airflow, DWR coated airmesh foam for increased breathability, and innovative ICS Cup (Illiac Crest Shelf) hipbelt that transfers and locks the pack load onto the hips for increased stability. To round out the comfort and optimal load transfer, the Phantom includes a Lumbar Control Point pad on the lower backpanel to fully secure the pack load. Take the Phantom 40L out on the trail for weekend trek or load it up and toss it in the trunk for your car camping adventure. My favorite part… the easy-access zippered front panel sized to fit all the essentials ($149.95; http://www.mountainsmith.com/).
A great on-the-go lantern for any camping trip or hike, the SmartLite from Highgear features a rechargeable battery via USB along with a back-up power hand crank. The Smartlite is a portable powerhouse capable of throwing a lot of light. Just plug it into your computer and recharge the battery by USB; it doesn’t get any better than that ($35.00; http://www.highgear.com/).