Mom used to say, “Roughing it is a black-and-white TV.” Nowadays, roughing it needs not even exist. You can practically fall off the grid and live out of your Jeep for a weekend or longer and take every imaginable creature comfort with you, even down to making sure you’re still connecting to the social media world and its endless supply of selfies. Here’s a look at some must-have camping essentials, from gear to tech.
Fend for Yourself Related
What: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/WaterTight 7 Medical Kit
Features: It’s super lightweight and has enough supplies for four people for up to four days. Bandages, dressing, tape, and more are included. The DryFlex waterproof liners help the bag stay waterproof.
How Much: About $27
Where: sportchalet.com, 888/801-9162
Knife and Machete
What: Kershaw Knives Camp Knife machete series and BlackWash Scrambler knife
Features: The Camp series nets you the option of machetes with 10, 14, or 18-inch blades. Clearing brush or making kindling is a snap. The Scrambler has a drop-point blade with a large flat-ground top swedge, plus SpeedSafe assisted opening.
How Much: Camp Knife starts at $69.99; BlackWash is $64.99
Where: kershaw.kaiusaltd.com, 800/325-2891
What: Renegade by Bubba Rope
Features: The Renegade recovery rope weighs 3 pounds and is 3⁄4 inch by 20 feet long, with a breaking strength of 19,000 pounds. It’s waterproof and abrasion-resistant to boot.
How Much: $129
Where: bubbarope.com, 877/499-8494
What: Redington Topo Outfit
Features: It has a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod, with a pre-spooled reel with line and leader and case. There’s also a spare spool of tippet, nippers, and a box of six flies.
How Much: $199.95
Where: redington.com, 855/378-9420
Saw and Hatchet
What: AEV KantanaBoy folding saw and Ono Camp Hatchet
Features: The folding saw is about 4 feet long and helps with clearing downed trees or dealing with thick, wooded terrain. The blade is taper-ground. The hatchet has a custom-fitted carrying case with matching hole hanger.
How Much: Saw, $192.95; hatchet, $103.95
Where: aev-conversions.com, 248/926-0256
On the Move Related
What: Eddie Bauer Bacon Pack
Features: It’s a summit pack, meaning big and lightweight (1 pound, 7 ounces; 28-liter capacity). It folds into itself for storage, and when in use, it can hold a ton of stuff. There’s breathable cushioning in the back panel.
How Much: $99
Where: eddiebauer.com, 800/426-8020
What: Yakima SkyBox 18 Carbonite
Features: Tool-free installation for your Jeep, and in return, you get 18 cubic feet of storage for hauling gear for what’s probably equal to four campers. There’s a SuperLatch security system, and the design reduces drag.
How Much: $519
Where: yakima.com, 888/925-4621
iPhone Case with Maps
What: Trimble TopoCharger
Features: Simply put, it’s an iPhone case with built-in topo maps. There are 18 zoom levels and parks, public lands, lakes, and more for the asking. State chips are interchangeable.
How Much: Topocharger, $149; additional chips are $69
Where: trimbleoutdoors.com, 408/481-8000
What: Grill Daddy 6 in 1 Camping & Tailgating Grill Set
Features: There’s a stainless-steel fork, spoon, tongs, and spatula, and each has a patented heat shield. The attachments are interchangeable.
How Much: $39.99
Where: buygrilldaddy.com, 203/637-0001
What: BioLite KettlePot
Features: It’s capable of making a pot of coffee, as well as cooking a meal for four -- get it? A kettle and a pot, KettlePot. It’s also stainless steel, so it’s lightweight.
How Much: $49.95
What: Front Runner Spare Tire Mount BRAAI/BBQ Grate
Features: It’s a cooking grate that stores over the spare tire for the ultimate in space savings. The grill is laser-cut stainless steel and weighs 131⁄2 pounds, and fits tires from 29-37 inches.
How Much: $125
Where: frontrunneroutfitters.com, 866/840-0321
What: SternoCandleLamp Folding Stove
Features: Aside from being compact and lightweight, it has a robust cooking surface with aluminum heat-reflecting panels that won’t rust. It weighs 11 ounces and folds to 1-inch thick. Don’t forget the cooking fuels.
How Much: Around $10
Where: sternocandlelamp.com, 877/526-7748
What: Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker Smoker
Features: Besides being portable at just 141⁄2 inches, it offers 286 square inches of cooking space, a built-in lid thermometer, a water pan, and two plated-steel cooking grates.
How Much: $219
Where: weber.com, 800/446-1071
What: Personal water filter
Features: Stop laughing -- one day this could save your life. It uses hollow fiber microfiltration technology to give you safe and clean drinking water from nearly anywhere, including lakes and rivers. It’s 2 ounces, and you’ll get 1,000 liters of clean water via it.
How Much: About $20
Where: buylifestraw.com, 888/451-6752
What: Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler
Features: This can hold around 39 cans. It has extra insulation and dry-ice compatibility to go uber frosty. The hinges are integrated and self-stopping, while the handles are made from marine-grade nylon rope with textured grips.
How Much: $399.99
Where: yeticoolers.com, 512/394-9384
What: Power Tank aluminum mounting bracket
Features: It’s designed to hold 9-inch diameter, 11-pound propane tanks onto trailers, vehicles, or the like. The frame is made of 0.125 aluminum with rubber trim and bumpers at the main contact spots. The latch is lock capable. There are also clamps available for bolting the tank to a JK rollbar.
How Much: $109.95
Where: powertank.com, 209/366-2163
What: Wyoming Trail 4 tent
Features: The three-season tent has a “garage-like vestibule” for gear/extra shelter while you’re in the main cabin. It’s about 15 pounds and the vestibule area is 49 square feet.
How Much: $549.95
Where: bigagnes.com, 877/554-8975
What: Tepui Kukeman XL Ruggedized
Features: Rip-stop fabric. Raw aluminum diamond-plate base panels. Three-bolt heavy-duty hinges. 30-pound density mattress. You get the Ruggedized part now.
How Much: $1,850
Where: tepuitents.com, 800/301-9874
What: Mopar Jeep tent
Features: The tent attaches to Jeeps and the camper can double as a sleeping/interior space, or it can stand alone. There’s an overhead storage net and pockets, as well as two doors and three windows.
How Much: Starts at $155
Rack for Rooftop Tents
What: BajaRack rack
Features: The rack has a flat area for a folding-style rooftop tent and a small basket for gear and fuel. There’s an aluminum wind deflector and construction is carbon steel and black powdercoat. No drilling is needed.
How Much: $1,030
Where: bajarack.com, 888/538-0588
What: Eagles Nest Outfitters JungleNest Hammock
Features: The only thing that could make a hammock better would be if the swaying wasn’t coming from swatting away bugs. This one has insect protection, thanks to being enclosed (with a full-length zipper entry). There are also pockets.
How Much: $99.95
Where: rei.com, 800/426-4840
What: Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Trail Shade
Features: The shade is immediate sun protection, and is made from tent material that expands to 10 by 6 feet. It’s so lightweight, it can go on a hike backpack style, or can be secured to up to a 37-inch tire.
How Much: $59.99
Where: smittybilt.com, 888/717-5797
What: 5 Owls All Weather Personal Shelters
Features: Think of it as a tiny tent. You can keep it open around your head, utilize the canopy portion around your head, or switch it to storm shelter mode.
How Much: Ranges from $349-399
Where: 5owls.net, 855/425-6957
What: Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Fire Starter
Features: It’s only 0.8 ounces, about 3 inches long, and pocket friendly. Break the tool apart, rake the exposed metal flange across the ferrocerium rod. Translation: Fire, good. It’s made of anodized aluminum and has a rubber tip. The IPX4 rating means rain is no problem.
How Much: $25
Where: gerbergear.com, 855/544-0150
What: Zippo Rugged LED Lantern
Features: There’s all sorts of outdoor-friendly features: rubberized corners for if it gets dropped, waterproofing, three levels of brightness, battery power, a pop-up handle for carrying or hanging, and a flashing SOS feature.
How Much: $89.95
Where: zippo.com, 888/442-1932