Christmas List: Camping Gear

News & Tips: Christmas List: Camping Gear

If you have a camper on your Christmas list this year, there's a million different products to make their camp more comfortable. You can choose something as simple as a handy utensil on up to the proverbial kitchen sink!

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Dutch ovens should be a part of all camping cookware, as should cast iron skillets.

Here are some options to get your mind in gear:

  • Camping cookware. You can find all of your pots, pans and cooking utensils to stock up your camp box at your local Bass Pro Shops. Throw in a Havalon Piranta for camp duties.

  • Stoves. You have to have at least one Coleman stove. You may also want a grill so you can properly cook a steak.

  • Jetboil Flash Tomato Cooking System. For backcountry camping you have to check these out. I tested them this summer and they’re great. I can’t believe that more hunters and fishermen don’t have one. (For a quality cup of coffee, grab a the Jetboil Coffee Press to go along with your Jetboil Flash Cooking System.)

  • Dutch ovens. Oh my gosh. I could write a whole list just for Dutch ovens and all the necessary gear to accommodate. Cooking with Dutch ovens adds another dimension to your camp cooking. It takes you back in time to the cowboy days. Lodge makes the best Dutch ovens. They also make all of the essentials, lid lifter, chimney to fire up the charcoal and cook books. Not only is it fun to cook Dutch oven, it’s also great food.

  • Tents. The next must have item of course is a tent. One tent will not cut it. He’ll need backpacking tents, overnight tents and weeklong elk hunting tents. I gave away two and still have at least six tents.

  • Canopies. Canopies are nice to cook and eat under if it’s raining/snowing.

  • Tarps. I always take tarps. I use them to lay under my tent, on the inside floor and to cover gear in camp or to cover firewood.

  • Cots. A good cot will keep him off the cold, hard ground AND he can store gear under the cot which basically doubles your floor space.

  • Sleeping pads. He needs a good pad to sleep on, especially if he’s sleeping on the ground. On a cot it will keep the cold air from seeping up through the bottom.  

  • Sleeping bags. I’ve got at least four different bags to accommodate whatever outdoor activity that I’m doing at the time. Backpacking, summer camping, early winter and extreme winter camping. (For cooler weather, grab a fleece liner and throw in your sleeping bag. It eliminates dead space and improves the warming capacity of your current sleeping bag. I love them.)

  • Tent heaters. For extreme winter camping conditions you need a tent heater. I don’t know whether to classify this as a luxury or as a necessity. I have a 25-year-old Coleman tent heater that I still use but according to all my buddies Mr. Heater now dominates the market. They also use them in their deer blinds and boats.

  • Lanterns. Whoa, don’t forget a lantern or you’ll be in the dark! You have the old school lanterns that use Coleman fuel (I have three) or the newer kind that uses propane bottles. I have to admit, propane is handy. ThermaCELL even entered the market and has a lantern that doubles as a mosquito repellant. Check them out.

  • Flashlights. I love the little Bass Pro Shops LED Camo flashlights. They’re not combat ready but for doodling around camp, reading in the tent etc. they suffice and are cheap. But also take a tactical type to keep in your pack/tent at night. If you have a bear in camp, you want to light up the skies. Just this summer my daughter woke me up and told me that something was rubbing against the side of the tent. Two years ago I had a big bear on the other side of my tent wall. When I crawl out in the dark in my cowboy boots and underwear I want to see what’s happening!