Not every backpacking trip has to resemble an episode of Alone (where contestants bring only ten items to last them a hundred days), and you don’t have to sacrifice comfort if you’re only backpacking for a night or two. For shorter backpacking trips, my camping style teeters towards the latter on a scale from grueling to glamping; and when glamping items nowadays are as light as the ones I’ve listed below–you can afford to add a little luxury to your outdoor experience in addition to all your essentials.
To elevate the recovery period between hikes on your next backpacking trip–check out my favorite comfort-camping items below.
1. Coffee & Wine
With foldable wine bags and ultralight coffee pourover sets, you can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee for breakfast and have a bottle of wine for dinner; sacrificing less than a pound to your pack (the GSI Javapress and GSI Backpacker’s Mug together is only .87lbs).
For wine, opt for red over white (or any wine that’s meant to be served at room temperature). To elevate your coffee–choose a dark roast (like Cafe du Monde), and bring a squeeze bottle of condensed milk to make a simple version of Vietnamese Coffee.
2. Sleeping Pad
Having a good night’s rest is crucial to your recovery period after a long day of hiking whether you’re on a multi-day trip, or just need energy to hike out the next morning. Not only do sleeping pads provide a barrier of cushion or air between your back and the cold hard ground to make your nights a little comfier–some pads can also provide heat insulation to your body by reflecting your own body heat back towards you during cold Fall or Winter nights.
Below are a few lightweight, yet durable pads you can rely on.
P.S. The one I own is the extra wide Klymit Luxe Insulated Sleeping Pad, and I love it because 1) it has side rails that cradle you, 2) it’s patented V-design is mapped to your body and 3) it’s extra wide for you to roll around in (if you move a lot in your sleep like I do). The cost-friendly, non-insulated version of my pad (great for Summer) is linked above, but the one I own (that’s insulated) can be found on Amazon.
3. Camp Chair
To supplement your recovery gear or to just give you a comfier place to sit instead of the cold, hard ground–bring a light camp chair for a place to relax and cook or stargaze. The chair I own is the ultralight Nemo Stargazer Recliner which I use when I’m cooking, camping, or just sitting on the sidelines of my son and daughter’s soccer games. It’s small enough to not occupy too much room or weight in your pack when backpacking, and to just throw in a large purse or tote on other days.
4. Fire Pit
If you’re backpacking somewhere you can’t have an open or ground fire–bring a small fire pit to warm your nights; or to have a place to cook over a wood flame (if you don’t want to use a gas camp stove). The one I own is a little on the heavier side–but something I like to bring when I want to cook over a real fire with a cast iron–the Wolf & Grizzly Fire Set. You could also opt for just the pit itself if you don’t plan to cook over the fire (or don’t need the grid) to save weight and space.
5. Sleeping Bag Liner
To add a little comfort and luxury to your sleep–envelop yourself in silk or soft fleece with a sleeping liner (in your sleeping bag) that can add up to twenty degrees (F) of more warmth in addition to your sleeping bag’s temperature during Winter nights; or to just sleep in cool, smooth silk during Summer ones.
6. Camp Table
Yes, a table may seem a little unnecessary when there are logs in the woods, but if you bring a lot of food, wine, coffee and snacks like I do–you’ll want a a flat, sturdy and stable space to keep everything off the ground from insects and little rodents. Having a table is also helpful if you’ll use a cutting board (to slice steak, for example), or want a sturdy place to put your cups.
If you’re bringing a camp chair, it’s also nice to have all your food at level with you when you sit and work with it. Below are a few options that are lightweight, sturdy and simple; or come with games to play, and cup holders.
[ Tent Lights (Multi-Colored ones Here) ]
7. Tent Lights
I am obsessed with little fairy tent lights and mini lanterns, because it makes everything look a little more dreamy at night. Yes, you could just hang your head lamp on the ceiling to keep your tent lit when the sun goes down–but why waste your headlamp’s battery for a boring white light when you could turn your tent into a multi-colored disco? (;
Things to consider…
Where to buy
If you’re looking for a place to stock up on camping gear–consider MooseJaw to stretch your dollar by racking up rewards points, and getting 10% back on every order (plus free shipping). Take a quick survey and even get $10 off an order right now (going on for a limited time).
Size & Weight
Of course–wherever you decide to buy your gear from, consider the item’s weight and size when comparing your options to optimize your pack load.
Products I Own & Love
Though I gave several options above–below are the ones I own today and highly recommend fromMooseJaw.
*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made – at no additional cost to you. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Thank you for your support!