Gear: Base Camp Essentials

The Best Gear for SUP Car Camping

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
What can we say that “black hole” doesn't? Ninety liters is a lot of capacity and will hold most of your gear for a camping weekend. And while the Black Hole isn't waterproof, its durable, water-repellent build is highly weatherproof and tough. The daisy chains on the outside will strap to the roof of your car, the top pockets add just enough organization and the main compartment eats gear like a … you know. Tough, functional and large: everything a paddler needs for storage when out on the road.

NRS River Bed
$150 NRS.COM
If you car camp often and have never slept on a River Bed, do yourself a favor. These pads are made of the same waterproof PVC as rafts, allowing you to sleep on rocky gravel bars and stick-strewn forests without worrying about the pad getting holes. Not to mention the foam that gives the pad all the comfort you need after a long day of paddling. River Beds don't pack down very small, but that's a minor concession when car camping.

Camp Chef Everest
The Everest by Camp Chef has one of the highest heat outputs (2,000 BTUs) of any two-burner camp stove on the market, boiling water in just a few minutes, while still turning down and simmering simple camp meals such as curry. With all that heat, you'll want to be careful around kids and plastic because the metal body of the stove does get hot. An extra-large grilling area, stainless steel build and effective wind shields make this a functional and integral piece of camp equipment.

Yeti Hopper 30
OK, so Yeti's newest offering is an expensive soft-sided cooler. But, if you've ever used a Yeti product, you know they build some of the toughest ice chests out there. The Hopper is no exception. The zipper is resilient: like fully-waterproof, totally airtight, lift-the-cooler-by-it-resilient, meaning the cold doesn't get out and nothing gets in. It's also made of comparable material to whitewater rafts, which is waterproof, tough to scrape or poke and UV-resistant. The seams on the cooler are welded, eliminating drafty spots and preventing rips. It also holds ice for 24 hours.

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock
"Once you go hammock, you never go back." a proselytizing hammock friend told me a few years ago. When I finally spent a three-day weekend camping in the DoubleNest, I agreed. There's something right about hanging in the air. It's easier on your body, more comfortable. Plus, this hammock is made for two. We wouldn't do all-nighters with a date but naps are excellent. And when it's just you, the DoubleNest is large enough to fold fabric around your entire body to keep the bugs out. And it only takes a second to set up.

This review originally ran in our Fall 2014 issue.

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