I’m an Avid Camper, and These Are the 16 Gear Picks I’m Shopping at Amazon Now While They’re Up to 52% Off
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I may write about fitness and health for a living, but my love of camping didn’t fully develop until adulthood (hard to believe, since it’s one of my favorite activities now). But after a few excursions in my 20s — leaving my city-dweller confines of Manhattan to explore the trails of Utah, California, and Colorado — I was hooked.
Living in Colorado for the past four years, my love for camping has only grown. I love the freedom — getting away from all the noise and lights and spending quiet, peaceful nights under the stars. I love the variety — being able to pitch a tent down a red dirt road or in lush green forests. I’ve seen places that feel completely untouched by humans, and delighted in being completely detached and unavailable to the real world.
In my experience, there are two main kinds of camping: backpacking and car camping. The first is all about packing light. You’ll carry everything you need on your back until you reach your destination — which can be miles at a time and packs that weigh more than 40 pounds. Car camping by comparison is pretty luxe. You still might pitch a tent in a remote spot (you’re not relegated to only campgrounds), but you’re never too far from your car, so you can load up with a lot of stuff that makes living outdoors a whole lot more cozy.
Whether you’re backpacking or car camping, the things you bring with you really can make or break your trip. Luckily for campers, Amazon has some fantastic deals on outdoor gear just in time for the summer camping season. From a six-person tent to a Yeti cooler to keep all your essentials cool for days and a hiking headlamp that’s 52 percent off, here are my expert picks for some of the best summer camping deals you can find at Amazon to upgrade any outdoor adventure — starting at just $15.
Related:The Best Camping Chairs of 2023, Tested by Outdoor Experts
Core 6-person Camping Tent
Arguably the most important piece of camping gear you choose is your tent. It’s your temporary home base after a day of exploring, your shelter from the elements — and one that’s high-quality and easy to set up makes all the difference in the success of your outing. This Core 6-person tent is not only roomy enough for your whole group, but it’s also on sale right now for almost 40 percent off. And, if you have a bigger group, they also have a 9-person on sale for under $100.
To buy: amazon.com, $80 (originally $130)
Kelty Coyote 65-105 Liter Backpack
New to backpacking? This is the pack you want to get. The first thing you’ll notice is how comfortable it is — which is not always the feeling you’re feeling the first time you’re carrying a super heavy pack for miles on end. The adjustable suspension system allows you to customize the fit to your body type, which makes a huge difference on the trail. Even with a heavier load, the padding is thick and supportive, putting zero stress on your hips, back, and shoulders. It has enough volume to contain all your gear for a multiday hike without being outrageously bulky, and comes in at a price point that is hard to beat.
To buy: amazon.com, $143 (originally $190)
Lone Peak 7 Hiking Shoes
Footwear is a big consideration when you’re camping, but especially when you’re backpacking. You need a stable and comfortable shoe that will help you haul your heavy pack for miles through uneven terrain. I have used these hikers for just about everything, from early-morning fourteeners to weekend backpacking adventures. Thanks to their unique fit (they are anatomically designed to match your actual foot shape) my toes never feel cramped, and I’ve never gotten a single blister or hot spot. The midsole packs plenty of cushion and comfort, while the outsole offers a stickiness that keeps me feeling stable moving across packed dirt, loose trail, mud, water crossings, and everything in between.
To buy: amazon.com, from $101 (originally $143)
Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler
When you’re car camping, having a big cooler in the back of your car means you can pretty much have a fully stocked fridge anywhere you go. This one has three inches of insulation (and is certified bear-resistant), ensuring that ice does not melt and everything you pack stays cold and fresh for days on end. You can’t beat this quality — or the price. Right now, it’s 40 percent off. One important note: Keep the lid closed as much as possible. The ice-preserving power of its hefty insulation starts to get lost if you’re constantly propping it open and not sealing the lid completely.
To buy: amazon.com, $275 (originally $467)
Coleman Portable Chair Camping Chairs
While it’s fun being one with nature, sitting on rocks while you’re backpacking isn’t the most enjoyable. This chair folds into the size of a large bottle and weighs 3.5 pounds, making it an easy accessory to clip to your pack or toss inside. When you reach your campsite, simply unfold the spring-loaded legs and click it into place for a stable, comfy, above-ground seat that can hold up to 300 pounds. But between us, you don’t need to spend big to get quality folding chairs. This similar style from trusted brand Coleman is just $36 right now.
To buy: amazon.com, $36 (originally $45)
Gintan 9-in-1 Foldable Cutting Board and Knife Set
My main crowd-pleasing dish is campfire nachos made in a dutch oven. (I love this one for its style and amazing lightness, but I would recommend cast iron if you’re cooking over an actual campfire.) This razor-sharp Snow Peak knife and cutting board set has become my must-have outdoor sous chef, allowing me to dice green onions and slice avocados quickly as I prep. Not only is it chic–elevating my campground dinner aesthetic to the next level–but it’s also a breeze to safely stow away thanks to its ingenious design. But I’m also eyeing this highly rated collapsible set with 9-in-1 functionality that’s half the price of my Snow Peak set right now. (Bonus idea: bring it your pack on day hikes for an upgraded mountaintop snack of cheese and apple slices.)
To buy: amazon.com, $25 (originally $33)
Silipint Silicone Lidded Bowls
My other go-to camping meal is fresh pasta salad. Loaded with fresh veggies and a zesty Italian herb dressing, I make it the day before we head out and pack it in a sealable bowl. It stays fresh for days and is the most refreshing lunch or snack after a long day of hiking. This food-grade silicone bowl comes with an airtight lid, making it ideal when we’re bumping around back roads to our campsite. It is also nearly indestructable — it seriously will not break, crack, chip, or scratch — and has a non slip bottom for extra security. (What else do I pack to eat, you ask? My go-tos are $10 pantry lasagna and no-fuss overnight muesli.)
To buy: amazon.com, $46 (originally $55)
Coleman Gas Camping Stove
Before I moved out to Colorado, I absolutely loved the allure of cooking around a campfire. It felt so legit. But after my first summer living in Colorado — where most of the state faces fire bans during camping season (restricting open flames) – I realized it’s not always a feasible option. Enter: a camping stove. Adjustable burners let you get just the right amount of heat without scorching your food, while the side panels help block the wind in less-than-ideal conditions. While you can choose from propane or butane burners, we prefer propane thanks to its ability to work in cold conditions and higher altitudes. (Learned that lesson the hard way.)
To buy: amazon.com, $74 (originally $90)
Explorer K2 Kayak
Last summer, a group of friends scored a solid camping spot outside Rampart Reservoir in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We spent an entire day relaxing down at the water's edge, taking turns paddling out into the water on standup paddleboards and kayaks. It was one of the most memorable weekends of the summer. With more than 25,000 positive reviews at Amazon, this two-person inflatable kayak is a perfect accessory for camping trips where you want to head off dry land.
To buy: amazon.com, $121 (originally $170)
Glerups Natural Wool Shoe With Rubber Sole
After a long day of hiking or setting up camp, I just want to slip off my dirty socks and chill. While sandals are nice, these slip-ons are nicer. Even during the dead of summer, the wool keeps my feet dry and cool while hanging around the campsite. Their just-roomy-enough fit makes them equally as perfect for evenings once the sun goes behind the mountains. Paired with a pair of thick wooly socks, these are my absolute favorite thing to wear around a campfire. I never go camping without them.
To buy: amazon.com, $100 (originally $140)
Kelty Tru.Comfort Doublewide 20 Degree Sleeping Bag
Speaking of summer temps… up in the mountains it can be 20 degrees cooler at night than it is in the nearest lower-elevation city — and sometimes that swing is even greater. Ensuring you have the insulation you need in your tent at night to sleep comfortably is important. Problem is, I sleep hot; he sleeps cool. This dual-sized sleeping bag has been an absolute dream when we’re car camping. Wider than a queen bed, there’s so much room to move, plus it solves our sleeping differences thanks to independent temp-regulating features like dual built-in blankets, a removable top layer, and two-way foot vents.
To buy: amazon.com, $164 (originally $210)
Klymit KSB 20°F Sleeping Bag
When you’re backpacking, you want the warmest but lightest sleeping bag you can find. And trust me, this is one of the best priced options you can find. The down fill delivers top-notch warmth and comfort, plus it packs down to about the size of a piece of paper and weighs less than three pounds.
To buy: amazon.com, $180 (originally $225)
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock
Imagine setting up between two pine trees to just the sounds of the breeze through the trees and birds chirping, taking a leisurely snooze or reading a book in peace. Pretty idyllic, right? That’s why Amazon’s no. 1 best-selling hammock — which has more than 40,000 five-star ratings — is a camping no-brainer.
To buy: amazon.com, $35 with on-site coupon (originally $43)
Baleaf Women’s Hiking Pants
A good pair of water-resistant hiking pants is essential for camping trips, and Amazon’s no. 1 best-sellers fit the bill. They’re also UPF 50+, protecting you from the sun, and they have zip-closure pockets to keep your belongings safe when you’re hiking.
To buy: amazon.com, $35 (originally $50)
A headlamp is essential equipment for campers. From cooking dinner after sunset to early-morning hike starts, having a hands-free light can make moving around in the dark so much easier. This Biolite lightweight headlamp sits flush across your forehead, which feels way more comfortable than other models I’ve used, and doesn’t bounce or slip at all. It can last up to 40 hours and recharges quickly using a powerbank or USB source. Plus, it’s on sale at Amazon for its lowest price in 30 days at $38, so it’s a great time to pick one up. For even more of a deal, check out this similar Amazon best-seller that’s 52 percent off right now.
To buy: amazon.com, $15 for 2-pack (originally $30)
CamelBak Crux 2-Liter Water Reservoir
Wherever your camping adventure takes you, you must bring water. (Seriously. Don’t be the person who doesn’t pack water.) I love how easy this reservoir is to fix into any backpack–making it versatile for long backpacking treks or shorter day hikes. It’s so reliable. The ergonomic design of the handle makes it extremely easy to fill fast and seal tight. I’ve seriously never had a single drip or leak in all the years I’ve been using this reservoir.
To buy: amazon.com, $29 (originally $37)
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