Archive for the ‘Tents & Tent Camping’ Category

Best Weather Radios – Essential Camping Gear

Friday, December 19th, 2008

If the weather outside is frightful, then you’ll find it delightful to have a weather radio with you.

Remember, when you’re camping you usually aren’t sitting in front of a TV so you may not know if severe weather is imminent (or if it is, how severe) or if the clouds are merely bluffing.

That’s why I highly recommend you add a weather radio to your list of essential camping gear. Several GPS devices and handheld radios now include weather radio so you don’t have to get a dedicated unit for the task.

If you get yourself a dedicated pocket weather radio, you’ll be able to keep track of temperature and wind changes throughout the day.

Remember that severe weather can sneak up on the best of us and to remind us of that we only need look at the tragic death of four boyscouts in June of 2008 when a tornado hit their camp.

You can get a weather radio for less than $50, but I’ve picked out a bunch of cool ones below so feel free to browse and decide which one is best for you, but just remember to get one and if the camper in your family doesn’t have one yet, then put this at the top of your list.

Best LED Flashlights – Shed Some Light On It

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

We sure have come a long way since the days of using torches to light our way in the dark. However, with recent advances in luminescence technology, using your old incandescent light bulb flashlight or kerosene lantern is just as barbaric.

If you haven’t taken the time to upgrade your arsenal of portable lights to light emitting diode (LED) technology, then consider this your presidential order to do so.

LED bulbs last thousands of hours (some as much as 11 years if lit continuously) and they stay cool to the touch (i.e. they won’t burn your finger if you touch them), and they use substantially less power to produce light.

Essential Tip: Once you get to the campground, I recommend you carry a pocketknife and flashlight with you at all times, it would be awesome if you could also get one of the Outdoor Hanging Moroccan Lanterns. On the last trip I failed to take my own advice on carrying a flashlight with me and went out for a late afternoon hike sans flashlight. I managed to get myself lost (a common event) with light quickly fading. I eventually happened upon a trail map but by that time it was too dark to read it and I was unsure which direction I needed to go so I proceeded to run on a dark trail hoping I was headed in the right direction… I wasn’t.

Fortunately, I eventually remembered that my iPod Nano would kick out a little light if I held it up close to the trail map, but if I would just have taken my own advice and carried a flashlight in the first place, those several minutes of near panic of being lost in the woods for the evening wouldn’t have happened.

[hops off soapbox]

Here are my top picks for LED flashlights and lanterns to upgrade your outdated flashlights and lanterns. (I’ve even got one that straps to your head for hands free lighting).

Best Tents For Camping

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I remember the first time I went camping in a tent. It was starting to get dark outside and we still had to set up our tent. This tent was definitely old school. There were a lot of parts to put together – it took us nearly an hour to accomplish the task. To further aggravate us, several friends showed up after us, got their tent up, and were sitting around drinking beer long before we finished getting our tent ready to go.

These days, however, that’s all changed. New tents are designed to be light and go up fast – some in as little as 2 seconds – I kid you not, watch this video:

Anyway, in the wide world of tents, you’ve got choices – lots of choices, including cabin tents, easy to find with this lists of the top 10 best cabin tents online. The first thing you need to decide is what you need it for. Do you need a big tent with space for a lot of people? Do you need a tent that is extremely lightweight and easy to carry for a backpacking expedition?

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I’ve picked out some of my favorite tents for families (big enough for a bunch of folks and packed with features) and for individuals (lightweight and easy to setup and take down).