The best camping gear for people who hate camping

These things will help make being in the great outdoors a bit more bearable.

The best camping gear for people who hate camping

I’m not a camper. I’m not one to sacrifice a hot shower or a comfortable bed just to spend time outside. But with the beautiful weather lately, the fresh air beckons, and sometimes you really do need to get out of the city and spend a little time roughing it.


For those who crave a dose of nature but cringe at the idea of bugs, dirt, and sleeping on the ground, here are a few products designed to make camping a lot more tolerable.

[Photo: Snow Peak]

A portable futon so you can lounge in comfort

Forget the classic camping folding chairs, you’re going to want to sit on something that’s actually comfortable. Go for Snow Peak’s Campfield futon. It creates a full couch for lounging, but has adjustable parts, which means the futon can also be split into two chairs and a table, or even a full bed. $749.95

[Photo: Yeti]

A cooler for stocking your whole kitchen

You’re going to want an easy way to pack and carry all the food and booze you’re accustomed to at home. Yeti’s Tundra Haul is the only one of the cult cooler brand’s products to come with wheels for easy portability. It’s pricy, but worth it; Yeti’s coolers consistently get rave reviews. Who wants to carry a full-sized cooler through the woods when you can roll it? $399.99

[Photo: BioLite]

A firepit for people who can’t start a fire

If you’re an outdoor noob like me, chances are you have no idea how to start a fire. BioLite’s FirePit solves that problem: pop a few campfire logs into its wood-burning cavity, and voila! A perfect fire, without any of that pesky smoke. The FirePit uses a rechargeable battery-powered fan to feed and control the flames, which can run for five to 30 hours, depending on its speed (there’s also a USB charging port so you can charge your phone from the Pit as well). You can even add a hibachi style grill on top, or just jab your marshmallows directly into the flames—the size of which you can control via an app on your phone. The FirePit is available on BioLite’s website. $199.95

[Photo: Lodge Cast Iron]

A clever cast iron for grilling up gourmet camp food

Now that you’ve got the fire going, you’re going to need something to cook with. Lodge Cast Iron’s Cook-It-All kit has two pieces of iron—a reversible grill that doubles as a lid, and a 6.8-quart skillet that turns into a domed lid for baking. With just these two pieces, you can grill some filet mignon, make stir fry, and even whip up a pizza. Hello gourmet camp food. $180

[Photo: courtesy MoMA]

An adorable lantern that doubles as a bluetooth speaker

A lantern is crucial to create that cozy campfire ambiance. Try this retro model, sold at the MoMA Design Store, for $110. It not only looks stylish, it plays music too, doubling as a bluetooth speaker. It can play and stay lit for up to seven hours on a single charge.

[Photo: Airstream]

A comfy camper that keeps you connected

Rather than slumming it in an uncomfortable tent, you can always opt for a 2019 Classic Airstream camper outfitted with Smart Control technology. Using an app, you’ll be able to turn on the camper’s lights, open and close your awning, and set the ideal temperature inside. Importantly, the RV comes equipped with 4G LTE and a wi-fi signal booster (which will be free for the first year). #vanlife, anyone? $153,400 starting

[Photo: Field Notes]

A stylish notebook to record your bad nature poetry

As you’re hanging in your air-conditioned camper after grilling up dinner, you might want to spend some time writing about the incredible experience of being out in nature. Field Notes’s new National Park notebooks is the perfect place to jot down all your embarrassing poetry. The notebooks come in sets of three, with cover illustrations of the different national parks, like Zion, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite. Maybe they’ll even inspire you to brave the bugs and go outside more often. $12.95

[Photo: Pakt]

A portable pourover coffee maker so there are no caffeine sacrifices

When you wake up the next morning, the first thing you’ll want is coffee—good coffee, not camp coffee that’s full of grounds. That’s what the new Pakt pour over coffee kit is designed for: it includes an electric kettle, a double-walled stainless steel mug, a pourover dripper, and a grounds container, all in one neat little package. The kit is currently available on Kickstarter. $124

[Photo: Teva]

Tevas that are actually cute

You know Tevas, the comfy outdoors sandals that have a reputation for being unfathomably ugly? The company has partnered with brands like Outdoor Voices and designers like Anna Sui to turn these outdoors staple into bona fide, fashionable footwear. Consider these printed platform TevasThey even look good with socks. $150

[Photo: Aaron Leitz/courtesy AutoCamp]

And if you really can’t stomach it: there’s always glamping

Sometimes, you need a bit more luxury than camping can really provide, even with all these products available. If that’s the case, you might want to check into AutoCamp, which has a series of glamping sites around California. The company just opened its latest site in Yosemite National Park, which features luxe cabins, tents, and Airstreams, a gorgeous mid-century modern clubhouse, and the ultimate luxury, heated outdoor furniture for those chilly nights. Rooms start at $209.


About the author

Katharine Schwab is the deputy editor of Fast Company's technology section. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable