12 Life-Changing Camping Products for Your Next Big Trip

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Summer is always camping season, but this summer is bound to be campier than ever. National park officials are expecting an influx of campers, since the great outdoors and road trips offer fewer health risks than other travel options. Whether you already love the tent life or you're rolling out your sleeping bag for the first time, there are certain items that are guaranteed to improve your camping experience. From a lantern-speaker hybrid to a breezy hammock that easily hangs from the trees, we've found the upgrades that will truly elevate any campsite.

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1. REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent, $499

You may already own a tent, but this tent is probably bigger and better. The Kingdom 6 is so spacious that it can be divided into two rooms, so sleeping and daytime areas can be separated. The luxurious tent has vertical walls and a rectangular floor plan to maximize the interior, as well as mesh paneling for ventilation and views of the surrounding natural beauty. Plus, it's made of high-quality fabric and poles that ensure stability and durability.

This sleeping bag does it all. It works for both camping and backpacking, offers down insulation at an extremely reasonable price, and compresses quite impressively. It's also relatively lightweight, super silky, and environmentally friendly. If you're in the market for a sleeping bag, this one is a no-brainer.

As comfortable as your sleeping bag may be, the ground itself is extremely hard. An outdoor mattress or sleeping pad is a must in order to get quality rest while camping. This self-inflating, foam mattress is 4.5 inches thick, so you'll have all the support you need. Two dedicated valves make it both easy and quick to inflate and deflate.

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The art of campfire chilling is only enhanced by the perfect chair. Such a superlative seat exists and it is called the King Kong. A large, extremely padded chair, it's the most comfortable one you'll find. If pleasurable sitting is your end game, this chair will achieve it. Do note, however, that it's fairly heavy compared to others because with great comfort comes a little extra weight.

This product combines two camping essentials into one. Portable light and music are both key elements of the experience and this lantern-speaker hybrid provides both expertly. On the illumination front, there are three light modes and a 360-degree beam range. Wireless Bluetooth technology allows for easy sound streaming. The entire piece is water-resistant and can be toted around by its trusty handle.

Every camper needs an Eno hammock. There is simply nothing more relaxing than laying beneath a canopy of leaves, suspended in the air. It's the perfect post-hike spot to put your feet up and have a light swing. All you have to do is wrap the cables around two tree trunks and you're set to hang.

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Hands-free light is an underrated treasure when you're in the middle of the woods at night. This waterproof headlamp is light and bright, which is really all you can ask for. The design is compact, efficient, and comfortable, and the battery lasts for an incredibly long time.

Yeti is known for its preeminent coolers and this backpack iteration is no exception. Since some campsites aren't drive-up accessible, a heavy hard cooler isn't always the most practical option. While the Hopper BackFlip isn't quite as roomy as a Roadie or Tundra, it's easy to carry on your back with ergonomically distributed weight. It's the best, most mobile way to keep your food and drinks cold as can be.

Once you're able to transport your food, you need to be able to cook it. Of course, a handy stick over the fire will work for hotdogs and sausages, but we like to get a little more sophisticated with our al fresco meals. This simple gas camping stove is powered by propane and offers consistent, effective heat. Back and side panels shield the two burners from the wind, so you can cook in all the elements.

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Ideal for a camping stove or cooking directly on the fire, this four-piece, Japanese titanium cookware set nests together and fits in any backpack. The combination of two pots and two pans can create limitless meals among nature.

Though Gerber is famous for baby food, the company also makes fantastic tools for cooking and eating in the outdoors. The ComplEAT includes a spoon, fork, dual-sided spatula, and multi-function piece that acts as a can opener, vegetable peeler, bottle opener, and serrated edge. These items also nest together, requiring very minimal storage.

Though some campers prefer to forego a shower, an outdoor shower is quite the added luxury. This five-gallon solar shower is powered by the heat of the sun, so you can have a healthy stream of hot water. It easily hangs off a tree or RV so the shower can rain down from above.

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Morgan Goldberg is a writer based in Los Angeles. She likes pasta, hiking, and crossword puzzles.

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