Hey, it’s a Friday and that means that I write about various personal topics. What also is true is that my camping review articles are often among my most popular because of the tips I give to help make camping better. I check out all of the gear that I recommend here.

Most of you know that I frequent the Boundary Waters regularly and camp in remote locations in Florida. So, I put gear to the test. And, as get older and more experienced, I’ve found that good gear matters. This year, I have four new outdoor-oriented items that I’d love to share with you that I’ve used and love! And I think you’ll love them too. If you have ANY questions about any of this, just email me and I’ll get back with you.

My Favorite Tent

eureka taron tentWhat’s the best tent for a family who wants something durable? Eureka replaced my favorite tent with one much better, the Taron Basecamp 6.  The Taron is about as weather-proof as you get, which is what usually ruins camping trips, and it’s spacious!  They make a 4-person one too, but unless you’re backpacking (and maybe if even so!), get the 6-person. It sets up easy, has all the latest bells and whistles – enhanced ventilation, better reflection, and sleeve where you can put an iPad to watch movies in case it rains. You’ll want to buy some heavier-duty stakes and a few more lines to stake/tie it off, but this tent will serve you well if you keep it well-maintained.

Jet Boil Water Systemjet boil

I don’t know why I was late to this party, but once I tried the Jet Boil system, I was hooked. This spring, while the camp was waiting for the propane-powered Coleman drip Coffee Maker (we still like and use this!) to complete its task, I had done three pour-overs and Aero Press, and had heated water to help with cooking breakfast. I love how the Jet Boil packs up and the fuel canisters (you have to buy them separately) last a long time. I am super impressed with this!

Power Up with Anker 20100

anker power upI ran across a sale on the Anker 20100 PowerCore last Christmas, so I grabbed a few and now one goes with me wherever I go. They are large and can charge! I gave one to my co-host Michael on our Christmas episode of 37 the Podcast, and he’s been using it on his trips across Europe this summer. It takes a while to charge up, but that’s because once it IS charged, it will support all the charge needs you will have for the day. I think I’ve purchased four of these for family and friends. For camping, they will keep you and your family’s personal devices supplied … and parents know that makes family camping better.

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller thermacell

People often ask, “What repels mosquitoes?” Well, for years Kel and I have been using this kind of technology in our visits to southern Africa, so I’m very thrilled that it’s available in the US now. Using a pad that heats up, the Thermacell Repeller Device emits a faint odor that is repellent to mosquitoes, black flies, and “midges.” I think it’s even effect against no-see-um’s. While I was getting eaten up around my ankles this March in Florida, the couple camping behind us were out and relaxing because they had two of these going around them. They’re battery powered and so very easy to use.  And they work!

You can get them in all sorts of colors. I have two here ready for mosquito season that starts in a few weeks. I like to sit on the back patio in the evenings to read and write, but the bugs often have other thoughts. So, with two of these going (and I bought the refills too), I’m ready!

So, that’s it! If you love the outdoors like we do, then good gear matters. And these four items have made camping and being outdoors even more enjoyable for me.

Photo by drinkyclown