8 Camping Essentials That'll Make Outdoor Adventures More Comfortable

On those idyllic days of summer, we want to spend "s’more" time camping — especially this year. What’s more magical than a flickering fire under the stars, or spotting a herd of deer traipsing through dewy grass as you sip your morning matcha? Of course, those dreamy scenes comes with a caveat: camping isn't always as picturesque as I just described. From pesky bugs to flimsy tents, sometimes, camping can be anything but relaxing. Thankfully, these must-have camping essentials, as recommended by our expert SwearBy Editors, will make al fresco all the more fun.

Below, everything you need to have a successful and comfortable camping experience.

Merrell Women's Capra Hiking Shoe

That scene in “Wild” where Reese Witherspoon hurls her boot? That won’t be you in these sturdy Merrells.  Says Caitlin Kimmet: “I’ve owned these for four years and they are intensely fantastic. They resist torsion in the sole to provide stability, are completely waterproof, and are comfortable! I love wearing them and definitely can recommend Merrell to anyone, including over pricier and more niche brands.” Just as key: they weigh just over a pound total, and have TrailProtect pads for extra protection from the pesky boulders in your path.

Hedgehouse Toulouse Throwbed

Investing in a portable, tossable bed seems a little “extra,” until you’ve been cooped up in the car with kids for hours and arrive at the campground after the sun goes down. That’s when these throwbeds are more than handy — — they’re a godsend. Says Toni Mason, who has two (one for each child): “They are used all. the. time. for a zillion different reasons: sleepovers, glamping, lazy Sunday mornings, etc. They are chic (they come in so many different patterns for nearly every style) and beyond comfortable. Lay them down on the floor and a kid or two + dog will immediately appear to happily lounge for hours. Plus they quickly and easily roll back up/clean up. Aannnddd … they have washable covers!!”

Lightspeed Outdoors Tall Canopy with Shade Wall

Pop-up tents have a terrible reputation for being flimsy, flighty (as in, actually flying away in the wind), and hard to pitch. This one is the opposite for Sarah Thornton, who calls it one of the easiest popups she’s ever owned and hauls it to the beach and camping. “One person can set it up, it’s not bulky and I can stand up in it. It can handle wind (to a point but I have never reached that point).”

Minimeis G4 Child Shoulder Carrier

Carrying your kiddo on your shoulders is a blast, for about two minutes. Then, you realize you desperately need your hands to get sh&t done, and the fun is over. Enter: the aptly-named Minimeis, which is ideal for toting your tot up a mountain. “This is such a cool product invented by a bunch of Nordic dads,” says Patrice Poltzer.  “This is basically like a chair on your shoulders and all of a sudden you can put your kid on your shoulders but now you have both hands-free. The Euro dads know what’s up!” Can we get one in our size, too?

Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

You no longer have to feel a whiff of guilt diving into pristine alpine lakes with sunscreen on, thanks to Guards Up. The formulation contains all the good stuff (moringa seed extract and sea fennel) with none of the bad. “I am a sunscreen fanatic, but I’m picky when it comes to formulation and texture. This new product blends seamlessly into my skin without leaving a white cast. It’s made with a non-nano zinc oxide, which is the safest kind of zinc for our bodies and the ocean.”—Sara Tan

Nalgene Wide-Mouth Tritan Water Bottle

Remember when Nalgene’s were as required on college campuses as laptops? Camping is the perfect excuse to invest in one again. “My Nalgene bottle never leaks, even when I accidentally put it into my bag upside down!” says Tiffany Yuen. “It holds 32 oz of water, so it’s a good bottle to bring along on a hike.”

FBOMB Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter

Little induces hunger more than slogging uphill for hours in the summer sun—and trail mix just doesn’t cut it. Emily Manatan has the answer:  “This FBomb Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter has saved my macros more times than I can count. It is downright delectable and satisfies my sweet tooth without kicking me out of ketosis and even provides sustained energy. It’s absolutely delicious!” 

Noshinku Bergamot Hand Sanitizer

Even when enjoying mother nature, we need a little help to keep germ-free. That’s where hand sanitizers come in, but none are as chic or compact as Noshinku’s.  “It is exceptionally hydrating, germ-fighting formula inside is the added bonus. It leaves your hands feeling clean, but not in that stripped of every ounce of moisture way. The formula is spiked with a trio of hydrating oils — Rosa Canina, Argan, and Jojoba– that help to soothe and clean.” says Lindsay Colameo 

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.