Everyone who loves camping knows there’s a number of essential items that you need to have on your camping trip: some kind of shelter (tarp, tent, camper, RV), some cooking utensils (stove, pot, dishes, roasting sticks), warm clothes and sleeping bags, and your choice of food and drink.

There are a few items we would add to the list of essentials, not necessarily because they’re essential, but because they totally dial up the FUN and enjoyment of your camping experience.

For starters, especially if you’re back-country camping and nowhere near a good swimming hole, try out the Sea to Summit pocket shower. Few things are better than a warm shower after a day spent hiking in the wilderness. The Sea to Summit pocket shower is made of waterproof fabric with a compact shower head built into the base that features a twist spout for adjusting the flow of water. It contains 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of water and can be hung from its two D-rings with the long, lightweight cord that’s provided. The black fabric soaks up sun during the day at basecamp so you can enjoy a warm shower on your return to camp. The Sea to Summit shower is compact and light, and zips into a pouch that weighs just 4.25 ounces. With the shower head fully open, your 10 liters of water will give you an eight-minute shower. For those of you who love versatility, the pocket shower can also be used as a dry sack to keep your clothes or sleeping bag warm and dry.

Not all roasting sticks are created equal. Imagine Camping has created a Fireside Fork that is a revolutionary campfire and BBQ roasting stick. It’s made for the outdoor lover who wants their outdoor cooking experience to be fun AND safe. Made with high-grade aluminum, the Fireside Fork cools 15 times faster than other stainless steel roasting sticks. With adjustable wooden handles and separating extension pieces, you can customize the perfect length. A sliding wood handle gives better grip when roasting, and makes taking food off the fork easy. The extension rods and forks are washable. The Fireside Forks are compact and portable – simply separate the extension pieces and zip up the case, and you’re ready for your next adventure. Nylon zippered cases are available in four different colours including the most popular, camouflage, and you can even have your name engraved on the heat-resistant wood handle. The Fireside Fork, with the large fork attachments, lets you BBQ or cook kabobs, corn on the cob, or baked potatoes right on the roasting stick. The Mini Fork attachment lets you easily roast smaller items such as hot dogs and marshmallows. These are currently being sold on the Imagine Camping website, on Amazon.com and on Amazon.ca. Imagine Camping has prototypes for a Rotisserie Kit (allowing you to cook hands-free using a standard drill), a basket attachment (for cooking steak, seafood and vegetables) and a popcorn maker attachment.

One of the reasons summer camping is so enjoyable is because the nights are short and the days long, especially in more northern climes. Regardless, when it gets dark, you want to see and the Zippo rugged lantern not only provides a range of brightness, it is also heavy-duty with rubber corners that allow it to withstand up to a 5-foot drop. In case of an emergency, the rugged lantern also has an emergency SOS setting. It’s made from vertical stainless-steel tubes and has a built-in lithium-ion battery that provides from 12 to 59 hours of light, depending on the brightness setting. It includes a 120v ac wall charger for recharging the battery. With the flexible and detachable carry handle, you can tote the lantern while you walk or hang it up at camp. It’s also water resistant and will stay alight while floating. The price matches its value.

When you’re having your outdoor adventure, you never know what you might encounter. To be prepared and have all the tools you need, keep the Victorinox Swiss Army Champ Pocket Knife on hand. Every outdoor lover has heard of, or already owns, a Swiss Army knife, but this one takes the concept of a handy pocket knife to a whole new level. Its features include: a large knife blade, small knife blade, can opener, bottle opener, small screwdriver, large screwdriver, fine screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, mini screwdriver, corkscrew, wire stripper, reamer, sewing eye, punch, tweezers, plastic toothpick, scissors, hook, wood saw, fish scaler, fish hook disgorger, ruler, nail file, nail cleaner, metal file, metal saw, chisel, pliers, wire cutter, magnifying glass, ballpoint pen, and pin. Hikers, hunters, fishers and gadget geeks will love having a toolbox small enough to fit into a pocket or attach to a key ring. Even better, in Swiss Army tradition, this 32-tooled pocket knife comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.

Lastly, for those of you who love to replicate your favorite at-home meals when you’re cooking over a campfire, try out the Rome Industries Chuck Wagon waffle pan. This cast iron waffle iron, made by family camping cookware specialists, Rome Industries, has removable 16-inch wood-and-steel handles for use on a BBQ or on a campfire grill. The pan makes traditional 6-inch diameter round waffles that will truly enhance your camping breakfast experience, and it’s reasonably priced.

Regardless of the tools and devices you use on your outdoor adventure, have FUN, stay safe, and enjoy your next wilderness adventure.

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