Life·6 min read

8 Backyard Camping Essentials for All Ages

8 Backyard Camping Essentials for All Ages
Design: theSkimm | Image: Amazon
Jul 29, 2022

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One thing we’ll never get too cool (or too old) for is camping in our backyards. Setting up the tent, roasting marshmallows, and running inside to use the bathroom in the middle of the night are what childhood memories are made of, so why not revisit them as an adult, or with your own kiddos? We’ve rounded up our fave backyard camping essentials for an outdoorsy staycation. (Psst…check out more of our recs for summer essentials and inflatable pools to make the most of the rest of the season.) From backyard fire pits to camping cots, backyard bars, and more, go camping just for the hill of it — without actually needing to hike anywhere. Pass the s’mores, please.

A see-through bubble tent designed to automatically pop open… 

So even the kids can set it up. Simply unwrap the close-string, place the tent where you want it to go, and secure it with sandbags or guylines. This one comes in four different sizes, with the largest able to comfortably fit up to 15 adults and even some pieces of furniture if you really want to go all out. Less than perfect weather? No worries. The tent has excellent heat retention, waterproof covers for rain or snow, and two windows for ventilation. We rec throwing down a tarp, snagging some string lights, and setting up the sleeping bags to look up at the stars. Happy campers, coming right up. ($349+, Amazon)

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A comfy inflatable lounger you can enjoy anywhere… 

It’s self-inflating so there’s no need for a pump. All you have to do is drag it through the air and then quickly close the sleeve when it’s at its fullest. The lounger has a headrest design that supports your neck and upper back and comes in a pouch for easy carrying. Plus it comes in 16 different colors and patterns all made of the same durable and versatile rip-stop polyester. It’s the ultimate camping buddy, whether you’re hanging out in the yard or hitting the trails. ($39.98+, Amazon)

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A two-in-one camping lantern and phone charger…

It’s lightweight, portable, and super handy for serious campers. We love that it’s both solar powered and battery powered, recharging after 12 to 14 hours of sun or one to two hours via USB. Plus, it’s waterproof, shatterproof, and inflates to a 6-inch cube to provide 300 square feet of area lighting. You’ll never be left in the dark again. ($49.95+, Amazon

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A portable and inflatable camping cot… 

Wave goodbye to stiff backs and uneven earth. This camping cot from Coleman comes in two sizes (a twin and a queen) and has plenty of bells and whistles — like two pull-out side tables, a steel frame, and a battery-operated pump so you don’t have to DIY. Plus, it all folds up neatly into a stand-alone case you can take with you wherever you go. All you’ll need are some sheets, your fave camping blanket, and a starry night. ($73.40+, Amazon)

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A lightweight, insulated camping blanket… 

That’s water resistant, machine washable, made with durable rip-stop nylon, and perfect for all seasons. Oh, and it’s insulated with responsibly sourced down. It comes in two different weights, each measuring 77 x 50 inches, and seven different colors. Wrap and clip it around you for a poncho-like fit, use it as an upgrade to your sleeping bag, or put its dirt resistance to the test by using it as a picnic blanket. Aka the ultimate camping essential. ($69.99, Amazon)

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A compact, ultra-light camping fire pit… 

It’s made of stainless steel and only weighs 15 pounds. We love this fire pit for its smokeless feature — it minimizes heavy smoke and creates and collects ash, so cleanup is as simple as dumping it out when you’re done. While its design is travel-friendly, it’s still large enough for a family of four to comfortably roast hot dogs and marshmallows at the same time. If you like the sound of that, but don’t love the price point, try this portable budget option that comes in a can. ($219.99, Amazon)

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A backyard bar on wheels…

This steel cooler cart has an 80-quart fill capacity that can accommodate up to 50 bottles and 70 cans. It comes in both red and black, and we love the built-in bottle opener and easy drainage system that makes getting rid of melted ice a cinch. Perfect for any hot summer nights in the backyard. Cheers. ($169.99, Amazon)

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A campfire beer caramelizer…

POV: You’re sitting by the fire, beer in one hand and caramelizer in the other. If you haven’t used one before, you’re missing out — it caramelizes your bev’s natural sugars, adding some sweet and smoky taste to your brew. This one’s got a real beer tap handle for safe gripping, and it can easily come apart for safe transport. Pro tip: If you’re really looking to add extra sweetness, use your caramelizer with a stronger, darker beer that has a higher sugar content. Yum. ($35, Uncommon Goods)

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