Craft Camp

Car camping with beer has never been better. Here’s the essential gear.

camping_01.Ah, summer. There’s still some left, right? The days may be getting shorter, but there’s still plenty of time to pack the rig and head out for a night of car camping. It’s the absolute best to set up with friends, gather round the campfire, and start shooting the breeze (and sipping those brews).

In addition to unbreakable, insulated steel growlers, we tend to pack in craft beer in cans, because they’re easier and quicker to chill, and more compact to pack out. We get cheap, thick foam coozies at the gas station: the more jokey the better, and attempt to not lose them before the next outing.

What beer do you take into the wilderness? Tell us below.

And read on for a cheat-sheet on essential summer car camping items for your next adventure.

The Cooler: Igloo
Is any item more important? Until “The Coolest” comes out—it’s a Kickstarter-funded cooler with a crazy array of add-ons, with almost $7M in funding so far—arm yourself with something rugged and proven like the Igloo Stainless Steel 54, designed to keep your ice in ice form all weekend long. ($190)

The Basecamp: Macro Table
Sure, you could use your cooler for a table. But then you’re constantly getting into it and out of it, melting the precious ice inside. We recently tested the feather light, 15” high Macro Table from GSI Outdoors during a 4-day camping trip at Bonnaroo. Not only did the flame- and heat-resistant anodized aluminum construction hold strong under lots of full cans (up to 20lbs), it packed away compactly for the trip home. ($48)

The Entertainment: Playaboule Bocce
We love bocce because it’s one of the best games you can play with a beer in your hand. And extreme cross-country glow-in-the-dark bocce, played not on a course but wherever the forest takes you? Now that, hands down, is one of the best games you will ever play. Just don’t throw the pallino anywhere you shouldn’t be walking with a beer in your hand. (from $45)

The Bed: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core
After a big night of beer and showing off your supreme skill, you need a decent night’s sleep. This crazy-soft but supportive mattress inflates in seconds and makes your old crappy foam core roll-up or dinky air pad seem hopelessly uncomfortable. (from $80)

The Recovery: 30 Oz. Java Press
There is almost nothing better than camping with craft beer buddies, but the coffee you share the next AM comes pretty close. For this momentous responsibility nothing less than a non-breakable French press will do. This version from GSI is strong, sleek, light, and—we tested to make sure—smooth-operating. ($30)

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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