Summer is just around the corner, and with it come those long summer days where the sun hangs high in a cloudless sky for what feels like an eternity. Summer in the Pacific Northwest means it’s officially camping season. In Washington, you’ve got options when it comes to camping. Head to the Olympic Peninsula to beach camp on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, drive east to the Cascades to camp high in the mountains, or head to Mount Rainier National Park to wake up to breathtaking views of Rainier towering over the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re an experienced camper or new to the outdoors entirely, Gearhouse has everything you need for a memorable summer of camping. Continue Reading below for The Ultimate Summer Camping Gear Checklist.
Camping Gear Checklist Item #1: A Tent
Shelter is vital to any type of camping, be it backpacking or car camping, which is why a tent is number one on our summer camping gear list. Your tent is your home away from home, so choose one that's right for your needs. If you’re car camping, you’ve got a bit of flexibility on what tent you bring. If you’re backpacking, you’ll want to pack an ultralight tent big enough to fit your camping party. Gearhouse carries ultralight tents for 1, 2, and 3 people. Even though our summers in Washington are relatively rain-free, prepare for the worst and be sure your tent can withstand the elements with a proper fly and footprint.
The next must-have item on our camping gear list is a sleeping bag. Pick a sleeping bag that’s rated properly for your destination’s temperature. In the Pacific Northwest, summer temperatures can still be cool at night, so consider a bag rated for 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. Gearhouse carries a variety of sleeping bags with a broad selection of brands offering both synthetic and down sleeping bags. If you’re backpacking, consider the bag's weight in addition to its warmth.
Sleeping pads are crucial for comfort and staying warm at night. Novice campers often overlook this important piece of gear, but there is no replacing it. When you sleep outdoors, your body loses enormous amounts of heat to the ground, so a sleeping pad is necessary not only for comfort but to stay warm. Choose from traditional roll-up foam sleep pads or inflatable ultralight pads.
Camp Stove, Cookware, Mess Kit, & Provisions
Despite what trendy YouTube videos may suggest, most outdoor cooking is done mostly on a camp stove, not over a campfire. Butane-powered camping stoves and single burners allow you to prepare food at your campsite or in the backcountry. Car campers have the luxury of packing larger stoves and can even use propane-powered multi-burner camping stoves. When backpacking, pack a single-burner butane stove along with your provisions. Another often overlooked summer camping gear essential is cooking ware and spices. No one likes eating a bland meal or trying to flip a burger with a pocketknife spork. Stop by Gearhouse to stock up on all your camping cooking essentials, from stoves and fuel to cookware. Gearhouse even carries snacks and delicious camping meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Good To-Go.
If you’re car camping, you’ll need to be able to keep your food cool and protected. That’s where a cooler comes in. Be sure to stock your cooler with plenty of ice if you’re taking meat or other products that could spoil. Gearhouse offers Ice mule coolers for car camping and other outdoor needs like picnics or backyard hangouts.
A headlamp is a convenient and hands-free way to see at night. Look for a model with adjustable brightness and long battery life. Be sure to test your lamp's battery before you head out on your journey.
While camping in the Pacific Northwest, you'll likely have access to fresh water sources, but it's still a good idea to bring a water filter, especially if you’re backpacking. This will allow you to filter water from streams and lakes, making it safe to drink. Alternatively, you can boil your water to ensure it’s safe to drink.
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, so be prepared with a first aid kit. Make sure your kit includes basic items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Summer is also prime mosquito season. Mosquitoes and other biting insects can be a nuisance, so bring insect repellent to keep them at bay. Look for a repellent containing DEET or picaridin.
Sunscreen is always a good idea. Pack something water / sweatproof with enough SPF to keep your skin burn-free.
Bear spray is something you pack and hope to never use. While it's unlikely you’ll break out the bear spray during your camping trip, it’s always a good idea to have it on hand when you’re camping in the mountains.
Camping season is here! Dial in your camping gear with Gearhouse this summer. Find the gear you need and meet fellow adventure buddies at Seattle’s only social club for outdoorsy people.