Camping is a word without clear definition. To the free spirited, it’s a vehicle for communion, the outdoors a place to unplug and seek tranquility. To your so-called “glampers”, campgrounds are simply venues, whereby fields, lakes and mountains are backdrops for the party. No judgement here; nature is your playground, and she wants you to play (as long as you’re respectful). We all have different preferences when we gear up for a night, weekend or long-term stay out there. But setting up a proper base camp, regardless of your style, is crucial to both comfort and safety in the outdoors — plus, it’s fun. So whether you’re a bare-bones minimalist, you consider a portable ice cream maker crucial to your general well-being, or you just fall somewhere in between, here’s what you need to set up a variety of different sterling base camps this summer.

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The Backpacker

Quality Over Quantity

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If you carry it in, you carry it out — and you need a bag that helps you handle the weight. Focus on the essentials you need to get by and triple-check that they’re dependable. Shelter? Check. Hydration? Check. Freeze-dried beef stroganoff? Well, no one said you can’t enjoy it.

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff $7
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter $16
Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Magnesium Fire Starter $24
Liberty Mountain Easy Hang Bear Bag Kit $21
Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp $43
Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System $123+
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy $224
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 2-Season Sleeping Bag $350
Mystery Ranch Terraplane $485

The Weekender

Elevated Essentials and Select Comforts

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There’s no need to rough it. Can’t get by without even a small pillow? That’s okay. Just be smart about your extras. A hammock that only weighs 5.2 ounces takes up minimal space in your rucksack or trunk, yet packs a high reward. But three different pairs of jeans? Forget it.

UCO Stormproof Match Kit $6
REI Base Camp Pillow $12
Light My Fire 6-Piece BPA-Free Lunch Kit $16
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Mattress $28
Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker with Tote Bag $32
Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Light $42
Alite Designs Monarch Chair $70
Hummingbird Hammocks Single Hammock $75
Trangia 27-3 Ultralight Hard Anodized Stove Kit $107
Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame Sleeping Bag $240+
Yeti Roadie 20 Quart Cooler $269
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 mtnGLO Tent $450

The Car-Glamper

How Do You Like Your Steak, Sir?
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Camping is still vacation. You ventured out to enjoy yourself and there’s no limit to the outdoor possibilities — especially with the towing capacity of a van or an RV. Enjoy the fruits of nature — just be kind to your neighbors and your host, the natural outdoors. Bring garbage bags and clean up after yourself. (Any leftovers are gladly accepted by those less cozy on the lot to your right.)

Kikkerland Log Pillow $24
Coleman Cool Zephyr Ceiling Fan with Light $22
Hydro Flask True Pint Glass $26
Cards Against Humanity $25
YayLabs Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball Ice Cream Maker $31+
Bush Smarts Pack Grill $39
REI Camp Roll Table $65
Brunton Revolt 9000 $80
Nemo Helio Pressure Shower $100
Coleman Steel Cooler $86
BioLite NanoGrid LED Lantern and Portable USB Charger $100
Crow Canyon Home CGS Enamelware 16-Piece Dinnerware Starter Set $100
Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Camp Stove $110
Woolrich Home Fawn Grove Throw $118
Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter System $120
Wood & Faulk Camp Stool $165
Finex 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet $195
NEMO Tango Solo Sleeping Bag $240
Helinox High Cot $320
Outwell Concorde L Tent ~$2,019