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Bears and bugs and blisters, oh my!
When it comes to Mother Nature, preparation is key. After all, who can forget that memorable scene in "Wild," when an ill-prepared Reese Witherspoon's hiking boot falls down a ravine and she has to slog on wearing sandals covered in duct tape.
That's why outdoor enthusiast Bryan Rogala is here as part of our Great Outdoors TODAY hour (created by TODAY with our sponsor Nature Valley), to help you have one very memorable and fun camping trip. From coolers that double as blenders, to socks that keep your feet snug during a hike, here's how you can make the most of your summer on a camping trip. And yes, java fans, that even includes delectable instant coffee!
Biolite Pizza Dome Bundle, $69, REI
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This "gives you a lid with an integrated thermometer and a ceramic cook stone for pizzas and flatbreads. It's great for backyard campouts or taking with you on a car camping trip," said Rogala.
EcoxGear EcoBoulder+ Speaker, $200, Amazon
"The EcoBoulder+ is an amazing speaker that sounds incredible, is dust-proof, 100 percent waterproof and submersible, and floats!" said Rogala.
Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0, $35, Amazon
"Luci lights are awesome little inflatable lanterns with multiple light color settings that come with a tiny built-in solar panel for recharging. I string them up all over camp to create a cool ambiance and help people ditch their headlamps, but they're great for backyards and road trips, too," said Rogala.
Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent, $50, REI
"Thermacell has made awesome mosquito repellent devices for a long time. A lot of them run on butane and are used by hunters and fisherman, but the Radius is a new unit that is USB rechargable and runs for more than six hours on a single charge," said Rogala.
Treepod Lounger and Stand, $285, Amazon
"Think of this as a cross between a chair and a hammock. You can hang it from a tree in the backyard, or put it on a porch," said Rogala.
Inflatable Air Lounger, $50, Amazon
"This is easy to inflate, floats on water and makes a great pool float or inflatable raft so you can lounge in aquatic pleasure," said Rogala.
The Nebula Capsule from Anker is a portable projector that's the size of a soda can. You can project it on pretty much anything, like a tent wall or ceiling, so you can move it from room to room and take it with you anywhere," said Rogala.
Coolest Cooler with Blender, $400, Amazon
"This thing lives up to its name. It has a built-in bungee cord for attaching towels or whatever you're taking to the beach, a bluetooth speaker, a charging port for your phone, a magnetic bottle opener that catches bottle caps, an LED light built into the lid so you can find the drink you want, four plates, a knife, a corkscrew, a cutting board divider, and (most impressively) a built-in blender for making margaritas or mixed drinks," said Rogala.
Columbia OutDry Hybrid Jacket, $99, Zappos
This item is on sale at Moosejaw.com for $64.
This is a "must-have to keep you dry during any rainy outdoor activity," said Rogala.
Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter, $200, REI
This is "designed to be pitched over a picnic table or wherever you decide to set up your table, chairs or kitchen prep," said Rogala.
Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sack, $19, Amazon
"These are amazing and will keep your stuff totally dry," said Rogala.
Roofnest Sparrow Rooftop Tent, $2495, Roofnest
"Rooftop tents are one of the biggest trends in camping right now. The Roofnest Sparrow is my favorite one I've tested," said Rogala.
Plus, additional essentials you'll need, like hiking boots and one very popular sleeping bag!
Nite Ize Moonlit Micro Lantern Red, $10, Amazon
"An awesome little light that is incredibly useful. You can clip them anywhere at night to help you keep track of your stuff, and at $10 you can afford to buy a couple and keep them in your car just in case," said Rogala.
Eagles Nest Outfitters ENO DoubleNest Hammock, $70, Amazon
"Hammocks make every outdoor adventure better, and ENO makes the best hammocks out there," said Rogala.
FITS Light Hiker Quarter Socks, $19, Amazon
"Fits makes the best socks on the planet. They're merino wool, so they wick moisture and are odor-resistant. The fit is incredible," said Rogala.
Alpine Start Dirty Chai Instant Coffee, $9, Amazon
"This is instant coffee that's actually good," said Rogala.
Rumpl The Down Puffy Blanket, $200, Amazon
"Rumpl makes awesome blankets that are great for camping, backyard bonfires or road trips. They have a water-resistant nylon shell that resists dirt and pet hair, so they stay clean better than an ordinary blanket, and they're super-warm," said Rogala.
Editor's note: If you're looking for a sleeping bag, this one is highly-rated by the experts at Outside magazine.
Marmot Ultra Elite 20 Sleeping Bag, $209, Amazon
It's roomy and cozy, and keeps you warm in freezing temps.
And this backpack is a favorite of Amazon reviewers.
Osprey Atmos 65 AG Backpack, $260, Amazon
"I love this pack. I have hiked several hundred miles with it and love it. Best pack I've used so far," wrote one reviewer.
Meanwhile, the folks over at Wirecutter rave about these hiking boots.
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX, $230, Zappos
"Easily the most comfortable, supportive athletic shoe/boot I’ve ever worn. I’ll wear nothing else for years to come," opined one Zappos reviewer.