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Whether you're looking for staycation inspiration or something fun to do at home with the family, backyard camping is the way to go.
Men's Journal contributor Clint Carter joined TODAY, taking over Craig Melvin's own backyard, to create the perfect campsite. From $10 folding chairs to the popular Biolite fire pit, Carter shared all the essentials you'll need to enjoy the great outdoors right in your backyard.
Check out all of Carter's backyard camping ideas below.
"If you've got the space, this is the time to use it," said Carter of this spacious Coleman tent. "But what I really like about it is this rain block that blocks out 90% of light, so when you close this, it's really dark inside. It's a little cooler too, which makes it easy to sleep in."
2. Tiki Torch
"You have to have fire at your campsite so I've got three sources of fire here. A contained fire that's great for the backyard," added Carter.
"Tiki torches are really simple. You buy these, and you set up a perimeter around your campsite. That creates a nice little bubble of light. It's really warm and really nice."
"This is a lantern that uses natural light, but instead of having a lightbulb it uses candles that burn for nine hours each. I like this because natural light is just warmer," he said of this second lighting option.
If you want to splurge on the ultimate campfire, this popular outdoor fire pit is the way to go. "My favorite one is from a Brooklyn company called Biolite," he said.
"They've put a fan on the fire pit that circulates air inside for a really efficient burn," he pointed out. "What's cool about this is you can actually turn up the fire if you want to. You can adjust the intensity by using a button on the outside of the motor. And if you don't want to get that close to fire, you can sync up your phone and you can turn the flame up from your phone."
The outdoor fire pit typically costs $249.95, but right now it's 25% off through Memorial Day.
For a wallet-friendly option, Carter suggested this foldable grill and fire pit from Uco. The portable pit is available in a slightly larger size and made with durable stainless steel to stand up against the elements.
"You also have to have good furniture at your campsite," noted Carter.
He said Decathlon is his favorite brand when it comes to finding affordable campsite furniture, including $10 chairs and $19.99 folding tables.
This folding coffee table is just $19.99 and designed to be lightweight yet sturdy, making it a great value for all your backyard camping adventures.
Carter is also a big fan of the Stanley Adventure crock for making it easy to store and serve up food.
"It’s a heavy-duty, leak-proof thermos that keeps food hot for 12 hours or cold for 16. So you can do a little food prep in the house before you set up your camp," he explained. "This makes it easy to serve things like pulled pork, potato salad, macaroni and cheese. You can have hot oatmeal ready for the morning or fill it with chili to put on the hot dogs you’re pulling off the grill."
While you can bring along any old blanket or tarp to set up a "no-shoe" zone, Carter suggests upgrading to a Tarpestry tarp-blanket hybrid.
"This is one from a small company in North Carolina called Tarpestry. I like the ones that they make because they've got the grommets in the corner — you can stake them out so everything stays nice and neat. And it's water-resistant, so when you've got dewy grass you're not going to have moisture coming up."
It's $177, but the small business is offering 20% to TODAY viewers who use the promo code TODAY.
Finally, Carter loves this Arctic Zone cooler for keeping beverages and food cold for long periods of time.
"Instead of a zipper or buckles, it opens and closes with Velcro. So it’s easy to quickly reach in without any fuss while you’re cooking and preparing dinner," he said. " The design here is really smart. Your beverages stay submerged in ice at the bottom, but thanks to a removable divider, your food hovers above the ice and close at hand."
For more stories like this, check out:
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- 15 yard games to enjoy outside while social distancing
- Take a break from the couch and get your kids playing with these outdoor toys