Two Great 'Must Haves' for Overnight Camping

Every backpacker has their idea of the perfect getaway, the perfect night out on the trail.  And as each of us venture out, we begin to figure out what it is that makes that next great escape a little better than the last.

I went out a few weeks ago on a solo overnight out at my favorite lean to and had brought along a few extra pieces just to see if they were worth the added weight.  I'm completely convinced now that even for the extra weight these pieces were, they'll be with me on future trips guaranteed.

Seating: Ok - I may get a lot of off-comments from all you ultralight backpackers out there, but bringing my camp chair along was a great idea as it turns out.  Yep, it weighs five pounds.  And it was a labor of love carrying it back and forth.  Would I trade leaving it behind for the comfort it gave me?  No, not on the short hike.

Now, I didn't travel far [about 1.5 miles] to the lean to so it wasn't a huge deal adding this five pounder to the load.  I might reconsider if the trail was twice that length.

Having this chair at the lean to was super cool.  I set it up right inside, leaned back and enjoyed my Mountain House dinner in comfort.  It gave me a great view of the fire and was much more comfortable that it's lightweight counterpart the foam pad.

Yep, I've seen my buddies with their Thermarest camp chairs and foam pads that are super lightweight.  All good.  But I liked sitting up off the ground a bit in this style chair.  Instead of having my legs sprawled out in front of me with my butt flat on the ground, this chair cradled me comfortably.  Again, it was a short hike so the added weight wasn't a big deal.

Lighting:  I stepped up my lighting package on this most recent trip and I was glad I did.  Up until now, I relied on my head lamp [with a spare] and the light given off by the fire.  This time though, I added a UCO Candle Lantern and a battery powered camp globe that were a huge success.  Not that I'm leery of being 'exposed' outdoors, but having the inside of the lean to lit up, if even slightly, made for a much more enjoyable time of it.  It brought out that 'Tiki Hut' kind of feel that was super cool.

To take my lighting to the next level, my next purchase will be a string or two of solar powered lights that I can charge up during the day then light up the inside of the lean to at night.  Can't wait to try that out.

Have a favorite, must have carry along on your trips?  I'm all about making each trip even better than the last so please share in the comments below.


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