If you’re in search of a rugged outdoor experience you can regale your co-workers with at the next company drink-a-thon (but not the kind that produces tales of campfire fails, culinary deprivation or drafty tents), Japan’s got you covered!
If you’re more of a back-the-tailgate-up-to-the-fire-ring kind of camper than a backcountry how-much-toilet-paper-do-I-really-need-for-a-week trekker, this traditional style rice cooker supplies all the burned-at-the-bottom-and-raw-on-top hardships your ancestors experienced when their only choice was to cook their rice over actual flames
Or you could go with this utilitarian model that checks the “folds into an entertainingly small package” box
No random, dirty, weenie-spearing stick you might (or might not) find lying around your campsite will handle the fresh shellfish, vegetables and wagyu steaks you’ll be packing. You’ll need a big aluminum pan, certified to be camp-ready because it’s made by Captain Stag.
Real campers relax around the fire with a cup of coffee after dinner, made with a rugged outdoor coffee dripper fashioned from outdoorsy titanium. This is the preferred coffee dripper of cowpokes who live in Montagna.
Or if you insist on sharing, this french press coffeemaker delivers all the gourmet flavor of your cushy kitchen-based model, but with a reassuringly utilitarian design that makes it acceptable for use by dedicated outdoorsmen
But even if you’ve invested in the right equipment, failing to produce a campfire to cook it over will douse your hopes of fond camping memories faster than a freak thunderstorm.
Is the FireBlitz really ¥200 better than the FireMax? If I were you, I wouldn’t take any chances.
No one will blame you for not awkwardly balancing your plate on your knees. This folding table injects a civility to the proceedings without compromising the camping aesthetic.
Sleeping without four walls and a roof between you and the elements doesn’t mean you have to shiver all night long—this insulating tape fights tent draftiness and keeps that too-fresh air from disturbing your slumber.
Tossing and turning while worrying what that smell is or whether you’re going to catch some icky disease from whichever family member used the sleeping bag last is not part of the approved camping experience, so please stock up on sleeping bags that avoid making that kind of memory.
The one that claims to be big enough for a parent and child to face the bear sounds together will ensure that at least one of you gets a decent night’s rest
Naturally, the one thing that sets camping equipment apart from objects designed for daily use is the price.
This cast iron campfire starter stand will set you back over $125 (USD) but it delivers a far richer experience than just turning that stove knob back home
And why take the chance that your campsite won’t have a handy tree limb where you can park your lantern for free? This $37 (USD) lantern stand will ensure you’re not eating in the dark if the only site left is smack in the middle of a big lawn.
Your ordinary chopsticks might not stand up to the rigor of a night away from civilization, and investing in a titanium camping spork will not only add a level of inconvenience that makes you really feel like you’re “getting away from it all.”
Don’t let weight get in the way of packing in your Himalayan salt slab to make that steak-cooked-over-a-campfire dream come true.
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had