Summer camping will be here before you know it and gathering and organizing your pieces of camping gear is calling you! After an extremely successful camping year in 2022, I have narrowed down my list of must have amazing camping gear for 2023. This is a list of the seven pieces of camping gear you need for 2023 and why.
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The amount of camping gear available on the market is extensive and as someone who wants to keep my camping gear compact for storage and minimize unnecessary purchases, finding the right gear is imperative. Some of the things I have done when purchasing gear is making sure it is multipurpose for camping AND backpacking as well as making sure the products will be useful and durable. When I step into an REI, I am immediately hit by the “Want Wave”, that overwhelming desire to buy everything. In 2022 I focused on making intelligent consumer decisions and these were my best and favorite purchases. These pieces are sure to be some of your favorite pieces of camping gear for 2023!
Camping Gear for 2023
The Eureka Griddle is a game changer for the camp cook. The overall quality of the griddle is impressive and durable. After using it every day for two weeks, I now consider it a staple in my camp kitchen. From warming and toasting bagels, grilling brats, and cooking eggs, this griddle can do everything I need to elevate my camp food. While I use it on my Eureka! Ignite stove, the griddle is also compatible on every Eureka! Stove and other competitive stoves.
The griddle is small enough that it does not take up significant space in my camp kitchen storage bin. The cover of the griddle can also be used as a cutting board which makes the product multipurpose. I strongly believe that this will make a great addition to your camp kitchen!
Sea to Summit X-Set 32
This collapsible three piece cooking set has been a fantastic addition to my camp kitchen. Prior to cooking with this X Set, I was using the Hard-Anodized cook set by MSR. It has served me well, but was a little too compact to comfortably cook for more than one person. While the price of the X-Set 32 is a little steep ($145) the use that I have gotten out of it has already been fantastic.
The X-Set comes with a 2.8L collapsible pot, 8’’ pan, and a 1.3L collapsible kettle. The even and quick heating of the kettle warms water efficiently. Heating water in the kettle is the first thing I do in the morning so I can start my cup of coffee!
My biggest tip for anyone new to camping is you don’t have to buy the nicest gear but if you do, make sure it is multi-purpose. The X-Set can also be used for backpacking. While it would take up significant space, it is only 29 oz and if you’re like me and enjoy decent meals in the backcountry, this is perfect.
While not the best form of measurement to give you an idea of the capacity of the pot, it can hold two boxes of mac and cheese. The lid for the pot helps heat water quickly and the holes allow you to pour out the water without dumping the contents of the pot out onto the ground.
The only thing to consider with this set is that because of the silicone siding of the pot and kettle, you can’t let the flames of your stove reach past the bottom anodized aluminum bottom.
The better alternative to the Yeti Cooler, in my opinion, is the RTIC Cooler. The affordable, light-weight 52 QT RTIC cooler has been my favorite cooler for long road trips and weekend trips, because of the long lasting ice retention capabilities. Compared to the YETI cooler, which is heavy with limited capacity, the RTIC is lightweight and maximizes the capacity of the cooler. The cooler is insulated with foam which contributes to its lightweight structure.
I have the 52 Quart Ultra-Light Cooler which has an ice capacity of 60lbs and ice retention capacity of 8 days.
I’ve used the cooler as extra seating, a cutting board, step stool, and table. When having such a large item, having additional uses is important.
RTIC also releases specialty colors to mix things up but I am a big fan of the Deep Harbor color.
My only complaint about the cooler is that the divider and metal basket which are accessories for the cooler are sold separately. The divider is a large ice pack which adds additional freezing capabilities in the cooler. The basket helps keep the large cooler organized! The divider is $11 and the basket is $9.
Luno Car Air Mattress
The Luno Car Air Mattress has changed my adventure game this past year! Having additional flexibility for camping has increased my time outside and improved the comfort of my car camping experience. The Luno Car Air Mattress is fitted specifically for each vehicle and is a perfect fit. The air mattress is perfect for the hardcore adventurer who wants to sleep comfortably.
The durability of the air mattress is what originally enticed me to the Luno Mattress because it needed to keep up with the wear and tear of the outdoors.
I started leaving school after work on Fridays to car camp so I would have a full outdoor day on Saturdays and most of Sunday. This will likely be my favorite piece of camping gear in 2023!
Luno also has a number of accessories that I love! In the summer when sleeping in the car can get hot and stuffy, the window covers allow for a cool summer breeze to flow through the car without letting bugs inside. I also believe the mattress sheet is worth the money because it is machine washable. The mattress can be cleaned easily with a soapy rag, but I find it easier to just wash the sheet.
Cost of Window Screens: $50
Cost of Sheet: $70
REI Packaway Bin
It is no surprise that camping gear can become easily cluttered. As someone who lives in an apartment, this Soft-Sided Storage Bin has been fantastic for minimizing the number of trips I have to take to my car when I am packing for a trip. The large capacity of the bin allows me to pack all of my camp kitchen gear and sleeping gear inside.
The soft-sided bin is large enough to fit all of the heavy gear, but durable enough to carry it all. There are two size options: 100L and 140L. I have the 140L bin which has served me well for all of my gear.
Protip: Keep a list of all the gear you need for camping inside the bin to reference when you’re packing!
Just like the Packaway Bin keeps you organized, so do packing cubes. These packing cubes can keep you organized in a number of ways.
- Multiple people can pack their clothes in one bag
- Clothes can be packed in the packing cubes and put in the packaway bin
- Separate clothes based on need or part of trip
- Use packing cubes for clothes, towels, linens
There are so many different types of packing cubes available on the market. It just depends on what your needs are. I enjoy having the larger, thinner packing cubes for clothes and these bulkier ones for towels and blankets.
My favorite clothes packing cubes are from Sea to Summit!
Hard-Sided Water Jug
After years of using a collapsible water jug, I have finally upgraded to a hard sided water jug. I wanted to keep water in my car during summer months for hiking and needed more water than the traditional collapsible water jug had the capacity for. Gone are the days of worrying that the handle of my water jug was going to rip off after filling it.
This hard sided water jug had a permanent home in my car all summer to replenish my hiking water bladder, cooking while camping, and cleaning dishes. The large capacity was important to me for ensuring I always had water access.
I purchased this 7 gallon jug from REI for $20 and it has been well worth the money.
The only con is storing it while not in use. Thankfully it fits inside of my RTIC cooler when not in use.
2023 Camping Gear Conclusion
I am already looking forward to (and starting) my 2023 camping season and all of these items will be coming with me on each trip! As always, the gear you bring camping does not need to be the fanciest, newest, most expensive gear on the market. What matters most is that you’re getting outside and camping.
Happy 2023 Camping!