Summer usually means a camping trip or two, but this year, you may not feel comfortable hitting the campsites with your family.
I got the wild idea to make my family camp in the backyard, where we played games, made s'mores, and enjoyed some tent time. Best of all, no one was allowed on their screens!
If you want to do the same, but might not be up to date on the latest outdoor cooking and camping gear, this roundup is for you. Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide Jenny Wilden reviewed products from mostly Utah companies to come up with the following recommendations for your backyard adventure:
Power Source: Goal Zero
● Goal Zero` is an awesome Utah company and they have great products for the outdoors.
● Even though you`re at home, you want to have power to charge devices. Maybe you want to watch a movie in the tent.
● This is the Goal Zero Yeti 200X. It's super small and lightweight and can charge a phone up to 25 times. That`s a lot of devices.
● And you can`t have a campout with light, especially when you`re getting ready for bed. This is the Crush Light Chroma from Goal Zero. This is really bright, can stand on its own AND it can change six different colors. The kids will love it.
● Klymit is another great Utah company that is based in Kaysville.
● If you`'re like me, sleeping on the ground isn`'t as easy as it used to be. This is the KLYMALOFT SLEEPING PAD
● It` is a brand-new sleeping pad for Klymit and combines foam and air. The foam topper is SO COMFORTABLE, conforms to the body, eliminates pressure points. So you wake up really rested. No more waking up at 2 am to inflate an air mattress.
● Perfect for campers who are all about comfort!
● Klymit also makes sleeping bags and this is the KSB 35
● It` is perfect for summer camping and it`s really versatile. It` has something called Length Locks™ that can shorten the bag to fit a shorter adult or child
Tent: Big Agnes
● There` is something about sleeping out under the stars, but in the backyard you might have some ambient light that will keep you awake at night. Also, it is Utah, where the weather is unpredictable. I have the Big Agnes Salt Creek SL.
● It` is a great, three-person tent. Really easy to set up, and gives you ample space for you and the kids -- especially if you have rolling kids!
● It` has a ledge in there so you can put personal items on. Also -- three doors! You know when camping people need to use the facilities in the middle of the night. Everyone has a door!
● Camp food is the best food. AMIRIGHT? This is the Traeger Ranger.
● What` is great about it is that you can use it to cook your burgers and hot dogs at night and then in the morning you can use the griddle to make your bacon and eggs AND it` has been known to cook hot cakes on that griddle.
● And with Traeger you get that wood-fired flavor, which we all love.
● We all know Lifetime Products. It is a great Utah company and they have a variety of outdoor products from tables to kayaks and to "bear-proof" coolers like this one we have here.
● You need to keep your food and drinks cold when camping -- even in the backyard. This 55 QT cooler can keep drinks cold for 7 days.
● It can hold 60 cans of soda and ice and it`s extremely durable.
Jenny added that, if you haven't upgraded in a while, now's the time because technology has made once-terrifying tasks like setting up a tent so much easier! She also said upgrading won't break the bank, as all the products she chose are either budget-friendly or savvy investments, as they offer a lot of different uses (i.e. GoalZero can charge your phones when the power's out, and the Traeger helps with all that Summer grilling). All - Jenny said - are sure to stand the test of time.
So you're like me and haven't bought new gear for at least a decade, maybe now's the time to treat yo'self, and burn off some cabin fever in the process!