Summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to pitch a tent and soak in the days surrounded by tall trees, a campfire glow, and the sound of water lapping against the shore.
We chatted with Compass founder Annie Lang to get her take on just what it is that makes campfire vibes so appealing, and the gear relies on to make the most of every night under the stars:
Q: What are your favorite things about camping?
What’s not to love about camping?! It’s a great chance to slow down. To focus on good stuff like having meaningful conversations, making great food, chilling with the perfect drink, and taking the time to explore everything around you. Days spent camping just fly by, and I always crawl into my sleeping bag tired after long days of playing outside.
Q: What do you consider your must-have essentials when you head out to camp?
Obviously, a set of camp mugs is pretty high on my list of things to pack. It’s something I use all day from morning hot drinks to afternoon adult bevvies. When we go camping, we always make sure to camp close to the water – swimming and fishing are a must for us. So, we always have a set of our quick-dry camp towels handy to dry off our feet after wet wading, or to towel off after floating around. I make sure to pack my favorite bag, a Cotopaxi Tarak, full of books -- and, of course, a journal or two to write in. If the dogs are with us, our go-to tent is the Marmot Limestone 4 Person. It’s big enough for us to all be comfy if we have a lot of tent time because of bad weather. We’ve had ours for years and still love it. Also, it’s the smallest thing but I truly can’t camp or hike without them...our tubes! I wear them a million different ways: headband to keep the hair out of my eyes, a gaiter to keep the sun off my neck, turn it into a beanie at night when it gets chilly, and up over my ears and face when the bugs are bad. And of course, we pack a day cooler for car camping. Yeah, we have a big hard-sided cooler for the trip, but it’s so nice to have a little day cooler handy by our seats for snacks and drinks when we are out exploring and tracking down new fishing spots and trailheads.
Q: What are your top tips for making the most of nights spent under the stars?
You can’t go wrong with classic camping vibes - s’mores! And of course, don’t forget to put your favorite drinks in the cooler. Me? I’ve been sipping lots of kombucha around the fire this year. The hubs always goes for a good bourbon. We try to make sure at least one night is a late night, so an afternoon hammock nap is a must so that I can stay up late looking at the stars. It feels so cozy to be up with a small fire going and the dogs having cute puppy dreams at our feet.
Tote around cold drinks and snacks when you’re on the move
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