Outdoor enthusiasts are starting to dream of cowboy coffee and cozy campfires. Are you one of them? If so, we want to hear about your camping essential. Toque always brings a toque. And Canoe, big surprise, brings a canoe. What item do you never leave home without when you go camping and why?

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  1. timothy hoey commented:

    I always carry a pocket knife, even when I am not camping, and somehow, anytime I am in woods, whether camping or salvaging cedar at the work claim site near Port Renfrew, a bag of wine gums always tastes brilliant.

    Reply

    • Canoe commented:

      Thanks Tim. I just remembered that the last time I went camping, it was to see a Dave Matthews concert at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington (incredible live music venue.). I was afraid I’d be cold at night, so I packed a king-sized Hudson’s Bay blanket to wrap around my sleeping bag. Toasty!

      Reply

  2. Jody commented:

    So many wonderful gadgets, to choose just one seems unfair! If I haven’t lost it through airport security, I bring along my mini-swiss army knife. I take it with me wherever I go, that’s how it gets confiscated on a regular basis.

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  3. Tanya commented:

    A flask of good scotch is a necessary treat whenever and where ever I spend an evening outdoors. A little taste of strengh and warmth seems to compliment the natural environment perfectly – maybe because so many of the creature comforts of home are temporarily out of reach.

    Reply

    • Toque commented:

      Scotch, like bacon, was made for camping. I love your phrase “a little taste of strength and warmth” – so true. Thanks Tanya!

      Reply

  4. Robert commented:

    When I get away from the conveniences of life and am sleeping rough there is one thing I like to have in my pack which prevents me from totally going caveman. So leave your knife at home and bring something you’re sure to use… good toilet paper. Even if the campsite is outhouse equipped, you’ll be happier for having your house brand paper along.

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  5. Christina commented:

    When I’m planning a camping trip the first thing I put by the door so I don’t forget is a headlamp. Always comes in handy whether it’s used to find those pesky mosquitos that somehow got into the tent or to find some firewood late at night. Highly recommend getting one for those who think flashlights are good enough. Hands free!

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  6. Suzanne Ahearne commented:

    I’ve one-upped the pocket knife with a Leatherman tool. It is so essential to my camping kit, that I have given it a pet name: Leatherwoman. Everyone must refer to it thusly, or they can’t borrow it. And she is in big demand on the campsite. (Yes, I realize the ridiculousness of anthropomorphizing my multi-tool!) She has a blade you could saw through bones with (it would take me at least 128 hours before I’d have the nerve to use it on my own though) but it’s mostly used to whittle sticks and shave wood for kindling; a file mostly used for finishing whittled spoons and forks and free-form wood-art pieces; sharpener used mostly to sharpen the sissy blades on other pen knives; small scissors; 4 screwdrivers; a can opener (slow, but does the job); and needle-nose pliers (great for lifting hot pans out of the fire, pulling hooks from fish mouths and bending damaged tent pegs). She is always happy to be of use and sees the scratches and dents of a decade-and-a-half of camping as a sign of a life well-lived!

    Reply

    • Toque commented:

      I LOVE my Leatherman… er…woman. I primarily use my Swiss Army knife as a beer opener. The Leatherman, however, is so useful it could help me win Survivor.

      Reply

  7. Valerie Berenyi commented:

    When we go backpacking or kayaking, I always bring my Cloud 9 feather/air mattress (it’s actually called the Exped Downmat 9 Pump Deluxe Sleeping Pad, but that’s so prosaic). I bought it at MEC a few years ago, and it changed my outdoors life. I can actually sleep at night in the backcountry and I’m not sore in the morning! I know, I’m such a princess, but it’s worth every penny of the $250 it cost.

    Reply

  8. Colleen commented:

    Bacon. Whether it is a good night’s sleep or not – knowing you are waking up to bacon in our great outdoors is part of the experience. I like the pre-cooked bacon you get from Costco. Just warm it up in your frying pan and you are good to go.

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  9. Liz Tompkins commented:

    I never camp without bringing along a nice bottle of red wine and beef tenderloin for the grill. I have to admit I don’t tent it anymore now that we have a campervan so I can afford the extra weight that comes with a bottle or two of wine. Now that I think of it I’d have to say our campervan is our favorite camping essential! Bears bugs and bad weather are never a concern anymore.

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  10. Alex Burroughs commented:

    Bacon is an inspiring suggestion. In terms of food, I’m all about a yummy trail mix doctored up with tiny chunks of dark chocolate, bits of exotic dried fruit and roasted nuts. I love adding the remnants to campfire melted marshmallows and Rice Krispies eaten directly out of the pot with a spoon. If we’re talking about practical suggestions I’m obsessed with my headlamp because it looks bad-ass. (Can I say that on here?)

    Reply

    • Toque commented:

      As far as I am concerned camping is not camping without bacon (and strong coffee). …and bad-ass is one of my go-to turns of phrase (but of course I don’t let my kids get away with it) ;). Thanks Alex!

      Reply

  11. Liana Robberecht commented:

    hmmm well, you see I am not much for outdoor type “camping’, … sooooo I would never , never EVER leave home with our my visa, so I could check in to the nearest hotel ! hahhaa

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  12. Leigh commented:

    My Crazy Creek chair. I want to relax with back support and a glass of wine – which almost always accompanies a trip – after a hard day out. Plus if it’s wet it keeps your butt dry. And the 10 essentials – so I can get myself out of a fix. I’d bring McIvor (sp?) if he could be cloned.

    Reply

  13. Don E commented:

    I never go camping without my little Bialetti espresso maker. Sure, it’s a bit heavy, but in terms of happiness per gram, it can’t be beat.

    Reply