What would a trek all around the contiguous United States be without some time in the outdoors? And when you’re in said outdoors, damn right you’re going to want the goods to keep you dry, fed, warm or cool.

Our Bialetti on the campfire

We froze our butts off without the right sleeping bag in Boone, North Carolina and experienced the sweat lodge that overcame our tent in Arkansas. From east to west, we learned and improved our outdoor skills and want to share the gear that we love with you, whether you’re backpacking or headed for a long weekend in nature.

Our campsite set-up in Boone, NC

North Face Tent

The Flint 2 tent we have is not for the polar explorer but it gets the job done. It’s easy to set-up and even easier to take down. In extreme heat, ventilation is difficult without losing privacy, but it keeps us dry and comfortable through wind and rain. It’s easy to pack and carry as we make some serious tracks across the U.S.

Sleeping Bag

I picked up a Kelty sleeping bag at R.E.I. which keeps me comfortable in my cocoon at temperatures as low as 40º F.  We recently came across these two-person sleeping bags from Alite which allow you to share your cocoon, but haven’t had the chance to give them a try just yet. Update: We received one as a wedding present, so we’ll report back after the next camping trip how they worked.


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Tarp in use as a picnic blanket for a beach cookout

We purchased canvas tarps in beige and hunter green — and left the beige behind for the beach. These make sturdy picnic blankets which are easy on the eyes no less.

Bistro Table

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There are plenty more practical fold-up tables out there you might say… and you might be right. However, the TÄRNÖ legs fold up and the tabletop snaps on and off, and it looks oh so chic out in the woods.


A hatchet or ax is great for firewood, or self-defense but hopefully we won’t get there. Looks good too. We grabbed an Estwing Sportsman’s Axe that works great (and is affordable), available at Home Depot or on Amazon. Perhaps one day, we can save up for ultra beautiful, handcrafted axes from Best Made or Sanborn.

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Get Jucy wit’ it (na na na na, na na na)

Meet Jucy. It’s a Dodge Caravan turned Camper mobile painted in a heinous bright purple and soylent green with all the camping convenience and know-how coming out of New Zealand.

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The company introduced the all-purpose vehicle across California and in Las Vegas. For just around $35 (+/-) per day, you have a bed, kitchenette, and wheels for transport. It’s not only convenient but a solid money saver when you don’t have to seek a hotel in colder or more inclement weather. Of course, you will still need a shower and toilet so don’t write off a fully equipped campground, camper, or a hotel just yet.

For more on how we packed our car for this multi-month, check out my article on Medium:

Small Spaces: Packing for the Road