The Best Camping Gear to Jump-Start Your Adventures

The Best Camping Gear to Jump-Start Your Adventures thumbnail

The weather is getting warmer, and as more and more people get vaccinated, millions of Americans are feeling more comfortable heading to the great outdoors. I asked my WIRED colleagues for their favorite camping picks from this long, strange year. Now that the sun is out, we want to help you get as much fresh air and socially distanced fun as possible. 

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Updated May 2021: We removed older picks and added new ones, like the DJI Air 2S. 

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  • Photograph: Brent Taylor

    Sturdy Shoes

    Saucony Switchback 2

    I usually pad around a campsite in Crocs. But if you’re planning on doing anything more active, trail running shoes are the way to go. They’re lighter, more nimble, and just as sturdy as hiking shoes. The Saucony Switchback 2 feel slipper-like, and the BOA lacing system makes it easy to slip your shoes on and off quickly to go in and out of your tent. 

    For faster, lighter, or more minimal shoes, take a look at our Trail Running Shoes roundup.

  • Photograph: DJI

    Stellar Pictures

    DJI Air 2S

    When you need to see what’s over the next ridge, but can’t be bothered to actually walk up the hill, grab DJI’s new Air 2S. It’s light enough to bring hiking (1.3 pounds), powerful enough to sail even in light winds, and can stay airborne for half an hour. The Air 2S features a newly improved collision-prevention system that should keep you out of trouble even if there are some trees around. The 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor can capture the beauty of the wilderness around you in stunning 5K video footage or 20-megapixel still photos. Just be sure to check local regulations before you sail. The use of drones is often restricted on public lands.

    It is pricey, though. If you don’t want to spend that much, the DJI Mini 2 is smaller, cheaper, and even easier to travel with. For more picks, check out our list of the best drones. —Scott Gilbertson

  • Photograph: Icebreaker

    A Stink-Free Shirt

    Icebreaker Sphere Short Sleeve Crewe

    Merino wool is hand’s down one of the best materials to wear for extended periods of time outside. It wicks away sweat and doesn’t trap body odor too much—good news for anyone sharing your tent. I particularly like the loose, light combination of merino wool, Tencel, and nylon in Icebreaker’s shirt, which I wear all year round. It’s cool enough for sunny, 75-degree trail runs, and it layers well. The company’s shirts are also durable; I have been wearing them regularly for years. Available for men or women.

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