The Best Camping Cookware You Can Buy Today

The Best Camping Cookware You Can Buy Today

Eating well is an integral part of enjoying (and surviving!) any extended trip to the great outdoors, but you’ll want to make sure you take the right cooking gear along. You might believe that all camping cookware is created equal, but that’s not quite true—some cooking tools are decidedly more equal than others, especially in certain situations.

We’ve put together this list of essential camping cookware to help you take the right cookery on your next camping trip. Rely on our expertise to show you what qualities to look for in your cooking gear, and try out a few of our recommendations!

What to Look for in Camping Cookware

When you’re looking for camping cookware, there are a few key criteria you’ll want to prioritize so you can buy reliable items. Here’s a quick breakdown of what separates the best products in this category from the clangers (yes, it’s a pots-and-pans pun, deal with it).

  • Materials: Just because you’re taking a piece of cookware into the woods doesn’t mean you should cheap out on materials. In fact, buying high-quality cookware is probably more important than ever when you’re going camping, because you’ll need to make sure your equipment is tough enough to perform in the conditions of your environment.

Tip: Look for pots and pans made from anodized aluminum—it’s light, tough, and conducts heat easily. Conducting heat easier not only means your meals cook faster, but also saves you fuel—meaning you don’t have to carry as much of that around, either.

  • Portability: Cookware can be heavy when it’s just going to sit on your countertop at home, but when you’re lugging it up and down mountains or through the woods, you need to make sure you can carry it. Materials play an important role in how portable your cookware is, but so does size and design.

Tip: Choose modular cookware, or purchase sets that can be stacked or collapsed to save space. This will make storing your items considerably easier when you aren’t using them.

  • Versatility: The more you can do with a single piece of cookware, the fewer pieces you’ll have to lug around. Look for cooking equipment that can help you prepare numerous kinds of meals so you can avoid stuffing everything but the kitchen sink into your rucksack and turning into a dinner bell for bears while it clunks around on your back.

Tip: Buy cooking gear that comes with plenty of room, balances easily, and has a handle with wooden or rubber grips so you can easily use it with a campfire and not worry about burning your hands.

Our Favourite Camping Cookware

Here are a few of our top picks for camping cookware—including pots, pans, and even utensils. Try some of these options out for yourself, or use them as guidelines when shopping for different products.

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit on white backgroundMSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit

Price: $135 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

This kit gives you the complete package: a durable and lightweight stove, multiple pots made from anodized aluminium, mugs, bowls, and even a spork set for two so that you and a partner can enjoy meals in the great outdoors together. The largest pot in the set even has a strainer lid, making it much easier for you to prepare a variety of different meals in the wilderness.

GSI Destination Kitchen 24 Set on white backgroundGSI Destination Kitchen 24 Set

Price: $65 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

You’re going to need more than pots and pans if you want to prepare truly sumptuous feasts during your outdoor adventures, and this 24-piece set from GSI has you covered. It includes a cutting board, knife, collapsible whisk, a mini-grater, and a pivot spoon and spatula. It even comes with condiment bottles and a spice holder so you can really jazz up your recipes. After all, food always tastes better in the wilderness—but a little paprika never hurts, either.

Jetboil Ceramic Fluxring 1.5L Cooking Pot on white background

Jetboil Ceramic Fluxring 1.5L Cooking Pot

Price: $90 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

Designed to help you boil food faster, this large ceramic pot with a non-stick coating also contains a built-in heat exchanger and a silicone-coated wire handle to prevent burns while handling it. It’s easy to clean, easy to carry, and you won’t have to worry about denting it too much either, since its exterior is made from hard-anodized aluminium.

GCI Slim-Fold Outdoor Cook Station on white background

GCI Slim-Fold Outdoor Cook Station

Price: $150 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

Having the best camping cookware in the world won’t matter much if you’ve got nowhere to put it when it needs to be used. Enter this elegant portable counter with a frame made from powder-coated steel and including no less than 4 plastic fold-out side tables. Not only will this item give you plenty of space to lay out your ingredients and other cookware, but it even comes with a hook set to hang utensils and tools when you’re not using them.

Now You’re Cooking

Roughing it doesn’t mean you have to scrounge for roots and berries. Any of the options above will make it easier for you to cook hearty and delicious food on your next camping trip—and these are just a few suggestions for where to start. Use what you’ve learned here to continue seeking out cookware that will take your camp cooking game to the next level, and let us know what you find!

The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping in Canada

The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping in Canada

Camping in Canada often means sleeping outside on cold nights—sometimes even in the summer! You’ll need a sleeping bag that helps you rest comfortably, while also helping you retain body heat so you don’t turn into a popsicle overnight. But what features should Canadian campers look for in their sleeping bags, and what are the best sleeping bags on the market right now?

We know a thing or two about camping, so we’ve got a few ideas to help you out. Below, you’ll learn what to look for when buying a sleeping bag to use in this wild and gorgeous country and find a few of our favourite models currently available for purchase.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Sleeping Bag?

Like tents, sleeping bags come in a variety of different styles and materials. Different sleeping bags are typically intended for different situations, so it’s vital that you think carefully about the type of trip you’re planning before picking and packing your bag.

Consider the following when selecting your sleeping bag:

  • Are you staying at a campsite or backpacking? Sleeping bags made for camping are designed to provide comfort and warmth. They’re also designed to stay in the tent once you pitch it, so they tend to be heavier and bulkier than sleeping bags for backpacking.

You won’t want to drag around a sleeping bag for camping if you’re hiking from site to site over multiple days (or weeks)—but you also won’t get as much comfort from a backpacker’s bag if you bring it on a casual camping excursion. Choose accordingly.

  • How cold is it going to get? Not all sleeping bags are rated for the same range of temperatures. Most sleeping bags fall into one of 3 different categories:
    • Summer Season: 0° and up
    • 3-Season: -15° to -1°
    • Winter: -15° or below

For best results, choose a bag rated for a few degrees colder than the conditions in which you plan to camp. After all, Canadian weather is notoriously unpredictable.

  • What kind of insulation do you want? Most sleeping bags come with either down or synthetic insulation. Here’s a quick overview of each:

Down Pros:

  • Lighter
  • Easier to compress
  • Remains fluffy for longer

Down Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Loses heat when wet
  • Made from animal products (feathers)
  • Must be carefully cleaned

Synthetic Pros:

  • Easy to care for
  • Not made from animal products
  • More affordable
  • Still holds in heat when wet

Synthetic Cons:

  • Heavier
  • Harder to compress
  • Does not remain fluffy as long
  • How does your sleeping bag fit? Sleeping bags generally come in the following sizes:
    • Rectangular: These bags are often more comfortable and affordable than others, but less efficient at keeping in heat and harder to pack or move.
    • Barrel: These bags are designed to be slightly tighter than rectangular bags, which gives them better thermal efficiency. They’re generally a bit more expensive, but are also lighter and easier to carry. Some also feature hoods.
    • Mummy: Mummy bags are light and cut to fit close to the body while you sleep. They are usually the most expensive kind, but also the easiest to move and the most thermally efficient.
  • What features or add-ons do you need? Some sleeping bags come with additional accessories to make you more comfortable, such as extra zippers to adjust ventilation and stash pockets to store items you want to keep close.

3 Sleeping Bags Ideal for Camping in Canada

We’ve picked out our favourite rectangular, barrel, and mummy bags for Canadian campers who crave comfort. Check them out below: 

The North Face Dolomite One Double Sleeping Bag on white background

The North Face Dolomite One Double +10C, -1C, -9C Sleeping Bag (Unisex)

Price: $290 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

A 3-season rectangular sleeping bag with room for two, this high-quality offering from The North Face uses synthetic insulation made from 50% recycled material. It also comes with a multilayer zipper quilt system so you can swap out the insulation for maximum comfort in different conditions. It’s not the tightest or the lightest sleeping bag, but you’ll sleep very comfortably on a casual camping trip, whether you’re with a partner or by yourself.

The North Face One Bag +4/-7/-15C Down Sleeping Bag on white background

The North Face One Bag +4/-7/-15C Down Sleeping Bag (Unisex)

Price: $400-415 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

A barrel sleeping bag that can take you from summer to mild winter camping, this product uses responsibly sourced down for insulation and comes with a large adjustable hood to keep your head and neck toasty on chilly nights. It also features multiple layers of insulation for different temperature ranges, which can easily be zipped in and out of the shell.

Nemo Disco -9C Down Sleeping Bag on white background

Nemo Disco -9C Down Sleeping Bag (Men’s)

Price: $420-440 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

A mummy bag intended for backcountry use, this lightweight down bag offers lightweight 3-season protection from the elements. It also features a waterproof footbox and hood, so you won’t have to worry about a bit of moisture spoiling your sleep. The women’s version is nearly identical, and both versions are cut to accommodate back or side sleepers.

Sleep Easier on Your Canadian Camping Trip

The options above should give you plenty to choose from, but feel free to use what you’ve learned here to find a different bag that’s perfect for you! We wish you sweet dreams and warm appendages next time you venture out to camp in the Canadian wilds.

The Best Tents for Camping in Canada

The Best Tents for Camping in Canada

Canada offers some of the world’s best natural scenery, but much of it is located in some of the world’s harshest environments. Camping in this country can be a dream come true, but you’ll need an appropriate tent to make sure that dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare when snow, rain, or wind makes an unexpected appearance.

Luckily, we’ve got some tips you can use to choose the perfect tent for camping in any Canadian weather—during any season! Let us guide you towards gear that will give you confidence when planning your next camping trip.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Tent?

Not all tents are equal—most are designed for specific environments and applications. Choosing the best tent for your upcoming trek into the Canadian wilds will depend on where you plan to go, and when.

Consider the following when selecting your tent:

  • How far off the grid are you going? There’s a big difference between manicured campsites in provincial parks and backcountry bushwhacking. Tents designed for casual campers may not have the same sturdy designs and tough materials as those intended for more advanced adventurers.
  • How many people are in your party? Snug tents are great for single sleepers, but you’ll need more room for group outings. You’ll want a tent that fits every member of your party while leaving a few centimeters between each sleeping bag for comfort (although you’ll want to pack in tighter to share warmth if you’re camping in cold weather).
  • When are you going? If you’re camping in winter, make sure to take a 4-season tent. If you’re going in warmer weather, a 3-season tent will probably do the trick.
  • What kind of weather can you expect? Check the weather report for the area you’ll be visiting before you choose your tent. Some tents are waterproof and some aren’t—don’t find out which kind you have the hard way.
  • Will you need luxury features, accessories, or add-ons? We’re not a glamping blog, but if that’s the only way to get you out into the woods or mountains, we’re not judging. Just make sure your tent has the amenities you need to feel comfortable during your trip.

4 Tents Ideal for Camping in Canada

Based on the considerations above, we’ve picked out 4 tents ideal for camping in different Canadian environments.

Marmot Tungsten Tent on white background

Marmot Tungsten Tent

Price: $270 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

Ideal for single backpackers on trips in warmer weather, this tent uses colour-coded clips and poles to make setup quick and easy. It also includes a footprint for floor protection, making it more comfortable to sleep in when camping in rugged environments. Finally, the built-in vestibule offers room for your gear and a waterproof place to put your boots on before leaving.

Eureka! Alpenlite 2 XT 2-Person Tent on white background

Eureka! Aplenlite 2 XT 2-Person Tent

Price: $530 CAD

Where to Buy: MEC

A 2-person tent that can stand up to pretty much the worst weather imaginable, this tent is designed with 6 poles that give it plenty of support even in howling winds or under heavy snow. It also has a UV-resistant fly, which offers vital protection during long hours of sun exposure at high elevations. This is a 4-season tent you and a buddy can take right up to the top of the Rockies in the dead of winter.

North Face Homestead Domey 3 Tent on white background

North Face Homestead Domey 3 Tent

Price: $350 CAD

Where to Buy: Altitude Sports

A slightly larger 4-season tent that can sleep 3 people, this single wall tent is waterproof and comes with a duffel-bag style stuff sack for easier transportation. It’s not just for winter camping, though—warm-weather features include a mesh skylight perfect for stargazing on spring or summer evenings.

Northern Breeze 12 Tent on white background

Northern Breeze 12 Tent

Price: $670 CAD

Where to Buy: Altitude Sports

It ain’t cheap, but you get what you pay for—and in this case, you get a lot. A screen house that converts into a large tent by way of an optional floor, this shelter is as expansive as it is expensive.

Its lightweight aluminium construction makes it easy to travel with, and full external rain and wind flaps make it almost completely waterproof. All 4 flaps can be used as awnings too, making this an ideal product for the glampers out there. This is about as close to a luxury tent as you can get for a Canadian camping trip without getting impractical.

Pitch Your Tent Proudly

We hope one of the tents above provides you with suitable accommodations for your next Canadian camping trip (or at least that our criteria helps you find another tent that will meet your needs effectively). Next step? Book your campground and pack the rest of your items—adventure awaits!

 

How to Successfully Camp in the Snow

How to Successfully Camp in the Snow

Winter can seem like a more challenging time to go on a camping trip, but camping in the snow is entirely possible—in fact, it can even be a lot of fun! But if you’re planning to sleep outside in snowy weather, you’ll need to pack the right gear and take some safety precautions.

Fortunately, we know all about how to camp comfortably in all conditions, and snow is no exception. Below, you’ll find our tips on how to successfully camp in the snow.

Camping in the Snow: What Should You Expect?

Snow presents unique challenges for campers. Here are a few factors you’ll want to consider:

  • Wind: A gust or two can be irritating for campers in any season—but when the weather is snowy, wind can do more than blow your tent over. Wind can also blow considerable amounts of snow into your campsite, making your gear wet and buying exposed objects.
  • Avalanches: Not all snow falls gently—and if an avalanche occurs, you don’t want to be in the way.
  • Hidden Hazards: Snow can make rough or uneven terrain look smooth and flat, but don’t be deceived! Crevasses, hollows, and water hazards are just a few of the things you’ll want to make sure aren’t lurking under a thin layer of freshly fallen white stuff.
  • Orientation Challenges: Retracing your steps in the snow might sound easy—unless more snow starts falling. If you’re going to camp in snowy conditions, you’ll need other ways to make sure you know where you are (and how to get back to where you’ve been).
  • Extreme Temperatures: Snow cover changes ambient temperatures. If you’re in a snowy area, always assume you’re going to feel colder than you would in the same conditions if no snow was present.

Cool (But Not Too Cool) Tips for Snowy Camping

Here are a few ways you can prepare yourself for camping in snowy conditions:

  • Drink More Water: Your body still loses moisture in the cold—but since you’ll be sweating less, you might not notice. Make sure to drink water on a regular schedule to avoid accidental dehydration.
  • Eat Well (and Often): Your body also burns more calories in the cold, so you’ll need food that provides more energy. Nuts, chocolate, and energy bars make great snacks throughout the day. You’ll also want to cook plenty of hot and hearty meals for breakfasts and dinners.
  • Look Out for Frostbite: Learning the signs of cold-related injuries like frostbite and hypothermia can save your life—or the life of a fellow camper. You can also help prevent these conditions by avoiding factors that increase their likelihood (such as alcohol consumption).
  • Keep Moving: Remaining active during snowy weather will prevent the cold from making you tired and help your body produce more heat. However, it will also cause you to burn more calories and lose more moisture (which is why eating right and hydrating are so important).

What to Pack for Successfully Camping in the Snow

Knowing how to adjust your routine for camping in cold weather is one thing, but you’ll also need specific gear if you plan to camp in the snow. Here are a few items we consider essential:

4 Season Tent

A 3 season tent isn’t going to cut it if you plan on dealing with significant snowfall during your trip. 4 season tents, on the other hand, are built to handle extreme winter conditions. These tents are structured to let large amounts of snow pile up on top without collapsing, and are typically made from more durable fabrics so that they won’t rip and leak heat.

Winter Sleeping Bag

Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for at least a few degrees lower than the coldest temperature you plan to sleep in, and ensure that it fits snugly. Empty space in a sleeping bag makes it easier for your body heat to escape and prevents you from staying warm overnight.

2 Sleeping Pads

Camping on snow requires additional tent insulation to prevent heat loss through the floor of your tent. Double up on your sleeping pads, and make sure to use insulation with higher R-values.

A Winterproof Stove

Not all portable stoves are suitable for camping in snowy weather. You’ll need a stove that is resistant to cold weather, and it’s also wise to choose a model that produces significant amounts of heat so it can pull double-duty as a source of warmth. Consider the type of fuel your stove uses—wood produces a lot of heat but is harder to pack and carry, while liquid fuel often burns better at high altitudes.

Warm Clothing

Last (but certainly not least), make sure to pack appropriate snow clothes. We recommend warm socks, snow boots, mid-weight base layers, fleece pants, a warm coat, a waterproof shell (jacket and pants), a hat that covers your ears, thick gloves, and sunglasses.

Campsite Setup Tips for Camping in the Snow

Before pitching your tent in a snowy region, follow these tips to ensure your safety:

  • Stay Out of the Wind: Pitching your tent near trees (as long as they don’t look damaged or unsteady) is an excellent way to shield yourself from blowing snow while you sleep. If you’re camping in an open area, try building a wall of snow around your tent instead.
  • Avoid Avalanches: Don’t pitch your tent near rock walls or steep inclines if you think snow (or anything else) might slide down them. The last thing you want is to get buried under a drift while you sleep.
  • Pack Down the Snow: Prevent yourself from sinking into a drift overnight by packing down the snow at your campsite before pitching your tent.
  • Look for Landmarks: Snow that falls overnight can change the appearance of a campsite and disorient you in the morning, so try to choose a site with at least one or two obvious landmarks nearby.
  • Have Water Nearby: You don’t want to camp directly on ice, but having a water source nearby can prevent you from having to melt snow for drinking water if you run out.

Ideal Sites for Camping in the Snow This Winter

Here are some of our favourite snowy winter campsites:

Plamondon Whitesands

A family-oriented RV park and campground with onsite water near Lac La Biche.

Mossbank RV Park

A quiet campground located near numerous recreational facilities.

Bruderheim Starlight Campground

A peaceful and relaxing campground near Bruderheim Sand Hills.

Wagons West RV Park

A clean and quiet campground with 62 full-service sites.

Knouff Lake Wilderness Resort

One of the oldest 4-season run resorts of its kind in British Columbia.

Cogburn Family Wilderness Resort

A safe and enjoyable family-friendly campground.

Campbell Valley Camping Experience

A destination campground located on 5 acres of private property.

Don’t Let a Little Snow Stop You from Camping

Successfully camping in the snow can be easier than you think, as long as you’re prepared. Use the tips above to make sure your next winter camping trip is snow problem at all.