Gear Review -- Luxury Camping Equipment, part I

Note: This is the first in a two-part series of columns on luxury-oriented camping gear. Click here for column No. 2.

The Gear Junkie: Luxury Camping Equipment, part I
By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Toting the luxuries of modern living to the wilderness is a rising trend for a new breed of car campers. That’s according to Hud Knight, a merchandise manager at Backcountry.com in Park City, Utah.

“The theme has been to bring the creature comforts of home to the campground,” Knight said.

Indeed, people used to staying in motels can now put up a tent with lights, fans and power plugs. Or, want hot water on your picnic table? Coleman has a propane-powered device that spigots instant hot liquid at the touch of a button.

Take ‘em or leave them, the following five products, from the power tent to stakes topped with pink flamingos, were made to put some “pamper” into the car camper experience.

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1. Power Tent
Plug in reading lights and recharge the iPod in the Eureka! 1310 N!ergy tent, a shelter equipped with three 12v DC outlets wired to a rechargeable battery pack. The home away from home has six windows and a 13 × 10-foot floor plan to sleep up to 10 people. $299.90, www.eurekatents.com

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2. Outback BBQ
Grill veggies or meat on a state park picnic table with this packable stove. Powered with propane cartridges, the Primus Atle BBQ ignites at the push of a sparker button and fires hot — up to 12,000 BTUs on the burner — for backcountry feasts. $90, www.primuscamping.com

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3. Hot Pipe
Hot water for cooking or cleaning can be an ultimate luxury while camping. With the Coleman Hot Water On Demand device, piping-hot H20 is easy to obtain: Press the button on this propane-powered spigot and instant hot liquid will rush forth from its tank in five seconds. $258.49, www.coleman.com

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4. Port-o-Kitchen
Kelty calls this foldable cook table a “deluxe culinary setup.” Indeed, with aluminum prep surfaces, bins, shelves and wind screens, the Basecamp Kitchen can handle up to 100 pounds of food and cooking equipment on top. $160, www.kelty.com

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5. Pack Flamingos
Add some kitsch and flair to your camp setup with a flock of Pack Flamingos, inflatable nylon lawn ornaments that come topped on aluminum tent pegs. Campers pound in these birds for support, guy line visibility as well as a cheeky decoration. $22 for a four-pack, www.pacoutdoor.com

Note: This is the first in a two-part series of columns on luxury-oriented camping gear. Click here for column No. 2.

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