16 must-haves for your next queer camping adventure

16 must-haves for your next queer camping adventure

If you’re still relying on rusty pocket knives and torn sleeping bags to make it through the night on your outdoor adventures, it might be time to gay up your packing list. Camping, meet gamping. …Like, gay camping? (Not into it? Alright, see if it grows on you.) 

First and foremost, make sure your crew has the basics covered. This is important because no one’s going to care that Marsha P. Johnson is on your deck of playing cards if Derek forgot to bring the water and dehydration is setting in (thanks, Derek). Then you can elevate your gamping game—okay, you’re right, gamping’s not it—to new heights. Queer people have been putting the camp in camping since the dawn of time, after all. We should start act like it! 

Here are 16 must-haves to snag for your next queer camping adventure…

1. A boombox that’s also a cooler. For real.

Photo: IGLOO

There’s nothing queer about boomboxes or coolers, but when they’re blended together? We don’t know why, but that’s a six on the Kinsey Scale, easy. Keep your drinks chill atop an Igloo’s KoolTunes—a weather-resistant boombox-meets-cooler with Bluetooth technology—and look rad doing it.

2. Mugs to queer up the campsite.

Photo: PlayByCaro/Etsy

One delightful way to make your queer camping excursion all the more memorable is to gift unique items for your friends to all take home. These Cheers Queers mugs on Etsy, for example, nail it.

3. A travel bidet that’s collapsable, discreet, and stylish (yes, stylish). 

Photo: TUSHY

Real talk: we all know that camping isn’t always… cute. And if your next trip into the woods includes the possibility of getting down and dirty—minus the dirty—Tushy’s discreet travel bidet is a top choice for many outdoorsy types.

4. Mushrooms to make your trip magical.

Photo: TRE House

Be it personal or health reasons, magic mushrooms aren’t for everyone (be safe, kids!) but if you want to make that stroll in the forest with your friends sparkle a bit brighter, maybe these magic mushroom chocolate bars by TREHouse should be on your list.

5. Apparel to match the vibe.

Photo: Bear Bottom Clothing

You might want a few new lewks that capture the spirit of the great outdoors—without being too on the nose. This simple graphic long-sleeve t-shirt by Bear Bottom Clothing is an excellent option.

6. A mattress for two—that’s actually comfortable.

Photo: Exped

If you’re traveling with a partner—or expect to have guests sleep over—you should get the mattress right. The lightweight and highly rated MegaMat Duo 10 comes with a foam sleeping pad and plenty of space to keep two bodies warm. Keep the Brokeback Mountain vibes without actually breaking your back, you know?

If you’re sleeping solo or need a more budget-friendly option, check out these other top-rated camping mattresses tested by the editors at Men’s Health.

7. A portable campfire for the indoor gays who were never scouts.

Photo: Radiate

For those of us kids who wanted to learn how to star on Broadway more than learn how to start a bonfire, this eight-inch portable campfire from Radiate is *chef’s kiss.* It’s easy to use, reusable, and a great alternative to rubbing two sticks together until there’s a spark (although, that sounds like fun too).

8. A blanket that keeps you toasty in style.

Photo: Rumpl

This gloriously puffy blanket from Rumpl is lightweight but insulated, water-resistant, and comes in over a dozen different colorful designs.

9. A campfire that you’ve turned gay.

Photo: Magical Flame

Do campfires have a gender? No. A sexual orientation? Also no. Then is it really necessary that we turn them into homosexuals? Yes it is. Toss these color-changing packets from Magical Flame into the flames to give your campfire a limp wrist.

10. Pride playing cards featuring your favorite queer legends.

Photo: Shulph Ink

These pride playing cards by Shulph Ink feature past and present icons of the LGBTQ+ community, and, yes, there are plenty of queens in this deck, honey.

11. 4-in-1 cutlery utensils for the efficiency gays.

Photo: Hikenture

If you love the convenience of a spork but just reading the word spork makes you cringe, listen up: this 4-in-1 cutlery utensil from Hikenture has it all: a stainless steel spoon, fork, and knife, as well as a bottle opener.

12. An outdoor shower, in case things get dirty. (They will.)

Photo: Shutterstock/MJTH

If you’re an au naturale type, more power to you. But for those who prefer to keep hygiene a priority, a portable shower—like this battery-powered rechargeable one from Innhom—is a must-have. 

13. A thing to keep your bottom warm.

Photo: Dometic

If you’re expecting hands to be on your buns in your tent, you don’t want them feeling like ice packs, do you? This personal seat heater from Dometic is perfect for campers, keeping your tush warm and cozy for your comfort (and your handsy crush’s).

14. A pride fanny pack you won’t hate.

Photo: REI

Let’s be honest: lots of pride merch looks downright homophobic. Does that tote bag really need to be every color? All at once? That’s why REI’s Trail 2 Pride Edition Waist Pack is so great: you can wear it with pride without looking like a rainbow vomited on you.

15. A cookbook that got the assignment.

Photo: Country Living

If you want your next camping trip to include deliciously easy meals that will impress your fellow campers and require little-to-no clean up, then look no further than Country Living’s Eating Outdoors cookbook.

16. The gayest kind of cornholing.

Photo: American Cornhole Association

Make your cornholing even queerer with these two-by-four rainbow-chevron cornhole boards from the American Cornhole Association, which is a legit organization and definitely not the name of a fictional corporate office in a gay adult video.


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