Gear we recommend

Occasionally we will recommend a product that we have tried and used to improve our camping experience. Those items will be a clickable link in my blog articles for ease in your finding useful products, as well as for me to make a small profit as an *affiliate. I am also using this page to build a resource list with categories for your convenience.

Books and maps:

  • Death Valley –
    Maps: Tom Harrison map; National Geographic map. Both maps are printed on waterproof and tear resistant plastic.
    Guide books: The Explorer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park by Bryan ; Death Valley SUV Trails by Roger Mitchell
  • Big Sur –
    Los Padres National Forest Monterey & Santa Lucia Ranger Districts. You can buy a map or follow the links to download the map to use offline. I prefer a hard copy.
  • Campfire reading –
    No camping trip is complete without a good book to read! One of our favorite authors is Louis L’Amour with his historical fiction of the old west, often describing areas where we have camped out. Here is a favorite title to get you started, “The Shadow Riders“. Later you can watch the movie.
    A fun read of witty cautionary tales of outdoor life is, “A Fine And Pleasant Misery” by Patrick McManus.
  • Star chart – Camping under the stars isn’t complete without a star chart to learn the names of constellations and planets. No batteries or cell reception is needed for this manual star wheel. Read more about the basics for camping under the stars.


Camping gear:

  • Sleeping bag -Our favorite is a double size bag for two people (we are both tall), rated for zero degrees by Teton Sports Mammoth. This cozy bag has 3 zippers (both sides and across the bottom) with drawstrings, baffles in the head section and a comfy flannel lining. This bag served us well sleeping on an air mattress in the back of our pickup truck. Most recently it fits perfectly on our mattress pad in the cab over section of our Alaskan camper.
  • Enhance your camp cooking with the simple art of grilling on this handy, portable Smokey Joe BBQ by Weber. The smell and taste of smoked, barbecued meat and veggies beats the camp stove cooking method and this little BBQ makes it easy.

Personal gear:

  • Sunglasses –  I really enjoy the invisible “cheaters” in this pair of polarized bifocal sunglasses. The 1.50 readers really make a difference to see to tie a fishing lure, take out a cactus sticker, or to see the details of a desert flower.
  • Hair –  I  am a Stylist for Lilla Rose and their patented Flexi hair clip. I love these clips for practical easy care of my hair while camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, bicycle and horseback riding.

Sample itinerary and menu to camp in Death Valley


Truck campers:

  • For truck camper reviews: This is a great online resource to compare brands and find reviews by other real life campers.
  • The telescoping Alaskan camper:  After years of research we decided on the Alaskan camper for giving us the creature comforts we want while camping in the back country. Here is our story of a quest for a truck camper.

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