There's really nothing quite like truly embracing the wilderness and spending days at a time exploring. But if there's one downer to that experience, it's coming back to a barebones campsite after a day of hiking 20 miles. You can't really carry all the conveniences of a roadside campsite--furniture, food, cookware, drinks, etc.--into the backwoods, so you tend to make good with considerably less comfort.
But being comfortable at camp doesn't have to mean being less comfortable on the trail. There are many accessories that are well worth their weight. They may have to stay home for longer or lighter trips, but if you have a space in your pack, you'll be glad you have them.
The Eton Raptor is a multi-functional device that will stay busy your whole trip. On the trail, it delivers an alimeter, barometer, chronograph and digital compass. It also has an NOAA weather radio to keep you up to speed on weather patterns. Back at camp, use the bottle opener to pop your beer (if you brought a beer) and the audio input to have a little campsite music. You can also charge your cell phone battery with the solar charger. Pick it up here.
Big Agness Cyclone SL Chair Kit
Chairs are one of the sorely missed features of backpacking. Backpacking chairs aren't necessarily very comfortable, and they're one of the first things that get cut from your pack if you're running low on space. The simple, innovative Cyclone SL Chair Kit turns your inflatable sleeping pad into a chair. Two big advantages: An inflatable is sure to be more comfy than a flat-cushioned seat and it's just a small bit of material and webbing--6 oz. worth to be exact. So take a real load off after a long day's hike. Find out more at Big Agnes.
You know what epitomizes the discomforts and sacrifices that backpackers endure? Eating boiled slop every night for dinner. With the type of exercise that backpacking involves, you really want a nice ribeye steak and potato dinner. Instead, you have reconstituted probably-chicken drowned in soupy rice. Yumm.
Break that monotony up with the Coco BBQ--a small, one-pound BBQ with built-in charcoal and small packets of lighting gel. Slide it in your pack and have yourself a backcountry BBQ feast for at least one night. Find it at Amazon.
If you don't want the weight, consider taking the Zia Fabrications Titanium Grill where wood-burning is allowed.
GSI 1 Cup Aluminum Mini Expresso
Campsite coffee is a classic, but if you want to add a new twist, consider campsite espresso. This easy-to-use, shot-sized espresso maker heats up on your stove and pours a piping hot shot of espresso for your enjoyment. It's small and light, weighing in at just 7.1 ounces.
And if you don't want espresso, GSI also has some ultralight backpacking coffee gear. Here she is.
Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp
Enjoy the workhorse light of a headlamp and the ambient light of a lantern all in one small, lightweight package. Whether you're preparing dinner at dusk, hanging out in your tent after dark or taking a 2 a.m. bathroom run, you'll have the perfect light for the job. Find it.