Lighting: Lightweight powerbanks are the most efficient way to charge electronics on short forays in the field without the hassle of packing solar chargers. The Lander Cairn XL ($99) combines a 10,000 mAH battery pack with a super bright, 350-lumen lantern. Lander's smart lighting technology pairs with your Bluetooth device and adjusts its brightness based on your proximity. The 10-ounce unit is fully waterproof and burns for up to 250 hours. Used as a charger, it will refresh your mobile phone up to four times.
Sleeping Pad: Once again, Thermarest has raised the standard of backcountry comfort with innovative sleeping option that lives up to its name. The UltraLite Cot ($239) weighs less than three pounds. The setup relies on tent-style aluminum poles, which assemble in three minutes or less, and the reflective surface fabric offers a cozy night's sleep throughout the paddling season. (Related: Read our field test of the full Thermarest Cot system.)
Food: Ozery Bakery Morning Rounds ($7.59 for a six-pack) come in five flavors and offer a quick option for breakfasts, lunches or snacks on the trail. The preservative-free flatbreads are best toasted on a campfire and smeared with your favorite spread.
Sleeping Bag: True, you can get away with a lighter sleeping bag if you only camp in the summer. But if you push your paddling trips into the shoulder seasons, a warmer bag like the Thermarest Questar 0 ($299-349) is an outstanding choice. Not only is the Questar toasty into winter-lite conditions (we like how Thermarest employs a sliding scale temperature rating—the 0-degree Questar has a comfort rating of 0- to 14-degrees F), 650-fill water-resistant down makes it reasonably light and compact. If you're a cold sleeper or willing to open the zipper to dump heat, it's an admirable do-anything bag.
Shelter: What more can we say about the MSR Hubba Hubba NX ($399) tent? This two-person, three-season workhorse is the star of MSR's tent lineup, recently upgraded with condensation-shedding vents on either end of the fly and more durable fabrics. Space-wise, the Hubba Hubba is ideal for soloists or couples; choose the larger three-person Mutha Hubba to fit two bigger guys. (Related video review: C&K samples three-person tents.)
Pack: Cooler heavy-hitter Yeti has entered the dry storage realm with a home run. The Panga 75 duffel ($349) is bomber tough and guaranteed dry. Unlike other dry duffels, which rely on tedious ziplock-style closures, the Panga employs a straightforward zipper that's fast and reliable. The obvious application for such a duffel is in a whitewater raft, but I like my Panga for storing foodstuffs on canoe trips. The basic backpack-style straps will work for some, though I chose to replace them with a homemade tumpline. (Related: Conor Mihell and Frank Wolf discuss packing strategies for canoe expeditions.)
Camp Cooking: For years, radiant stoves were limited to high-speed water boilers favoring basic menus. The new MSR Windburner Combo ($259) bucks this trend with a stable, remote canister-fuel stove system that boils water rocket fast yet offers great opportunities for gourmet cuisine. The combo includes a large 2.5-liter pot and an 8-inch skillet, designed to pair with the burner unit for ultra efficiency. The non-stick ceramic cookware enables delicate sauces and pancakes, unlike most other camp stoves.
Clothing: Colorado-based boutique outdoor apparel label Voormi has dialled in the formula for 21st century wool. Exhibit A, the classic Camp Sweater ($149): a multi-use mid-layer that works equally well under a drysuit on a cold day or keeping warm at the campsite. This garment ups the versatility of wool with a non-itch combo of moisture-wicking fleece on the inside and a tough, water-repellent merino shell. The result is a good-looking, go-to sweater that's certain to find its way to the top of your clothes pack.
More gear at CanoeKayak.com:
— Dive into camp lighting options with editor-at-large Alan Kesselheim
— 5 camp chairs worth sitting in
— Video: C&K’s dry bag stress test
— All things gear