I like to camp. I’m not good at camping. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the fifteen-or-so-minute interval before dusk and the moment I get the campfire lit are chock-full of anxiety. That’s when I’m desperately proving not just to myself, but also to my girlfriend (and anyone present), that I am capable of intentionally starting a fire that serves a functional purpose: Warmth. Stove. Entertainment. The fire is the centerpiece of the camping experience.
So I always try to keep composure and remember the fundamentals behind the bonfires I managed to start during violent Nor’easters in the Outer Banks as a child. First, I organize a little paper and kindling beneath a splintered log. Think about the spacing between these items. Light the paper. Watch the kindling slowly take. Then splinters on the log. Then, the first flame wraps the firewood! We’re in business! Man, that’s a good feeling. And, no, don’t shuffle those logs around! No, don’t blow on the kindling! I got it!
Like I said, I’m not good at camping. But I like it. So I was eager to check out Poler’s new camping gear this summer, and as Poler has recently begun to make gear especially for surfers, the moment seemed as good a time as any to give it a shot. Beyond that, it’s always seemed like a no-brainer for the surfing and outdoor industries to begin some sort of romance. At least dating. Makeout sessions. Something. And Poler seems like they’ve begun this courtship the right way. Largely because their stuff looks really cool. Their sleeping bags double as snuggies. Senses of humor! Innovation!
Granted, I am NOT the camping dude who summits Everest or sleeps on a portaledge. Not me. So I don’t need sherpa-approved camping gear. That would be overkill. I’d imagine the vast majority of folks who camp don’t need that either. As long as rain can’t get me in my sleep, and I’m warm in my sleeping bag, my gear has done its job. If it’s aesthetically pleasing and my girlfriend thinks it’s cute, then that’s a plus as well.
This summer I spent a weekend testing out Poler’s two-man tent, napsack, and roll bag, and for a recreational camper, the tent was easy and quick to assemble with its single pole. It kept out the creepy crawlies (and the water with its 3000mm waterproof coating), and was easy to pack up. That night was an exceptionally mild Southern California night at San Onofre, which suits the tent – as I’m not sure I’d want to tread into overwhelmingly rugged territory with it. It seems perfect for mild camping during the summer in Orange County.
But the napsack was my favorite. It’s rated to 50 degrees, and it doubles as a wearable snuggy indoors or outdoors. You can poke your arms out of holes in the side, let your legs hang out of the bottom by not cinching the drawstring, and wear it around pretending to be a very soft monster.
The 20L High and Dry rolltop bag was also useful for camping, but it’s become my new daily office bag. It’s got a laptop sleeve inside, and is compatible with a dry bag, so when going from the beach to the office, I feel like my gear is safe.
Poler Stuff isn’t the most affordable camping option. But you knew that. You also probably know you could spend a fortune assembling an arsenal of camping gear, so considering the the product’s thoughtful aesthetic and cool features, the pricing seems to fit the value.
Check out more on Poler’s Two-Man Tent, which retails for $261.95 here.
More information on the Napsack, which retails for $135.95 here, and the High and Dry Pack 20 is available for $99.95 on Poler’s site.