Get Out!

Gear Guide

The Essential Oregon Camping Kit

With Brian Barker May 17, 2010 Published in the June 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Kurt Hettle

Juice CS4 knife $70

Get it: REI locations;;
The Juice’s 15 tools let you slice summer sausage, saw deadfall for the campfire, and pluck out splinters, all without having to launch a search party for the right tool.

Butte shoes $90

Get it:
We’re all for Chacos on the trail—until we stub our toes. Luckily, Keen’s aerated Butte lets feet savor the breeze while digits stay safely stowed. A toothy sole bites through slick moss, and there’s enough ankle support to power up rocky switchbacks.

Alpinlite sleeping bag $410–440

Get it: Oregon Mountain Community; 2975 NE Sandy Blvd; 503-227-1038;;
Crammed with 850-fill down, the handmade 20-degree Alpinlite keeps high-country layovers worry-free. A snug draft collar wards off late-night breezes, and when you break camp, the bag, which weighs just under two pounds, stuffs down to the size of a loaf of bread.

Half Dome 2 tent $179–199

Get it: REI locations;
REI’s redesigned Half Dome—with 35 percent more interior space—offers hikers a bomb-proof retreat when storms strike. At nearly five pounds, it’s not the lightest option. But at less than $200, the price tag won’t torpedo your wallet.

Oregon 550t GPS $600

Get it: REI locations;;
Garmin’s latest navigational whiz comes with hundreds of preloaded 3-D topo maps, an intuitive touch screen, an electronic compass, and an auto-focusing digital camera. They even threw in the batteries. ?Your only worry is remembering to forward your pics to Mom.

Mobex backpack $100

Get it: Columbia Sportswear Company; 911 SW Broadway; 503-226-6800;
Weighing in at less than two pounds, the Mobex boasts porous shoulder straps to help vent body heat, a hydration sleeve, and interior webbing that keeps doodads in place. Plus, its tentlike exoskeleton prevents crumpling—and smooshed lunches.

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