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Photo: Julian Bialowas (Unsplash)

Tradition says we’ll all gather around a big table covered with a massive (yet deceased) bird, a tray of hotly-debated stuffing, a dish of cranberry sauce, and a small portion of yams that may or may not have melted marshmallows on the top depending on whether Aunt Susan is in town.

But, what’s tradition anyway? For many, this holiday is steeped in cultural appropriation and a feeling of dread as Indigenous peoples view it as a day of loss. Rather than increase that massive divide, why don’t we all op-in and call it something new:

Happy Campsgiving, everyone!

Mother Nature is something we can all agree on, and spending time outside is universally accepted as being good for the soul. Rather than fight with your sibling over the last dinner roll, why don’t we all throw some fixins’ into a cooler, snag your favorite gear, and head to a campground to enjoy a Campsgiving for the ages. Of course, there are a few necessities needed to create the proper ambiance, and I’ve included those below.


Now, who is going to bring dessert?

Sure, you could bring some from home but who wants to break Grandma’s china around the campfire? We need some dishes and I can think of no better set than this BPA-free, completely recyclable set by GSI. Each person gets a mug, a glass, a plate, and a bowl, so you’ll have plenty of space for all the calories you’re about to consume.

Eureka! Ignite 2 Burner Campstove, $100
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

It would be fun to cook your meal on an open fire, but let’s get real: that sounds like a surefire way to be searching for an open Chinese restaurant around 8 PM when you’ve either singed your meal black or accidentally dumped it into the coals. Snag this 2 Burner stove by Eureka that boasts ample cook space and a precise dial that helps you adjust simmer control. Plus, it’s affordable.


Let’s get some ambiance up in here, shall we? Snag this string of solar-powered lights to drape over the picnic table for a little mood lighting. One string includes 10 nodes on an 18-foot cord, so better still: snag two, and use one to light the way to the bathroom for post-beverage festivities.

Otterbox Venture 25 Cooler, $230
Photo: Otterbox

Don’t yell at me, please. I know this cooler is pricey as all get out, but that’s because IT WORKS. I’ve used the Venture on road trips and camping trips for the past year, and I’ve never questioned its performance. (Truth: I even stashed breast milk in there when I was nursing our daughter.) I would have zero concern about throwing your bird inside to keep cold until it was time to cook. How’s that for confidence?


I can see it now: slap a marshmallow onto your extend-a-fork and sit back in your chair as the gooey madness melts in the fire. Sounds like the perfect post-meal dessert, if you ask me (which you kind of did if you’re reading this). Plus, it has Sasquatch on there. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than a Yeti in the fire.

Sufferfest Beer
Photo: Sufferfest Beer

If you’re not a beer person, I apologize and encourage you to continue reading. But if you are, let’s hold up a tick and talk about Sufferfest. Designed by athletes, this gluten-free beer is meant to be a healthier alternative for post-activity enjoyment. Now, I’m not entirely sure I can ever categorize beer as healthy, but it tastes good, so why not enjoy a sip around the table.

Heather Balogh Rochfort is an outdoor expert and full-time freelance writer and author in the outdoor industry.

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