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Backcountry Journal: Romance in the Wild

Romance in the wild is a bit of two-edged sword. It’s true that wilderness has a certain romantic charm—think of a crackling campfire, a stunning sunset, and the cool evening breeze that encourages two love-struck souls to draw closer together.

But it’s equally true that camping presents would-be romantics with certain challenges—think of constricting mummy bags, rash-inducing plants, biting insects, and camp meals that send your innards in a death spiral. As it turns out, there’s a lot of good gear that can help improve the not-so-romantic aspects of the campground.

To put some of the best to the test, we sent Jane and Grant, an outdoors-loving couple who met while working as Backcountry Gearheads, out on a camping trip. As former Gearheads, Jane and Grant have a passion for gear that rivals the passion they have for each other, making them the perfect test couple. Having the proper assortment of couple-worthy camping gear is a surefire way to take a camping date from lukewarm to red-hot. So get out there with our most romantic gear and share the wilderness with someone you love, there’s really no better way to get back to nature.

Sunnylife Picnic Basket for Two

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With a classy leather strap and a woven banana leaf exterior, the Sunnylife Picnic Basket for Two is a vessel that contains the makings of a perfect date night. Stuffed with cheese, wine, chocolate, and other delectable tidbits, this basket guarantees romance and unforgettable memories. Jane and Grant packed the basket with prosciutto, olives, figs, dates, and grapes for a delicious sunset snack. You can tuck your favorite bottle of red in the attached wine holder. The sturdy metal closure system ensures your food stays put while hiking or walking to your destination. The colorful nylon lining can easily be wiped clean and you’ll find plenty of storage space for a feast. The only thing not included is a stunning sunset, sandy beach, or idyllic forest—you’ll have to find that on your own.

 Kelty Low Love Camp Chair

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The Kelty Low Love Camp Chair is a sturdy, foldable seat for two lovers or two friends. Jane and Grant especially liked the two bottle openers attached to the cup holder on either armrest. The low height is perfect for relaxing in camp or for kicking back at outdoor concerts. This chair is ideal for either couples or singles, as there will always be a fellow camper or partygoer who forgot to bring a chair along. Kelty includes a sturdy carrying case to conveniently fold and stow the Low Love Chair when not in use. There’s nothing better than cuddling up next to a crackling campfire, and Kelty has made snuggling that much easier with this number.

Pendleton Love Me Blanket

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For over 100 years Pendleton Woolen Mills has produced quality woolen goods in America that reflect the culture and heritage of the Wild West. So it’s natural that Pendleton would collaborate with another icon, photographer and artist Curtis Kulig, whose “Love Me” phrase has been spotted from London to Istanbul to Tokyo. Kulig was in a slum of L.A. when he serendipitously tagged the phrase “Love Me” on a wall with a can of black spray paint. He began tagging this phrase over and over again and quickly gained notoriety and fame for his signature script manifesto. The luxurious Pendleton Love Me Blanket is an ode to love worthy of the most romantic moments—be it a picnic, sunrise, or snuggling on a rainy day—and is ideal for campers, lovers, and art fans alike.

GSI Outdoors Wine Gift Set

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A thoughtful gift for any of the couples on your list, the GSI Outdoors Wine Gift Set is the perfect accessory for adventure-loving wine enthusiasts. The neoprene pouch insulates chilled wine and the two-stage cap atop the wine bladder promotes both easy filling and pouring. The neoprene carrying case stows your liquid refreshment and two collapsible wine glasses are easily deployed when it’s time for a sip. A zippered pouch can also house a few small valuables or perhaps a few chocolates. It’s now easy for Jane and Grant to bring wine along to enjoy on a sunset hike or celebrate at an outdoor concert or festival. This is one of our favorite wedding or shower gifts for newlyweds who love to experience the outdoors together.

Slackline Industries Trick Slackline

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When Jane and Grant head outside, rock climbing is at the top of their to-do list. To improve balance and core strength for climbing, and to stay entertained on rest days, they set up the Slackline Industries Trick Slackline. Everything you need to easily rig a line comes included in this kit, except for two suitable trees for anchor points. The webbing on the Trick Slackline has a little more give and provides intermediate slackers with a bit more bounce, lending itself to better technique and learning tricks. Every good relationship needs balance, so what better way to instill trust and communication than spending time together on the line?

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo 600 Sleeping Bag: Down

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If you’ve ever tried to zip two sleeping bags together, you know what a hassle it can be, especially after dark. And after a few hours of wining, dining, and getting the mood just right, fussing with zippers is not the stuff of romance. Enter the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo 600 Sleeping Bag. Stuffed with 600-fill DriDown insulation and rated to keep you comfy down to 30°F, the Backcountry Bed is a high-performance sleeping bag in every respect. But the best thing, in Grant and Jane’s opinion, is the integrated comforter, which eliminates the need for zippers entirely; it just feels more like a bed than a sleeping bag. The versatility of the comforter means more comfortable sleep at a wider variety of temperatures. Insulated sleeves keep your hands and arms warmer on chilly nights and a foot vent allows you to kick out when your toes get too toasty. Just climb in and snuggle without restriction.

Sex In The Outdoors, 2nd Edition

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The cheeky Sex in the Outdoors to provide amorous couples with tips and tricks for successful romance in the woods. There are, after all, many factors a nature-loving couple should consider, such as dirt, stinging nettles, and how to find the absolutely most scenic location to woo your mate. While the book doesn’t hold back on the humor, there’s no shortage of practical advice. Even if you don’t read it cover to cover, simply bringing it along is a considerate—though perhaps not very subtle—way of sending a message to your campmate. The key to great relationships is great communication, and if you’re looking to inspire a meaningful “conversation,” this book is a great way to do just that.

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