With a holiday weekend coming up, we’re all looking to get out of the concrete jungle for some nature and fresh air. But, upon surveying the lodging scene, you may have noticed that there’s, um, nowhere to go. Every well-kept and cleaned Airbnb under the sun is booked, and crashing with friends is no longer the more-the-merrier affair it was pre-pandemic. If you’re not already sharing an established “social bubble,” even staying with family can be tricky. And then there’s the matter of travel — with long-haul train and bus rides a less-than-safe transit option, suddenly car travel seems like the way to go.
If you’re determined to mark the long weekend with a multi-mile hike, a full day at the beach, or grilling in the grassy countryside, you can still enjoy a jaunt out of the city — you’ve just got to be prepared. With this in mind, we rounded up the best gear for a comfortable, home-like experience even if you’re spending the day eating, drinking, and even napping out of the trunk of your car. Whether it’s a comfortable, stylish camping chair that collapses into a two-pound bundle; a tailgating table that attaches to your tires; or a portable cast-iron grill about the size of your laptop, there’s plenty of swag to make your vehicular excursion very comfortable and very fun. We tapped into what tailgaters, car-campers, and van-lifers have known for millennia: you don’t need four walls to feel at home; just four wheels.
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