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essential camping gear – moonshade canopy

create shade wherever you go!

One of the two game changing additions to my camp set-up besides the cgear sand-free mat.

in previous years, camping around various desert locations, i could spend hours looking for the perfect rare shady spot. Usually, always occupied, mid-day was a time i dreaded. Not anymore, and if i see a shady spot, I’ll still jump on. but, as the sun arcs across the sky, a little supplemental shade to fill in the gap is completely welcome.

the moonshade is for all of us without roof racks or any other anchoring system. We are the bare-roofed ones. The ones left out in the sun. But alas! The innovative folks at moonshade, were paying attention and came up with the perfect solution.

it’s an easy one person set-up, with a variety of super strong anchoring magnets and suction cups to get attachment points in place. Clip the corners of the canopy in place, and then one by one quickly add the cross supports and upright poles. Finally, secure the moonshade canopy down with tent stakes and guy lines. İ like to back up the magnetic anchors with the included heavy duty suction cups, and an extra set of tent stakes along the backside of my van.

Quality and Craftsmanship seems great. İt’s been through some pretty high winds, and as long as i wasn’t lazy about securing it correctly, it’s stayed in place and kept me dry and shady.

set-up and teardown are easy, fast and I’ve never needed any assistance doing so.

About the author: stelae travels the US, camping, cooking and van living, while working as a silversmith and lapidary artist. You can view his creations here

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essential Camping gear – sand free mat

campsite

cgear original sand mat

want to transform your camping, picnicking, beach, yoga experience, or any outdoor adventure? If your into almost any outdoor based activity, a cgear sand-free mat can eradicate many of the subtle annoyances that can plague an excursion. You can create a 10 x 10 instant clean zone outside your tent, van or RV. Bring it to the beach, or on a hike. Take it canoeing or kayaking and and bust it out on the riverbank for an immediate welcome mat. I ordered mine from Backcountry.

its basically two separate + durable woven polypropylene fabrics, sewn together and including grommets for staking if needed. The unique weave allows particles of sand and smaller debris to fall through and not come back up. Anything else that happens to show up, simply can get swept off easily. I’ve used it all over the country for a year now, and I’m convinced of it’s durability and longevity. it’s polypropylene, so avoid placing it where campfire embers may pop onto.

ive found it enormously useful for keeping outdoor litter and debris from getting into tents and vehicles when placed next to them. It’s been great to pull out and do yoga on, fix a flat bike tire on and general hanging out. Fixing the flat tire was really nice to be able to set small parts and tools on without losing them in the sand and gravel. It also creates a sort of living room feel inviting you to chill out.

it does not work well for fine mud or in puddles. But, site selection is an art, and you really should try for a sandy, gravely spot anyways. However, it still cleans off easily and dries Fairly quick. One more thing to always avoid or anticipate is pine sap. I’ve put the mat on pine needles and reduced the amount of sap i would be tracking in everywhere. It can get on the mat as it would get on anything. That is the nature of tree sap after all. But, it cleaned off easily later washing it with pine oil based cleaner. It’s machine washable, packs up about the size of a sleeping bag and comes in a few sizes.

About the author: stelae travels the US, camping, cooking and van living, while working as a silversmith and lapidary artist. You can view his creations here

cgear sand free mat, perfect for a clean campsite