Sunset goes camping

Our staffers field-test tips, recipes, and gear

IN THIS STORY:

Gear guide
Checklist
Good eats
Gourmet S'mores
Building the campfire
The perfect campsite
Fireside stories

In the summer of 2002, some of Sunset's editorial staff and their assorted spouses and children staged an off-site meeting, Sunset-style: We went camping in the forests of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It really was work ― while our staff is stacked with hardy veterans of the outdoors, we had to pitch new tents, try out exotic gear, and attempt novel recipes on unfamiliar stoves. But all of us had the time of our lives.

In these pages, we'll share advice gleaned from many years of camping, from experts, and from our "off-site" ― we did learn a few lessons. And we'll make this suggestion. When summer's almost here, we get our gear ready. We hope you do too.