8 Essentials for a Desert Camping Trip

Whether you’re hitting the Mojave or Joshua Tree, it pays to pack right. Here are our picks for the best new gear to bring on your desert camping trip

Luke Sykora
1 / 8

Early Birds

It’s morning’s first light: The birds are chirping in the mesquite, and you’re starting to think about coffee. But first, how about a jog up that tempting cactus-lined trail? If that’s the plan, the New Balance Summit Unknowns are the ideal kicks. They’re agile and lightweight, with breathable mesh and a grippy lugged rubber outsole that can handle unpaved surfaces and any rocks you decide to scramble up. Perfect, in other words, for an active weekend beyond the city limits.
2 / 8

Lay Low

Made to order in Mexico, this chunky yet soft blanket is clutch for stargazing.
3 / 8

Second Skin

When the temps drop, this near-weightless layer made from Polartec’s next-gen High Loft fabric takes the chill off.
4 / 8

Midnight Rays

Sun to spare? The backside solar panel charges up this compact light for nighttime reading.
5 / 8


Four liters is a lot of H20, but it goes fast in dry summer heat. Best to pack a spacious reservoir that collapses into a bag.
6 / 8


Designed for runners, light as air. Get the Black Rose lenses for shifting light conditions, such as in steep canyons.
7 / 8

Check In

Out of cell range? These let you and a friend create a private network to connect your phones. Split up, then text and share GPS coordinates.
8 / 8

No Sweat

From a 200-year-old studio, this Japanese equivalent of a bandana conjures the light show coming at day’s end.