The history of my camping kit is one of me scoffing at elements of gear as unneeded then discovering they’re widely adopted for a reason. Case in point: Table? Who needs a table? Then, after 11 hours of driving, taking my niece to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we finally pulled over on a dirt road near midnight to make a big bowl of pasta. Right after adding the sauce, the bowl tipped over on the uneven dirt and spilled into the dust. Tears of hunger might have been shed, and I’m not saying they were hers.
My current favorite camp table by a long shot is the NEMO Equipment Moonlander, which I’ve paired with the Moonlight Reclining Chair (see header image above). It’s a marvel of clever engineering, and every time I use it I find pleasure in the experience and appreciation for the creative minds that designed it. The Moonlander has hinges in the middle that let it fold in half. Carried in its zippered case, it’s about the size of a small clutch briefcase. Slide it out and open it and you’ll see twin sets of arched legs unfold-they resemble miniature suspension bridges. This gives the table a height of four inches, which is ideal for cooking at ground level and not spilling your pasta in the dirt. It’s also an excellent height when you want your cold and frosty next to your chair legs and within easy reach. You can put it on a desk to get some lift for your iPad, which I’m writing on now, and you can even rest on your lap if your WFH is really work from camp.
That’s the table in configuration one. In configuration two, you remove four shockcorded legs from their storage beneath the table top and slip them into round slots, lifting the table surface to 16 inches above the ground. That locates your guacamole less than an arm’s length away from most camp chairs, including the Moonlight.
The Moonlander surface is made of heat-stabilized nylon that measures 19 inches by 15 inches. NEMO warns against cooking directly on the table and I have heeded that warning by placing something between table and stove, like a storage box. With square aluminum and zinc locking legs and a weight limit of 100 pounds, it’s plenty stable for cooking, though not sitting (unless you’re a leprechaun or small woodland nymph).
Complaints? None, nada, zip. The Moonlander is a heck of a purposeful table and mine has accompanied me on numerous camping trips, picnics, and outdoor concerts.
It’s also often accompanied by the Reclining Chair. NEMO’s new Stargaze Recliner has gotten a ton of love from reviewers and consumers alike, but I also appreciate the simplicity of the Reclining Chair. It weighs less than two pounds, the mesh seat cups your nether regions with the comfort of a beanbag chair, and side straps let you sit upright for WFC or slouch back in languid repose. At 14 inches it’s the perfect height for the Moonlander, and with a weight limit of 300 pounds it will hold more nymphs than I can count.