When you set off on a camping trip, you’re leaving the majority of your creature comforts at home to be one with nature and experience all the wild has to offer. But that doesn’t mean you have to rough it, per se. There are plenty of clever camping gadgets that make living out of a backpack and sleeping under the stars a little more comfortable.
Whether you’re looking for camping essentials like clothing, towels, and bedding, cooking gear like a stove and utensils, or weird camping giftables like a survival bracelet or a solar-powered light, there are plenty of tried-and-true products to enhance your experience in the great outdoors. Here, the best of the best — all top-rated and tested products you can count on when you’re all alone in the vast wilderness.
Compressible Travel Pillow
Why rest your head on the ground when you can cozy up to a soft and fluffy foam travel pillow? It won’t add any bulk to your pack — it compresses down to one-eighth of its 14-by-18-inch size.
LANTERN & DECOR IN ONE
Like holiday lights, but more portable. Hang this battery-powered string of lights from your tent, so you don’t have to fumble with a flashlight in the dead of the night. When packed it the included nylon bag, it also functions as a convenient lantern.
Solar Bear Backpack Cooler
A comfortable and ergonomic backpack-style cooler that keeps up to 18 cans ice-cold for more than 24 hours. If you really want to max out its carrying capacity, the bag also has a front mesh pocket, a zippered pocket, and two side slots for water bottles.
CLEAN WATER ANYWHERE
Personal Water Filter
Not sure if you’ll have access to clean drinking water? This straw has over 7,000 five-star reviews, because like magic it can filter up to 1,000 liters of water without any chemicals or iodine.
Portable Mosquito Repeller
Protect yourself from all those itchy bug bites with this tiny device. It emits a DEET-free, scent-free insect repellent that covers an impressive 15-foot zone for 12 up to hours.
Campstove Portable Grill
This small, portable stove (it’s just eight inches tall and weighs just three pounds!) creates smokeless flames that’ll efficiently cook any campfire fare. It also has a smart LED screen for monitoring fire strength, power output, and fan speed settings. Bonus: There’s even an included USB port to charge your devices.
Plan to picnic along the way? You’ll want to have this durable, weather-proof blanket at the ready. It folds into a case no bigger than the palm of your hand, but provides the perfect spot for up to four people to perch.
YIZI GO Portable Camping Chair
Why settle for an unsteady, uncomfortable rock when you can take a load off in comfort. Though large enough to support up to 300 pounds, this chair weighs only 2.6 pounds and collapses to just 16 inches to fit in your backpack.
LAUNDRY ON THE GO
Portable Wash Bag
There’s no need to tote dirty laundry from point A to point B. In Cleaning Lab testing for camping essentials, this wash bag’s flexible washboard effectively removed both smells and stains. It’s no substitute for a real washing machine, but a few minutes of scrubbing will do the trick in a pinch.
Titan Stormproof Match Kit
You’ll never be caught without a light — a potentially life-saving item! — with this storm-proof match kit. The carrying case is fully waterproof and matches can stand up to gale force winds for as long as 25 seconds.
ULTIMATE CAMPING MUG
Classic Vacuum Bottle
A camping classic for good reason: The heavily insulated leak-proof bottle keeps cool drinks ice cold or and warm drinks piping hot for up to 24 hours. And the lid doubles as a cup for the ultimate in convenience.
LED Headlamp Flashlight
Use this bright LED headlamp to keep your hands free while you prep your campsite for the night or cook dinner over the open fire. There’s no need to worry about battery life — it runs for up to 45 hours straight.
CLEVER CAMPING GADGET
Who would ever guess something so small could be so useful in so many different scenarios? This 40-in-1 tool is as small as credit card and functions as a wrench, a pry-bar, a cord cutter, a bottle opener, and more, so you’ll be prepared for whatever the wilderness throws your way.
Portable Outdoor Shower
Instantly transform any water source (even a bucket of water) into a mini on-the-go shower. For the most comfortable experience, use the S-shaped hook to hang the head from a tree branch.
Coffee and Espresso Maker
If you can’t function (let alone hike a mountain!) without your daily cuppa, make sure to pack this portable coffee station. This simple press-style machine expertly brews up to three servings of coffee or espresso in about a minute. In Kitchen Lab testing for the best single-serve coffee makers, testers loved that all parts can fit easily into a gallon baggie and are super easy to wash.
When camping, trade your standard terry cloth option for microfiber. It’s lightweight, packs compactly, absorbs five times its weight in water, and dries in a flash.
For day trippers, a water-resistant backpack that weighs just half a pound, yet holds all the gear, food, and water you’ll need from sun up to sun down.
Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress
With this soft, compact foam camping mattress, it’s possible to wake up just as well rested after a night under the stars. It’s particularly good for a chilly evening, since the mattress has a reflective ThermaCapture coating and heat-trapping dimples that trap radiant heat to increase overall warmth by 20 percent.
CAMPING COOKING GADGETS
Destination Kitchen Set
Thanks to this compact kit, your campsite can function almost as well as your own kitchen does. It contains everything you need for your post-hike feast: Four forks, four spoons, and four knives, a collapsible whisk, a pivot spoon, a pivot spatula, a utility knife, a spice shaker, two condiment containers, a cutting board, a scrubber, and a camp towel — all tucked into one durable case.
Paracord Survival Bracelet
Keep some of the most essential survival gear as close to the palm of your hand as possible. This five-in-one bracelet contains a fire starter, a reliable compass, a loud emergency whistle, an emergency knife, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord, so you’ll be prepared for any unforeseen threats to your safety.
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