Ah, camping. The serenity, nature, the removal from society… a little time in the woods can be great for slowing down and clearing your head.
But let’s be honest: many campers enjoy the experience as a little recharge… and also want to be able to recharge their phone. And yes, showering is low on the list of necessary duties when you’re in the wilderness, but if you’re going to do it, then why not have heated water while you’re at it?
As far as nature necessities, there are two camps, if you will: the minimalists and the gadget-geek. This second group is not the same as a “glamper” (someone who needs certain luxuries while camping), but instead, enjoys incorporating the latest technology and camping gadgets into their wilderness experience.
If you or someone you know falls into the technologically-inclined category, read on about the newest must-have tools. From purely fun doodads to practical safety items, we’ve got your 21st-century camping gear list covered!
ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon
As far as safety goes, this device is a must-have for any advanced wilderness explorer. ACR Electronics Inc. specializes in safety equipment, particularly survival gear. The ResQ Link, which comes in a few different models, uses GPS and MHZ signals to constantly relay your position via satellite. For campers who are hiking trails, scaling mountainsides, and steering around river bends, this device is a necessity.
Available on Amazon for about $240.
Lighted Bocce Set
At the other end of the gadget spectrum, this light-up bocce set by Playaboule invites some fun into your evenings by the campfire. No more worrying about playing games as it gets dark, or running the risk of losing toys! The bocce balls have two lighted settings, and are also water-resistant… in case you toss a little too close to the lakeshore.
Find the set on Amazon for about $80.
Biolite CookStove & CampStove
Biolite is a powerhouse company (no pun intended) when it comes to renewable energy and energy conversion, and their camp stove selection is no exception. The CookStove and CampStove 2 are portable, wood-burning stoves that convert heat into usable electricity and work with any camping cookware.
Combined with the built-in ports, this means that in addition to cooking your food and boiling your water, you can charge any USB-compatible device!
Available on Amazon, the different models run between $150 and $200.
Biolite Nanogrid Lighting System
Biolite does it again, this time with their innovative lighting system. With six different lighting option from lanterns to string lights, the Nanogrid offers numerous customizable lighting options. They’re specifically designed to be sleek and packable without losing any of their power, and as is Biolite’s signature, they’re both USB rechargeable and capable of charging other devices. The string lights are even dimmable, meaning you can control the ambiance of your scenic setting.
Find the system on Amazon for around $80.
Gloves and smartphones used to be arch enemies until someone figured out how to make gloves that are compatible with touch screens! For the cold-weather camper who needs to warm their digits while typing some digits, the Agloves Sport Touchscreen gloves will do the trick. Time and again these gloves have topped the “best of” lists, mainly because the entire glove is tech-compatible, not just the fingertips. As an added bonus, they’ve reasonably priced– no big deal if you lose one on the trail.
Purchase them through Amazon for just $10!
Paddleboarding is all the rage these days, and for good reason– it’s a good workout and a unique way to explore nature! But no matter how fun, there’s no arguing that paddle boards are not the most portable outdoor equipment. Unless you get an inflatable one, like the Aquaglide series!
It sounds too good to be true, but Aquaglide specializes in inflatable water products, using the latest technology to make their boards both lightweight and functional. The advanced design and quality materials make their boards, like the popular Cascade model, just as rigid as a traditional paddleboard. It comes with its own travel backpack and pump, ready to dive in whenever you are!
Snag one (in multiple lengths) at Amazon.
Solar Camp Shower
Sure, a little grit and grime is part of the experience when you immerse yourself in nature, but it’s nice to clean up once in awhile too. And while taking a dunk in a river might be enough to get the job done, a more enjoyable camp shower experience is possible! With the Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower, you can enjoy a heated, pressurized shower while letting gravity and sunlight do all the work.
The 3-gallon capacity is perfect for one person, without being too heavy to hoist into a tree by yourself. It also rolls up for easy storage when not in use. And thanks to the extra pockets on its sides, you’ll never have to worry about dropping your soap or losing your shampoo. Satisfied customers praise the well-designed loops for securing the bag, meaning you can hang it at just the right height for a good scrub.
Find it on Amazon for $25.
Nothing shuts down a camping party quicker than night setting in. Campfire is a useful source of light but isn’t portable or practical inside a tent. For this reason, the 30-Day Lantern by Ultimate Survival Technologies is the perfect energy source for your illumination needs. All it takes is 3 D-size batteries, and its LED bulbs will provide light for up to 30 days. Thanks to the brightness of the LEDs, this lantern will light your path, and thanks to its built-in hook, it can also light your tent. It’s also water-resistant, impact-resistant, and weighs just over one pound!
Pick one up on Amazon for between $30 and $50.
If you’re going to spend any length of time outside, protecting yourself from bugs (and the diseases they carry) is probably a top priority for you. But sprays can be smelly, greasy, and harmful to breathe for long periods of time. You need the Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller! Thermacell specializes in bug-repellant products, and their devices are guaranteed to repel bugs in a 15’ by 15’ space. The Repeller contains a repellant similar to one found in chrysanthemums and uses a butane cartridge to heat and disperse the product. Since they’re silent and odor-free, they’re also ideal for hunters!
Grab one at Amazon for about $20.
Solar-Powered Weather Radio
Part of the excitement of camping or hiking is being caught up in the whims of Mother Nature…but it’s also important to stay safe! Carrying a weather radio will help you stay aware of your surroundings and advise you on when it’s time to seek shelter from the elements. This Epica model has AM, FM, and weather frequencies, an LED flashlight, and a port to charge your phone. Most importantly, it can be powered three different ways: a traditional outlet plug, a manual hand crank, and a solar panel! Similar in size to a flashlight, this compact and lightweight radio means you’ll always know what kind of weather is on the horizon.
Get one on Amazon for around $20.
SOG Bladelight Knife
Two of the most important tools needed for a successful camping trip is a good light and a good knife. The Bladelight Tactical Knife by SOG is the best of both worlds, combining powerful LED lights with a superior blade.
Originally designed for military use, this fixed blade makes a great camp knife, allowing you to fillet a fish, slice some steak, or trim a branch no matter what time of day or night.
Find it at Amazon for between $50 and $70.
Is there anything more annoying than wet socks? Soggy footwear can be a recipe for blisters, which can put a serious damper on your excursions. But thanks to Showers Pass fully-waterproof Crosspoint socks, you’ll never have to worry about sodden hosiery again.
Originally intended for cyclists, these three-layered socks will keep your feet toasty and dry in any kind of precipitation.
Get them on Amazon for about $35.
Water Filtration Bottle
For years, wilderness enthusiasts have been singing the praises of the LifeStraw, a portable water purifier that removes bacteria and parasites and makes any water clean for drinking. One step better than the LifeStraw by itself is the LifeStraw Go water bottle, a 22-ounce bottle that houses the LifeStraw.
The specially-designed camping/hiking water bottle provides clean water when you need it most! Fill up the bottle from any water source, and the straw will make it safe to drink– keeping you hydrated for your next adventure.
Pick one up on Amazon for $30-$45.
Portable Washing Machine
Traveling light on a long camping trip can be hard, especially if you need to pack a lot of clothes. But thanks to the Scrubba portable laundry system, you can pack minimally and re-wear your clothes multiple times in one trip!
This packable washing machine has an internal washboard for scrubbing– just fill with water, a splash of detergent, and start shaking! After a final rinse, your clothes will be clean and ready to take you back to the trails or straight to the office.
Get one from Amazon for about $50.
A Well-Lit Tent
Campers everywhere bring lanterns and flashlights on their excursions, but it’s a pain when they take up extra space in the tent. And while there are many great tent brands out there, many aren’t designed with a lot of extra space for auxiliary lighting. Enter, the Rattlesnake tent by Big Agnes, strung with LED lights woven into its seams. It’s available in a few different models, and has is patent-pending LED light technology integrated right into the body of the tent.
With the click of a button, they’ll run up to 90 hours on just a few AAA batteries! Great ambient tent light that doesn’t take up any room means you can read or play games long after the sun has set, without sacrificing any of your sleeping space.
Check them out on Amazon for around $300.
From cooking to sleeping to hiking to eating and everything in between, these gadgets will make your camping experience easier, so you can spend all your time in the wilderness enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer!