A lot has changed since modern camping gained momentum in the early 1900s after the US Forest Service and National Park Services were established. From tents to tents on top of trailers to eventually RVs, camping has evolved over the years.
Whether you prefer traditional tent camping or the comfort of your RV, cutting-edge innovations have made camping more convenient, safe, and enjoyable.
Did you know the word glamping wasn’t used until 2005? Although the concept of camping in luxury may not be new, its popularity has risen in recent years thanks to modern innovations.
Those looking to experience the great outdoors no longer have to worry about “roughing” it if they don’t want to. You can enjoy nature while being comfortable. Many of these innovations also keep the environment in mind so your family can enjoy camping for generations.
Keep reading to learn about 20 recent camping innovations!
1. Inflatable Hot Tents
Are you sick and tired of lugging around bulky hot tents for your winter camping adventures? Inflatable hot tents are a solution. This camping innovation was designed to remove some of the bulkiness that comes with hot tent camping.
2. Smart Tents
Cinch Popup Tents has introduced a line of innovative smart pop-up tents. The Cinch line features two-, three-, and four-person tents and the option to purchase additional space, coined “the hub.” These tents pop up in seconds and allow for multiple tents to be connected.
LED lights line the ceiling, which is what makes these tents smart. These lights brighten the tent with a quick tap on your smartphone. They also come equipped with solar panels that are designed to charge your USB devices with the sun.
3. Connect-the-Tree Tent
If you hate sleeping on the hard ground or meddling with finding a space free of rocks, the Connect-the-Tree Tent was designed for you.
This camping innovation features the option to tie your tent to surrounding trees, allowing you to comfortably raise your tent above ground to “sleep in the trees.”
4. 12-V and 24-V Air Conditioners
Although rooftop air conditioners aren’t new to the market, 12-V and 24-V air conditioners take RV, van, and car camping to a new level. Both of these unit types are still relatively new to the market, and most RV air conditioners as of the writing of this article are 120-V.
What makes 12-V and 24-V air conditioners innovative and special? These cooling units are far more energy efficient than 120V air conditioners, so they do not need a connection to an engine or shore power. Imagine the freedom this can bring when living off the grid.
These air conditioners require an electrical system like the EcoFlow 5kWh to operate.
The systems are expensive now because of their novelty. However, these camping innovations have the potential to change off-the-grid living forever because they work not only in RVs, they also operate in cars and vans.
5. RV Solar Generators
If you spend the majority of your time off the grid in your RV, investing in an RV solar generator is a real game changer. These generators can be charged with solar panels, allowing you to use energy while miles away from electricity.
This is a strategy for using clean energy when camping since solar energy does not use natural resources.
6. Portable Refrigerator and Freezer
Gone are the days of packing your food into ice. With portable refrigerators and freezers like the BougeRV CR35, you can have temperature regulation on the go and dual cooling compartments, so you can keep your meat frozen and your drinks cold.
7. Portable Air Conditioners and Heater
Temperature regulation camping innovations have come a long way in the last few years, altering the way we camp in the summer forever. You can now buy camping air conditioners for any situation, including tent camping.
Ecoflow also launched a new portable appliance in 2023 for cooling and heating, the first of its kind.
8. Solar Oven
The MrMapMax Solar Oven uses ultraviolet light to heat up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Portable Fire Pits
Camping doesn’t feel the same without a campfire. With burn bans on the rise due to droughts and wildfires, portable fire pits are an innovative solution. These no-mess propane campfires can go with you anywhere and are safe during most campfire bans.
10. Portable Washing Machine
Get a machine-quality wash in minutes wherever you are on your camping trip with the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag.
Gadgets and Tools
11. Electric Portable Water Filter
Access to clean drinking water is essential when camping. You no longer need to start a fire and bring your water to a boil to make it safe to drink (although you can if you want to be ultra-safe). Backcountry water filters have been essential to backcountry living since the 80s.
Traditional portable water filters require that you manually pump or squeeze them, which can be time-consuming. Electric portable water filters are a recent time-saving camping innovation, allowing you to spend time doing what you need to do while your water purifies.
12. Portable Heated Camp Showers
Backcountry showers no longer have to be freezing. The latest shower camping innovations include heated showers, so you won’t have to wait until you’re home to enjoy a hot shower.
13. Wireless Power Bank and Charger
Bringing power into the woods has changed camping forever, and thanks to the invention of wireless solar chargers, you no longer have to run back to your car or RV to charge your power bank. The GOODaaa Power Bank recharges with the sun, and it charges supported devices wirelessly.
14. Advanced Navigation Tools
The first handheld GPS came out in 1989 and since then, advanced navigation tools have changed how campers find their way. With the right navigation tools, you won’t have to rely on a compass to tell you which way to go.
Garmin’s inReach Mini 2 was introduced in 2022 and stands out because it allows you to send and receive messages via satellite, track your hikes, and call for help areas without a cellular signal.
15. BioLite Sunlight Rechargeable Lantern
The way we light up our campsites has also changed in recent years with new camping innovations, such as the BioLite Sunlight Rechargeable Lantern. The small, lightweight lantern charges with the sun, has a 3- to 50-hour battery life, and it’s bright enough to set up a tent.
Bugs destroy your camping trip and bug spray leaves you smelling like toxins. The Thermacell invention is for camping enthusiasts who want to avoid bugs and toxins.
This nifty camping innovation works by lighting a controlled butane cartridge, which heats a small metal grill. The hot grill vaporizes a small pad covered in bug repellant, producing a 15’ x 15’ bug-free area.
Clothing and Gear
17. Heated Jacket
A heated jacket used to be a dream–and recent camping innovations like the iHood make it a reality. This jacket has a small, barely noticeable battery able to keep you extra warm and toasty for up to 3 hours.
18. Heated Vest
If a heated jacket is too hot, try a heated vest instead. Heated vests are lightweight and insulated, allowing you to move without constriction. These vests are also great for layering and wearing underneath a jacket.
19. Battery-Powered Blanket
Electric blankets aren’t new, but battery-powered blankets are a relatively recent camping innovation. Battery-powered blankets allow you to sleep comfortably off the grid with the same coziness as an electric blanket.
20. Recyclable Sleeping Bag
Ever felt wasteful when it came time to toss your old sleeping back? NEMO came up with an innovative camping solution–a recyclable sleeping bag. Keep your camping gear out of the landfill with this fully recyclable sleeping bag that was designed from recyclable fabrics and materials.
21. Therm-a-Rest Poncho
What if you could have a wearable hoodie, a poncho, a pillow, and a blanket all in the same product? The Therm-a-Rest Poncho was invented to do just that, saving campers space. It’s well-insulated, water-resistant, and easily snaps together and apart to change shapes.
Impact on Camping Culture
The camping industry has adapted over the years to a tech-friendly, eco-conscious world. These innovations have impacted the way we camp today, and these innovations will continue to impact your children and grandchildren for years to come.
More people can enjoy camping thanks to these innovations. People who would have never tried camping before can now try camping with the use of these innovations, such as advanced navigation tools, to keep minds at ease in the wilderness.
Those with special healthcare conditions can also camp since it’s easier to bring medications and medical devices with portable refrigerators and generators. Heated vests, jackets, and blankets allow more people to experience cold-weather camping.It’s exciting to see what new camping innovations will be unleashed in the future. Keep an eye on the Camping Gear page for our latest discoveries!
- About the Author
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Nicole Kinkade grew up in campgrounds in the Midwest with her family in their RV and has many fond memories around the campfire. She and her husband took many tent camping trips at the beginning of their relationship, and she looks forward to sharing the outdoors with her young son as he gets older.
She loves discovering new camping techniques and sharing them with the world. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Media Communication, she is a passionate writer who loves sharing her knowledge online.
Nicole can be reached at email@example.com