Best Camping Gadgets
As many of you reading this are fully aware of, camping is one of the most relaxing, entertaining, and enjoyable activities that you can partake in. But, what good is it when you do not have the proper equipment and camping gadgets?
Now, the reality of the situation is you need to pack based on the camping that you will be doing. For example, if you have a camper then you can get away with several more tools and equipment. Yet, if you are into backcountry camping and backpacking then your list of items needs to be kept to a minimum. But, instead of focusing on all the essentials you will need, this guide is going to take a look at some fun little gadgets that can really be beneficial for you out in the woods or at your campground.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Designed with an ergonomic handle
It is lightweight, durable and waterproof
The cover can be removed
- STREAMLIGHT SIEGE LANTERN
- LIFESTRAW GO WATER FILTER BOTTLE
- GERBER FOLDING SPADE
- LUMINAID EMERGENCY LANTERN
- HILUCKEY SOLAR POWER BANK
- X-PLORE PARACORD BRACELETS
- THERMACELL HOLSTER
- BIOLITE CAMPSTOVE 2
- ETEKCITY PORTABLE STOVE
- WACACO Nanopresso
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST CAMPING GADGETS
1. STREAMLIGHT SIEGE LANTERN
Designed with an ergonomic handle
It is lightweight, durable and waterproof
The cover can be removed
With the cover on, the emitted light is decent at best
There is almost an unwritten rule that you need to have some sort of lighting device when you go camping. Well, feast your eyes on this lantern from Streamlight as this is as good as it is going to get.Read more
As you already know, this is a lantern. But, what you probably do not know is that it is extremely rugged and powered with C4 LED technology.
The same C4 LED technology is what allows this lantern to emit such powerful light. Then again, this is only with the polycarbonate cover off as when it is on, the emitted light is not that impressive.
At just under one pound, this is about as portable as it gets in regard to its weight. For the record, this also floats in water in the instance you accidentally drop it in water.
The polycarbonate cover is pretty much unbreakable and this entire design is impervious to shock. Oh, and it is also IPX7 rated for waterproofness and has a lifetime of 50,000 hours.
In addition to everything else, this is also equipped with an ergonomic handle and spring-loaded D-rings on both the top and bottom.
To say this is optimized for camping is the understatement of the millennium. After all, it is rugged, waterproof, portable, and can be used to provide light in emergency situations.
2. LIFESTRAW GO WATER FILTER BOTTLE
Sports an extremely lightweight design
It is not ever going to expire
Built with BPA-free Tritan
It can leak if tipped over
The filters do not remove any chemicals
If you know you will not have instant access to clean and filtered water then this device will work wonders for you. It can literally remove protozoa and bacteria from any water that is filtered inside of it.Read more
Sometimes, you will not have access to clean and filtered water and that is where this bad boy comes into play. It is an award-winning design that is going to remove protozoa and bacteria from any water that enters inside it.
In spite of the fact that this is not going to filter out any minerals or chemicals, its two-stage activated carbon filter is going to remove nearly 100 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of protozoan parasites present in water.
If you imagine a standard-sized water bottle then you have imagined this filter. No matter what type of camping you are doing, you should have no trouble traveling with this.
The bottle itself is made out of BPA-free Tritan (which is simply a form of durable plastic). But, the interior components are not going to break down over time as there are no moving parts.
Overall, this design is pretty simple and is pretty much devoid of any extra features. But, that is perfectly fine.
Anybody who is anybody should be compelled to buy this water filter. Probably the only reason you would not is if you have constant access to filtered water. But, why not just use a simple and portable water filter to do the trick?
3. GERBER FOLDING SPADE
A locking mechanism keeps it open while in use
It will fold for easier transport
It is built with superb quality
Sand and other debris can get lodged inside
Some users have complained about the weight
Okay, so camping is not all about fun and games and, sometimes, you will need to get a bit of work done. Well, if you end up needing to perform any work that requires a spade then you will want to have something like this.Read more
In short, this is a sturdy spade that can be folded down for transport. Oh, half of the blade is also serrated for enhanced digging power.
Not only does the aforementioned serrated edge make it easier to dig and cut through certain objects but the overall shape of this blade allows it to enter the ground with ease. Of course, some users have complained that sand and other debris can get lodged inside.
Okay, so this does fold down for transport which is really, really nice. However, at just over two pounds in total weight, some users have felt that this is a little too heavy.
Let’s just say that this is built like a beast. It sports a blade that is made of powder coated carbon, a handle that is made of tough glass-filled nylon and shaft that is made of anodized aluminum.
To enhance safety and efficiency while you use this, it is equipped with a locking mechanism that prevents it from closing accidentally.
Not all of you will need a gadget such as this but it is a brilliant design with even better construction. It will be perfect for the right users.
4. LUMINAID EMERGENCY LANTERN
There are five different brightness settings
It is waterproof and shatterproof
It can be collapsed for easier transport
The performance can be a bit inconsistent at times
Yes, this is another lantern but this one is a bit different. In addition to being fully collapsible for transport, it is solar-powered and can be used for emergencies.Read more
This is not a flashy design by any stretch of the imagination but it is a lightweight and inflatable lantern that is built with LED lighting.
For such a small lantern, this can deliver the goods when it comes to its lighting (at least when you use it on turbo mode). It will also last up to 24 hours on low (with a fully charged battery). But, some previous users have criticized its performance.
Does it really get more portable than this? After all, it is equipped with a carrying handle and also has the ability to be collapsed down at any time.
First off, this is made of rugged and heavy-duty TPU material. Secondly, it is fully waterproof and shatterproof. Lastly, it is safe to use in hotter climates as it does not emanate that much heat.
For the record, this is a solar lantern and can be recharged with the power of the sunlight. Also, this is equipped with five different brightness settings.
The concept of this lantern is just amazing. While it is not impeccable in its performance, you can’t doubt its sheer uniqueness and practicality.
5. HILUCKEY SOLAR POWER BANK
Designed with a built-in flashlight
Protects your connected devices from damage
Has a battery capacity of 10,000 mAh
The solar charging is time-consuming
The hook on the back is cheaply made
Some of you may be looking to boycott any technology devices while you go camping as they can control your life. But, even so, a portable power bank is nice to have in an instance where you really, really need power for a particular device or two.Read more
In case you did not know what a power bank was, it is basically a device that has stored energy that can provide juice to your other external devices. That is the premise of this device in a nutshell.
The 10,000 mAh capacity and dual USB outputs can charge two of your devices at 2.1 amps. Even more impressive is that this sports advanced circuitry that provides overcurrent, overvoltage, short circuit and overheating protection to your devices.
To give you an idea of how large this actually is, it is roughly the size of an iPhone 7. It is clearly a bit bulkier than an iPhone 7, though.
The good news is this is a waterproof, shockproof and dustproof design. However, various users have noted that the hook that is located in the back is pretty cheap.
Though this can be charged with the sun, doing so is a very time-consuming process. For the record, you can opt to charge it with an electrical outlet, too. Oh yeah, and this is also equipped with a built-in flashlight (that has three different modes).
Having battery power at your disposal at any time is a great luxury to have when you are camping. For some of you, it will be an absolute necessity.
6. X-PLORE PARACORD BRACELETS
There are different color combos available
They are packed with several features
You receive two with your purchase
The included knife is not very practical
The compass has been criticized
Whenever you are away from the comfort of your own home, you just never know what is going to happen. When out in the wilderness, you may want some high-quality paracord bracelets with you.Read more
Yes, these are bracelets but they are not for show and are more for survival. The paracord itself is a survival tool as well as the other equipped items.
All in all, the compass and knife are not great but they are somewhat suitable. As for the rest, the paracord is nice and this can also be used to a light a fire.
Even if you do not want to wear each of these paracord bracelets on your wrists, you could always easily snap them on your backpack or carry them in your pockets.
Due to the fact that these are designed according to the highest quality standards, you can expect them to hold up to mild abuse.
Looking past all the functions of these bracelets, there are really not any other extra features to speak of, quite frankly.
Look, you may not use these once on your camping trip but they can be nice in the instance where you do need to utilize them. They are also incredibly easy to carry around.
7. THERMACELL HOLSTER
There are two additional side pockets
Designed of durable nylon
It allows you to carry your Thermacell Repeller as conveniently as possible
It should come with the actual mosquito repellent
Mosquitos can ruin any camping trip and can be difficult to control. However, this holster could be a start as it will hold Thermacell Repellers. But, do note that this is the holster and that is it.Read more
Several buyers have voiced their displeasure about the fact that the actual repellent is not included with your purchase. But, this is a nice holster to hold it.
What is nice is this holster is designed with elastic closures and these allow you to insert and remove the repellents easily and quietly.
No worries for portability here as this is designed with a 360-degree rotating belt and is designed to clip onto appropriate items.
This is made of durable nylon and when it needs to be cleaned, you can do so very easily.
There are actually two side pockets integrated and these can allow for spare mats and fuel cartridges.
This is a bit of an “off-the-wall” gadget but there is nothing that can ruin an outdoor experience faster than mosquitos (besides inclement weather that is).
8. BIOLITE CAMPSTOVE 2
It cooks meals while charging your external devices
The internal fan creates more efficient fire
Designed with lightweight aluminum legs
It is not an efficient power bank
You do need to start the fire first
Here is your winner for the most unique and compelling gadget on this entire list. And, though it is not the best, this portable camping stove shows just how far technology has come.Read more
You do not need fuel with this as it only burns wood. This basically utilizes special technology to create smokeless fires that you can cook from. Of course, you will need to actually start the fire first.
This is the CampStove 2 and it sports 50 percent more power and also an internal fan that creates fires with virtually no smoke whatsoever. Oh, and the grill top can roughly fit four burgers, to give you an idea of its size.
In addition to its compact size, this is also designed with lightweight aluminum legs that will fold up for transport and portability.
While you should not be careless with this stove, it is designed with heat mesh (to act as a protective barrier) and the aforementioned aluminum legs.
Clearly, the most prominent extra feature is the fact that this can be used as a power bank. Any additional power is stored in the integrated battery. But, do not expect wonders with this feature.
It can be hard to wrap your head around how this device works but it certainly does perform very well. Then again, some reviewers have argued that the execution could have been a bit better.
9. ETEKCITY PORTABLE STOVE
It burns clean
Comes with a carrying case
Built with a strong valve connection
The burner is susceptible to blowing out
The burner is also quite narrow
While this stove will not work by itself (as you will need a compatible fuel canister), it is a necessity to have if you want to cook meats and other such foods with great efficiency (without having a camper stove, of course).Read more
This is a stove but you will need a fuel canister. For the record, this is compatible with any fuel canisters that are 7/16 thread single butane or butane-propane mixed.
Overall, the adjustable control valve is nice as it provides you with full control over the flame. However, the burner itself could be improved as it is too susceptible to blowing out due to winds.
Even though likewise models are a bit lighter, this can be collapsed for transport which is convenient.
In addition to the strong valve connection, this is also constructed of a combination of stainless steel and aluminum alloy.
This is really not meant to be a multifunctional device and there is nothing wrong with that. As such, it is devoid of any significant additional features.
There is nothing like kicking back by the bomb fire and enjoying a nice fat and juicy steak, right? That is just one of the many ways you can enjoy and utilize this stove.
10. WACACO Nanopresso
It performs quite well
Additional accessories can be purchased separately
No electricity or batteries are needed
It is made out of plastic
There are too many individual components that need to be cleaned
Alright, do not kid yourselves, how many of you are coffee fanatics out there? Even in the deepest and darkest recesses of the woods, you still may require your morning brew and this can deliver it for you.Read more
Yes, this is an espresso maker and all you need to make it work is boiling water. Once you add the ground coffee and the boiling water, you will then need to manually pump this.
While you need to provide the elbow grease, this is designed with a patented pumping system that does not require the use of any electricity. Oh, the tank can also hold up to 80 milliliters of water.
It is actually amazing how compact this is but, for whatever reason, there are several internal components that need to be cleaned (which can be quite hard if you are backpacking).
At the end of the day, this is just made of plastic. But, if you treat it with care then there should be few issues.
If you want to, you can buy additional accessories with this to expand the functionality.
You know, this almost looks like a toy but it can sure deliver some high-tasting coffee. The cleanup process could have been more practical, though.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Here is the deal; you need to buy based on your needs and wants.
No one can tell you what gadgets you need to buy. That makes this guide pretty much pointless then, does it not? Not so fast because people can give you recommendations on which ones to buy but when it comes down to the decision process, only you will know which ones you need. The difficulty comes when you realize just how many camping gadgets are out there that can be beneficial.
After all, you have items that can be used in emergency situations and such (such as lanterns), those that can be used in survival situations (such as GPS units, Swiss Army knives and paracord bracelets), and those that are just entertaining to have.
What you need to keep in mind, though, is that the products you ultimately end up going with should be beneficial for you in some shape or form. And, of course, you always need to ensure that the individual gadget is designed well but let’s look at that closer, shall we?
No matter which gadget you end up buying, it needs to perform well, right?
When was the last time you purchased a product that just was not able to perform up to the standards that you expected it to? Surely, you have all experienced this and, clearly, it is not enjoyable when it happens.
However, this does educate you to know that you can’t just assume a particular product is going to perform well. Where is this getting at? It is simple; no matter which camping gadgets you end up purchasing, they need to be designed to perform what they were set out to do with great efficiency and effectiveness. Otherwise, what is the real point of investing your money into them?
Now, the best way to elaborate on this section is to provide a few examples on some of the gadgets that you can end up going with. To start, let’s look at any light-emitting products. This can include lanterns and flashlights, for example. Now, with these types of items, they need to be able to emit a potent enough beam of light to meet your needs. The same goes for a water filter because if it is inefficient at filtering out bacteria and protozoa, what is the point of buying it? And, so on and so forth.
Do you really want to buy items that will be difficult to transport and travel with?
This section is a no-brainer here, for most of you anyway. After all, there could be some of you reading this that are not too worried about the physical size of the gadgets you buy for camping as you have plenty of storage space in your vehicle and camper. But, for backpackers, backcountry campers, and anyone who is looking to limit the items they tag along, buying portable items is going to paramount. Of course, when attempting to do this, you need to keep several key factors in the back of your mind. For starters, you will want to assess the physical weight of any gadget that you are interested in.
Admittedly, though, this is more of an issue with backpackers as every little item needs to be carried (and the weight can add up very quickly).
Looking past the weight, the physical size will also come into play. But, it is not only the size but also if the particular item can either be folded up or collapsed for enhanced space saving. Oh, and also do not forget to look for specific items that can be attached to your backpacks and gear (as this can make them easier to lug around).
It will be in your best interest to buy models that are built well, trust us.
When you are out in the wilderness and the general outdoors, you have to take into consideration that accidents are more likely to persist. This then makes it vital to look for camping gadgets that are built with quality materials and with general quality in mind. And, as for the materials, it is okay to go with items that are made of some type of plastic.
However, you will want to avoid the cheap stuff. Instead, find items that are made of polycarbonates, TPU, Tritan, and other durable polymers and plastics. Of course, if any metal is in play, then you can’t forget about the potential of rust. Then again, this will not be a concern granted iron is not used in some capacity (which will not be an issue with aluminum, for example).
But, something else needs to be analyzed here. When you are camping, there is always the possibility of inclement weather ruining your day or weekend. However, you should not allow it to ruin your gadgets too. So, it may in your best interest to search for specific ones that are either waterproof or at least water-resistant. And, a good way to do that is to assess the IP rating of any given gadget. For the record, the second number of this rating refers to the device’s protection against moisture. The higher the number the more resistant to moisture the device will be.
For this last section, just look for any additional features (both basic or advanced).
Okay, so you have now assessed some of the major properties of some of the gadgets that you have interest in buying. This includes their durability, main designs, and portability. But, before you finish, you also need to take one last thing (or things) into consideration. With everything else addressed, what about any additional features that are included? For the record, these do not need to be outlandish features that you will never end up using. Instead, they can be basic or advanced functionalities that add to already impressive designs. After all, in this modern world, it is never a bad idea to strive for devices that can perform more than one action.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Look, as simple as it sounds, why would you go out of your way to buy something that you already own or something that you will never use? The same concept can apply here, quite frankly, as there is no reason to waste your money on a gadget that you will not get suitable use out of. For the record, this does omit any emergency items as these are meant to be used infrequently.
Outside of looks, what good is a product that is not effective at what it was designed to do? Again, this sounds stupid to say but it is something that you can’t afford to overlook. No matter which gadgets you end up buying, they need to provide you with efficient and effective results. As an example, would you buy a GPS unit that was incapable of providing even adequate directions?
Unless you intend to camp in your backyard, you will need to account for the fact that you will need to pack and travel with any of the items you end up buying. It is only common sense, then, that these same items should be somewhat portable and any gadgets you buy are not exempt from this. So, do not ignore this section because, if you do, you will probably regret it later.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What type of lantern is best for camping?
The good news is there are a plethora of different lanterns on the market that can work very well for this type of activity. Even looking past the models on this list, there are plenty of others out there. Ideally, what you want to look for, though, are those that emit enough light for you, those that have suitable sources of power (such as interchangeable batteries or solar energy), and models that possible have emergency features.
q: Can you cook if you do not bring a portable stove?
Yes, you can, but you are going to still need some sort of device to allow you to cook over your campfire. After all, without a portable stove, the next logical method of power would be your campfire. But, clearly, you can’t just stick a pan over it and hold it. So, you will still need to make an investment in a grill grate or something like that. Due to this, you may be more apt to stick with some sort of portable stove as it will probably offer more versatility.
q: What about lanterns for emergencies?
This was touched on earlier but it deserves a closer look. After all, you never know when an emergency is going to present itself. With that in mind, which type of lantern or lighting device would work best? Well, what you really need to ensure is that you have a backup means of powering the lantern. Some models will have built-in crank systems for this. But, even if you went with a model that accepted AA batteries and had extra with you that would work just fine.
q: Can water filters also remove viruses?
Clearly, not every single portable water filter on the market can be spoken for here. But, most generally, water filters are not designed to remove viruses from the water that they filter. They are mostly predicated on removing nearly 100 percent of all bacteria and protozoa that is present in the water.
q: How do you prioritize what gadgets to bring and buy?
There are two recommendations for you to take here as it can be somewhat difficult to think of what items and gadgets you want to take camping on the spot. The first recommendation is to brainstorm for a good hour or so and write down on a piece of paper (or type out in a document) all the items you think you will need. However, the second one is to actually go camping and to then write down all of the things that could have been beneficial for you that you did not have.
q: Could you just boil the water to kill the parasites?
Alright, so let’s say you like the idea of a water filter but are trying to find a way around it. Could you just boil the water you find to kill any parasites that are present? Yes, and, in fact, it is actually the best method for killing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Yet, after you boil the water, you will have to wait a few hours to drink it. With water filters, there is no waiting period outside of the time it takes the water to filter (which is quite nice).