With COVID-19 putting many off staying in close proximity to other guests while travelling, camping might be the best option. Setting up a tent in the wilderness with no sign of civilisation for miles on end sounds like the perfect post-pandemic vacation.
Camping is all about leaving behind those often relied-upon creature comforts to be one with nature. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to rough it completely. There are endless clever camping gadgets and accessories available that can make sleeping in the great outdoors a little more comfortable.
Whether you’re looking for camping essentials to make your tent a little cosier, your sleep a little better, your food a little tastier or your trip a little easier, there are plenty of tried and tested camping gadgets to enhance your trip to the wilderness. I have put together a list of the 10 best camping essentials to make sleeping under the stars even more spectacular. When that long-awaited camping trip eventually arrives, ensure you have these best of the best outdoor gadgets on your camping essentials list.
Be sure to also take a look at our selection of the best camping windbreakers and the best travel mugs.
#1 Zero Breeze Portable Air Conditioner
An intelligent battery-powered solution to sweltering camping trips. While the Zero Breeze portable air conditioner can’t quite be considered a ‘camping essential’ per se, it is an absolute godsend on those unbearably hot and humid summer days and nights when you’re stuck in a tent. This clever air conditioner for camping has an actual A/C unit built into it which is surprisingly powerful. Weighing just 12 lbs in total and being impressively compact, this camping air conditioner lasts for a good five hours worth of constant cooling.
#2 Scrubba Clothes Washing Backpack
The incredibly small but mighty camping gadget for clean clothes. This ultra-compact clothes washing backpack doesn’t look like much, but don’t be fooled by its simple design and small size. Packed with intelligent features, the Scrubba Stealth backpack combines everything from a portable shower, a compression dry bag and a washing machine into 1 lbs worth of durable, weatherproof bag.
Explore by day, wash by night. This clothes washing bag allows outdoor enthusiasts to adventure to the max while being able to wash off their mud and sweat at the end. With a 21 L capacity, this weatherproof backpack can easily wash all the camping gear required for the whole day. The clothing washing backpack is made from a fully waterproof 40 denier nylon fabric to keep your camping essentials safe, while the adjustable straps make carrying it around as comfortable as possible. If it wasn’t convenient enough, the Stealth pack compresses down even further for neat packing so that globetrotting campers can travel in style.
#3 Storm Proof Matchstick Kit
The ultimate storm proof match – a fire-starting camping essential. A UCO storm proof match kit is the ideal last-minute camping accessory to throw into your camping bag. Being able to reliably create fire when camping it paramount. Whether you need fire for cooking, generating heat or any other survival situation, the ability to start a fire on demand is vital for a safe and comfortable camping experience.
These storm proof matches are the perfect tool for the job. Compared to many other apparently waterproof or windproof matches, the UCO matches are super easy to light and will even stay lit for up to 15 seconds after being fully submerged in water. Each match kit includes a durable, waterproof case, 3 strikers and 25 windproof and waterproof matches. So, make sure you have this UCO storm proof match set on your camping essentials check list.
#4 TruComfort Double Sleeping Bag
The must-have camping essential for snugglers. Nothing says true romance like sleeping in two separate sleeping bags, right? Wrong! Well, long-gone are the days of zipping two sleeping bags together or fighting to snuggle up to your partner while camping. The TruComfort double sleeping bag provides ultimate camping comfort for two people.
The Doublewide sleeping bag is even wider than a standard double sleeping bag, accomodating two standard-sized pillows, as well as a personal snuggle blanket and foot vent for each person. Worried about one person getting too warm while the other is too cold? Not to worry, the Trucomfort double sleeping bag allows you to customise it to your personal warmth preference. Featuring an ultra-thick Cloudloft insulation it traps heat well, while the U-shaped zipper and individual blankets make a valiant attempt at providing an optimum temperature for both sleepers.
#5 Biolite Portable Wood Burning Camp Stove
Super sleek, useful and eco-friendly, the BioLite Campstove 2 is the ultimate cooking gadget for camping. However, this portable camping stove does much more than just cook and boil water. Turn fire into electricity with BioLite’s award-winning camp stove.
Intelligent combustion technology creates a vortex of smokeless flames for a portable campfire that can both cook your meals or charge your gear. This incredible camping gadget converts heat from a fire into electricity so that you can charge LED lights, mobile phones and other essentials while camping out in the wilderness. With a removable 2,600 mAh battery this small but mighty camping gadget is impressively powerful. You can stay in the know with the smart LED dashboard which shows current battery status and fan speed settings. Weighing just 2 lbs, this compact portable camping stove can easily be transported anywhere for a more luxurious camping experience.
#6 Tentsile Tree Tent
Somewhere in between a tent and hammock, this is the unique camping gadget that’s too fun not to try. The Tentsile tree tent makes camping in the trees a comprehensible possibility. Essentially a tree house in a bag, this camping accessory is perfect for making more unusual and memorable camping memories.
This tree tent is designed for families and small groups, providing enough space to sleep 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids. The Tensile Stingray flying tent encases you in a suspended pod while equipping you with the floor space and support of a tent bottom. Having won multiple awards for its design and practicality, this 3-person tree tent is a truly unique camping gadget. First-time tree campers will be thankful for its easy set-up, convenient storage capabilities and the surprising amount of space it provides. Like most normal tents, the Stingray neatly packs down into a single bag, making it super simple to pack and carry.
#7 LuminAid Inflatable Solar Lantern
You won’t be left in the dark with this handy camping accessory. A good light source is essential when you’re camping in the wilderness with no sign of civilisation. This compact, solar-powered camping lantern is all you need to light up your outdoor adventure.
The LuminAid PackLite inflatable lantern can be quickly and conveniently charged via micro USB, but also comes with a clever built-in solar panel for when you don’t have a reliable outlet at hand. The USB charge port can even be used to charge your smartphone or other essential devices that need a battery boost. Being inflatable, this solar lantern can easily be packed down so that you can hang it from your backpack to charge in the sun while you’re out and about during the day. When put on Turbo mode, this solar camping light provides a whopping 75 lumens of bright LED light and can run up to 24 hours on Low mode. To top it all off, each solar-powered lantern is made from durable TPU plastic, making them waterproof, shatterproof and able to float on water.
#8 Casio Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch
The coolest camping gadget around. The Casio Pro Trek outdoor smartwatch will make you feel like a real camper. Certified to US military standards, this outdoor smartwatch is a must-have accessory for any adventure enthusiast looking for an impressive piece of wearable tech.
Built to go the distance, this camping watch is waterproof, shockproof and vibration proof. With an incredibly impressive 50 metre water resistance structure, this outdoor smartwatch takes durability to whole new heights. This smart device features a 1.2 inch OLED 390 x 390 full-colour touchscreen that provides you access to a range of handy apps, topo maps, GPS navigation and much more. Each camping watch features complex sensors that give access to accurate, real-time activity tracking notifications, altimeter and barometer to name just a few. Better still, this neat piece of camping equipment can last up to 25 days straight with GPS functionality and a month in timekeeping mode.
#9 Nemo Portable Camping Shower
There’s no need to sacrifice hygiene when camping in the great outdoors. At least, not with the Nemo Helio portable camping shower. Those days of pouring cold bottled water over your head when camping are in the distant past. With this clever portable pressurised shower, you can camp and stay clean at the same time – a true feat if you ask me.
Unlike gravity camp showers that have to be hung overhead only to provide disappointing water pressure, this award-winning pressurised camping shower sits sturdy on the ground and provides unbeatable pressure power. Whether you are washing your hair, doing the dishes or rinsing down the dog, this portable shower will do the job. You can efficiently pressurise the 2.9 gallon tank with an easy-to-use foot pump, and with the occasional pump you can keep it fully pressurised for around 7 minutes of continuous spray. The 7-foot neoprene hose is long enough to be held overhead for a proper shower. To have a warm shower, simply place the tank in the sun to warm up gradually, or directly fill it with hot water.
#10 Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
An ultra-handy on-the-go filtration system for any serious camper. Filter water as you drink with this impressive and unique piece of camping gear. Be prepared for your camping trip with the ultimate survival tool. The LifeStraw water filter has been rigorously tested in the harshest of conditions, only to come out on top.
This little camping gadget may not look like much, but it has the ability to filter out 99.99% of every contaminant of water sources, including parasites and microplastics, as well as minimising sand, silt and cloudiness. This personal water filter allows you to effortlessly pick up water from any water source. Weighing less than 2 ounces, the LifeStraw personal water filter can easily be packed and taken anywhere. The super long-lasting membrane microfilter can manage up to 4000 L of water – enough for 5 years worth of drinking for one individual.
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