The problem is figuring out which of the thousands of cool camping gadgets are actually worth investing in. So to help you hone in on the right upgrade for your “camping technology,” we’ve put together our list of the top 10 camping must-have gadgets.
Camping can be fun — especially if you bring the right toys.
1. GoSun Chillest Electric Cooler Keeps Your Favorite Foods Without the Icy Mess
Coolers and camping go hand-in-hand with each other. After all, bringing your food is a lot easier than hunting and foraging for it. But the GoSun Chillest isn’t just any off-the-shelf cooler. It’s got a quiet compressor with dual-zone cooling that lets you refrigerate and freeze your favorite foods separately. That means you get all 45 liters to store snacks and drinks instead of using up half the space with bags of ice. The Chillest gets so cold that you can use it to make your ice on the go, whether on the road or hanging out by the campfire. What separates the Chillest from other electric coolers are the built-in solar panels that help to charge the cooler’s rechargeable battery. That way, you can take your food everywhere without worrying about spoilage or cleaning out melted ice. As far as solar gadgets for camping go, the GoSun Chillest offers a unique and functional way of harnessing the power of the sun.
2. The LifeStraw Makes Any Water Safe-to-Drink in a Pinch
One of the more overlooked struggles of exploring the great outdoors is being able to find fresh water that’s safe to drink. That’s why you need something like the LifeStraw. The LifeStraw can turn water from any source into clean, filtered H20 as fast as you can drink it. It does this using a membrane microfiltration system to remove bacteria, microplastics, parasites, and other dirt particles. So when you take a sip from the LifeStraw, you’re drinking clear, potable water that safely keeps you hydrated. The LifeStraw is tested to comply with US EPA and NSF P231 drinking water standards, which means the water you’re sipping is just as safe and pure as what you’d get at any restaurant.
3. This Foldable kampMATE WoodFlame Stainless Steel Stove Never Runs Out of Fuel.
Roasting marshmallows over a fire can be fun. But trying to cook with embers and flames flying in your face can quickly turn into a fiasco. Enter the kampMate WoodFlame stove. This is much lighter than your average fuel-based camping stove. That’s due mostly to its foldable stainless steel structure. On top of that, this stove uses branches, twigs, and leaves to create a cooking fire you can manage. For anyone who enjoys spending time in the woods, the WoodFlame gives you the convenience of cooking on a controllable flame without worrying about running out of gas.
4. Tactica M.020 Camping Tool Card Helps You Set Up Camp in More Ways Than One
Most multitool makers try to fit an entire home hardware store into something that resembles a steampunk hammer. The design team over at Tactica Gear decided to go in the opposite direction and create a sleek camping tool card with features that specifically help with getting your campsite set up. Forgot your fire starter? Light a fire in a pinch with the M.020’s Ferro rod. Pitching a tent? Use the rope tensioner to keep your tent from sagging. It even comes with a rope cutter to assist with all your outdoor DIY adventures. And, of course, you also get your standard can and bottle opener for those nights where you feel like cracking open a cold one and gazing into the starlit sky.
5. Free Up Your Hands with the “Ultra-Light” BioLite HeadLamp 200
It goes without saying that flashlights are a camping must-have gadget for any outdoor enthusiast. The problem with most handheld flashlights, however, is that they often leave you… well, shorthanded. The BioLite HeadLamp 200 fixes all of that (Don’t let the “generic-ness” of the name fool you — this is not your typical headlamp). For one, it’s built with BioLite’s bounceless 3D Slimfit construction, which keeps the lamp in place without squeezing your head or weighing you down. The light itself also changes angles, so you’re not getting neck cramps from tilting your head to direct the light. Plus, you don’t need to lug around extra batteries, since the HeadLamp 200’s USB-rechargeable battery packs enough power for up to 40 hours of light on just one charge. Sounds like a bright choice for your next camping trip.
6. Pitch Your Tent in Less Time with the Inflatable HEIMPLANET KIRRA Classic
There are tents, and then there are good tents. And then there’s the inflatable KIRRA Classic from Hamburg-based HEIMPLANET. Built on the company’s patented multi-chamber safety system, the KIRRA Classic offers plenty of space for you and another camping buddy in a fraction of the time it takes to set up a regular pole tent. The unique “Inflatable Diamond Grid” helps stabilize the tent’s structure, so you’re still stormproof-safe and protected against the elements. The tent’s flysheet is made with 40D High Tenacity Polyester with Double Ripstop, making for a stronger, lighter, and quieter living space while you’re on the trail.
7. The LARQ Bottle PureVis™ Stays Clean without Scrubbing
Having a portable filtration system like the LifeStraw is handy when you need water in a pinch. But it’s never a bad idea to have clean water with you while camping. And you can’t get much cleaner than this self-cleaning water bottle from LARQ. The proprietary PureVis technology uses a UV-C LED light to neutralize nasty bacteria like E.coli in 60 seconds. If you know what it’s like drinking out of the same bottle for several days in a row, this is an absolute camping must-have gadget. The insulated version keeps water hot for 12 hours while keeping cold water cool for 24 hours, so you’re drinking water that’s clean and at the temperature you like.
8. The UltimateEars BOOM 3 Lets You Add Your Soundtrack to Your Next Outdoor Adventure
There’s nothing quite like being able to jam out to your favorite tracks in the fresh forest air. That is if you’ve got fresh sound to go with it. Now, some people seem to be okay with the garbled noise characteristic of cheap speakers. But if you like moving and grooving to your music as much as you like listening to it, you can’t go camping without a proper speaker like the BOOM 3. What’s different about this speaker is that you get the same clear and deep sound from UE with Rambo-like reliability and protection. Seriously — this thing is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof. It even floats. This means whether you’re singing around the campfire or skinny-dipping in the lake, the BOOM 3 stays on track without missing a beat.
9. Cozy Up to the Campfire in the GCI Kickback Rocker™
When it comes to underrated camping technology, it’s easy to forget about having a nice comfortable chair you can sit in. Sure, you can balance yourself on a log. But being able to actually lean back in the comfort of a warm fire — and maybe even safely rock back-and-forth a little while you’re at it — well, you don’t get that with even the most ergonomic fallen tree. The GCI Kickback Rocker, on the other hand, is like a portable La-Z-Boy made for camping. You don’t just get the convenience of having your place to sit, but you also get the added freedom of swinging around. And why sit when you can rock?
10. NEMO Helio™ Pressure Shower Brings Modern Plumbing Out Into The Wild
If keeping clean is a priority for you — especially after a long day of hiking — this might be your camping gadget. Now, if you’re trying to wash with a gravity camp shower, it’s often a pain just trying to set the shower upright only to get a light spray of water at best. The NEMO Helio offers the same high-pressure shower experience without worrying about it leaking all over the place like lots of bag-based camping showers do. And because it’s as easy as using a foot pump, it can come in handy for all sorts of washing chores, from washing your hair to rinsing off any muddy gear.
Gone are the days of Skymall Christmas gift ideas — camping gadgets these days are way more than just gimmicky accessories. From filtered water to stormproof shelter, these are a few top camping must-have gadgets to make your next trip a walk in the park.
Matthew Croft is an avid traveler and tech enthusiast. He tends to highlight on the best travel and luggage gadgets to bring on his holidays. He's also a regular publisher of many gadget reviews that will excite you!