20 camping gadgets you never knew you needed
© Tommy Lisbin
These awesome bits of tech will make you want to answer the call of the wild.
Summer's here and it's begging you to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. "Let's go camping!" you think. But while the idea of sleeping beneath the stars is idyllic, the reality can be more stressful. Have I packed the right equipment? How difficult will it be to put the tent up? How will I make decent coffee? When you just want a break, camping isn't always the first option that springs to mind.
Luckily, technology is ready to save you from your camping woes, which means you can go back to enjoying the great outdoors without sweating the small stuff. Here's our rundown of some essential camping gear that you never knew you needed – until now.
1. BioLite Wood Burning CampStove – £110
Ditch the gas for good with this neat little stove, which safely burns wood so you can hunt for natural fuel and enjoy hot food and warmth. But what if you need to send a text? Well you're in luck, because it also has a thermoelectric generator, which will charge almost any USB device. Get it here.
2. Heimplanet Cave – £645
Everyone's least favourite part of camping is putting up the tent. But what if you could inflate it? The dream is real with The Cave, which inflates in 60 seconds and will have you regretting all the hours you've wasted before hunting for tent poles. Just remember to bring the pump! Get it here.
3. X-Set 33 (Kettle and Pan) – £80
A decent set of pans and a kettle are the cornerstone of any self-respecting campsite chef. But often they're cumbersome (or annoying when hanging from your rucksack). That is, unless they're made of silicone and can be folded flat, like this ingenious set of kitchen essentials. Think of all the extra food you can pack! Get them here.
4. Tentstile Flite Tent – £350
What's better than a hammock? A two-person hammock? Or maybe this cool tent-hammock, which you can attach to any available tree trunk in the vicinity and elevate yourself (and a partner) off the forest floor. That way you can have a restful – and relatively insect-free – night among the stars. Get it here.
5. Anker Powerport Solar – £50
Never be underpowered with this nifty solar charger, which can quickly add juice to your tech – and then fold flat when not in use. Which is useful whether you're going way, way off the grid, or just spending the week in a field at a festival. Get it here.
6. Lifesaver Bottle 4000UF – £110
When you just need some water, but can't be sure if there's a clean source, this literal lifesaver will be in your corner to help you quench your thirst. Just fill, pump and drink, safe in the knowledge that you'll be micro-bacterially free. Get it here.
7. Sea To Summit Spark SPIII – £300
The perfect sleeping bag would be one that's cool in the summer, warm in the winter and super light to transport… I mean, we're not asking for much, right? But as it turns out, the clever folks at Sea To Summit have made exactly that; it's so easy to pack down it can fit in the palm of your hand… just make sure it's empty first. Get it here.
8. Sunlighter – £2
Alleviate the pain of trying to get a fire started with this handy little contraption. The Sunlighter uses a parabolic mirror to harness the power of the sun, and gives you an advantage when it comes to the basics of bushcraft. Get it here.
9. Gotenna Mesh – £140
There's nothing worse than having no phone signal when you need it the most. But this handy antenna does away with the fear of no bars, by turning you phone into an off-grid communication tool. It means you can send texts, download maps and share GPS coordinates – no matter how lost you plan on getting. Get it here.
10. Scrubba Wash Bag – £38
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best – and the Scrubba is one of those beautifully simple creations. A bag full of clever little rubber nodules, it will get your clothes as clean as a regular washing cycle, in just three minutes… so no more excuses for not looking your best when you're out and about. Get it here.
11. Onja Stove – £123
The days of ugly camping stoves are gone. Now it's time for sleek, foldable hobs, like this one from Primus. As the perfect camping accessory, it's easy to set up, light to carry and wouldn't look out of place if you brought it into town for a cookout in the park. Get it here.
12. Leatherman Tread – £200
We've all been there: you're out in the wild in need of a 4mm Hex Drive or maybe a Carbide Glass Breaker and you forgot to pack them! But fear not – the new Leatherman wearable toolkit brings 29 tools all to your wrist, so you can live the outdoor lifestyle and look stylish too. Get it here.
13. Helinox Chair Two – £110
What makes the ideal camping chair? Well it would be nice if it was ultra light, ultra portable and ultra comfortable… and the Helinox is exactly that. Admittedly there's no cup holder, but the potential to add rocking feet – for that cosy campfire feel – far outweighs having to leave your drink on the ground. Get it here.
14. Fugoo Tough – £110
Never leave home without the ability to bring the party with you. These rugged bluetooth speakers aren't just designed to withstand the elements; they have a 40hr battery life, can be mounted to a bike (or even a tree) and will deliver incredible sound. Get them here.
15. Victorinox Expedition – £240
This isn't your grandad's rusty old penknife. This is a 41-tool beast capable of tackling almost any task you can throw at. Aside from all the usual tools – knife, bottle opener, that thing for getting stones out of horses' hooves – there's a digital alarm, a barometer, an altimeter, torch and thermometer. Get it here.
16. Zero Breeze AC – £940
Never be too hot to sleep again with this portable air conditioning unit, which can chill a room down to as low as 6°C. And with the added bonus of a built-in bluetooth speaker, a night light, and a USB charger, this gadget is all types of cool. Get it here.
17. Nemo Helio LX Pressure Shower – £150
Becoming one with nature might be fun, but it doesn't always smell great. So for those moments when you need to freshen up in the wild, there's the NEMO. Just fill it with water, pump up the pressure and enjoy a solid 7-10 minutes of cleanliness… before you go out and get dirty all over again. Get it here.
18. FlashTorch Mini – £154
How good is your torch? Is it 2300 lumens? Is it made from military-grade aluminium? Can it fry an egg? Well if you answered no to any of those, then you're doing it wrong, so get yourself a torch that can do all of that. Get it here.
19. Nite Ize Reflective Rope – £9
Tripping over a tent's guy ropes is something you want to avoid. But at night it's almost impossible not to get caught up as you scramble through the darkness back to the warmth of your tent. That is unless you pimp your tent out with these reflective and awesomely illuminated cords. Get them here.
20. Tent Finder – £15
Whether you're stumbling through a field at Glastonbury or hacking your way through the dense Amazonian rainforests, you can't afford to lose your tent. This invaluable piece of gear is simple – an led light with a remote control, which works from 50 metres away, and means you'll never wake up in the wrong tent again. Get it here.