Gear

11 of the Best Camping Gadgets For Your Next Adventure

Posted by
Lauren Breedlove
August 03, 2023

best camping gadgets
Photo: Lauren Breedlove

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From creature comforts to dog-friendly items, we’ve got awesome gadgets for every type of camper.

Ok, so you’ve got your tent and your sleeping bag, but there’s so much more that goes into an awesome camp setup than just the basics. Do you want to listen to music? Have lights? Are you bringing a pet? There are the camping essentials…and then there are all the fun gadgets that make the experience truly magical.

We’ve gone out in search of some awesome camp gadgets that are perfect for novice and pro campers alike and will help elevate your experience, bringing a bit of convenience, comfort, and excitement to the woods. Here are 11 of the best camping gadgets to pack on your next outdoor adventure.

Our Top Picks

MPOWERD LUCI Solar String Lights + Detachable Power Hub

solar string lights
Photo: Territory Supply

Pros: 

  • Rechargeable
  • Water-resistant
  • Shatterproof Bulbs

Cons:

  • The silicone carrying strap isn’t super durable.

Both practical and whimsical, the MPOWERD solar string lights will illuminate your campsite while also creating a cute, cozy ambiance. I love that there’s 44 feet of string with 20 bulbs, as well as the fact that they’re shatterproof and water-resistant with an IPX 4 rating.

MPOWERD LUCI Solar String Lights
Photo: MPOWERD

The detachable power hub can be charged via USB-C or solar energy, though USB is much faster. The three different lighting levels are super handy, depending on how bright you need the campsite; high is perfect for dinner prep and cooking, while the low light puts out a nice soft ambiance for evenings. Their 40-hour charge is also a major bonus.

Buy at REI

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink
Photo: Sea to Summit

Pros: 

  • Comes in 3 different sizes.
  • Collapsible.
  • Can use with hot water.

Cons:

  • Needs to be filled most of the way to work properly, so it’s important to choose the correct size for your needs.

The Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink is a key piece of any camp kitchen – whether car camping or backpacking. It’s great having the 3 sizes to choose from and I’ve used it both for washing dishes and my hands. It’s super lightweight and collapsible, so its portability is a plus too.

Its design is smart too, thanks to its broad base that helps it stand on its own when filled up. I also love how versatile it is – you can fill it up and put out the campfire, or give yourself a backcountry bath.

Buy at REI

Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch™

Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch
Photo: Lauren Breedlove

Pros: 

  • Carrying pouch.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Swiveling carabiner.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one length.

The Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch system is one of my favorite items for camping with my pup. We used it for her first camping trip and found that it was easy to set up and gave her some freedom to explore while we set up camp.

The length goes up to 36” and is adjustable to make it shorter. I found it perfectly adequate for what we needed. The stow bag is pretty compact for packability. I also loved its bright red color, which made it easy to see so I didn’t accidentally walk right into the rope!

Buy at Amazon

Ruffwear Bivy™ Collapsible Dog Bowl

Ruffwear Bivy™ Collapsible Dog Bowl
Photo: Lauren Breedlove

Pros: 

  • Super lightweight.
  • Collapsible.
  • Leakproof.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one color.

I can’t rave enough about the Ruffwear Bivy dog bowl for not just camping, but literally anytime we’re on the go. I’ve brought it to our backyard, the beach, hiking, breweries, and more. It’s super lightweight, fits easily in my bag when collapsed, and fits quite a bit of water…up to 7.6 cups.

We use it a lot, and It hasn’t leaked once. It works for food or water, making it very versatile and the accessory loop for clipping it to your pack makes it perfect for hitting the trails and campsites. It even has reflective trim on it, ideal for when it starts to get dark while camping.

Buy at Amazon

GSI Outdoors Personal Javapress

GSI Outdoors Personal Javapress
Photo: GSI Outdoors

Pros: 

  • Easy to use.
  • Comes in 2 sizes, 20fl and 50fl.
  • Nesting design for portability.

Cons:

  • The top can be a little tricky to take off once pressed all the way down.

French press coffee in the wilderness? Yes, please. I absolutely love the GSI Outdoors Personal Javapress for camping, campervan-ing, or just road-tripping in general.

It’s small enough to pack without taking up too much space and super easy to use with the fill-line guidance. The included nylon cozies keep the coffee warm and it cleans up in a snap. The pour spout is helpful in preventing spills too, and the fact that it’s shatter-resistant is very much appreciated, especially for camping.

Buy at Amazon

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket
Photo: Lauren Breedlove

Pros: 

  • Very lightweight.
  • Warm.
  • Cool designs.

Cons:

  • It’s pricey.

If you love a camp blanket as much as me, you’re going to fall for the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket. Not only does it come in a wide array of fun designs, but it’s made from high-quality materials, including the interior recycled insulation and ripstop nylon that repels water on the exterior.

It’s very durable as well – we brought it on a camping trip where our puppy laid on it in the dirt and it came out in the washing machine, making it look like new. Although it comes with its own stuff sack, it still takes up a bit of room so it’s best suited for car camping ventures.

Buy at Amazon

Full Windsor Magware Magnetic Flatware Set

Full Windsor Magware Magnetic Flatware Set
Photo: Full Windsor

Pros: 

  • Carrying pouch included.
  • Magnetic connections for stacking sets.
  • Pocket-sized.

Cons:

  • The knife is not TSA carry-on friendly.
  • Not dishwasher friendly.

This full set of flatware gets major points for being so packable – complete with its own carrying case. It stays together with the magnetic connections that aren’t too weak either and it’s strong enough to cut a steak.

It’s best to hand wash these bad boys since the dishwasher has been known to take off some of the finish, according to reviewers. If you’re camping with others, the sets join together easily so you don’t have to root around in your bag to find a fork for everyone.

Buy at REI

JBL Go 3 Portable Speaker

JBL Go 3 Portable Speaker
Photo: JBL

Pros: 

  • Small and portable.
  • Bluetooth connection.
  • Waterproof and dustproof.

Cons:

  • It vibrates a bit on a surface when played at full volume.

This rough-and-tumble little speaker is great for camping trips, especially because of its waterproof and dustproof design. Whether you’re camping at the beach, by the river, or kayaking to an island campsite on the lake, it’s an awesome musical companion.

Despite being so compact, it offers fantastic Bluetooth connectivity and sound. It’ll play for up to 5 hours on a full charge, which is excellent compared to other small portable speakers. So, download that playlist and get ready to jam at your favorite campsite.

Buy at Amazon

Helinox Chair One Camp Chair

Helinox Chair One Camp Chair
Photo: Helinox

Pros: 

  • Lightweight and packable.
  • Breathable seat.
  • Included storage bag.

Cons:

  • No neck support.

A good camp chair is key for comfort while camping. The best camp chair is lightweight and portable, as well as comfortable to sit in. The Helinox Chair One ticks all those boxes and more, with an ultra-light aluminum frame that folds up nicely, and an included storage bag to tote it around in.

The breathable mesh seat is perfect for warm days and rubberized feet help keep the chair from slipping around. Although it’s a simple design with no frills in the accessories department (like neck support or cup holders), it’s a perfect lightweight, durable camp chair.

Buy at Amazon

LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Water Filter System

LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Water Filter System
Photo: LifeStraw

Pros: 

  • Fast filtering.
  • Durable.
  • Versatile.

Cons:

  • Bottle is floppy when half full, making it difficult to store in backpacks’ side pockets.

Ideal for backpackers or hike-in campers, the LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Water Filter System can safely filter water for drinking, up to 33.8fl ounces. It filters quickly too, at up to 3 liters per minute.

The dual-purpose design makes it usable as a water bottle or a container. The microfilter can last for up to 500 gallons, so it’ll go the distance – and since it’s collapsible, it packs up small for optimal portability.

Buy at REI

Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Hand Wash

Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Hand Wash
Photo: Sea to Summit

Pros: 

  • Ultra-compact.
  • Quick and easy to use.
  • Biodegradable.

Cons:

  • The thin sheets make it hard to take and use just one.

The great outdoors has a way of making your hands dirty…luckily, there’s Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Hand Wash. Inside the tiny little case is 50 thin leaves of green tea-scented soap that’ll scrub your hands clean when combined with water.

The case easily fits in your pocket and is a lifesaver for ensuring your hands stay clean. The only issue is that, since the soap sheets are so thin, they can sometimes get stuck together and then you’ll have to wash your hands twice as long to get the soap off.

Buy at REI

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