The Best Gadgets for Camping to Make Your Next Overnight Safe and Comfortable

The great outdoors isn’t just a respite from the day-to-day grind (that now, for many of us, barely includes getting away from home at all because we spend most days working from there). Spending time outside is also a chance to evade crowds and avoid any risk from the pandemic. Taking a camping trip—solo or with the family—is an ideal way to get out in nature without making a huge commitment. While you could certainly go minimalist by packing just a tent and sleeping bag, there’s no need to make your getaway quite so austere. Adding a few gadgets for camping to your arsenal can make the outdoor experience so very much more enjoyable for everyone. 

Sometimes it seems like there’s an endless number of great camping gadgets out there. After all, just because you’re headed into the woods, it doesn’t mean you want to spend the weekend like you’re living in 1850, braving the Oregon Trail. Lots of companies agree, and that’s why there are so many ways to inject modern conveniences into your camping trip. From pressure showers that can help you freshen up after a day on the trail and portable power stations to keep your gadgets running, to powered coolers and lightweight stoves for ensuring your family is well-fed when you’re out in the wilderness, there’s a lot of great gear to choose from.

Though the array of camping gadget options might seem overwhelming, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite gadgets for camping that we think stand the best chance of enhancing your next trip sleeping under the stars. The following items were chosen based on our own camping experiences, whether it’s pitching our tent a few feet away from the car in a national park or hiking a few miles into a hidden campsite. We guarantee these clever camping gadgets will add a level of comfort to your time spent outdoors.

Best Weapon in the War on Insects

Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repellent

Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repellent

There’s nothing worse than dealing with bugs on a camping trip. Luckily Thermacell’s MR450 is an armored portable mosquito repellent that provides up to 15 feet of protection. You no longer need to cover yourself in lotion or chemical-filled sprays as the Thermacell uses heat to disperse the repellent into the surrounding air for up to 12 hours on a single charge.

And since the Thermacell comes with a belt clip, you can attach it to you while you hike or rest and know that mosquitoes won’t come close. And it’s worth pointing out that its rugged design reduces chances of damage during outdoor use.

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Best Way to Keep Your Hands Warm in the Chilly Outdoors

Karecel Hand Warmers Rechargeable

If you’re someone who enjoys camping in crisp air or in the cooler seasons, you’ll want to take along a few Karecel Hand Warmers. These rechargeable hand warmers offer double-sided heat performance and three different heat settings, ranging from 104°F to 131°F. Better yet, since the heater is powered by a 5200-mAh battery inside, you can also use them as a power bank to keep your smartphone charged when you’re not warming your hands, which makes them handy, dual-purposed gadgets. And if you’re worried about safety, Karecel says its hand warmers offer short-circuit and overloading protection.

Best Way to Treat Yourself to a Shower, Anywhere

NEMO Helio LX Pressure Shower

The NEMO Helio Pressure Shower comes in handy when you aren’t camping in a spot with facilities. Gone are the days of gravity showers that only deliver a small useless dribble—instead, a foot pump enables you to pressurize the water inside enough to wash your hair, clean dishes or bikes and even hose down the dog with up to 10 minutes of strong, continuous spray.

Nemo’s LX model offers 22 liters of water capacity in its wide-mouth reservoir with a 7-foot neoprene hose that is long enough to mount over your head for a shower. You can fill it with hot water or leave it in the sun to warm up gradually. A silicone sleeve on the spray nozzle enables you to hang it up like a shower and deliver a continuous stream while you suds up. When finished, the portable shower stows away in a compact mesh-ventilated carry case for easy transport. 

Best Way to Keep Your Gear Charged and Ready

Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station

Whether you brought a camera for taking photos, a tablet for watching movies, or just some lights to pepper around the campsite at night, there will come a time during any camping trip when you need to recharge your gadgets. The Yeti 200X Portable Power Station from Goal Zero weighs only five pounds and provides up to 187 Watt-Hours of power. That’s enough to charge a smartphone 16 times and a tablet six times. A slew of ports ensures you can charge everything from a laptop and tablet to cameras and even power a portable fridge. When you get home, the power station fully recharges in four hours.

Best Portable Cooler to Keep Things Chill

Dometic CFX3 25 Powered Cooler

If you are camping for more than a single night, you no doubt need some way to keep your food and drinks cool (unless you’re planning to eat dehydrated meals the whole time). The CFX3 Powered Coolers from Dometic enable you to bring along meat for the barbeque, milk, cheese and even ice cream without having to deal with drippy, messy bags of ice.

The 25 liter size fits up to 40 cans or five 1.5 liter bottles and can be powered either from an outlet, your car, or even solar panels. A removable wire divider lets you keep your food and drinks organized with easy access to items at the bottom. Equipped with Bluetooth, you can even control the temperature and see the performance history of the cooler from an app on your phone.

Best Way to Set Up an Easy Campfire

Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire while sharing stories with your family and friends just might be the ultimate camping ritual. But unfortunately, not all campsites come with built-in fire pits. If the local fire restrictions allow for open flames, the Snow Peak Pack & Carry portable fire pit enables you to create a safe campfire to enjoy while protecting the natural surroundings at the same time.

Made from stainless steel and weighing only four pounds, the fire pit folds down flat and fits into a nylon case for easy carry to and from the campsite. The portable unit integrates with a variety of cooking and grilling accessories available from Snow Peak to deliver a full campfire experience. 

Best Way to Ensure You Have Clean, Healthy Water

Survivor Filter PRO

If you’re worried about water quality and need a filter that’ll turn any in-situ water source into clean and healthy drinking water, consider the Survivor Filter Pro. The device has been independently tested and capable of eliminating 99.999% of all parasites and protozoa. It can also eliminate 99.999% of viruses, staph and bacteria, and removes 93% of lead in water.

The Survivor Filter Pro features a dual hollow fiber membrane and carbon filtration to filter your water and can process up to 500mL of water each minute. It also comes with a handy spout you can use to transfer the clean water into your canteen, as well as a carrying case to make it easy to take with you.

The Best Way to Stay Warm on the Trail

Venture Heat Men’s Softshell Heated Jacket

A high-tech apparel option for the cool-weather camper, the Venture Heat Men’s Softshell Heated Jacket is a great choice for staying warm on a camping trip. It comes with four zones of heating elements and full temperature control that lets you turn the heat on low, medium or high. It runs for ten hours on a single charge and comes with a charger, so you can always have it at the ready. And since it has an integrated battery, you can also use its built-in charger for boosting your phone’s battery. And despite the tech on the inside, it looks pretty good too.