While we’ve got the camp necessities well established, sometimes it’s nice to try something different – for a little extra comfort, some entertainment, or a conversation starter! To that end, here are 10 cool camping gadgets we’ve come across during the past year. Optional stuff, but certainly fun!
ENO Billow Camp Lounger – what it is: an uber-relaxing inflatable lounger to use during camp down time (or in your living room?!). Plus it’s an interesting conversation piece... What it’s NOT: a life raft, a bathtub, or a swimming pool (yes, there have been actual drownings due to improper usage so, well, just think will ya?). This lounger folds up into a provided storage bag when not in use. To inflate, hold the flat plastic ends apart and let the wind fill both sides. Trap the air inside by rolling the flat plastic ends in, and clip together to secure. It loses air pretty quickly though, so you may have to unclip and roll the ends in more every 30 minutes or so.
Suaoki Camp Light – solar-charged and versatile, this camp light can be hung in the tent (with the light flaps extended like a fan), or collapse it clover style to make a standing lantern. Light has three brightness options: low, high, or blinking. Runs about 30 minutes per 1 hour sunlight charge.
Image Camp Light with Fan – this gadget is not solar, but the LEDs are bright and will light up your whole tent. Plus the fan helps ease sweaty nights and keeps bugs away (we should’ve tried this at the sand dunes!).
Inflatable Seat Cushion – also for use as a pillow (though we have not tried it), this inflatable seat cushion measures 15” x 15” and makes the ground, tree stump, or bleachers much more comfortable. Packs down to a flat 3” x 4” when not in use.
Trasharoo – we used to just triple bag our garbage and bungee cord it to my spare tire but the Trasharoo makes it so much easier to collect and haul away the nasties. Once fit to the spare tire it’s easy to take on/off, and it’s super handy on trail runs also (especially if you have dogs to clean up after).
Camp Rocking Chair – we bought our current camp rocker at REI but it’s no longer in stock (here’s another option). We initially had the previous version of the REI rocker, which really rocked back and forth like a real rocking chair. However, REI recalled that version because someone apparently rocked so hard they tipped over and hurt themselves (thanks for spoiling the fun!), and the second version doesn’t rock as well. However, it’s still comfy and it disassembles into a provided storage bag so it’s easily portable.
Full Body Heaters – seems everywhere you look there are hand and foot warmers at any outdoors or home supply store. We wanted a larger version, however, for those camp nights that dip into the 30s F. These body warmers are adhesive and we stick a few underneath our sleeping bags on cold nights, or under a blanket covering the dog bed so our four-legged friends can stay warm too. These make all the difference between hours of shivering or a good night’s sleep!
Silky Saw – small but powerful… packable and cuts like butter… Great for cutting camp firewood or a fallen tree blocking the trail. I’m sure you can find a small spot to stash this beauty – we’ve used it on every camp trip since purchase.
UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter – so far this lighter works at altitudes up to just under 8,000 feet. We will continue to try it at various higher altitudes where most lighters won’t work and I’ll post updates accordingly. Comes with three feet of utility tape wrapped around the lighter. (Here are more fire starting options).
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System – for the price this water filter plus drinking pouch is a steal. Filters bacteria plus protozoa. Small, packable, great to have just in case. (Here are more water filtration options).
What cool camping gadgets have you found? Comment below, and thanks for reading!