camping gadgets in a forest

    Top 10 Must-Have Gadgets for Your Next Camping Trip

    Embarking on outdoor adventures and camping trips is an exhilarating way to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice camper, having the right gear can make all the difference in enhancing your outdoor experience. From innovative camping gadgets to handy outdoor tools, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 must-have items to elevate your next outdoor excursion.

    Key Takeaways

    • The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ensures you have access to clean drinking water in the wild.
    • Beartooth MK II keeps you connected even in remote locations with no cellular service.
    • Big Agnes mtnGLO provides ambient lighting for a cozy campsite.
    • Gerber Stake Out is a versatile multi-tool essential for various camping tasks.
    • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Micro Pump makes inflating your sleeping pad a breeze.

    1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

    camper using LifeStraw personal water filter in a forest

    The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an essential gadget for any camping trip. Rather than carrying a clunky water bottle around your campsite or on the trail, give the LifeStraw personal water filter a sip. It filters 99.999999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.999 percent of waterborne parasites out of water, according to the manufacturer, so you can drink securely from any water source. Plus, it slips neatly into even the tightest backpacks.

    2. Beartooth MK II

    Beartooth MK II gadget in a camping setting

    Revolutionizing Outdoor Connectivity

    The Beartooth MK II is at the forefront of outdoor communication technology. This compact device transforms your smartphone into a powerful communication tool, creating a private network for you and your group. Ideal for areas with zero cell coverage, it ensures you’re always connected, whether you’re coordinating campsite activities or in need of emergency communication.

    Key Features

    • Live location sharing
    • Markers on map
    • Direct and group messages
    • Two-day battery life


    The Beartooth MK II provides total situational awareness with no hassle. It supports live location sharing and markers on the map, making it easier to keep track of your group. The device also allows for direct and group messaging, ensuring seamless communication.

    With a two-day battery life, the Beartooth MK II is reliable for extended trips, providing peace of mind and enhanced safety.

    3. Big Agnes mtnGLO

    camping tent with LED lights in a forest

    The Big Agnes mtnGLO is a versatile and essential gadget for any camping trip. Known as the mother of comfort, Big Agnes inspires you to get outside with their comfortable, durable, and lightweight camping gear. The mtnGLO series includes tent and camp lights that are designed to enhance your outdoor experience.

    Key Features

    • 100 inches of lights
    • Option to make them a lantern
    • Clips attach the lights to anything


    • Versatile lighting options
    • Easy to set up and use
    • Lightweight and portable


    • Battery life could be longer
    • Not as bright as some standalone lanterns

    The Big Agnes mtnGLO lights are perfect for creating a cozy and well-lit campsite, making your outdoor adventures more enjoyable.

    4. Gerber Stake Out

    camping trip with Gerber Stake Out multitool in use

    The Gerber Stake Out is a versatile multi-tool designed specifically for campers. Weighing just 3.3 ounces, it is lightweight yet packed with 11 essential tools that make setting up, maintaining, and breaking down camp a breeze.

    Key Features

    • 11 tools
    • Built-in carabiner
    • 3 ounces


    • Lightweight
    • Useful tools
    • Bonus tool unique to the Stake Out
    • Durable
    • Carabiner clip


    • No pocket clip
    • No serrated blade

    The Gerber Stake Out includes a unique tent stake puller, making it easier than ever to remove tent stakes without the hassle of traditional methods. The 2.2-inch plain edge blade with a liner lock is perfect for any campground chore, and the scissors are strong enough to cut through hard plastic like zip ties.

    5. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Micro Pump

    portable air pump in a camping setting

    The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Micro Pump is a game-changer for campers who value convenience and efficiency. This tiny pump saves time and your lungs by inflating the best sleeping pads in less than 3 minutes. This is especially important when you’re camping at higher altitudes and already out of breath from the hike. The other benefit to not blowing up a pad is that no moisture from your breath inside can add weight and create mold.

    Key Features

    • Inflate and deflates your pad in minutes
    • Simple one button use


    • Saves time
    • Saves energy
    • No moisture gets in the pad
    • Lightweight


    • Expensive
    • Only works with Therm-a-rest winglock valves

    With a weight of just 2.3 ounces, this is a luxury worth carrying. No more huffing and puffing to blow up mattresses at camp after a long day of huffing and puffing on the trail.

    6. Aeropress Go

    The Aeropress Go is designed specifically for travelers and doesn’t require electricity. All you need is some hot water and your favorite ground coffee! This portable coffee maker is a great value, easy to operate, and cleanup is a breeze too. You can have a delicious cup of camping coffee no matter where you are with the Aeropress Go.


    • Compact and lightweight
    • Easy to clean
    • No electricity required

    How to Use

    1. Add your favorite ground coffee to the Aeropress Go.
    2. Pour hot water over the coffee grounds.
    3. Stir and let it steep for a few minutes.
    4. Press the plunger to filter the coffee into your cup.

    Why It’s Essential

    The Aeropress Go allows you to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee anywhere, making it a must-have for any camping trip.

    7. Collapsible Solar Lantern

    collapsible solar lantern in a camping site

    A collapsible solar lantern is an essential gadget for any camping trip. Portable and easy to use, it weighs only 5.12oz and can be folded to a size of 3.03*3.15in, making it easy to store in a backpack or even in your pocket. This makes it a perfect alternative to traditional, bulkier battery-operated versions when space is limited.

    Key Features

    • Compresses down to a thin, lightweight disk
    • Can be hooked to the outside of your backpack to charge in the sun
    • Inflates by simply blowing into it
    • Multiple lighting modes, including an SOS setting for emergencies


    • Lightweight
    • Two lighting options
    • Easy to store and carry


    • Not USB rechargeable

    Whether you’re backpacking or tent camping, a collapsible solar lantern is one of our top camping must-haves. It’s a perfect alternative to traditional (bulkier!) battery-operated versions when space is limited.

    8. Portable Power Station

    portable power station in a camping site

    A portable power station is essential for charging your devices during a camping trip. Models like the Goal Zero Yeti 500 Portable Power Station and solar panels provide a sustainable power source. These stations can charge smartphones, laptops, and cameras and even run small appliances. The solar panels recharge the power station during the day, ensuring you have power throughout your trip.

    Best Models

    When it comes to the best tested portable power stations in 2024, CNET experts tested over 90 portable power stations to find out which ones have the best performance. Here are our top picks:

    Model Battery Capacity (Wh) Price ($)
    Goal Zero Yeti 500X 505 699.95
    EcoFlow River Pro 720 649.00
    Jackery Explorer 1000 1002 999.99

    Features to Consider

    • Battery Capacity: Measured in watt-hours (Wh), this determines how long the power station can run your devices.
    • Portability: Weight and size matter, especially if you plan to carry it on hikes.
    • Charging Options: Look for models that support solar panel recharging for sustainable energy.
    • Output Ports: Ensure it has enough USB, AC, and DC ports to meet your needs.

    Tips for Use

    1. Always fully charge your power station before heading out.
    2. Use energy-efficient devices to extend battery life.
    3. Regularly check the battery status to avoid unexpected power loss.
    4. Keep the power station in a cool, dry place to maintain its longevity.

    A portable power station can be a game-changer for your camping experience, providing reliable power for all your essential devices.

    9. Camp Stove

    camp stove in a forest campsite

    A reliable camp stove is an essential piece of equipment for any camping trip. Portable camp stoves bring the convenience of home cooking to the outdoors. They are lightweight, easy to use, and fuel-efficient. Features like adjustable flame control and wind resistance make them perfect for preparing a variety of meals in different outdoor conditions.

    Types of Camp Stoves

    • Ultralight Stoves: Ideal for backpackers who need to minimize weight.
    • Two-Burner Stoves: Great for family camping trips where multiple dishes are prepared simultaneously.
    • Heavy-Duty Stoves: Suitable for large groups or base camps, offering robust cooking capabilities.

    Fuel Types

    Camp stoves run on various types of fuel, including propane, butane, and liquid fuel. Propane camp stoves are generally allowed even when fire bans are in place, making them a versatile choice.

    Features to Consider

    • Adjustable Flame Control: Allows for precise cooking.
    • Wind Resistance: Ensures the flame remains steady in windy conditions.
    • Portability: Lightweight and compact designs are easier to transport.

    When camping, you usually don’t want to take too much with you, so it’s super helpful if one device can fulfill multiple tasks. Some innovative stoves can even convert heat into electrical energy, simultaneously charging your electronic devices.

    Top Picks for 2024

    1. JetBoil Flash: Best for quick boiling times.
    2. Coleman Classic Propane Stove: Reliable and affordable.
    3. Camp Chef Explorer: Heavy-duty option for serious campers.

    10. Propane Fire Pit

    camping trip with propane fire pit in a forest

    A propane fire pit is an excellent addition to your camping checklist for several reasons. Unlike traditional campfires, propane fire pits do not produce soot or a smoky smell, making them a cleaner option. They are also a great alternative when fire restrictions are in effect, allowing you to enjoy a campfire experience without breaking any rules.


    • Clean burning: No soot or smoky smell.
    • Fire restriction friendly: Can be used even when traditional campfires are banned.
    • Multi-use: One propane tank can fuel both your fire pit and camp stove.


    • Space-consuming: Requires additional room for the propane tank.
    • Weight: Can be heavier compared to other fire pit options.

    Tips for Use

    1. Ensure you have enough propane for your trip.
    2. Set up the fire pit on a stable, flat surface.
    3. Follow all safety guidelines to prevent accidents.

    A propane fire pit allows you to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a campfire without the hassle of smoke and soot. It’s a convenient and safe option for any camping trip.


    In conclusion, these top 10 camping gadgets blend the essence of outdoor adventure with the benefits of modern technology. From staying connected with the Beartooth MK II to ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep, these gadgets cater to every aspect of your camping experience, making your next outdoor adventure safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice camper, having the right gear can make all the difference in enhancing your outdoor experience. So pack your gear, embrace the great outdoors, and make the most out of your next camping trip with these must-have gadgets.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter and how does it work?

    The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a portable water filter that allows you to drink directly from natural water sources. It uses advanced microfiltration technology to remove bacteria, parasites, and microplastics, ensuring safe drinking water.

    How does the Beartooth MK II enhance my camping experience?

    The Beartooth MK II is a communication device that allows you to stay connected with your group even without cell service. It uses mesh networking technology to enable off-grid communication, making it essential for remote camping trips.

    What makes the Big Agnes mtnGLO unique?

    The Big Agnes mtnGLO is a tent equipped with built-in LED lights, providing convenient illumination inside your tent. This feature enhances visibility and comfort, making it easier to organize your gear and move around at night.

    Why should I include a portable power station on my camping trip?

    A portable power station is crucial for keeping your electronic devices charged while camping. It provides a reliable power source for smartphones, cameras, and other essential gadgets, ensuring you stay connected and can capture your adventure.

    What are the benefits of using a collapsible solar lantern?

    A collapsible solar lantern is an eco-friendly lighting solution that harnesses solar energy to provide illumination. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and eliminates the need for batteries, making it a sustainable choice for your camping trips.

    Is the Gerber Stake Out just for setting up tents?

    No, the Gerber Stake Out is a multi-tool designed for various camping tasks. While it includes a tent stake puller, it also features a knife, saw, scissors, and other tools, making it versatile for different outdoor activities.

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