Waking up in a field in the countryside may not be everyone’s idea of a holiday, but thankfully our list of the best camping gadgets is here to make your outdoor expedition as comfortable as possible.
Our pick of the top camping tech aims to stop you craving those home comforts you miss, whether it’s a hot coffee or simply a dry T-shirt.
From portable cooking equipment to outdoor lighting that charges your phone, our pick of the best camping gadgets helps make holidaying in the outdoors something to look forward to (rather than remind you of how awful your Duke of Edinburgh expedition was when you were 15).
For more outdoor tech inspiration, take a look at our garden gadgets.
The best camping gadgets in 2021
Grayl Geopress water purifier
The Geopress water purifier bottle protects from pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and microplastics as well as global waterborne pathogens including cholera, salmonella and dysentery. This is down to the electroadsorptive media technology in the purifier cartridge that, according to Grayl, catches the unwanted contaminants like a magnet.
Just fill the outer bottle with water from your source, whether it’s a lake or a suspicious looking tap, and push the inner bottle – which has the replaceable cartridge attached at the bottom – down into the water. This pushing motion forces the dirty water through the purifier where ion exchange binds bacteria and viruses and the activated carbon soaks up any chemicals, odours and flavours so you’re left with safe, drinkable water.
All in just eight seconds. Easy.
Jetboil Flash 2.0 cooking system
It’s all about speed with this camping gadget. The Jetboil Flash 2.0 boils 0.5L of water in 100 seconds, which is quicker than it takes to get a hot drink at most coffee shops.
The vessel connects to a burner (which has a push-button igniter) which needs to be connected to a gas cartridge. The colour-changing heat indicator on the side of the design lets you know exactly when the water is boiling.
The bottom cover can be used as a bowl and measuring cup, which is a handy feature when your meal requires specific measurements.
The fuel cartridges – self-sealing butane and propane mix gas cartridges work – are sold separately, so don’t forget to pick those up, otherwise you’ll have some pretty disappointed campers on your hands.
Mpowerd Luci solar string lights and phone charger
Apart from helping to create a pleasant atmosphere, these warm lights are ideal for using on the go as they can be fully recharged via solar panel. For a quicker boost, there is the option to charge via USB. The lights last for 20 hours on a single charge, which is ideal if you’re away camping for the weekend.
The lights come with hanging clips so if you want to decorate your tent, and give it that homey touch, you can easily hang this camping gadget from above. And if the scene you create is so utterly magical you can’t resist a picture, your phone will be ready to go as the lights double as a charger.
Panga submersible backpack
The Panga submersible backpack is 100 per cent waterproof. Thanks to the hydrolock zipper, your goods remain dry, no matter the weather. The removable chest strap and waist belt provide extra security and stability if you’re on a long trek.
We like the simplicity of the bag’s design which makes it suitable for a variety of occasions. You can take it into the office and then head off for a spot of post-work spearfishing. Or just walk home in the rain. Whatever you do, your stuff will be dry.
Due to the thickskin shell, the bag is puncture- and abrasion-resistant, so you don’t need to be too careful with this hardy number.
BioLite campstove 2+ complete cook kit
This camping gadget from Biolite takes us back to something you would use in a secondary school science lab.
Burn some sticks in the fire chamber to start with. This charges a battery pack which then can power a fan that gets your fire burning even hotter. This means (with some accessories) you can boil some coffee, even pop a wee grill on the top or even use the fire’s energy to charge your phone.
With this design, the smoke burns before it escapes the pit which helps to create cleaner flames and happier campers.
And if you want to see the many activities that are going on in front of you, there is a light attachment included.
If this has got you in the mood to cook up a feast, read our list of the best kitchen gadgets.
Lightweight rechargeable headlamp with multi-beam
When it comes to camping gadgets, the head torch is easily forgotten but heavily missed.
With 500 lumens and weighing only 79g, this is a powerful yet light option.
The Iko core headlamp comes with a rechargeable battery, which can be charged via micro USB port, and also works with three AAA batteries, so you won’t find yourself stuck in the dark.
There are two beam types (flood or mixed), many white brightness levels and also three lighting levels, so whatever you’re up to, whether it’s a romantic dinner in your tent, or a quick scan to check out that terrifying rustling noise in the distance, you’ll find a suitable option.
Rather than a front-heavy design, the battery pack sits at the back of the headlamp so the weight is distributed more evenly, making it more comfortable to wear.
The string allows you to adjust it for the perfect size but you can also transform it into a lantern for your table or hang it from your tent.
Nintendo Switch Lite
This is a winner if you’ve got bored kids who have had enough of nature, but also, let’s not pretend you need children to own a Nintendo.
The Switch Lite has been specifically designed for handheld play so it’s a great option for a campsite, down-time in the tent and road trip entertainment.
The console works with Nintendo Switch games that can be used in handheld mode and it can be linked up to eight Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems for a multi-player option. Did someone say Mario Kart?
Weber Go-Anywhere portable charcoal BBQ
What’s a camping trip without some charred sausages and a few marshmallow fatalities?
With a name like ‘go-anywhere’, it’s no secret this trusty portable BBQ from Weber can be chucked in the car with ease due to its small size.
Despite its diminuitive design, the triple-plated cooking grate has a cooking area of 41 x 25cm so you can cook a reasonable amount of camping grub. The two rust-proof aluminium lid vents regulate air flow for successful BBQ cooking so you can look forward to a tasty feast after a long day exploring the countryside.
It is easy to transport due to the swivelling legs which close the lid shut when you’re ready to pack up and head off, turning it into something that resembles a suitcase.
Have a look at the best BBQ gadgets for more ideas.
Hetp power bank
It’s easy to get carried away with your phone when you’re camping. There’s the music, maps, all of the pictures and of course that all-important torch when you need the toilet in the middle of the night, so you don’t want to lose battery.
A power bank is an essential solution to this problem and this sleek number from HETP allows you to charge three devices at once. The 18W power delivery allows you to fully charge your phone in an hour.
It’s fit for most popular USB-powered phones including the iPhone 11 and Galaxy S9. The LED indicator displays a range of colours and lets you know how much power remains.
An upgrade from the original Wonderboom, this small bundle of fun is particularly camp-friendly thanks to the new outdoor boost feature, which plays powerful audio that has been specifically tuned for outdoor listening.
Another aspect making it suitable for your big trip is the fact it is waterproof. However unnatural it may feel to allow your speaker to bob about in the lake as you go for a dip, it’s quite acceptable with the Wonderboom 2. So when you’re not camping, you can take it into the shower for the ultimate sing-a-long.
If your fellow campers have the same device, you can wirelessly connect the two for a louder sound, which is ideal if you fancy turning your camping trip into a rave. The music plays for 13 hours so the party won’t be cut short. Great news for you, not such great news for your neighbours.
The device from Ultimate Ears only weighs 420g so it’s a solid choice for chucking in your camping rucksack and the convenient strap makes it easy to carry.
You really can stay in bed all day when your blanket turns into a jacket.
The compressible insulation uses hollow fibers which ensures this snug treat from Therm-a-rest keeps you warm without weighing you, or your bag, down.
The Honcho poncho even folds down into a small, zip-up storage pocket for easy and convenient packing. This pocket is a handy pouch when you’re wearing the poncho which is ideal for storing campfire snacks.
When you’re ready to pop into your tent at the end of the night, perhaps the 13 hour rave is getting a bit much, you can use it as an extra layer for your sleeping bag. In the morning, use it as a changing room if you can’t be bothered with the yoga positions putting clothes on in a tent requires. So, you can basically find any excuse to wear it for the whole camping trip.
Patagonia Triolet jacket
Patagonia is pretty good at creating outdoor gear that’s stylish enough for everyday wear, and their Triolet jacket is certainly no exception.
Available in both female and male sizes, the Triolet is made with a three-layer Gore-Tex membrane and 100 per cent recycled polyester. Labelled the ‘Jack-of-all-things-Alpine’, the Patagonia product is a breathable waterproof jacket that protects against snow, wind and rain. You’re pretty unlucky if you face all three on your summer camping trip but at least you’ll be prepared.
The watertight wrist seals keep your new watch safe and the underarm, two-way zips are there for extra ventilation.
The hood is compatible with helmets so if you wake up and fancy a spontaneous mountain climb, or perhaps a snowboarding trip, your jacket won’t get in your way.
Self cleaning UV water bottle
It’s easy to go days, OK weeks, without washing your water bottle when you use it so often.
To remove the hassle of scrubbing, the WAKEcup self cleaning UV bottle uses ultraviolet light technology, which is stored in the lid, to clean the inside of your bottle by zapping away bacteria, viruses and mould.
In three minutes, UV light kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. Just click a button and after your three minutes, your bottle will be sparkling clean and ready for all of your camping adventures.
This magical gadget holds 550ml of water and keeps the contents cold for 12 hours and hot for four, so it’s ideal if you fancy a coffee on the go.
Once fully charged, the USB rechargeable lithium battery works for a month, and you even get a waterproof micro USB connector with your purchase, so it’s a top choice for a rainy camping trip.
Garmin fēnix 6 pro solar edition
What we love about this watch from Garmin is the fact it features a power glass solar charging lens which gives you 14 days of power. So you have plenty of time to get lost in the woods and still have the support of your trusty watch.
But thanks to the navigation maps system, finding your way back to the tent after your big adventure won’t be an issue.
It also shares running pace guidance based on your terrain as well as monitoring your heart rate, how you’re sleeping and your fitness age (if you’d like to know that). There’s not a lot it won’t tell you, actually.
Not just for walkers, this smartwatch has been designed with swimmers, runners, cyclists and golfers in mind.
Merino tech trainer hybrid gloves
Keeping warm on a camping trip in Britain is a significant factor to consider when you’re packing, so owning a pair of go-to gloves is a wise move.
Merino is what you’re after if you want a breathable material and these gloves are designed to wick away moisture so you don’t need to worry about the dreaded clammy hands.
The stretchy merino jersey material together with the fact they are touchscreen compatible, makes this pair of gloves both comfortable and practical for when you’re out and about.