The 20 Best Camping Gadgets for Outdoor Adventures

Updated Jan 30, 2023
Photo: VSSL Insulated Flask with Bluetooth Speaker

Becoming one with the outdoors used to mean unplugging from devices that would prevent you from doing so. And while that’s still largely true, there’s plenty of value in gearing up with some high-tech — and even low-tech. Whether it’s a water filtration system that helps you with survival, a satellite communication device to make sure you’re never truly out of reach when an emergency strikes, or a cooking tool to help elevate your culinary skills, the following gadgets are available to make life around the campsite easier and all the more enjoyable. Here are the best ones we found.

LifeStraw Peak Series Water Filter Straw

LifeStraw recently updated its flagship filtration straw, which enables you to head out on any adventure without worrying about running out of clean, potable water. Without worrying about clogs from sand or silt, you can sip from streams and lakes with the new Peak Series straw, which eliminates 99.999999% of all bacteria and 99.999% of parasites and microplastics. Stretching just 10.43” and weighing 2.3oz, the LifeStraw is super easy to travel with and the filter will last you through 1,000 gallons of water.

Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller

Create a 20-foot dome of protection against nature’s peskiest insects with Thermacell’s E55 Mosquito Repeller. With the push of a button, the heat activates the 4.5-inch tall unit with no scent or spray. The citronella- and DEET-free protection offers 12 hours of use off a single charge but works when plugged in as well. For longer outings off the grid, there’s a 40-hour refill option available as well. 

Palmpress Portable Coffee Maker

If we’re being honest, our daily coffee fix is one of the last things we’re willing to do without on our camping trip. However, unless you have the right gadget, your caffeine withdrawal won’t be the only headache you’ll have to endure. Brewing coffee has never been more straightforward than with the Palmpress Portable Coffee Maker. Standing just over 2” high when compacted, this all-in-one unit acts like a French press, boiling an 8oz cup of joe in just 3 minutes. You simply let the mixture steep, turn it over, and press it into your cup.

BioLite HeadLamp 800 Pro

BioLite has plenty of fantastic gadgets for the outdoors. Among its impressive lighting range is the 800-lumen HeadLamp 800 Pro, its newest and most powerful yet. Throwing its 800 lumens up to 135m (~443ft), the rechargeable device has three brightness settings and can last for 7 hours on the highest one. Likewise, there are eight different lighting modes, including red flood, burst, strobe, and several rear visibility options. With an IPX4 water-resistance rating, you can rummage through your trunk and campsite even when the weather gets wet.

Presto Nomad Traveling Slow Cooker

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the likes of brisket or short ribs while venturing out to the wilderness. Presto’s Nomad Traveling Slow Cooker ensures that you won’t have to, and at a fair price indeed. Weighing less than 9lbs and equipped with a handle for easy transport, the cooker holds up to 8qts and features three heating settings. In the mornings, you can prepare your dish, go out hiking for the day, and have a gourmet meal ready for you when you return in the evening. There’s also an erasable board on the outside so you can label what’s inside.

Nitecore Summit 10000

If a giant portable power station isn’t in your budget and you want to travel light, then get yourself one of the best, most durable portable chargers available. Weighing a ridiculous 6oz, Nitecore’s new Summit 10000 utilizes a 10,000mAh lithium-ion battery encased in a unibody carbon fiber shell with an IPX5 impact resistance rating. For outdoorsmen who enjoy heading out in colder climates, this bank can still operate at 70% performance at temperatures as low as -4°F, with functioning output as low as -40°F.

Fenix CL28R Lantern

Can your smartphone flashlight illuminate your entire campsite? Doubtful. This new CL28R Lantern from Fenix is arguably the most efficient and meticulously-designed lantern available. With a magnetic handle and 360-degree swivel, the brightness, up to 2,000 lumens, can be adjusted via the stepless knob, as can the color temperature, which ranges from soft white to daylight. Along with an IP66 water-resistance rating, there’s a tripod socket and a magnetic handle for hands-free placement. If that isn’t enough, the lantern also doubles as a power bank for your smartphone, just to rub it in.

Outwell Fuji Electric Camping Heater

Even when camping in the warmer months of the year, we often find ourselves chilly in the evenings and have to resort to bundling up with an absurd amount of layers. To combat your burrito syndrome, get yourself an overhead heater instead. This handy Fuji Electric Camping Heater from Outwell can be hung up as high as 6ft at your campsite via carabiner, both inside and outside, and provides all-around warmth thanks to two wattage settings. Unlike other options, this lamp’s calming glow doesn’t give off an undesirable burning smell either. 

Leatherman Signal Multi-Tool

Tailor-made for your weekend camping trips, Leatherman’s Signal Multi-Tool is a favorite for a reason. Boasting 19 handy tools and structured in a way so that most of them are accessible when the device is closed, the Signal features multitool standards such as pliers, wire cutters, and 420HC steel blade, but also some camping-specific tools such as a ferro rod for starting fires, an emergency whistle, a can opener, and a carabiner. To sweeten the deal, Leatherman also offers the Signal in several attractive color options.

BioLite CampStove 2+

Fusing the worlds of technology and old-school tradition, BioLite’s super innovative CampStove 2+ is a portable fire pit, camping stove, and power bank all in one. Updating its power source to a 3,200mAh battery, this wood-burning unit uses twigs and leaves to make fire, after which it converts the fire to electricity so you can charge your phone while you toast marshmallows. The pit also benefits from the brand’s patented smokeless technology so the byproduct of your flames isn’t pervading the campsite.

VSSL Insulated Flask with Bluetooth Speaker

Known for its compact, on-the-go cylindrical canisters that are perfect for anything from fishing to first aid, VSSL recently came out with a device that’s refreshingly superfluous. Pop the top on the Insulated Flask for an effortless fill, but then pour from your 8oz canister with more control from the screw-on spout. Built from double-wall insulated 304 stainless steel, the flask also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker (because, why not?), which is placed at the other end. Additionally, the cap doubles as a carabiner for you to hang it on your tent or foldable chair.

Nemo Helio LX Portable Shower

If you don’t want to sacrifice warm showers during your camping getaway, opt for Nemo’s Helio LX Portable Shower, a solar-heated option that can handle 22L of water and give you a fully-pressurized rinse for up to 10 minutes at a time. The sun warms up the water and the 7-foot integrated hose gives you enough slack to shower overhead without the need for any external attachments. For easy travel, it can pack down to a 2-pound sack and fit in your trunk.

Pentax 4X20 3-in-1 Binocular

In the world of binoculars, there isn’t much wiggle room for versatility outside of the lenses themselves. However, these 3-in-1 specs from Pentax are the exception to the rule. Featuring a 4×20 rating (meaning 4x magnification with a 20mm front lens diameter), you can use the device as-is or split the two sides apart so you and a friend can each have a single monocular when checking out nearby mountain ranges or wildlife. After sunset, you can also combine both tubes for stargazing with 16x magnification (multiplying both 4x lenses).

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Smart Heated Gloves 

Always on the cutting edge of sartorial innovation, Eddie Bauer recently tapped clim8’s AI-powered self-heating technology for its waterproof Guide Pro Smart Heated Gloves for the outdoors. Insulated with Primaloft Gold, the gloves adapt to your hand’s temperature based on your desired settings, which are programmed via the smartphone app. With a range between 68 and 95ºF, the devices are able to keep your digits warm for up to 4.5 hours and boast WeatherEdge Plus waterproofing. There’s even a cloth at the back of the thumb for wiping your nose.

Garmin inReach Messenger

Losing cell service when venturing off the grid is no longer an issue with Garmin’s inReach Messenger, a new addition to the smartwatch brand’s inReach range. The subscription-based device utilizes the global Iridium satellite network so you can share coordinates and send messages, including quick SOS pings, two-way messaging, and group messaging. Garmin has long been among the best names in outdoor smartwatches, and this handy gadget furthers its commitment to outdoor security as well.

DemerBox DB2 Indestructible Bluetooth Speaker

Never worry about damaging your speaker ever again. Built from a tough-as-nails Pelican case, this waterproof DB2 Indestructible Bluetooth Speaker from DemerBox will keep your gear safe and dry on any outing while also providing high-quality audio from the speakers themselves. Use the handle to carry around the 5.44-pound EDC case on your hike or pair up to six of them back at the campfire for over 40 hours of tunes off a single charge. What’s more, the DB2 doubles as a USB power bank for charging your smart devices.

Suunto 9 Peak Pro

Suunto’s top-shelf multisport adventure watch is the perfect smart device for life off the grid. Tested according to the most stringent military standards, the Finland-made wearable has a user-friendly interface and plenty of capabilities for your camping trip, including all five major satellite tracking systems for visual route navigation, training functions for trail runs, and 100m of water resistance for dips in the river. Lasting up to 21 days in standard use, the battery will also give you 40 hours in GPS mode.  

GoSun Chillest Cooler

Think of how much more room you can save if you didn’t have to store loads of ice in your portable cooler. The Chillest from GoSun is a 45L chest powered by a built-in battery that runs for 10 hours by itself, but up to 40 hours unplugged with external power banks or solar panels (sold separately). Having maximized its room inside for food and beverages, the unit is separated into two separate zones, each with its own touch control for adjusting the temperature. So, you can use one side as a freezer and the other as a fridge.

Anker 757 PowerHouse

Billed as the longest-lasting portable power station in the world, the 757 PowerHouse by Anker is the end-all option for those looking to have a bank always available, or if you simply want to head out for a long trip worry-free. Lasting over 3,000 full charging cycles before any noticeable reduction in capacity, the 1,229Wh battery gives you 50,000 hours of total charge and comes equipped with 6 AC outlets, 6 USB outlets, and a car charger. Weighing about 44lbs, the 757 can also provide ambient lighting for nighttime.

Zero Breeze Mark 2 Air Conditioner

Nothing says glamping like a portable cooling system. While there are plenty of extra layers to keep you warm in the winter cold, there are only so many layers you can remove when the hot summer weather starts to scorch. Weighing just 16.5lbs, Zero Breeze’s updated portable Air Conditioner unit is the way to go if you don’t mind shelling out the money. With 2,300BTU cooling power and an IPX4 water-resistance rating, this system can get you 3 to 5 hours of usage off a single charge and operates at four wind speed levels.

The Best Luxury Camping Essentials

If you love a more elevated glamping experience, head over to our guide to the best luxury camping essentials before your next trip.