As they say, only mummies don’t go camping, because they don’t feel comfortable enough to relax and unwind. The rest of us somewhat enjoy it.
Air saturated with oxygen, friendly squirrels, therapeutic nature feels like a perfect way to push that mental reset button.
However, nobody has canceled waking up with spiders in your hair.
Or sudden temperature drops of 25 degrees or more when there would be no survivors left. Or pouring rain right during that trip when you forgot to waterproof your tent.
And probably the best advice an experienced camper can give to a noob is to pack paper and pencil to write down everything you’ve forgotten. You can use those notes to pack for your next trip.
Want to be prepared even if you are traveling for the first time? I’ve put together the list of the handiest camping gadgets below. So you may have an idea of what’s missing on your packing list from the very beginning. And save yourself from the potential disaster.
Interested in a particular camping gadget? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
One of the best advice you can get from a savvy camper as a noob is: “don’t let your stuff get wet.”
And I am not even talking about the fact that if your things stay wet or even humid long enough, there will be a chance that some new forms of life will appear in your bag. And you don’t want that.
But even talking about more practical (and real) situations. Imagine getting colder during your trip and thinking that it’s time to double down on those thick warm socks you’ve brought along. But apparently, the pair somehow got wet after a brief rainfall or kayaking experience. Wet socks hardly make you any warmer during the cold night.
So yes, a good backpack is not a luxury for your camping trip. My favorite option is this super lightweight waterproof hiking backpack. It comes in several volumes and colors. It has sturdy built-in shoulder straps that are likely to last a long time. It’s incredibly durable, insanely roomy, and tested to perform well during the rough camping trips without a drop of water getting inside.
It even comes with a small complimentary bag that can be clipped inside for “double protection” of your most important and water-sensitive possessions like a phone or wallet.
While there’s a bunch of camping lanterns to choose from these days, I feel like this one offers the right balance between the price, brightness, and durability. It has 4 light modes from warm white (at 200 Lumens) to super flashing bright (1000 Lumens). And while your everyday miracle of Chinese manufacturing lantern genius tends to be quite flimsy and burn out pretty quickly, this little guy built to last. One set of batteries (3 * 1.5V) last for up to 36 hours of continuous usage on the lower lighting level or intermittent use on the brightest one.
And this lantern is also compact and lightweight, both are essential features for any legit camping gadget.
Best portable washing machine
It might be considered an unnecessary luxury for a short camping trip. But if you plan to dive deep into the wilderness, a portable washing machine has to be there with you.
Otherwise, you potentially end up taking too many clothing changes. And will waste too much time washing rather than enjoying your adventure or catching some rare skin infection. None of these outcomes feel quite appealing if you ask me.
So if you are camping in the RV, this 44 pounds portable laundry is something you should consider bringing along. You don’t need to have a water faucet to use it – you can manually load it up with water.
And even though it’s small, you can wash up to 6 pounds of clothes per load, saving tons of time. It also has three levels of wash: heavy, normal, and light. And the spin cycle is super powerful, too, so that your clothes are practically dry at the end.
Great little helper to take on an extended glamping trip. (Or you can check my post for more portable washing machines to bring along if you are not persuaded about this one in particular).
Best camping knife
This piece is very well-constructed, lightweight, and at the same time, super sharp and sturdy little knife (15 inches). And even comes with the sharpening stick and a fire started as a bonus. The grip is comfortable, and the sheath is way nicer than you might be expecting.
The blade is made of 440C stainless steel for additional rust resistance, and it feels very solid. It’s been proven to perform well for chopping shrubbery. So if you always wanted to feel like Rambo with little efforts and at a small cost, please, do check this knife out.
Some might enjoy the “real” survival experience that includes utilizing plant leaves as plates and wooden sticks as cooking utensils. But if you are not as hardcore of the camper, you might appreciate a good set of cookware. This one checks all the boxes. It’s lightweight. It’s solid and durable. It’s made of safe materials. And it’s priced reasonably (10 pieces included from pans and bowls to spoons and ladles)—solid buy.
This portable shower can make hunting and camping very much civilized and actually enjoyable in the self-hygiene department. It fits perfectly pretty much anywhere and works for about 45 min of consistent use once the battery is fully charged. So it can last for a good couple of showers (or even more if you are sustainability conscious).
You can charge it using a USB cable from any portable energy supply or using the cigarette lighter socket of your car. No more bracing and shock, from a cold stream while camping. Once it can be potentially refreshing and good for your health, it’s not universally enjoyable.
So if you are into relaxing hot showers and generally OK with being clean – get this little guy for your next camping adventure.
Best cooler for camping
This cooler is just the right size to easily fit all the food you might need for an extended camping trip with your family. And there still will be some room to spare.
The insulation used in this cooler is top-notch. As some buyers reported, once you load it with ice, food, and drinks, it can keep the cold and keep your food supplies fresh and chilled for up to 60 hours even when it’s hot outside. Some might argue that this cooler sucks ’cause it doesn’t have the draining spigot.
But I personally think it’s a plus. It’s still super small, so you can unload all the water once you’ve reached an appropriate place for that. Otherwise, there’s always the risk that something will end up leaking out. But with this cooler, your RV, car, or tent are safe.
This camping fan is terrific. It charges super quick (and lasts around 40 hours as a fan or about 440 hours when used as a light). And the batteries it comes with it are rechargeable. (To be fair, the batteries are practically worth the purchase price by themselves). It also works with a USB cable. You can plug it into a power bank, laptop, or car charger.
This gadget has 3 fan speeds and even comes with quite a decent light. The fan is powerful enough to make the tent feel less stuffy when it’s hot. All in all, this is a great portable fan (and light!) that doesn’t need to be plugged in. Perfect for camping.
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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