If you like to explore the great outdoors, it can be as easy as having a good pair of boots and a map. But camping and hiking in the modern age can also come with fun gadgets to make your stay in Mother Nature even more fun. Even if you don’t want to go so far as glamping – glamour camping – you can still make outdoor living a little more cozy by using the latest in technology. Just make sure you bring the batteries!
Keep the lights on
When the sun goes down you probably more than just the light of the moon and the campfire to maintain your campsite and safety. There are a few great lighting options for your next camping trip. The MPowered Luci is an inexpensive option that soaks up sunlight during the day and gives off a soft glow at night. There’s also the WOW Camp Lantern by Brunton, which comes on a detachable tripod. It can be used as a lantern, stuck on the side of your car, or held as a flashlight. The tripod legs can also be used with your camera for taking nature photos and group pics.
For a light that helps in an emergency, try the Eton Scorpion. The unit is solar powered and crank powered, and provides light and an AM/FM radio signal. It also includes a USB port so you can charge your phone and other electronics in a pinch. Built to be durable, it is an indispensable addition to your camping gear.
Cooking and cleaning
A simple camp stove has been around for a while now, but technology has made them more useful than ever. The BioLite CampStove gives you a safe place to burn a cook fire and perch your pots and kettles. It also has a thermoelectric generator on the side. This device allows the stove to gather emitted heat and turn it into electricity that can be used to charge phone and portable speakers. If you need your camp coffee fast you can use the JetBoil, a flash boiler with easy to light fuel canisters that can boil water is just two minutes. The stand can be adapted with extras to support cookpots and frying pans as well.
Once dinner is done, wash up easily with the portable kitchen sink designed by Sea to Summit. The collapsible unit is built to hold 5 liters without tipping over, and has webbed handles for easy carrying. The same brand also offers portable camp showers. Water can be warmed in the sun so you can get cleaned up after a day of outdoor adventures. You can also go all out with the Texsport Delux Portable Shower – a tent built specifically to act as a shower stall for the 5-gallon unit. Providing privacy and a clean floor to stand on, this can make an extended stay in the woods into a luxury.
Sleeping in style
Sleeping on the rough ground isn’t comfortable for anyone, and older air mattresses can take a lot of lung power to inflate. Thankfully, newer models are here to make nights comfortable. The REI Incamp insulated airbed has a built-in hand pump for quick inflation, and durable insulation to keep you warm while you sleep. It can also be clipped to additional airbeds for a couples’ night outdoors. With even less effort you can set up the Coleman self-inflating camp pad. With its built-in pillow campers simply have to unroll the pad and open the air valve to set it up.
If you’re more of a minimalist when camping, you can always use the JakPak. This waterproof jacket zips open to become a personal sleeping bag in seconds. Another zip pocket reveals a tiny tent hood for your head. You can simply pick a spot, undo the zippered components, and be ready to sleep in seconds.