Camping is serene and peaceful—the perfect escape from everyday life. And even though roughing it with no technology is a fun time for some, these must-have camping gadgets are luxuries you’ll thank yourself for buying.
A few of these items ensure you’ll be safe in case anything happens, like an emergency crank radio or a LifeStraw water filter. The others will simply make your camping experience a little easier, like lights for your campsite or a solar charger for your phone. Every item on this list, however, will make your next camping trick more enjoyable.
Emergency Crank Radio: RunningSnail 4000mAh-Solar
Portable Power Station: Jackery Explorer 240
Solar Charger: Anker 21W Solar Charger
Solar Lantern: LuminAID Inflatable Lantern
Camping Light Bulbs: Lepro LED Bulbs
Clean Water Filter: Personal Lifestraw
Camping Cookware: BioLite Campstove 2
Tactical Flashlight: GearLight LED
Walkie Talkies: MOICO Walkie Talkies
Non-Camping Essential: Nintendo Switch
This emergency crank radio from RunningSnail is good to have on hand in case the weather gets dicey while you’re out camping. With this radio, you’ll always have access to the latest weather broadcasts and any hazard information from seven NOAA weather stations as well, giving you plenty of time to prepare if things take a turn for the worse.
There’s a 4000mAh Li-ion battery, which helps power the radio, the flashlight, and even a USB port to charge your phone. If the battery runs out, there are four other ways to power RunningSnail’s radio; you can use the hand crank, the micro-USB port, the built-in solar panel, or replace the battery altogether with a backup.
You'll be happy you have an emergency crank radio if the weather takes a turn for the worse while you're camping.
Camping is supposed to be an excuse to power off and connect with nature instead of your devices, but in today’s world, it’s nice to know at least you’ll have power if you need it. The Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station has a 240Wh lithium-ion battery.
There’s one 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC outlet, two 5V/2.4A USB-A ports, and one 12V DC car port that you can use to charge smartphones, tablets, cameras, lights, and any other electronic device you have. It can recharge with a built-in solar panel, or you can charge it through a wall outlet or car outlet.
Jackery Explorer 240
You can power your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and most other electronic devices with the Jackery Explorer 240.
Anker’s 21W solar charger has built-in fast charging PowerIQ technology that’ll reliably charge your phone. It has a 21-watt solar array that’s 21.5-23.5% efficient. If you don’t know what those numbers mean, don’t worry; all that you really need to know is that it’s powerful enough to charge two devices at once.
Each solar panel is sewn into a polyester canvas covering that’s weather-resistant—perfect for the outdoors. You can attach it to the outside of your backpack with the two stainless steel eye holes on each corner, which lets the sun charge your devices while you’re out hiking. Then, the charger folds up nicely inside your backpack when you’re not using it.
Anker 21W Solar Charger
When camping, especially for long periods of time, a solar charger is handy for your smartphone.
If you’re an avid Shark Tank watcher, you might have seen the LuminAID lantern before. It’s an awesome product for camping because it’s lightweight, collapsible, shatterproof, waterproof with an IP67 rating, and provides a great amount of light.
Inside, there’s a 75 lumen LED light that’ll last up to 24 hours on a full battery charge. When the battery runs out, there are two ways to recharge it. You can either use the micro USB input to charge it in one to two hours, or you can charge it in direct sunlight for about ten hours. If you’re camping, being able to recharge it via the sun is a major bonus.
LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern
This nifty lantern is collapsible and can be recharged by USB or by the sun, perfect for long camping trips!
Although lanterns and flashlights are also great to have with you when camping, these Lepro LED bulbs light up your campsite without you having to hold or constantly reposition anything. Each one comes with an integrated carabiner so you can hang it from almost anywhere, like inside your tent, on your belt loop, or from a string attached to a nearby tree.
There are three different lighting modes to choose from. The daylight white setting puts out 80 lumens of cool color temperature, soft white puts out 80 lumens of a more neutral white color, and the high beam puts out 140 lumens of cool white. Depending on the settings you use most frequently, each bulb can last five to ten hours on three AAA batteries.
Lepro LED Light Bulbs
Light up your tent and campsite with these bulbs you can hang from almost anywhere.
LifeStraw is a personal water filter that uses a microfiltration membrane to remove almost all waterborne bacteria and parasites, including E. coli, salmonella, and giardia. LifeStraw also filters out microplastics and reduces water turbidity, aka the amount of cloudiness in the water. A single LifeStraw gives you 4,000 liters of clean, safe drinking water.
Some campsites have access to clean water where you can refill water bottles, but many of them don’t. You can, of course, bring a bunch of plastic water bottles to have on hand, but those are heavy and not so great for the environment; plus, you’ll have to keep all your empty bottles on you until you can get to a trash can. That’s iffy while camping and a rough idea if you’ll be hiking.
Having a LifeStraw on hand ensures you’ll always be able to drink clean water when you need it. And if you want to always have a full bottle on hand, check out the LifeStraw Go water bottle.
If you don't have access to clean water while camping, the LifeStraw is an amazing tool to have handy.
If you plan to cook while you’re camping, the BioLite CampStove 2 is the best camping cookware gadget you can invest in. When you burn wood and cook on it, it generates electricity and has smokeless flames. Because it generates electricity, you can charge your phone while you’re cooking your meal.
All you need is some sticks or twigs and a lighter to start the fire. Although a regular lighter will do the trick if it’s not windy or raining, you can’t depend on the weather to be perfect all the time. You can get a waterproof, windproof lighter or a magnesium fire starter that’ll work in the wind, rain, or other weather conditions.
BioLite Campstove 2
Anyone who wants to cook on their next camping trip should invest in the BioLite CampStove 2.
A flashlight might be one of the most common things people bring camping. But you shouldn’t just bring a regular old flashlight—spring for a tactical flashlight that’s built to handle all kinds of rugged adventures.
GearLight’s tactical flashlight can light up a wide area or an object up to 1,000 feet away, but it’s made of military-grade aluminum, so it can also survive drops of up to 10 feet or being submerged underwater. If you use it on the low light setting, it can last 10 or more hours on one set of three AAA batteries.
A flashlight is great for camping, but this GearLight tactical flashlight is even better.
Walkie talkies are a lot of fun to play around with, but they’re also beneficial for campers. In many camping areas, cellphone reception isn’t the best. MOICO’s Walkie Talkies let you communicate with anyone within a 1.5-mile radius, as long as you’re on the same channel, of course. There are 22 Family Radio Service channels and 99 sets of privacy codes that’ll let you keep your conversations secret.
You can use voice activation to use the walkie talkie hands-free. There’s also a built-in LED light on top next to the antenna. And if you’re using the walkie talkie at night, the screen is LED-backlit, so you can clearly see all the settings.
MOICO Walkie Talkies
Walkie talkies are a must when camping and these from MOICO are awesome.
One of the biggest reasons people go camping is to disconnect from the world and get away from technology, but sometimes doing nothing in nature gets, well, boring. And you or maybe your kids need something fun to do, like play on a Nintendo Switch, in between hiking, swimming, or staring at the trees (or on the drive home).
The Switch is portable, making it the perfect tech treat to take camping. Many Switch cases have storage for games and provide extra protection in case you drop the case or spill water on it. If you want something even smaller, go for the Nintendo Switch Lite; you can play all the same games, just on a smaller screen. Or, if you’re not into video games at all, you should buy a Kindle Paperwhite to read your favorite books if you get bored.
Camping is fun and all, but sometimes you just want to unwind with some video games.