The best camping gadgets | live for the outdoors

With the exception of glamping, which is not really camping at all, a large part of the appeal of camping is minimalism. Yet, adding one or two small modern comforts into your hiking pack can enhance your hiking or camping experience, rather than taint it.

Some of our recommendations like the Survivor Filter Pro or the what3words app are, in our minds, pretty essential. They offer high functionality that cannot be missed and simplicity of execution that makes them an absolute pleasure to use.

On the other hand, we have also included what you would definitely consider luxuries, such as the Wacaco Nanopresso coffee machine and BioLite CampStove 2+. They are not required items by any stretch of the imagination, but they always succeed in making us smile at the end of a long day.

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The best camping gadgets in detail:

Survivor Filter Pro

Best way to clean water
Survivor Filter Pro
Amazon

Camping is a doddle, so long as you’ve got the essentials nailed down. One of these essentials is a biggie u2013 water. Whether you’re hiking, trekking, backpacking, or wild camping, the Survival Filter Pro is a water filtration system that’ll give you unlimited access to clean drinking water. The device’s filters are proven to remove 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses, and reduce the presence of heavy metals, like mercury.

Its small size means that it’s easy to pack and transport, too. It’ll filter 500ml of water every minute, and the hose allows for filtration straight from a wild water source. It’s a simple, quick to use, and a trusted friend for our expeditions.

Sea To Summit Clothesline

Best way to dry clothes
Sea To Summit Clothesline

Draping wet clothes or travel towels over your tent isn’t an effective means of drying garments but when off on treks, it’s all one can do. Or hang things over a branch. This problem is addressed with this micro-sized clothesline.

It really is micro. it weighs 25 grams and is the size of a small tape measure, so even if you’re packing light there will be room for it. The cord is 3.5 meters long, which is more than enough, and is reflective so you don’t strangle yourself when it’s dark. There are also beads on the cord so you can secure things from blowing away.

what3words – Free App

Best location app
what3words, free safety app

What3words is one of the most powerful safety tools you can access, and it’s free. The app has broken down the entire world into 3 x 3-meter squares, each tagged with a unique three-word combination.

In the case of an accident, these words can be passed onto emergency services, allowing your location to be told with extreme accuracy. This allows you to avoid having to repeat complex coordinates in high-stress situations. For example, the peak of Ben Nevis becomes “marble.messaging.hacksaw”, rather than 56.7969° N, 5.0036° W. Do note that your smartphone will require activated GPS/Location to work with this app.

When it comes to making camp, the Nomad 10 also has a kickstand to use if you need it. It’s no fragile thing either – the Nomad 10 is durable as designed specifically to cope with hiking conditions. Go off-grid without losing the convenience of smartphones and GPS navigators.

Gerber Folding Shovel

Best lightweight shovel
Gerber Folding Spade Shovel
Amazon

The Gerber Folding Shovel is a great tool to have on hand at camp, allowing you to stoke fires, clear debris, and dig latrines (aka. toilet holes) in more rural locations. Camping is all about being economical, so anything that has more than one function is a winner.

This shovel’s steel head and nylon handle (with rubberised grip) make it robust enough for years of use. Fold the head back and there is a small hammer head for dealing with tent pegs. Plus, it comes with a stow bag. It weighs 794g and folded away, it measures 23.4cm.

Goal Zero Flip 24

Best compact power bank
Goal Zero Flip 24

You might like disconnecting when off on a hike and that’s fair enough. But equally, you might like to keep your phone charged. The best way to do that is with this small packet of power.

The Flip 24 is only a little larger than a cigarette lighter and carries a 6700mAh battery, which is enough to charge a phone a couple of times. It, along with any compatible device, can be recharged by the Nomad 10 above.

The Windmaster weighs in at just under 100g. There are lighter ones around but in return for the minute extra heft with the Windmaster you get four support arms, rather than the usual three, and a wider 4.5cm burner. This ensures better stability when cooking and a broader heat base for easier cooking. The burner head is also concave to help with wind protection and works wonders.

Sling it overhead and enjoy about seven minutes of showering. You can use hot or cold water and even adjust the flow by turning the shower head. When not in use, it’s a durable dry bag made from 70D fabric.

Biolite Camp Stove 2+

Best camping gadget idea
Biolite Camp Stove 2+
Amazon

The Biolite CampStove 2+ is a seriously smart piece of campsite technology, with every feature linking and helping another. Fueled by sticks and branches, the stove provides the ideal stove for cooking up a fireside feast. Excess heat is reclaimed by the attached heat probe and converted into electricity, which can be used to power or charge (maximum 4-watts) a USB device.

Unused power charges an internal 3200mAh battery pack for later use. Some of the power is diverted to internal fans, which stoke the flames and ensure optimum fuel efficiency, and reduces smoke output by 95 per cent. On the side, three LED gauges feedback to the user on fire, fan, and power performance. The whole thing weighs 935g and measures 12.7 x 21cm.

Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0

Best lightweight blanket
Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 u2013 Red
Amazon

The ground is a damp and chilly place to sit without protection but carrying a big old picnic blanket is a waste of space. Thankfully, the Matador Pocket Blanket is here, offering a pocket-friendly, lightweight, and waterproof nylon blanket for any situation. When it’s unfolded, it’ll comfortably seat two people. Four corner pockets allow for the use of natural anchors like sand or pebbles, and there are also some small tethering pegs included.

Wacaco Nanopresso

Best portable coffee maker
Wacaco Nanopresso
Amazon

Arguably the only problem with the great outdoors is the absence of coffee. This problem is solved with the Nanopresso, as it allows delicious espresso coffee to tasted at base camp with ease.

It uses ground coffee, hot water, and a hand-operated piston to build pressure and force out a fresh espresso. It’s small too, measuring 15.6cm in length and weighing 336g. It’ll fit into a backpack’s bottle pocket.

The Helinox Chair Zero incorporates light but very strong aluminum allow tubes to build the frame of the chair. The seat itself sits very close to the ground, which also helps to reduce the amount of material needed in the construction. The result is an item that folds down to a small, hike-friendly package (10 x 35cm) and weighs only 510g yet can hold up to 120kg. It’s one of the best camping chairs available and comes with a five-year warranty.

Thermacell MR300 Mosquito & Midge Protector

Best campsite insect repellent
Thermacell MR300 Mosquito & Midge Protector
Amazon

With no flame and no harmful chemicals, the MR300 will successfully repel flying insects like mosquitoes, gnats, and midges, preventing them from becoming a blight to your camp. The gadget uses a small butane cartridge to heat a pad dowsed in an odorless natural insect repellent, found in chrysanthemums. The area that’s affected is around 4.5m by 4.5m. It’ll run for 12 hours, and can be connected to a pack if required.

A headtorch, headband and all, fits inside to become a lantern with a diffused light. The soft-touch case allows the torch to be fully operated, and the elasticated hook and fabric loop allow for various tent or backpack attachment possibilities. This is a simple and highly versatile purchase.

PacSafe Travelsafe 5L GII

Best portable safe
PacSafe Travelsafe 3L Anti-Theft Portable Safe

This travel safe and bag hybrid provides peace of mind when camping. The material is reinforced with steel mesh, and the stainless steel cable both fastens and anchors the bag, with the help of a three-digits combo lock.

Use it for all sorts, including watches, cash, Kindles, smartphones, and tablets. The Pacsafe Travelsafe isn’t just useful for campsites, but any public place where your attention isn’t 100 per cent dedicated to your valuables – beaches, parks, airports, and hotels. The only drawback is that because it’s so secure, it’s relatively heavy (410g).

Read our hiking gear guides:

Hiking gear essentials: The complete checklist you need for your next hike

Buying guide: backpacking tents

Buying guide: sleeping bags

Buying guide: backpacking and camping stoves

Buying guide: head torches

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