Camping is arguably one of the very best parts of summer — when you do it right that is. Planning for a weekend (or longer!) in the wilderness requires a lot of advanced prep but the right gear and gadgets will make your trip so much more pleasant and stress-free.
You can probably get away without a whole lot of extras if you’re hoping to pack light — but there are so many smart gadgets and outdoor gear on the market these days that investing a little of the camping budget into the right gear is going to be well worth it no matter what type of outdoor excursion you’re hoping to experience.
Why do I need to bring technology on my camping trip?
Hoping to get off the grid and really get reacquainted with nature without worrying about generators and charging cables? That’s all well and good — but bringing along a few pieces of technology is still key to a good trip. That being said, there’s a big difference between bringing, say, your work laptop or smartphone and packing smart camping gadgets that will make your life in the wilderness more pleasant and easy.
What makes a good camping gadget?
There are a lot of fun and novelty camping items on the market these days — and it can be tempting to pick up anything and everything that catches your eye, especially if it’s your first trip to the great outdoors. If you’re hoping to get a couple of years (at least) out of your gear, you’ll want to be selective and ensure your items will last.
Water resistance: It doesn’t matter if you’re camping in Nevada or New Hampshire, you’ll want to ensure your camping gear can withstand rainfall and humidity. You never know when an unexpected downpour (or rogue bottle of beer) might land on your new camping gear.
Lightweight design: You’d be surprised by just how much stuff you need to lug from the car to the campsite. The less weight you have to carry… the better. Trust us!
Durability: You shouldn’t have to worry about being precious with your camping gear. Look to gadgets that are inherently durable (drop proof, tempered glass, etc) that you can throw in the car or lug out to the campsite without worry.
Price point: Camping gear can range in price significantly so prior to investing in outdoor gear, consider how frequently you plan to head out to the campsite and the budget you’re comfortable with.
What is car camping?
Car camping is going to be your best bet if you prefer a little extra in terms of creature comforts. The concept is simple but very efficient if you tend to pack a lot: you simply drive into a campsite and set up your tent on a designated lot. This type of camping allows you to either sleep in your car, in a car camping tent, or simply in a regular tent next to your car.
The experience is also referred to as “base camping” and can basically be summed up as a type of camping that requires very little (if any) hiking or schlepping your gear from the car to your campsite. It’s an excellent option for anyone who enjoys connecting with nature but who doesn’t want to feel like their outdoor vacation is doubling as a marathon.
What is backpacking?
Backpacking is geared toward adventure/extreme campers who prefer to set up camp in remote or unique locations. When you backpack, you hike all your gear into your campsite, including food, water, a tent, and anything you need to sleep comfortably. Backpacking is good for anyone who wants to steer clear of overcrowded campgrounds, but it requires lots of preparation and proper gear. You won’t want to hike multiple miles into a site only to realize you don’t have enough food, water, or other essential supplies.
Backpackers can either sleep in a tent, go hammock camping (quite literally sleeping suspended in a hammock in the woods), or sleep cowboy-style under the stars during warm weather. This camping and hiking combo is ideal for anyone who likes to travel light — or who prefers to go deep into the bush to find a decent spot to set up base camp.
What are the best camping gadgets out there?
You’d be surprised by just how much easier camping is when you’ve got the right gear and gadgets! Whether you’re planning on embarking on a glamping situation or you’re heading out into the wilderness with a tent and a backpack, below, we’ve rounded up some of the best camping gadgets that promise to make your experience with the great outdoors that much better.