The camping gadgets you need
(And maybe some that you don't.)
At one end of the campsite there's the seasoned camper who's only packed a Swiss Army Knife and a super-lightweight hammock. At the other end is the family who've got a camping version* of EVERYTHING, including a camping bin, camping telly, and a camping sleeping bag for the dog. Actually, has that been invented yet? It sounds quite cute. (Update, I just googled...yes, you can get a camping sleeping bag for your dog...that's one cute image search!)
Hopefully, this list of camping gadgets will help you toe the happy line somewhere between essential and ridiculous.
For me, a decent camping gadget has to be relatively lightweight, compact, and genuinely useful. Please note, that doesn't mean it has to be absolutely essential, but if it comes in handy and makes your week in the wild a bit better, then it's on the list!
Coffee is always a good place to start. There are countless ways to make decent coffee when you're camping (I'm sure there's an entire blog in that...soon) but for me the GSI Drip coffee filter weighs hardly anything, takes up a tiny amount of space (it folds down and fits in the gap underneath your gas canister) and provides decent coffee with no fuss. Expect to pay about a tenner.
Chill out. Where better to enjoy your coffee than in a Lightweight hammock? If you can find a couple of trees the right distance apart, then this will make you the envy of the campsite, for less than £40.
Say cheese! I did say not everything on the list was essential. But I like cheese, and even more so if it's melted. This £17 Cheese toastie maker will make a couple of decent toasties in no time over the fire. It gets hot though, so use it Caerphilly.
Are you bready for this? This £4 folding Toaster Grill sits on top of a normal gas burner and distributes the heat so that you can have perfect toast in the morning.
The hottest accessory on the campsite has to be this wood burning stove. Say goodbye to a smokey, wet fire that burns your toes but doesn't warm your head. All of the chimney parts fit inside the stove for transport and there's a flashing kit so you can install it in your canvas tent - not a job for the faint-hearted!
You'll be cooking on gas with this Trangia gas adaptor. If you're a fan of Trangia stoves but don't like the faff of filling the little bowl with meths, this adaptor will make life much easier. It connects to a standard gas cartridge, and is small enough to be stored inside the Trangia. Cooking on gas, none of the meth!
Another bright idea is this rechargeable headtorch. No More fading lights as your batteries die in the middle of the night. This can be charged up via USB and gives you 450 lumens of brightness, 5 different light settings, and a back up from 3xAAA batteries too.
Roll up, roll up! This wash bag can store a huge amount of stuff for longer trips, but squashes down small if you're just taking the essentials. There's even a smash-proof mirror so you can see how great you look when you get back off the hills.
Sofa so good, right? This blow up sofa is a bargain for £15, and it packs away into a tiny bag. Just fill it with air by running around like a fool, then seal up the end and relax!
Space, the vinyl frontier! Things have moved on from the bulky kit we used to take camping when I was a kid. There's now a whole range of collapsible equipment such as bowls, colanders, and kettles which you can pick up from as little as a fiver and take up hardly any space in the car.
Go out in the Buff! The Buff is one of those brilliant simple ideas - cheap, compact, space saving and absolutely improves your trip. Whether it's as a scarf, hat, headband, or even face mask, The Buff is a great piece of kit to keep in your rucksack. And there are some seriously bold designs to choose from too!
It's whisky business this camping lark... Be prepared for all eventualities with a handsome little hip flask! It's always nice to have a congratulatory dram at the top of a hill, or one to warm you up at the end of the night. This one comes with a wide neck for easier filling (and drinking).
Think you've got everything covered now? This Vango shelter is well worth the £40 cost, making sure you're protected from the sun, or sheltered from the rain, so you can enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather.
It'd beer rubbish trip if you forgot the bottle opener! You don't need a ridiculous Swiss army knife - you can pick up a perfectly good penknife for a tenner - but it's always handy to have one in your camping kit.
I hope this list has given you a bit of inspiration and helped you plan for your next trip. If you want to see some things you definitely DON'T need, have a look here. Next up, I'll write a comprehensive packing list.
Thanks for reading, Nick 😄 🚌
I've personally chosen the items to include in my blog - I haven't been paid or given free stuff! However, I may earn a small referral fee if you buy something through one of the above links, but this doesn't affect the products I include or the price you pay. Thanks!