The Best Gadgets and Gear to Help You Go Camping With Style

By Tom Pritchard on at

Summer is well and truly here, in case you hadn't already noticed, and that means people start venturing outside in greater numbers to do things they wouldn't normally do. One of those things is camping, be it at a festival or off at a camp ground in the Peak District. Whatever your reason, if you're planning on sleeping out in the great outdoors, make sure your experience is less camping and more glamping.

Cinch Tent, from £230

One of the worst things about camping is the fact that tents are not five star hotels, or even two star hotels for that matter. They're cramped, stuffy, and don't even have room to keep all the crap you're required to bring safe from the elements. Thankfully there are many people working on making tents more convenient, and the Cinch Tent is trying to please everyone. It's available with room for 2-3 people, has compartments for all your stuff, and some optional extras to upgrade its capabilities. That includes a pack that integrates solar power into the tent, an extended canopy, and a canopy designed to help better regulate light and heat. It's also a pop-up tent, so you don't need to stand miserable in the rain trying to put it together. [Buy it here]

SelkBag Lite 5G, £80

Sleeping bags are pretty restrictive, and nowhere near as good as a proper bed. If you want something that has a bit more freedom, but still isn't as good as a proper bed, give this a go. It's literally a sleeping bag with arms and legs, so you can wander around and sprawl out in any way you deem fit - without having to sacrifice the cosy grip of the bag itself. It even has a hood to keep your head covered, or act as a pillow. [Buy it here]

Biolite BL Stove, £115

Even if you plan on eating out of cans for your entire trip/booze-fuelled festival extravaganza, you're going to want someway of heating it up. The BioLite stove is wood-fuelled, negating the need for awkward fuel tanks or blocks, and uses any heat that's left over to charge up your USB gadgets. Nice right? There are also accessories you can buy including a detachable grill (£55) and a kettle (£40). [Buy it here]

Petzl Reactik+ Headlamp, £65

Headlamps are available pretty much everywhere, because cyclists like to use them, but how many of them offer automatically adjusting brightness? Your phone's display does it, so why can't a proper light source? Don't get me wrong this is a pricey bit of kit, but if you're going to find yourself in need of a headlamp on a regular basis, this might be a worthy investment, especially since it saves you having to adjust the brightness to match any variables you might come across. It's also USB powered, to save your battery budget, and can be controlled via a smartphone app if you so desire. [Buy it here]

Portable Pressure Shower, £27

Campgrounds often have showers, but on the off chance that the one you're at doesn't (or they're vile and basically unusable), give this a try. It's a 15 litre tank with a pressure pump that sprays you with water. Just use your foot to get it going, and you'll be nice and clean in no time. It doesn't heat the water, unlike some cheap solar-powered shower bags, but if you put warm water in there you should be fine. Best of all the tank can be used for cleaning all sorts of things (not just yourself), and works just fine sitting on the ground. [Buy it here]

Khampa Khazi, £19

Campground toilets horrible? Festival portaloos filled with two days worth of poo already? Get your own portable camping toilet for the lovely feeling of not sharing a toilet seat with god knows who/what else, and avoid the possibility of having to squat over a hole in the ground. It's got a removable bucket on the inside for easy, erm, removals, and even has a toilet roll holder. [Buy it here]

AIDIER Inflatable Solar Lantern, £10

The age of the battery-powered light is at an end, with all the fancy solar-powered tech that exists in the world. Yes they have batteries built in, but those AAAs rattling around in your drawer are going to have to wait a bit longer to get used up. This solar-lamp is inflatable, which means it can shrink down for transportation, and inflate to offer a more significant lantern-style light source when you need it. It has three light modes (normal, bright, and flashing) and is fully waterproof. [Buy it here]

Theramrest Unisex Trio Chair, £72

The ground is rubbish, so you'll want somewhere to sit down during all those inevitable hours you spend sitting in the campsite doing nothing. There are plenty of cheaper camping chairs out there, but this one has a few features you might like. For starters it only weights a kilogram, and unfolds in one swift motion. The chair also has a back, so you can lean back a bit without having to worry about falling into the mud. [Buy it here]

Barocook Flameless Cooking, £47.39

Campsites and festival grounds have lots of rules about what fuel you can or can't use when cooking, so why not skip the fire altogether? The Barocook is capable of heating water up to 98 degrees Celsius, using magical chemicals that live inside the heating packs, and provides heat for up to 40 minutes. Just make sure to read the instructions, it's unlikely that the resulting water is going to be safe to consume. [Buy it here]

Cash Stash Keychains, £4.83 for five

Keep your money out of reach, by not putting it in your wallet. Perfect for keeping bank notes safe and sound, the Cash Stash keychain attaches to your keys and keeps it somewhere less likely to get nicked. It's waterproof too, making it perfect for other essential things that aren't cash, like pills or tickets. [Buy it here]

CAT B25 Ruggedised Tough Phone, £53.71

Get a phone that won't crack if you so much as look at it funny, without all the non-essential smart features that will drain your power. CAT's B25 is drop proof up to 1.8 metres, IP67 water and dustproof, with nine hours of talk time should you need it. Sure you could get one of those rugged smartphones, or a durable case for your existing smartphone, but this will work well as a backup or if you want minimal links to society. [Buy it here]

Solar Charger, £15

There probably aren't plug sockets where you're going, and if there are you might have to pay for them. So screw those plug sockets and get something that will power your gadgets with the power of the sun. The solar panels in this will charge up the 15,00 mAh batteries, and you can use one of two USB ports to recharge your phone/tablet/headphones/whatever. It has a clip so you can attach it to your bag/person, and has an emergency light beacon just in case. [Buy it here]

Those are the more specific things you might need on any camping adventure, but it's always well worth getting yourself some sort of waterproofing option for your electronics, especially phones. What you get is up to you, assuming you don't have a waterproof phone already.