30 Innovative Essentials That Will Make Your Next Camping Trip a Breeze
Camping offers a great (and more cost-effective) way to spend time with loved ones and connect with nature. Thankfully, more and more companies are developing innovative outerwear and gear with a range of activities and needs in mind, making it easier than ever for adventure-seekers of all types and experience levels to enjoy a seamless, safe escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
From canteens that will keep your liquids cold or hot for hours to pop-up cabins that will essentially assemble themselves (and plenty of mess-proof dining, UPF-packed clothing, and life-saving tools along the way), read on for a range of smart, stress-reducing essentials that will have you covered on your next camping trip and beyond.
Klean Canteen Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
This insulated watter bottle from Klean Canteen—available in a range of bright shades—has earned a cult following among outdoor enthusiasts for its ability to keep cold liquids cold (up to 90 hours) and hot liquids hot (24 hours). The wide mouth makes for fuss-free filling and the secure lid helps prevent spills. Plus, the loop cap can be attached to the outside of your bag for more space and easy access.
UCO Gear 5-Piece Bamboo Elements Mess Kit
Don’t let the phrase ‘mess kit’ fool you. Made from 90 percent natural materials, this eco-friendly contraption includes a bowl/container, lid/plate and two-piece spork utensil set secured tightly for easy, mess-free dining on the go. The brand also offers a silicone six-piece set with a collapsible cup for added convenience.
Made In Cookware Grill Frying Pan
This 11-inch, perforated grill frying pan has a five-star rating from consumers who’ve come to rely on it for its convenience and durability. Use it to (evenly) cook up your favorite veggies or meats in a flash!
Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
It doesn’t get much easier than this propane grill from Coleman, which has a near five-star rating for its intuitive design, sophisticated temperature control, and matchless, push-button ignition. When your pop-up meal has concluded, just clean, fold, and wheel away. There’s also a more compact, budget-friendly version for table-top service.
OtterBox 25-Quart Venture Cooler
Like a portable freezer, this versatile cooler from OtterBox promises to keep ice for up to 10 days, and is designed with special nesting compartments for attaching accessories (such as a cutting board, sold separately). The brand also boasts its secure latches for keeping contents safe from small animals, as well as a limited lifetime guarantee, making this a worthy investment.
YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler
Take your nosh to go with this functional (and dare we say fashionable?) tote hybrid from YETI. The Coldcell insulation and leak-proof liner work to keep contents cold and contained, while the tough, waterproof exterior provides protection against punctures, mildew, and UV rays.
Wondercide Natural Deet-Free Mosquito and Insect Repellent
Protect the entire family (pets included!) with this one-stop-shop of plant-based flea, tick, and insect repellent from Wondercide. The brand also offers biodegradable wipes for easy packing and more even application.
LUSH USA Little Green Bag
This zero-waste pouch from LUSH USA unties to reveal a ‘naked’ shampoo, shower gel, shower oil, and shower bomb, along with a convenient tin. Use the wrap for stashing and carrying your goods, or as a head scarf for (chic) added coverage while out and about.
Sun Bum Day Tripper Set
Safeguard and soothe with this handy trio from Sun Bum, which includes a SPF 30 lotion, SPF 30 lip balm and aloe vera lotion. Everything is reef (and lake) safe so you won’t need to worry about harming any critters along the way.
Coleman Camp Shower
No shower? No problem, thanks to this sleek ‘shower in a bag’ from Coleman. It heats up with the help of solar energy, and has an easy on/off valve for conserving your water supply (it can also be used for rinsing dishes and clothing in a pinch).
Sustainability meets versatility in Nomadix’ towels, which are made from recycled plastic bottles. Use them for drying off at home or at the beach, as a yoga mat, and beyond (their sleek, lightweight design makes them perfect for backpacking).
Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue Tool Pocket Knife
This pocket-sized sidekick from Victorinox features 15 different tools to assist adventurers with a range of everyday—and emergency—tasks, from tweezers and toothpicks to knives and disc saws sharp enough to cut through seatbelts and even shatterproof glass.
Faxpot Inflatable Adult Life Jacket
This inflatable life jacket (recommended for adults between 80 and 220 lbs) ranks among Amazon best-sellers for its compact, easy-to-use design and reasonable price tag. Just press down on the enclosed valve to inflate or deflate as needed (the bright neon shades are also great for additional visibility on the water).
VSSL First Aid Kit
This water- and destruction-proof invention from VSSL goes on triple-duty as a long-lasting LED flashlight (up to 40 hours), precision compass, and emergency kit in one. Just open the canister to access 46 first aid essentials, including bandages, gauze, and a whistle. Not seeing what you need? The brand offers a range of additional and even custom build-your-own options to choose from.
Coleman Instant Cabin
Take the guesswork out of setting up your sleeping quarters with this instant waterproof cabin from Coleman, which sleeps four and can be assembled in less than 60 seconds (yes, 60) flat. Have five minutes? This Dark Room Skydome Tent blocks out 90 percent of sunlight and stays cool for sleeping in and midday slumbers.
Winner Outfitters Mummy Sleeping Bag
Over 2,000 Amazon reviewers gave this sleeping bag from Winner Outfitters a near five-star rating for its lightweight, travel-friendly design and ability to keep campers comfortable and dry throughout the night. We give it bonus points for convenient cleaning (just toss it in the washing machine) and cost effectiveness.
Coalatree Adventure Blanket
This magic, eco-friendly cloth from Coalatree can be used as a blanket, pillow, and even a poncho! It’s also waterproof so you won’t need to worry about it getting soggy or ruined from rain or spills.
Relay Screenless Phone/Walkie Talkie and GPS Tracker
Stay connected with fellow campers and beyond, thanks to this sophisticated communication and GPS device from Relay. It offers Nationwide 4G LTE service and wifi just like a cell phone would for wide-range coverage with a $9.99 monthly plan (per device; no contract required).
LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lanterns
Power your campsite—and your phone devices—with these waterproof, shatterproof LED solar lanterns from LuminAID. They’re super lightweight (just inflate as needed), and come equipped with a carrying handle for lighting the way wherever you may wander.
Vasque Talus XT GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot
This new hiking boot from Vasque features a custom Vibram MegaGrip outsole for added traction on rough and slick trails, along with breathable GORE-TEX fabric for blocking and helping to evaporate moisture for keeping dry. While offering ample ankle support, the lightweight design also means you won’t feel weighed down during long or high-elevation hikes.
Osprey Archeon 25 Roll Top Backpack
Both sustainable and stylish, Osprey’s latest backpack is constructed with recycled materials and a has a sleek (convenient) roll top. Dual side pockets, a removable raincover and reservoir sleeve, and a front ‘shove it’ pocket make it the perfect day trail companion.
Lululemon Athletica Everywhere Belt Bag
For lighter-lift days, we love this convenient belt bag from Lululemon, which is big enough to fit all of your essentials but still compact enough to wear effortlessly across your chest or hip. Its water-resistant fabric—available in a rainbow of shades—will also help keep your goods dry.
Patagonia Quandry Convertible Pants
Prepare for different temperatures and conditions, while preserving space, with these lightweight and sustainable pants from Patagonia. Not only are they convertible (they can be worn as shorts or capris), but they also have stretch for additional mobility and UPF for protection against harmful rays.
Athleta Pacifica Top
Made from recycled Solana fabric, this bestselling, UPF-packed pick from Athleta can be worn as a rash guard with a bathing suit or as a cute top with bottoms for sun-safe style. There are also zippers along the neckline and arm for easy dressing and stashing.
Coolibar UPF 50+ Neck Gaiter
Breathe easy (while protecting your neck and face) thanks to this four-way stretch, micro-mesh neck gaiter from Coolibar. Like some of the other items on this list, it also contains UPF 50+ for blocking 98 percent of UV radiation.
Smartwool Women’s PhD Outdoor Light Print Crew Socks
Smartwool is known for making Merino wool clothing and accessories that breathe along with you. These new crew socks in particular are designed with flexibility and mesh paneling for keeping feet comfy, cool, and dry, even on high-temperature days. We also love the nature-inspired 3D prints!
Intex Sunset Glow Kiddie Pool
Can’t make it—or don’t feel comfortable going—to the campground pool? Keep kiddos cool and close by with this inflatable pick from Intex, recommended for ages 1 to 3.
Monoprice Giant Tumbling Tower
Avoid having to search (or worse, lose) small game pieces with this jumbo-block tumbling tower from Monoprice’s Pure Outdoor collection. It also comes with a zipper tote with handles for easy storing.
EastPoint Sports Light-Up Bean Bag Toss
Keep family and friends entertained come sundown with this light-up version of an old backyard pasttime. Both the bags and platforms are illuminated for seeing—and competing—well into the evening.
Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak
Hitting the water is easy with this inflatable kayak from Intex, which comes complete with an inflatable seat, manual pump and paddle. There’s also a cargo net for stashing some of the other essentials we have on our list (220 lb maximum capacity).