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Best camping tech: the gadgets every camper needs

Best camping tech: Biolite Nanogrid light
(Image credit: Biolite)

The mark of the best camping tech is once you’ve pitched up, made yourself comfortable and got a brew on (or cracked open a cold beer), you find yourself getting a few new toys out in front of the tent for a play. The outdoor world is a breeding ground for great new gizmos – here are our top ten favorite pieces of new tech recently seen in the wild.

Best camping tech: BioLite Campstove 2

(Image credit: BioLite)

BioLite Campstove 2

This wood-burning camp stove is more than the sum of its parts. It doesn’t just cook food and boil water (although it does both very well) – it also converts heat into electricity, so you can charge your phone, a camping light or other tech whilst you cook dinner outdoors. There’s even a dashboard to show you battery status. It’s a hefty size and weight, so best used for camping holidays rather than backpacking trips. 

Best camping tech: We Drifters anti-insect sleepwear set

(Image credit: We Drifters)

We Drifters anti-insect sleepwear set

Tropical adventures and camping in hot climates are great – until you end up covered in insect bites. Come bedtime, pop on We Drifters’ set of soft bamboo pyjamas, which are treated with a permanent anti-insect repellent to keep mosquitoes and other biters, including bed bugs and ticks, at bay (although you’ll still need to spray your feet, hands and face). Ideal for sleeping in midge country up in Scotland/Canada/Sweden as well as camping in warmer climates. 

Best camping tech: Biolite Nanogrid light

(Image credit: Biolite)

Biolite Nanogrid light

The clever little NanoGrid is a lighting and energy hub that’s so compact it fits in the palm of your hand. This versatile gadget holds enough juice to power three smartphones, and also doubles up as a powerful torch, a softer lantern ideal for your tent, or even a set of bright fairy lights, which you can hang from trees or tents using a 6m cable. You’ll never need another light for sleeping out-of-doors – and it’ll keep your phone topped up when wild camping, too.

Best camping tech: Lifestraw personal water filter

(Image credit: Lifestraw)

Lifestraw personal water filter

The simple-yet-ingenious Lifestraw makes contaminated water safe to drink. This nifty straw contains fibers that filter water and will completely change how you go backpack camping. No more heavy water to cart along on your back - as long as there’s a source of H20 along the route, such as a lake or river, you can filter any water (except seawater), cleaning out bacteria and making it totally safe. Lifestraw also uses some of its profits to provide schools with safe drinking water, so buying one is a win-win. 

Best camping tech: Sitpack Zen camping chair

(Image credit: Sitpack)

Sitpack Zen camping chair

Believe it or not, this compact little tube is actually a comfortable chair just waiting to happen. Ideal for festivals and camping trips, the Sitpack Zen chair pops easily into a rucksack (or even into your bag’s water bottle pocket), and folds out when you need it into a comfortable and durable one-legged chair made with carbon fiber and aluminum tubes, coupled with a nylon seat. Sitpack even reckons the ergonomic design of the Zen chair improves posture and helps with neck and back pain, which is ideal if you usually spend a lot of time sitting in a traditional chair.

Best camping tech: Aeropress coffee maker

(Image credit: Aeropress)

Aeropress coffee maker

If you just can’t function in the morning without a hot cup of joe, even when you’re camping, swap heavy, fiddly cafetieres for a light, portable Aeropress, which is essentially a french press you can chuck in a rucksack. Just add fresh coffee, fill up with hot water and then plunge after a few minutes for a proper cup of coffee even when you’re miles from civilization.

Best camping tech: Highlander solar shower

(Image credit: Highlander)

Highlander solar shower

Starting to feel a little crusty after a few days of camping? Do your tent mates a favour and have a wash with this nifty solar shower. Leave it out in the heat of the sun for the day whilst you’re off hiking and you’ll come back to 20 litres of warm water to sluice yourself off with. This bargainous little bag is also great for doing the dishes, washing muddy dogs and hosing down wetsuits.

Best camping tech: Tentsile Connect 2-man tree tent

(Image credit: Tentsile)

Tentsile Connect 2-man tree tent 

Futuristic-looking Tentsiles are fantastic fun and are designed to be suspended between trees to create an elevated sleeping platform with a tented roof, a fusion of tent, hammock and slackline. We find them much comfier than sleeping on the ground - a good choice if traditional camping tends to hurt your back. On warm evenings you can sleep under the mesh outer layer and watch the stars, or put up the waterproof outer fly to stay protected in bad weather. One to buy if you already have a traditional tent and fancy something fun and different.

Best camping tech: Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar charger

(Image credit: Goal Zero)

Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar charger

Multi-day wild camping trips and long-distance trails are amazing ways to go exploring – but roaming far from power supplies will quickly drain your phone and camera, which isn’t ideal if you want to track your route on a mapping app or take photos of your adventures. The solution is to strap Goal Zero’s Nomad 7 solar charger to the outside of your backpack or tent. It charges up quickly when exposed to sunlight, and then you can plug your tech directly into it. It’s also lightweight and folds up easily for storage. 

Best camping tech:

(Image credit: Gotenna)

Gotenna Mesh GPS system

Another great innovation for explorers and more adventurous campers, Gotenna’s lightweight GPS device is small enough to clip onto your rucksack – and comes into its own when you’re out of phone signal. It allows you to send texts and your GPS location without any internet or WiFi access required, keeping you connected and allowing you to get help in the unlikely event you get into trouble in the mountains. One to invest in if you regularly camp in the wilderness.