When packing for a camping trip, there are a lot of things to remember. Miss one and you can be shivering. Or hungry. Or wet. Or (heaven forbid) all three. If you aren't worried about making your trek as light as possible, bring some gear with you to make the cold, hard ground feel a little cushier, or a power bank to provide a couple extra hours for your Bluetooth speaker.
Below, camping items that check the boxes for items you need and want for a more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor adventure.
The LaidBack sleeping pad includes four pounds of memory foam, has a cool flow technology to help balance your body temperature, and is 72 x 23/8 inches thick. In total, the sleeping pad weighs 8.5 pounds. This isn’t the lightest pad you can find, and is thus not awesome for backpackers or other hikers obsessed with keeping their gear ultralight, but will provide more cushion for a comfortable rest. The polyester fabric casing makes the pad more durable and water resistant—not waterproof. There is a soft polar fleece layer on top for extra comfort and warmth. $209.
The Trekology contoured pillow folds to only about the size of an index card and weighs just under 3 oz. It's made of a water-resistant, elastic fabric. Blow into the double-decked air valve and—ahhh—enjoy that sweet, sweet neck support. $14.
Remember: you're going to get dirty. But for the most neurotic among us there is the Invisible Shower, a portable and reloadable mitt that comes with 20 soft, biodegradable wipes. They are aloe infused and help revitalize your skin. $18.
The Good To Go Weekender pack comes with three dehydrated meals—oatmeal, penne with marinara sauce, and pad thai. Add boiling water to the packet and have a meal in minutes. There are other single meal options available here. $20.
If you don’t have boiling water, check out these MREs, a ration of food used by the U.S. military. By the way, MRE stands for "Meal, Ready-to-Eat."
You may be thinking: a chair? Really? Who needs that kind of luxury when you've got nature's chairs. If you're doing a lot of hiking, a chair can bring you near nirvana. A little bit of back support makes you feel like a monarch. You can do anything, now. I recommend the Mountainsmith SlingBack Chair, which uses trekking boles as its frame. The rest of the chair can roll up and fit in a small pouch, so it's not like you're sacrificing a ton of pack room for this thing. The chair fabric is a 610D HP Cordura—a durable, tear-resistant polyester . $25.
The Katadyn BeFree is a collapsible soft bottle flask that holds 0.6 liters of water. The filtration system can filter up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water and removes 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria. The Ez-clean Membrane allows you to clean it by shaking or running water through the filter. $40.
The Weatherman Wave has 17 tools, a locking feature that allows you to use a single tool safely while keeping the others in place, and comes with a 25-year guarantee. Every tool can be opened and operated with one hand. $100
Bring one utensil on your trip instead of three. This spork is made of titanium and comes with a knife, bottle opener (great for those 6 packs you intelligently packed in your car), and a washable cloth case. $10.
The FKANT waterproof solar charger is IPX7 waterproof rated, meaning it can be immersed in up to three feet of water for up to half an hour. It has a heavy-duty rubber design, making it durable and shock-proof. The portable battery can hold 16,000mAh—about five iPhone charges—and has two USB ports which allows for dual charging. There is a large solar panel in front, which could recharge the battery itself if there is an emergency. The battery comes with a built-in Ultra-Bright 4LED Flashlight, and it comes with overload, over-current, and over-heating protection. $40.
Bring the tunes wherever you go. The Omaker M4 portable speaker connects to your device via Bluetooth, is shockproof, and has a battery life of up to 12 hours with continuous music. It charges with a Micro USB cable and—while it shouldn't be submerged in water—an accidental drop won't ruin the speaker. It pairs quickly and can be used up to 33 feet from your device. $23.
The Streamlight lantern is waterproof up three feet, emits 360 degrees of soft, even light, and has a removable globe cover that reduces glare. There are five light modes, and boasts a battery life of up to 295 hours. Also, the bottom of the lantern has a rubber base that prevents it from sliding on wet or uneven surfaces. It can even float in water. $36.
The YETI Hopper 20 contains a 1.5-inch-thick insulation, which means cold things stay, uh, really, really cold. A grid on the side of the cooler allows you to attach camping—carabiners and bottle openers—to the side of it. It can hold 20 pounds of ice, 18 cans of beer and has a Hydrolock Zipper, which is touted as being essentially leakproof. The fabric is a DryHide Shell—or an electromagnetically bonded puncture and water-resistant sturdy nylon material. $200.
Interested in talking about deals and gadgets? Request to join our exclusive Facebook group. With all our product stories, the goal is simple: more information about the stuff you're thinking about buying. We may sometimes get a cut from a purchase, but if something shows up on one of our pages, it’s because we like it. Period.