Mom Goes Camping

Cool Camping Gear that You Definitely Don’t Need But Will Want Anyway

cool camping gear

There are a lot of gear junkies out there who have no problem spending over a hundred dollars on whatever cool new camping tech hits the market.

Then, when they tally up how much all their camping gear costs, it gets into astronomical figures.  No wonder some people still think of camping as an expensive way to live like a homeless person!

I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum.  I tend to be a minimalist and only buy the camping gear that I absolutely need, and go with the cheap options.

With that said, there is some really friggin’ cool camping gear out there.  Some of this camping gear may even make your trip much more enjoyable, thus helping you get outdoors more.  So, while none of this cool camping gear is actually necessary, there is no reason not to indulge if it will make your experience in the outdoors better, more comfortable, or safer.


AeroPress Espresso Maker

AeroPress espresso maker for camping

Coffee is not “optional” for many of us.  That’s why I wrote this entire post about how to brew coffee while camping or backpacking.  There are lots of options but, for espresso, your best option is the AeroPress French press.  It is very easy to use – all you need is coffee grounds and hot water.

***Buy It Here***

(another cool option is the GSI Outdoors espresso maker, which you can Buy Here)


Collapsible Silicon Kettle

Collapsible kettle for camping

For those of us who prefer tea over coffee, a collapsible kettle might be the better option. You can also use it for heating up water to pour over your morning instant oatmeal or instant soups.

***Buy It Here***


Sea to Summit Inflatable Pillow

Sea to Summit inflatable camping pillow

You could bunch up your sweater and use it as a camping pillow, or you could get this inflatable pillow which is insanely comfortable.  It inflates in just a few blows and the shape supports your neck so you can actually get a good night’s rest while camping outdoors.

***Buy It Here***


Portable Fire Pit

camp chef portable fire pit

In many campgrounds, traditional fires have been banned because of safety reasons.  However, you may still be able to use a propane fire pit like this one.  You’ll be the envy of the entire campground as the only people with a fire for roasting smores.

***Buy It Here***


LightCap Solar Powered Water Bottle Lamp

lightcap solar powered water bottle lamp

I love multi-function camping gear because you get the gear you need without having to carry around extra stuff.  The LightCap water bottle fits this bill.  It has a solar panel on top of it so it can charge throughout the day.  Then, at night, it glows bright.  The water even helps disperse the light!

***Buy It Here***


Treo Camping Chair

Treo camping chair

The thing that makes the Treo chair so much better than any other camping chair is that it folds up into a small pod.  Oh, and the chair will hold up to 250 lbs and is really comfortable!

***Buy It Here***


Waterproof Socks

waterproof camping socks

I never thought I’d get excited by socks until I started backpacking seriously.  These waterproof socks take the prize though.  They not only can be worn in water, but are lightweight and breathable.

***Buy Them Here***


Portable Camp Shower

portable camping shower

Most camp showers have to be filled with water and hung from a tree.  While this system works, it can be problematic – like the time I dropped one (it was heavy!) and it broke upon impact.  The Ivation camp shower solves this problem.  You just put one end into a bucket or other water source. The USB-chargable pump then forces the water up so you get good water pressure.  To top it off, there is a built-in filter system too!

***Buy It Here***


Tentsile Tree Tent

Tentsile hammock tree tent

There are a lot of good reasons to choose a hammock over a tent – like that they can be much more comfortable than sleeping on rocky ground, they get you off the cold earth, they leave no footprint, and they keep you away from creepy-crawlies.  The company Tentsile has come up with a really cool new hammock tent which will really be the envy of other campers around you.

***Buy It Here***

(or, for a more affordable hammock tent, check out the Lawson hammock tent)


SOG Camping Kit

SOG camping tool kit

SOG is a great company known for their awesome, affordable survival knives.  They also make this camping tool set which has a shovel (you’ll need it for digging a latrine!), axe, and saw. It all folds down for easy carrying.

***Buy It Here ***


Do you use any of this gear? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Image credit: “Pocket Rocket Coffee” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Jack Amick

About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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