Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

7 Seriously Cool Camping Gadgets Every Weekend Adventurer Needs

Less Bear Grylls, more espresso with your bacon sarnie...

Camping is all about getting back to your roots. Becoming at one with nature. Pooping outside and sleeping under the stars

But part of camping is definitely having a swanky new gadget to test out – whether it’s a stove that also charges your phone or a mini lens that attaches to your smartphone to create Ansel Adams-style Instagram masterpieces.

It is great to get out into the wilderness but let’s be honest, plenty of us still feel a little uneasy when our phone runs out of battery and there’s nowhere to charge it.

Here are 7 useful camping accessories you might not have heard of but will make you next trip even more enjoyable…


The Camping Stove That Also Charges Your Phone

Now this is genuis. The BioLite Campstove is a top loading wood-burning camping stove with a power converter that takes heat from the fire and turns it into electricity to charge your phone.

The fire is fast to light and efficient to cook on. A little electric powered fan at the bottom to helps the burning process along. It’s also relatively compact, so you can easily stash it into your rucksack.

The downside is you can only charge you phone while the fire is burning (and that could take way longer than it takes to cook your dinner). It’s a cool idea but might be better for emergency topping up your phone instead of completely recharging from dead.

COST: £149.99
RATING: 3 out of 5


The Handheld Espresso Machine

We have to admit, it did initially take us about 10 minutes to work out how to use the Handspresso.

It’s a handheld espresso machine that will help you make a decent cup of coffee when you’re perched on top of a mountain.

It’s not cumbersome, there’s no glass involved that could get smashed in the bottom of your rucksack. There are a few separate parts that could easily get lost.

However, it’s definitely better than instant coffee and very easy to clean once you’ve used it. It’s got to be the most middle-class gadget ever, but admit it, you love the idea already.

COST: £95
RATING: 3 out of 5


The Camera Lens For Your Smartphone

Olloclip do mini camera lenses for smartphones (namely the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy) to make your amateur phone shots look a little bit jazzier.

We tried out the Olloclip 4-in-1, which includes a fisheye, wide-angle and two macro lenses for extreme close-ups. They come in their own little lens bags and clip easily onto the side of your phone.

We’d recommend getting the quick-flip phone case as well to avoid it falling off at the wrong moment and ruining your shot. Yep, it happened to us.

COST: £75
RATING: 4 out of 5


The Pocket Pint

This one’s pretty self explanatory. The Pocket Pint is a fold-up pint glass for your post-hike beer.

It’s about the size of a fat coaster, so could easily tuck inside your rucksack. It pops up (and holds) pretty easily. We’re just worried about leakage over time. Still, a pretty sweet idea

PRICE: £5.99
RATING: 2 out of 5


The Portable Charger

The Brunton Heavy Metal 5500 sounds like some sort of Guitar Hero add-on. In fact, it’s a pretty rad portable electronics charger.

You just charge it up by plugging it into a USB port (plug or laptop). It takes 6 to 7 hours to full charge. Then it will charge your phone five times over. We tried it out and it actually does what it says on the tin.

It’s not too heavy – it weighs less than a can of coke. The USB wires pack neatly into the sides. Just don’t leave it charging your phone overnight. We discovered that doesn’t work very well at all.

COST: £65
RATING: 3.5 out of 5


The Solar Powered Portable Speakers

We’re a big fan of the Soulra Rugged Rukus – it’s a solar powered speaker system. As portable speakers go, the sound is pretty damn good! 

Just leave it in the sunlight for five hours and it will give you eight hours of listening time. It’s easy to set up, connects via. bluetooth and won’t breakdown if it gets caught in a bit of rain. The price tag isn’t outrageous either…

COST: £89.99
RATING: 4 out of 5


The Dry Bag That’s Also A Camping Lantern

We were a little sceptical when we initially saw this – a dry bag that’s also a lantern? However, we were surprised by how good the Mammut Ambient Light Dry Bag is.

This three litre bag will keep all your small possessions completely dry, even if it’s chucked in a river. Sandwiches, iPhones, camera, the lot. During the evening, you can empty it, fill it with air and tuck your headtorch underneath it to make a lightweight lantern.

It was surprisingly bright – but obviously depends on how powerful your headtorch is.

COST: £15
RATING: 3.5 out of 5


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