10 Camping Gadgets

Tent glowing in the dark

I’ll be honest. My idea of roughing it is at a beautiful hotel overlooking the ocean with a glass of wine in my hand. But I used to go camping, and we’ve assembled list of cool camping gadgets for your Mom. Frankly, I want one of each.

Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine

As you may have guessed, I like my coffee. No excuse for Mom not to enjoy a fresh hot cup of espresso while she’s camping, right? People love this little Wacaco Minipress, and it’s only about $45 on Amazon.

This baby is lightweight and can be taken on hikes, too, but remember, it is a manual machine. You can purchase a larger reservoir separately if you think your Mom will want a larger cup, but I like the smaller single shot espresso machine.

Enthusiastic Amazon review:

“My husband got hooked on lattes and frappes last year and was spending a fortune on them every day. He always bought at least two per day, and it was adding up quick. I finally bought an espresso machine for the house, and while it made a huge difference, he was still buying a drink during the workday. Then I found this brilliant little device. It’s perfect for espresso on the go because its completely manually operated. No need for an outlet, or even batteries. As long as you have access to hot water, you can make a perfect espresso shot. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!”

Glow in the Dark Tent Rope

Oh, I LOVE this. Have you ever gone camping and had to get up in the middle of the night? If so, you are in peril from tripping over the guy lines tying your tent to the ground. This cool AIDIER Reflective Nylon Cord for tents is just the ticket. Even better, it only costs about $10 over on Amazon.

The rope is highly visible and can also serve asa clothesline for camp laundry. The rope comes with two 50 foot long rope sections. If you need to cut it, just melt the ends with a lighter to seal the edges.

Enthusiastic review:

“I recently hiked The Long Trail in Vermont, a trip of over 275 miles and lots of elevation over 19 days. I cut a couple of sections of this cord for extra guy lines on my tent, and used the rest to hang a bear bag (food, toiletries, full cooking kit) almost every night. The cord slid smoothly, was supple enough for the tent’s line locs to bite into well, and the reflectivity was excellent. I’d absolutely seek out this exact product whenever I need more cord for guy lines, bear bag hanging, or any other light to mid weight backpacking needs.”

WEKAPO Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa

Here’s an idea for solid camping comfort. This is the WEKAPO Inflatable Lounge Air Sofa that is good for lounging and even floating on the lake.

No pump is required. To inflate this sucker, just whisk it through the air. Note the cool head rest designed right into the unit. It runs about $35 on Amazon now, and comes in several colors.

They say that once inflated, this lounger will stay inflated for 5-6 hours, plenty long enough for a nap of a little book reading. Mom can chill in total comfort wherever she is, the beach, the mountains, and even a concert!

Enthusiastic Amazon review:

“I spent half a weekend snuggled up in this thing at a music festival and it was amazing. Too much head banging on Friday left my neck broken, so I spent the entirety of Saturday taking it easy and this thing is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It looks way more difficult to fill with air than it actually is (hilariously so). I like that you can basically fill it as much as you want to, so it can be full length to lay down on or you can make it shorter and use it like a sofa chair.

Hands down the best festival accessory ever. I love how compact it rolls up and you can park your ass literally anywhere and watch the show with maximum laziness.

Seems to be built really well. I think this thing is a good solution for anyone who cant stand for too long, has back issues, or is just lazy like me. It can be awkward to get in and out of so be aware of that, but is ultimately very cozy once you get settled.”

CAMCO Portable Toilet

Laugh all you want, but this CAMCO portable Toilet (5.3 gallon) is a MUST for comfortable camping. For just about $70 on Amazon, you might be able to turn your Mom into a camping convert, if she isn’t already. (Note: My mother adored camping, but I’ll be she would have liked the rugged outdoors even better if we’d bought her a portable toilet.

It has a bellow type flush gear and measures 15.5″ (H) X 14″ (W) X 16″. This portable toilet is great for camping, but also for long car rides with no easily accessible gas stations. The top half holds 2.5gallons of water. The toilet comes with a lid, seat, and bowl.

Best to buy some holding tank deodorizers while you are at it. A pack of 10 is about $9. They’ve tried to minimize water needs. A couple of pumps puts about two ounces in the bowl.

Enthusiastic review (excerpted):

“This is the best thing I could have gotten for our camping trips aside from the tents. My kids made fun of me, ‘Oh mom, what’s the matter, can’t walk to the restrooms at the campsite?’… No, I do not want to walk through the trees in the complete dark to the restrooms. Well, those nay sayers used my “Queen’s Throne” as I call it, regularly. All night long too. Especially convenient for the little ones (6 & 7 years old). I filled the top half with clean water upon arrival. On the suggestion of a friend, I dropped one of the little waste dissolving pouches into the bottom with a large cup of water to ‘get it started’ & not have the ‘first use’ get stuck to the bottom so-to-speak. There were 2 children & 2 adults who used this on a regular basis Friday night, Saturday when we were at the campsite & night & Sunday morning. It did not need emptying until we left Sunday mid-morning & there was still a good amount of clean water in the top half.
There was absolutely no odor at all!! I was very pleasantly surprised & pleased about this! Waste went cleanly down the opening & the ‘flusher’ rinsed everything all nice & clean.”

Premium Outdoor Firepit

No more messy fire clean up with this Outland Firebowl 870 Premium Portable propane fire pit. The fire burns cleanly and hot. PLUS it’s compact and easy to transport.

What I really like is that you can almost always use this fire pit even when fires are banned (always, always check first, ok?). It’s fueled by propane and is perfect for campfires or beach parties, or even home use. It currently runs $125 on Amazon, and purchasers LOVE it. This is a high-quality unit and will be good for many years.

Enthusiastic Amazon review:

“This pit is awesome! We bought a grate and griddle to put on top, then used pans for eggs, Hashbrowns, bacon, etc. It was warm for the cold mornings, and we used it for roasting. We were the only ones with a fire in the entire campsite (because of a burn ban), I guess not too many have caught on to this idea yet. This particular pit is well constructed, comes with plenty of rocks, plus a lid and strap for transport. It costs about $30 more than other pits, but it was well worth it for the added bonuses (others don’t come with lids and straps, and they had lower quality construction). We can also use this in our backyard during fire season. I will definitely be recommending this to anyone /everyone who enjoys camping!”

Vicano Survival Watch


Keep your Mom safe with this Vicano Survival bracelet and watch. I mean, this camping gift has everything. First, it’s a watch, and it also sports a compass, whistle, fire starter scraper and paracord. It has one of those magic sticker straps, so it fits on all wrist sizes. You can find it on Amazon for about $20.

Enthusiastic review:

“I like this watch. Purchased it to go hiking, camping, and kayaking during summer time. I kinda have the fear of getting lost or something bad gonna happen during an outdoor trip. So, the idea of having all the essentials in one unit is comforting to me.

In the last short hike, I mostly use the compass, which is really accurate. The would like to save the other features for an emergency. I like the snap-in which makes it fast to put on and easily detach in case of emergency. The face is large with great contrast making it easier to read while hiking.

Note: The watch is perfect for everyday use, but I only use it during outdoor trips. it’s a little bit bulky for office use. Also, it’s nice that the seller included an additional battery for the watch.”

COMLIFE Portable Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan

Ok, so this COMLIFE Portable Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan truly is for the camper who has everything. Someone just like . . . well . . . your Mom!

The fan is a combination fan, LED light and aroma diffuser. Yes, an aroma diffuser. The diffuser can be used for essential oils or even as a mosquito repellent by adding citronella to the foam pads. This seems perfect for the Mom who goes camping but really likes her own personal space. This gift runs about $26 on Amazon.

She can hang the fan from her tent or from a tree. It runs on a rechargeable battery (18650 flat top battery) that lasts up to 40 hours. The fan is small 2.56 * 5.51 * 7.16 inches and lightweight. The battery is easily replaced, should that become necessary.

Enthusiastic review:

“This is so versatile..can hang…sit on a surface. The light has 2 settings..on high its goid enough to see by in your tent. On low it makes a great night light. The fan has 2 settings…low and high ..for a small fan it puts out a pretty good airflow. It has a cutout in the back to put small sponges…put a couple drops of essential oil to smell good or even citronella oil to repel stray mosquitos that get in the tent. Overall this is well made and a good buy. Im going to get one for our screen tent in the backyard.”

Night Tech Gear Shoe Lights

These Night Tech Gear Night Trek 270 Shoe Lights are perfect for evening trips to the restroom (and can also double as jogging shoes if your Mom runs). They are about $35 on Amazon.

These shoes rock! They are waterproof and built to endure extreme conditions. People say they are comfortable and easy to attach to shoes. The lights fit on most shoelaces or cycling shoes.

The battery lasts about 2.5 hours on the high setting before needing a recharge, and lasts about 5 hours on the low light setting. Settings range from 75 to 130 lumens.

This will keep your mom’s hands free to carry whatever she needs. People say these throw light about 4-5 feet ahead plenty for walking around at night and avoiding snakes and guy lines.

Enthusiastic Amazon review:

“This is my second pair – ordered a spare because they’re great! These gizmos are amazing for walking at night. You charge them via USB. It takes about 5 hours for the first charge but then more like 3 after that. I walk about 1.25 hours per night and they last for the duration. They also stay put perfectly – at least for walking, not sure about running. I’d guess they would probably last a second walk, but haven’t wanted to test it.

The lights are bright enough that I don’t need to carry a flashlight and I can see the road very clearly, no more tripping in the dark. They definitely seem visible to others from a distance. I get a lot of compliments from fellow evening travelers, noting how far off they could see them.”

Freeland Camping Sleeping Pad

Nothing like sleeping on bare ground to make your Mom cranky the next day. Ah, but here is a lovely quality Freeland Camping Sleeping Pad that will stop those aches and pains. The one is lightweight, but they didn’t sacrifice comfort. You can find it on Amazon for about $36.

It weighs just over three pounds and has the following dimensions when inflated: L76” x H1.5” x W24.8” The pad is 1.5″ thick, enough to provide a soft night’s sleep. It comes with a handy carrying bag, and has dual air valves and an attached pillow. It self inflates, so no need for a pump.

The weight limit is 220 pounds. Someone heavier will need another product.

Enthusiastic review:

“Well, at first I thought this pad was broken lol. It wouldn’t inflate so I contacted the seller and they explained (I later saw the detailed instructions in the product page) that since this is rolled tightly when packaged, it might need a little manual help the first time. So, I tried again, following their instructions. You open the valve on one side and leave the other side closed. Then you blow into it and it will inflate, rather quickly I might add. Leave it that way for a day or so, then deflate it and voila! it inflated on it’s own. So, at that point I thought, ‘wow this is really flat and won’t be very comfortable’. I was wrong! I am a larger person, in weight, but when I laid on it, on a hardwood floor, I couldn’t feel the floor, even my hips! The pillow is the perfect firmness and height for neck support. It doesn’t smell funny like some camping pads I’ve purchased. My husband is 6’1″ and he can lay on it without his feet going off the end. The green is exactly like the pictures in the ad, my camera made it look brighter. Very nice product.”

LifeStraw Water Filter Bottle

I highly recommend having one of these around the house, whether your Mom camps or not. You just never know, do you? This LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle sports a two-stage integrated filter straw. It is reusable (of course) and is available on Amazon for $36.

It holds 23 ounces and can clip onto your Mom’s belt.

Enthusiastic Amazon review:

“After using the Go Water Bottle on the trail for 3 hikes, I was in love. Simply put, the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is easily one of the best hiking accessories I’ve ever used. It’s essentially a BPA free water bottle with a built-in water filter for a straw. You can literally scoop water from the stream into the bottle and drink it directly through the straw without waiting. The water has absolutely zero bad aftertaste as far as I can tell. The manufacturer claims it should filter 264 gallons of water before the filter needs to be replaced and should filter out 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of parasites. However, they do recommend using a water purification tablet anywhere where human sewage might be present because it will not filter out viruses.

The Lifestraw Go Water Bottle retails for $30, which is about 1/3 of what I spent on my Katadyn water filter. The Go Water Bottle also weighed less, 8 ounces vs 11 ounces and that’s not including the fact that you still need to carry a bottle when you’re using the Katadyn filter.
You can attach the Go Water Bottle to your bag using the included carabiner, or just shove it into a side pocket like any other water bottle. I plan on ordering an extra one to keep in the car in case I ever break down and need fresh water. This would make a great addition to your emergency kit at home in case of some type of water emergency. As a resident of Southern California in the middle of a 4 year drought, it couldn’t hurt to have one of these at home just in case.

5/5 Exactly as advertised, exactly what I’ve been looking for.”

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