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The Best Camping Gear to Really Enjoy the Outdoors

Whether you're heading to your favorite campground or only venturing as far as your backyard, these must-have camping accessories will set the scene for some serious outdoor fun.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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fire starter, wine cups, and kayak on colored backgroundsvia Amazon.com (3)

Adventure awaits

Life looks different in the great outdoors. In the absence of light pollution from the city, the stars shine brighter against the night sky and the views in the daylight of beautiful lakes or national parks in bloom are often nothing short of breathtaking. And there’s perhaps no better way to enjoy the outdoors than camping. Camping trips offer a change of scenery with built-in social distancing. It doesn’t hurt that campsites are usually a lot less expensive than hotel rooms, either. To help you plan your camping trip, we’ve rounded up the best camping gear, portable grills, outdoor activities, and gadgets in a variety of styles and price ranges to make your camping trip as fun, comfortable, and relaxing as it can be.

If you’re not sure where you want to go, this is the most scenic campsite in every state.

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Coleman Dome Tent Via Amazonvia Amazon.com

Coleman Dome Tent

Coleman has been making quality camping gear at a reasonable price for more than a century, so they’ve had a long time to get it right. The Coleman Dome Tent blocks out 90-percent more light than other Coleman tents, which helps reduce heat during the day. They’re built to keep water from getting in when it rains and some models have a built-in screen room/patio. This tent is a great value, but if you’re looking for an option that’s even more wallet-friendly, the Coleman Sundome is a great tent, too. You should also check out our explainer on how to camp for free in the United States.

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Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Down Sleeping Bag Via Amazonvia Amazon.com

Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Cosmic 40 Degree Down Sleeping Bag is designed to keep you warm and snug, but if your feet get too hot, it’s got you covered. The zipper is at the bottom so you can open it to ventilate your feet with fresh air. It’s also got an interior pocket for personal items like flashlights and phones. As a bonus, it packs up small enough to carry in your backpack with the rest of your camping gear. If you’re driving to your campsite, be sure to check out our road trip essentials checklist.

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Amazon Basics Portable Camping Chairvia Amazon.com

Amazon Basics Portable Camping Chair

Amazon Basics Portable Camping Chairs come with a carrying case so you sling them over the shoulder. Features include a built-in cupholder, 4 can cooler, and sturdy, collapsible construction. They’re even lightly cushioned for comfort. Discover more of the best beach chairs for summer lounging.

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Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress And Pump Combovia Amazon.com

Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress And Pump Combo

Who says sleeping in a tent has to be uncomfortable? The Coleman Camping Cot Air Mattress And Pump Combo keeps you cushioned and off the ground. The setup is a breeze and there are even slide-out end tables for your water or phone. It comes in both queen and twin sizes. Use it at one of these 15 incredible American campsites.

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Misty Mate Mistpro 3via Amazon.com

Misty Mate MistPro 3

On hot days, the portable Misty Mate MistPro 3 is a lifesaver. This handy device atomizes water into microparticles that evaporate on contact. Even better, the ultra-fine mist cools ambient air to up to 30 degrees. It’s an easy way to cool down on warm days without electricity. Learn how to survive the hot summer days without A.C.

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Merrell Women’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEXvia merrell.com

Merrell Women’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX

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When you’re camping, you’re likely hiking too, so be ready to conquer that outdoor terrain with the bestselling athletic hikers in the world. These brand-new Merrell Moab hybrid hiking shoes are super comfortable, lightweight, waterproof, breathable, and have a specialized lug sole for extra traction and stability, so you can tackle the best hiking trail in every state with confidence! The U.S.-based company supports the nonprofit National Recreation and Park Association, helping you save the planet as you enjoy its wonders.

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Coleman Instant Screen Housevia Amazon.com

Coleman Instant Screen House

The Coleman Instant Screen House offers protection from the sun and a place to relax. You can enjoy it in the open air or zip down the mesh sides for protection from mosquitoes and UV rays. It’s constructed to withstand strong winds and campers on Amazon give it rave reviews for being easy to put up when you get to your campsite. Here are the best places to camp in national parks.

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Homilee Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillowvia Amazon.com

HOMIEE Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

Rest in comfort with the HOMIEE Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow. Enjoy ergonomic support that packs up smaller than the size of your hand. It’s sturdy enough to use outdoors but so comfortable you might be reluctant to part with it when you get back home. Here are 13 more travel pillows the experts swear by.

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8. Big Agnes Sidewinder Sl Sleeping Bagvia bigagnes.com

Big Agnes Sidewinder SL Sleeping Bag

Side sleepers, rejoice! The Big Agnes Sidewinder SL Sleeping Bag’s unique design was engineered to accommodate side sleepers. The technical fit moves with your body as it rotates while body-mapped insulation keeps you warm in all the right spots.

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9. Mammut Fiber 28f Sleeping Bagvia moosejaw.com

Mammut Fiber 28F Sleeping Bag

The Mammut Fiber 28F Sleeping Bag resists moisture to keep you warm in cold, damp, weather. The soft hood reduces noise to allow light sleepers a better night’s sleep. They even include a sleep mask and earplugs to take it a step further. The mummy shape promotes warmth while the center zip allows you to adjust and regulate your temperature.

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10. Fluzzle Tube 3.0 With Backrestvia amazon.com

Fluzzle Tube 3.0 With Backrest

Fluzzle Tubes 30. With Back Rests make it easy to stay connected with your group while you float down the river. The unique puzzle shape locks as many tubes as you’d like together so you won’t get separated. The backrest helps you float in comfort and the 16 gauge vinyl resists punctures from rocks and submerged branches. Find out what it’s really like to live in an RV year-round.

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11. Waxhead Sunscreen Travel Tinsvia amazon.com

Waxhead Sunscreen Travel Tins

Nothing ruins a good time in the outdoors like a bright red sunburn. Waxhead Sunscreen Travel Tins are easy to carry in your pocket and best of all, the sunscreen is made from all-natural organic ingredients so it’s safe for babies and won’t harm the fish if you go swimming.

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12. Thermacell Radius Radius Zone Mosquito Repellentvia amazon.com

Thermacell Radius Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent

If there’s one thing that can ruin your time in the outdoors, it’s mosquitos. The Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent creates a 15-foot, scent-free area of protection against those pesky insects. You can set up multiple units to protect your campsite, or just use one to repel mosquitos from your picnic table during dinner. Find out common camping mistakes.

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13. Ranger Ready Clothing Worn Repellentvia amazon.com

Ranger Ready Clothing-Worn Repellent

There’s nothing as unsettling as a swarm of mosquitoes hovering near the entrance of your tent. Ranger Ready Clothing-Worn Repellent was developed for your stuff, not your body. It provides insect protection for your clothing and gear. Simply spray it on your tent, backpacks, sleeping bags, and clothes. It even works on patio furniture back home.

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14. Sallyeander No Bite Me Natural Bug Repellent & Anti Itch Creamvia amazon.com

SALLYEANDER No-Bite-Me Natural Bug Repellent & Anti Itch Cream

This essential oil-based cream naturally repels bugs and soothes any existing bug bites, too. With a blend of cedar, mint, lemongrass, geranium, clove, and rosemary essential oils, it smells light and refreshing, not medicinal like other chemical bug sprays do.

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15. Aeropress Go Travel Coffee Makervia groundsandhoundscoffee.com

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker

Camping doesn’t mean you’re stuck with instant coffee—with the AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker, you can still enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee while in the middle of nature. It’s portable, lightweight, and even includes a built-in mug with a lid. All you need are coffee grounds and hot water.

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16. Enbrighten Rechargeable Lanternvia amazon.com

Enbrighten Rechargeable Lantern

Brighten your tent or campsite with the Enbrighten Recharchable lantern. The light is dimmable with eight colors and six modes to create countless looks. The lamp offers 425 hours of run time and even includes a USB port so you can charge your phone. Find out how to park your RV for free on a road trip.

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17. Zip Top Reusable Food Storage Bagsvia amazon.com

Zip Top Reusable Food Storage Bags

In peak season, garbage cans in parks and campgrounds are often filled to capacity, and looking for a place to put your trash can put a damper on your getaway. One of the best ways you can reduce waste is to limit the disposables you bring on camping trips. Zip Top Reusable Food Storage Bags are made of thick, reusable, food-grade silicone. They’re the perfect place to store nuts, cereal, or other snacks on your camping trip and they’re dishwasher safe when you get back home. Here are more eco-friendly products available on Amazon.

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18. Pk Go Grill With Filpkitvia pkgrills.com

PK GO Grill with Filpkit

Food always seems to taste better when it’s prepared outdoors. This is especially true when you use the PK Go Grill with Flipkit. This portable charcoal grill features both charcoal grates and cast iron cooking surfaces for versatility and mouth-watering flavor. The proprietary vent shapes allow you to grill hot and fast, smoke, or barbecue at lower, slower, temperatures.

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Cuisinart Evolution X Cordless Compact Blendervia Amazon.com

Cuisinart Evolution X Cordless Compact Blender

Campers don’t have to sacrifice their morning smoothies or blended margaritas with dinner thanks to the Cuisinart Evolution X Cordless Compact Blender. It’s fully rechargeable, portable, and the top converts into a 16 oz cup with a travel lid so you can enjoy your delicious concoction right away. Are you traveling by RV? These are the best RV parks in every state.

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Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Coolervia Amazon.com

Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler

If you’re looking for the best camping gear, nothing keeps ice cold longer than a hard-sided cooler…but unfortunately, they’re really heavy when they’re loaded with food and ice. Yeti Tundra Haul Portable Wheeled Cooler is the iconic brand’s first cooler on wheels so you can roll it to the campsite with ease. Since Yeti coolers are the standard-bearer in ice retention, this model is perfect for storing perishables on multi-day camping trips. It isn’t unusual to find your ice is still frozen when you get home. If an entry-level hard-sided cooler is a better fit for your needs, this unit from Coleman is a great option. Not ready to rough it? Here are 27 luxury camping adventures.

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Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Beef Hot Dogs via Instacart.com

Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

One of the best parts of camping is roasting hot dogs on a stick. Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Beef Hot Dogs are 100-percent grass-fed beef with no hormones or antibiotics. The lack of filler results in an incredible flavor and they’re available through Instacart. Here’s where to get the best hot dog in every state.

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Rougette Bonfire Grilling Cheesevia Amazon.com

Rougette Bonfire Grilling Cheese

Taking your campfire fare up a level with this delicious ready-to-grill cheese from Rougette Bonfire. The individually wrapped cheeses taste delicious on their own and also add the perfect kick to your burger.

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Sylvansport Outdoor Camp Kitchenvia Amazon.com

SylvanSport Outdoor Camp Kitchen

Camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it. The SylvanSport Outdoor Camp Kitchen has everything you need to prepare meals on camping trips and days at the beach. The bamboo countertop folds to offer more than 8 feet of prep surface and there are adjustable, zip-up storage cubbies down below. It also comes with a collapsible camp sink, a trash bag holder, a backsplash, and more. When it’s time to go home, it folds up neatly into a convenient carrying case. These are the 25 best spots where you can camp on the beach.

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Stanley Adventure Even Heat Camp Pro Cooksetvia Amazon.com

Stanley Adventure Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset

The Stanley Adventure Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset is an 11-piece cookware set that stores neatly within a 4.75-quart stockpot. The Even-Heat technology and multi-layer bottoms allow you to cook consistently on a stove, grill, or campfire so your food tastes just as good, if not better than it does back home. Stanley products are built for life and the cookware is dishwasher-safe.

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Gosun Portable Solar Ovenvia Amazon.com

GoSun Portable Solar Oven

With the GoSun Portable Solar Oven, you can harness the energy of the sun to cook without charcoal, wood, or propane. It cooks most meals in about a half hour and you can use it to boil water, cook meat and veggies, or bake tube-shaped cookies and bread. It’s your key to making food as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as it is delicious.

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Char Broil Grill2go X200 Portable Gas Grillvia Campingworld.com

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Gas Grill

The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Gas Grill was built to take on the road. The patented Tru Infrared technology uses less gas, cooks faster, and retains your food’s natural juices. It comes with a durable die-cast aluminum firebox and lid, a porcelain steel grilling grate, stainless steel burner with latches, and a temperature monitor on the lid so you’ll know when dinner’s ready.

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Stanley The Camp Pour Over Setvia Amazon.com

Stanley The Camp Pour-Over Set

If you’re enamored with pour-over coffee, you’ll be happy to learn you can enjoy it while you watch the sunrise from the comfort of your campsite. Like all Stanley products, The Stanley The Camp Pour-Over Set is built to last. The stainless steel filter was designed to extract the aromatics and oils from your coffee grounds for a cup so good you just might be tempted to use it at home.

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Nomadiq Portable Propane Gas Grillvia Amazon.com

NomadiQ Portable Propane Gas Grill

If you’re hiking to your campsite, chances a standard portable grill will be too heavy and bulky to carry. The NomadiQ Portable Propane Grill only weighs 12 pounds and it folds up to about the size of a women’s purse so you can conveniently carry it in your backpack. It flips open to reveal a large cooking area while dual controls allow you to grill from one or both sides, depending on how much food you’re making. The best part? It sets up in less than 45 seconds.

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Prime 6 Premium Sustainable Charcoalvia Walmart.com

Prime 6 Premium Sustainable Charcoal

You can enjoy your charcoal grill without the mess and waste of traditional charcoal. Prime 6 Premium Sustainable Charcoal is reusable, which means a 9lb bag is the equivalent of a 30lb bag of regular briquettes. They burn hotter and longer, too. Beware of these grilling mistakes that could make you sick.

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Hunu Collapsible Coffee Cupvia Amazon.com

Hunu Collapsible Coffee Cup

Small, lightweight items are highly prized when it comes to camping gear and nothing gets much smaller and lighter than the Hunu Leakproof Pocket Cup. In addition to being lightweight, it folds into a flat puck small enough to take just about anywhere, including hiking and camping trips.

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Astrea One Premium Filtering Water Bottlevia Amazon.com

astrea One Premium Filtering Water Bottle

The astrea One Premium Filtering Water Bottle turns the water from the spigot of your campsite, or any faucet, into delicious filtered water. What’s more, the replaceable filters last long enough to treat the equivalent of about 30 gallons of water so you can use the bottle well beyond your camping trip.

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Brumate Uncork'd Xl 14oz Wine Glass Tumblervia Amazon.com

Brumate Uncork’d XL 14oz Wine Glass Tumbler

You don’t have to worry about your wine warming up in these beautiful Brumate Uncork’d XL 14ox Wine Glass Tumblers. They hold your beverage at the right temperature for 24 hours and feature a splash-proof lid to prevent spillage or insects from flying in. You’ll also be relieved to know there’s no metallic aftertaste so your wine will taste just as good as it does back home.

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Wine Graspvia Amazon.com

Wine Grasp

If you normally bring plastic wine glasses on your camping trip, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t fit in the cupholders of your camp chairs. Wine Grasp solves this problem. Simply clip them to the arm of your chair and use them to cradle your wine until you’re ready for your next drink.

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Stm Powerkickvia Amazon.com

STM PowerKick

Nature offers a bounty of many wondrous things, but power outlets generally aren’t one of them. The STM PowerKick charges any brand of smartphone wirelessly or via cables. The unique suction cup design secures to your phone, making it the perfect companion for day hikes. For entertainment, check out these best backyard games that would work equally well on a camping trip.

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Pull Start Fire Startervia Amazon.com

Pull Start Fire Starter

The best camping gear makes life a little easier. Believe it or not, you can start a real fire without matches, lighters, or flames. Just pull the string on Pull Start Fire Starter to enjoy a toasty warm flame within seconds, even in wet, windy, weather. Here are 13 funny campfire stories.

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Primus Kamoto Open Fire Pitvia BackCountry.com

Primus Kamoto Open Fire Pit

You can enjoy the benefits of a campfire without disturbing the ground with the Primus Kamoto Open Fire Pit. The sides block the wind to keep your fire going and there’s a grate on top for cooking. After you’ve roasted your marshmallows for S’mores, it folds up easily so you can store it in the trunk of your car.

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S.o.l. Firelight Fuel Free Rechargeable Lightervia Amazon.com

S.O.L. Firelight Fuel Free Rechargeable Lighter

The S.O.L Firelight Fuel Free Rechargeable Lighter runs on electricity and recharges with an ordinary USB charger. It fits inside your pocket, works in the wind and rain, and even doubles as an LED flashlight.

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Zippo Woodchuck Usa Cedar Lightersvia Amazon.com

Zippo Woodchuck USA Cedar Lighters

Zippo Woodchuck USA Cedar Lighters are an elegant way to conjure up a flame on demand. Crafted with real wood, these windproof lighters were made to last a lifetime. If it doesn’t, they’ll fix it for free.

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Solo Stove Portable Bonfire Kit With Standvia Amazon.com

Solo Stove Portable Bonfire Kit With Stand

If you love the fun of a bonfire but hate the way the smoke permeates your clothes and hair, the Solo Stove Portable Bonfire Kit With Stand is a dream come true. It was engineered with strategically placed ventilation holes so your fire burns faster and longer with minimal smoke. It’s sleek, striking, and comes with a carrying case for easy packing in and out of the campground.

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Nixon Hauler 35l Backpackvia Amazon.com

Nixon Hauler 35L Backpack

Every camper needs a place to store their clothes and gear. The tough exterior of the Nixon Hauler 35L Backpack is made from recycled ocean plastics. The backpack includes separate storage compartments for wet towels or dirty shoes, laptops, and more, and the 270-degree zipper makes it easy to access your camping gear when you need it.

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Poler Reversible Napsackvia Poler.com

Poler Reversible Napsack

Some mornings are so cold you almost dread leaving the comfort of your tent. Unless, of course, you’re wearing a Poler Reversible Napsack. At first glance, it looks like a sleeping bag, but there are zippers at the shoulders for your arms and a cinch at the bottom for your feet so you can walk around. It even has pockets and yes, it doubles as a sleeping bag if you purchase the next size up.

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Fjallraven Unisex Greenland Duffel 20via Amazon.com

Fjallraven Unisex Greenland Duffel 20

Fjallraven products are built for longevity. The Fjallraven Unisex Greenland Duffle 20 is built from recycled polyester and eco-friendly cotton, this bag is sturdy enough to pack all your clothes and personal items on a weekend camping trip and there are pockets to help you stay organized. The handles are padded for comfort so you easily carry it to your tent. These vintage camping hacks come in really handy.

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Mumi Packing Cubesvia Amazon.com

Mumi Packing Cubes

If the floor of your tent looks like a disaster with clothes strewn everywhere, chances are you need Mumi Packing Cubes. Not only will they keep you organized, but they also compress your clothes, which means you can fit more into your bag and make fewer trips from your tent to your car.

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Creekkooler Pup Floating Coolervia Amazon.com

CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler

A day of kayaking, rafting, or floating doesn’t mean you have to go thirsty. The CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler floats behind you like a best friend, carrying your ice and beverages. There are even built-in cupholders for your bottles and cans. The construction is sturdy enough to withstand rocks and jagged edges and there are larger models for big groups, too.

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Celestron Elements 2 In 1 Hand Warmer Chargervia Amazon.com

Celestron Elements 2-in-1 Hand Warmer Charger

There are times when you need to warm your hands. There are also times when you need to charge your devices. With the Celestron Elements 2-in-1 Hand Warmer Charger, you can do both. It’s tough enough to withstand dropping and water-resistant if it happens to catch some rain on your camping trip (but here’s hoping it doesn’t). When fully charged, it has a 12-hour battery life. This is everything you need to know to keep your smartphone safe.

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Celestron Starsense Explorer Smartphone Enabled Telescopevia Amazon.com

Celestron StarSense Explorer Smartphone Enabled Telescope

Learning about astronomy has never been more fun! The Celestron StarSense Explorer Smartphone Enabled Telescope links to your smartphone to analyze star patterns based on your real-time and location. It will also list off all the stars, planets, and galaxies viewable from your location. It’s not necessary to buy extra equipment—it comes with everything you need including a sturdy tripod and a phone bracket.

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Aquavault Waterproof Floating Smart Phone Casevia Amazon.com

AquaVault Waterproof Floating Smart Phone Case

Spending time by the water is all fun and games until somebody’s phone falls in. You can relax with the AquaVault Waterproof Floating Smart Phone Case. Simply stash your phone or other small valuables inside. The case is engineered to float if you drop it in the water and a triple seal prevents water from leaking in so you can take pictures and video underwater.

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Weems And Plath Boating Binocularsvia Garrettwade.com

Weems and Plath Boating Binoculars

The Weems and Plath Boating Binoculars pack a lot of technology into a tiny package. They are waterproof, fog-proof, and offer independent focusing. The interior features a lighted compass, a red light for night vision, a scale for distance calculation. You don’t have to go boating on your camping trip to enjoy them, but they’re a great companion if you do.

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Sony Srs Xb43 Extra Bass Wireless Waterproof Speakervia Amazon.com

Sony SRS-XB43 Extra Bass Wireless Waterproof Speaker

Sony makes great products for your home, but they also make some of the best camping gear. If you’re all about that bass, the Sony SRS-XB43 Bass Wireless Waterproof Speaker is a fantastic way to enhance your time in the outdoors. It’s waterproof as the name implies, with excellent sound quality and fun features like customizable line lights that flash along with the beat. There’s even a mic so you can take calls from your picnic table.

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Dearfoams Moritz Bootievia Amazon.com

Dearfoams Moritz Bootie

Dearfoams Moritz Booties were designed for the outdoors. They’re warm, soft on your tootsies, machine-washable, and sturdy enough to wear while you walk around camp. We won’t blame you if you wear them into town, too.

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Oru Kayakvia Amazon.com

Oru Kayak

Who says you need a large vehicle with a roof rack to own a kayak? The Oru Kayak folds up so you can store it in a closet or the trunk of a car. When you’re ready to go kayaking, it sets up in about three minutes. It’s an amazing way to enhance your fun if you’re camping near a river or crystal clear lake.

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Hershey's S'mores Kitvia amazon.com

Hershey’s S’mores Kit

You can pick up the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows separately at the store, or you can click one button on Amazon and have a neatly packaged box filled with all those ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. One of these Hershey’s boxes makes 18 s’mores, which is plenty to satisfy hungry little (or big) mouths. Worried about your kids around the campfire—or just don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting one started? Opt for a tabletop s’mores maker fueled by a Sterno, which you can also use indoors year-round

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Leatherman Wingman Multitoolvia amazon.com

Leatherman Wingman Multitool

When you’re camping in your backyard, you have access to whatever you need, whenever you need it…but do you really want to head to the house every time you remember you’ve forgotten something? Nope. That’s why you need a multitool like the Leatherman Wingman. While some fancier models cost much more, this one gets the job done without breaking the bank—and has thousands of near-perfect reviews on Amazon. The 14 tools packed into its pocket-sized, stainless-steel design include scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, and strippers, bottle and can openers, and more. Of course, this essential camping accessory will also come in handy for assorted projects around the house.

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Tamara Gane
Tamara Gane is a regular contributor to Reader's Digest covering travel, lifestyle, history, and culture. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, NPR, Al Jazeera, Wine Enthusiast, Lonely Planet, HuffPost Food, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @TamaraGane

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