- Luci Outdoor 2.0, $20
Bring some ambiance to the campsite with this handy—and elegant!—inflatable solar lantern. It charges up fully in seven hours of direct sunlight and retains 95 percent of its charge even after a month in storage. Use it inside the tent for reading or playing games before bed, or out at the picnic table. It’s also lightweight enough to be used on backpacking trips.
They may look dorky, but headlamps are the hands-down the most convenient light source for after the sun goes down and you’re trying to start a fire, set up a tent, or locate for the best marshmallow-toasting stick. This one is waterproof and has a red night-vision setting in addition to regular white high and low beams.
Some classics never die, and the Swiss Army knife is one of them. It’s the ultimate camp tool that saves you from packing a can opener and bottle opener, and even features a mini wood saw blade in addition to two knife blades. This item will come in handy whether you’re backpacking, car camping, or even just getting work done around the house.
- Solar Camp Stove, $279
Goodbye, propane canisters! You can cook a meal in only twenty minutes with this sleek sun-powered camp stove—it even works on overcast days. Food gets loaded into the “cooking tube” and set on the reflector to cook—all you have to do is set a timer. The possibilities for what you can cook are endless since this is a camp stove that can bake, roast, steam, and pan cook. At seven pounds, it’s also lightweight for a stove, and everything folds up for easy transport.
- Yeti Roadie Cooler, $200
Keeping food cold for more than one night is arguably the most annoying part of any camping trip. But this rugged cooler is built for an extended stay away from home—it’s extra insulated, super tough on the outside, and the lid has freezer-quality gasket that seals out warm air and prevents leaks. You can even use dry ice in this baby. Plus, tie-down slots mean you can secure it to your truck or boat, and it’s bear-resistant when padlocked shut.
- GSI Outdoors Halulite Tea Kettle, $24.95
What’s a chilly morning in the woods without mug of something hot to wake you up? This tiny, tough, lightweight kettle is just the thing for both backpacking and car camping. It has a coated handle, perfect for hanging it over the campfire, and the water heats up fast so you’ll never have to wait long for your morning tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.
What’s a camping trip without a meal cooked over the open fire? Hot dogs and s’mores are an essential part of every stay in the woods, and these roasting forks, which rotate by turning a knob on the handle, will guarantee they’re always evenly cooked to perfection. Say goodbye to charred hot dogs and marshmallows that shoot up in flames.
- Kelty Loveseat, $100
Take a load off after a long day of hiking and exploring with this comfy camp seat for two. It’s perfect for snuggling up close to the fire while your dinner cooks, and the double seat means you’ll have one less thing to load in the car.
- REI Co-Op MultiTowel Lite, $18.50
A quick-drying, lightweight towel for camping and travel is one of the best investments you’ll ever make. A soggy camping trip can get miserable fast, but these will dry you off and then dry out quickly (even if the weather’s a bit damp!) so you won’t be faced with a soaking towel next time you need one. Smaller sizes are great for drying dishes, too.