Here is a list of some of the coolest tech for your adventures out in the wild. Just because your surroundings are primitive, doesn’t mean you have to be!
Make sure to bookmark this page so that you can come back to get more ideas for your next camping trip!
Camping French Press Coffee Maker
The French Press may not be high tech, but the Stanley Cook + Brew camping French press will undoubtedly enhance your camping experience. The best products for camping or survival are those that can serve multiple essential purposes. And for some of us, good coffee is essential. But even if you’re not making coffee, the Stanley version of the camping French press also serves as a cooking pot for boiling water, eggs, making oatmeal, or whatever else you can cook in a 32 oz stainless steel canister. Check it out on Amazon!
USB Charging Camping Stove
Though I have a background in the sciences, I admittedly don’t really understand how thermal electricity generation works. That said, this is an awesome innovation in camping tech and should not be overlooked by anyone. I especially like this item because although you can find some pretty good portable solar chargers, the sun can be unpredictable and therefore unreliable when it comes to keeping your GPS or communication devices charged in the wild. One caveat with this item, is that it can be hit or miss in cold climates where the heat disperses before providing enough energy to charge the internal battery. But here in the southern US, that’s not an issue. Either way, definitely consider the BioLite Camp Stove USB Charger.
Programmable Pressure Cooker
I know, you’re thinking, what is an electric kitchen appliance doing on a wish list for camping technology? Well, if you are like us, and tend to camp with family in camp grounds that provide electricity, than an electric pressure cooker is an excellent addition to your kitchen gear.
Specifically, we recommend the Instant Pot since it’s the one we own and use, but any product with similar features will serve the purpose. The benefit here is that you can use camp ground provided electricity to sauté, boil, or steam any number of dishes. And since the Instant Pot is programmable, you can load it up with frozen foods in the morning, program a delayed start to the cooking cycle, and hours later have a fully cooked meal after a long day of hiking, fishing, or canoeing.
If you are setting up an electric camping kitchen, definitely consider adding an induction cook-top to your gear. Induction cook tops eliminate the need to carry around propane tanks that may or may not be full when you get to your camping spot. They also work with tons of cookware that you may already have. Take a look at this model which has thousands of reviews: Duxtop 1800 Watt Portable Induction Cook-top
Back Up Battery
As you can tell from this list, here at HomePlusTech.com, we don’t do a lot of primitive back-woods camping. We tend to stick to areas that provide the modern convenience of electricity to bring the comfort of modern living, at least partially into the wild. And if you are going to be powering gadgets in the wild, you’ll need a portable source of power. For that, I recommend a portable back up battery like the Aeiusny Generator UPS. Don’t let the name fool you, these products are not electrical generators, although many of them have generator in their name. They are the storage end of a power generation system that often uses solar panels to generate the electrical charge. So, although it can be misleading, know that many “solar power generators” are not generators at all, but batteries for storing the power generated by some other device. This one, like many of its competitors, can be charged from solar panels, from the 12-volt outlet in your car, or from home AC power, and has a handy LED lamp making it extremely useful, not only for camping, but also for storm preparedness.
100-watt Portable Solar Panel
If your going to go traipsing around the woods with a back up battery, you should probably also have a portable solar panel to keep your battery all charged up. A battery like the one above requires a 100W solar panel that can output 12 volts (technically 13 to 18 volts). For this purpose, let me recommend the ACOPOWER 100W Portable Solar Panel Kit. Not only does the ACOPOWER produce a reliable 100W based on user feedback, but it also comes with a charge controller rated to 20 amps. What I like about this panel specifically, is that it comes in a hard case rather than a soft folding arrangement. To my mind, a component of your kit at this purchase price and importance should have some protection. Soft folding panels are definitely lighter for those who plan to do some hiking into the deep woods, but if you’re camping not too far from your vehicle or in a trailer, a sturdy setup is worth the extra weight. Another benefit of this particular kit is that you can get an expansion panel to increase the wattage to 200W, keeping you in power for the extent of your stay in nature.
“Tactical” Zoomable Flashlight
I know “tactical” flashlights are all the rage right now. I don’t know just how tactical a flashlight really can be, but I do know that I LOVE zoomable flashlights. Not only for camping, but simply for use around the house, the zoom feature allows me to look out the back patio glass doors and illuminate spots across the back yard without having to go outside in my pj’s at night. One such flashlight is the GearLight S1000 with Lantern and Magnet base. Besides the fact that it’s made of aluminum with an faceted body so it does not roll away from you in the darkness, I like this particular flashlight for two main reasons. One, it includes a lantern/work-light feature using the newer Chip-On-Board LED technology, and two, I prefer LED lights with a more yellow hue rather than the common blue. I find that when walking in the woods in total darkness, the blue flashlights actually have an effect on my vision, and I don’t feel as though I’m seeing things clearly. I think though the blue-tinted lights look as though they are brighter, the yellow-tinted lights (also called warm light) are better for human eyes as it more closely simulates sunlight.
Compass Watch with Rotating Bezel
This may be an odd thing to admit to on a web site about smart tech, but I’m not a big fan of smart watches. I love the functionality that they offer, but if I’m going to carry a smartphone AND wear a watch, I’d personally prefer my watch to be an independent unit of functionality. That way, if there is a function served by the watch and the phone is out of range, I still have that function. Plus, as they say in certain prepper circles, “two is one, and one is none.” I also don’t care to have to charge my watch every few days, so regular battery-powered watches and solar-powered watches jump to the head of the line. So, the watches on this wish list, though not smart watches, are not dumb by any means. Let’s call them, “intelligent”.
The features that I really like on the two watches below are a compass feature, and a rotating bezel. While any good watch will tell you the time, a compass watch will help you get to where you’re going (or back where you came from). And a rotating bezel, makes the compass functionality even more useful, as you can set your heading on the bezel making it easier to check your bearings with a brief glance at the compass reading. Beyond that, whether you’re looking for digital or analog is a matter of personal choice in style and usability. I think either watch will serve its purpose as well as just being tech-cool.
The Casio Men’s PRW-3500Y-1CR Pro Trek is one of Casio’s many multi-function watch, offering not only a compass, but a thermometer, barometer, and altimeter as well. The barometer function is great for outdoor use as trends in barometric pressure changes can signal changes in the weather like incoming rain. The thermometer is also a nice feature, but it can be difficult to get accurate readings since the watch will generally be on your wrist and subject to your body heat. Though not everyone will be smitten by the all-dark theme of the watch face, the fully illuminated face is easy to read in the dark especially when it turns itself on by just tilting the wrist. Oh, did I mention that this Pro Trek is a solar watch? So, your hiking time under the sun can charge the battery. Other features include sunrise and sunset data as well as atomic time updating via radio waves. One feature that this Pro Trek lacks is tide data, so if you’re a fisherman, you may want to look at one of Casio’s other models or the Timex below.
Driven not only by features, but also by impressive styling, my analog choice is the Timex Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass Watch. The Timex offers a compass, thermometer, and tide tracker giving you a count-down to high or low tide times which is a great feature for boaters and fishermen. And to clarify, the compass is a digital compass with an analog display, meaning that the watch computes direction, and then shows you that direction using the feature-dedicated fourth hand for 20 seconds before returning to its previous function (tide or temperature). This watch not only provides a ton of functionality, but it’s also a great conversation piece owing to the dynamic nature of the various display options.
Inflatable Solar Lantern
Lighting is always a primary concern, and in addition to a good flashlight, good lanterns are essential. There are so many options when it comes to good lanterns, but one that really has a bit of tech flare in its innovative design is the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light. I remember seeing these for the first time and marveling at the simple yet effective design of a lantern with flexible sides that collapses down to something like a large drink coaster. As it registered in my mind that much of a lantern is empty space used to diffuse the light, I wondered, why had no one else thought of this design already? Anyway, someone did, and this is it. These lanterns are lightweight, collapsible, and can charge in the sun while attached to your backpack or sitting on the ground. They are fairly waterproof, and so can be used in the rain, or floated on water. They also make them in a variety of light choices such as white, warm white, and some colors. I will suggest, however, that the original solar version is great for outdoor use, but if you are buying these as emergency lighting or in regions or seasons without much sun, you may consider buying the newer version that has a USB charging option here.
More to come!
This list is just the beginning. New camping technology and gadgets are coming out all the time. Check back soon to see what other cool items you may want to add to your own wish list. And if you know of some cool camping tech that you think should be on the wish list, make a suggestion in the comments below!