12 Unnecessary (& Hilarious) Backpacking & Camping Gear

As the gear aficionado, most of my posts focus around essential gear items, gear reviews, and gear tips. I thought I would switch things up a bit this week on the most unnecessary gear out there.

The market for backpacking and camping gear does not lack innovative ideas. The list below contains a variety of gear targeted for the camper or the backpacker but definitely considered nonessential or even ridiculous to have. However, as you go through this list, you will be kicking yourself for not inventing these overly priced products of creativity. Ok I must admit, not all these products are ridiculous but the prices sure are.

While writing this post, I considered not only the backpacker but also the camper and car camper.* A camper could get some use out of a full kitchen in which folds into a suitcase or even those camp showers (backpackers feel free to laugh). The list below only contains items I felt were ridiculous on any realm of outdoor living, camping, or backpacking.* I have scoured the web for the best items to give you a little chuckle.

*Ok, I might want to take number 6 car camping.

1. The Scrubba Wash Bag

Price: $65

The Scrubba Wash Bag starts out this list because of the pure genius and freakin’ simplicity.  Why couldn’t I have thought of washing my clothes in a stuff suck and then charging $65 for everyone to do the same?! But honestly, ‘tis an amazing idea.


This is the inside of the wash bag.

2. Creek Company Hanging Camp Cupboard

Price: $70

All you car campers are shaking your heads right now BUT hear me out. Would you pay $70 for this thing? If you think you need this piece of ‘gear’ for that price, you should probably just stay home.


3. Musuc Bag

Price: $100-$340

The Musuc Bag is a sleeping bag in which you wear. I can only imagine the amount of pure coziness this thing ensues. However, the MusucBag is not offered in down (bummer) and you sorta kinda look hilarious (just a smidge).


4. Mystical Fire

Price: $1.79 each

Simply throw a packet of Mystical Fire into your camp fire or even your fireplace and your fire will light up with reds, greens, and blues. Disclaimer: Do not cook food over this chemically induced fire.


5. Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp XAVT

Price: $370 on Amazon ($510 on Swissarmy.com)

I can’t even imagine what would bring another person to buy this. Could one even use every single utensil in a lifetime? “This thing costs more than my tent,” said the thru-hiker…


6. GSI Outdoors Vortex Blender

Price: $115

Alright, Alright, let’s be honest. I won’t say no to a margarita made from this blender but if anything is mixed in this thing without booze I must question the reasoning behind this purchase. I think I will now claim this piece of ‘gear’ a must-have car camping accessory. Done and done.


7. Candwich

If I know thru-hikers, which I do, some of you are probably drooling over the sandwich but shaking your head that it resides in a can. Is anyone in the mood for BBQ chicken in a can? I’ve eaten quite a few convenient store sandwiches on my days on the trail but I can’t even imagine the disappointing effect the taste and/or texture preserved chicken and barbeque sauce might have on my mouth or my insides.


8. Eco-Portable Dishwashers

I could not find a price or even a website selling this item. I think this might simply be a design. The idea is a hand cranked dishwasher to wash your camp dishes. I think this could be a perfect idea for family camping.

eco-washre         resized1

9. Camp Chopsticks

Price: $30

I have nothing against using chopsticks but really? I guess the camping world could always use another gear item to sell. I could see the appeal if you happen to be skilled with the chopstick but the bottom line: what happens when you lose one in the backcountry? Looks like you’re slurpin’ buddy.


10. Collapsible Whisk

Price: $5

How dare you whisk your eggs with your spork! Wait, why are you bringing eggs? Why do you need a whisk? I’m obviously not the backpacking chef I thought I was…


11. Squat Strap

Price: $20

I think this gear ‘invention’ might be my absolute favorite. Selling a strap to campers for $20? Why not?! The perfect poop in the woods is priceless, right?


12. Folding Camp Stove Toaster

Price: $5

You can go without your bed, air conditioning, television, microwave, and shower but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD one cannot go camping without a piece of toast, obviously.




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