7 Gadgets to Enhance Your Next Car Camping Trip

Spring (and spring weather) are officially here, and the time is right to start the 2018 hiking and camping season. Whether you are a novice or a pro, it means that you want to get ready, whether that means starting up your exercise regimen or plotting new places to explore. Car camping is growing in popularity each year, providing a base camp for adventures with the security of an established front-country campsite. Plus, it allows everyone to experience the outdoors without the pressure of carrying their own gear into the backcountry. Here are a few ways to add convenience and comfort to your next trip, taking advantage of the weight-doesn’t-matter-here situation.

Camping Cookery

There’s a lot of different suggestions that people have for how to cook food out on a hike, but car camping lets you get truly gourmet. Nowadays, you can buy camping toasters or even griddles to prepare all types of food. Getting the ingredients out there may be another story, but you’ll be eating well. Even the camp stove is getting a new look, like the BioLite Camp stove. Notably, this is powered by biomass, like pinecones, needles, and twigs.

Camp Shoes

You may not be thinking of camping shoes when it comes to car camping plans, but you’ll likely change your tune when you realize your only options are either going barefoot or continuing to wear sweaty boots. Camp shoes like Chacos are a happy medium between the two, and the highly fashionable Crocs are a popular lighter weight option. A proper camping shoe still has outdoor-ready durability, without the added weight or confinement. Chacos have added arch support and webbing that keeps your feet locked in place, while Crocs are the inexpensive classic hiker camp shoe. 

Shower Systems

Getting clean may not be the first thing on your mind, but a shower can do a lot to both help you relax after a long day of hiking. Fill the reservoir with water like this solar-heated option, then enjoy the fact that you can shower at your campsite. This model from NEMO works with a foot pump and sits on the ground, great for washing dishes. it’s at the end of the day, after a surprise spill, or at the end of your hike if you have somewhere else to be. These are great for extended trips when you aren’t heading into town for a week or more. 


Solar Power Banks

Some people make good use of their smartphones when it comes to hiking, whether it’s to help navigate or chronicle their adventures through pictures and video. Nothing can spoil this like a low battery, which is why you may want to invest in a solar power bank. Many chargers on the market are lightweight, waterproof, and travel-ready. If you want a little extra help, buy one that can be strapped on your backpack so you can charge as you walk.

Gravity Water Filters

Keeping hydrated is important, but so is keeping safe from invisible . There are a lot of different ways to filter your water during a hike, from purification powders and tablets to specially designed bottles. However, when car camping, you want to keep track of as few components as possible. To use Platypus’s popular model, fill the unfiltered reservoir with water and let it hang, allowing gravity to carry water through a filter to be cleaned.

Camp Chairs

Take in the sights of nature from your camp chair. NEMO is adding new features on to their chairs, like the Stargazer series. Designed with the weight-conscious camper in mind, the Stargazer combines elements of a rocking chair, traditional seat, and even has a cup holder on some models. It lives up to its name by rotating backwards so you can look up at the sky.




One of the biggest advantages that you have when it comes to car camping over traditional camping is all the added storage you have for your gear and cold food. One of the best ways to take advantage of this is by investing in a proper cooler to bring food and drinks that you wouldn’t be able to bring on a backcountry hike. Yeti is a top brand, known for their durability and capacity ,but if the price tag is alarming, check out similar models for less cash. 

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Eva Webster is a freelance writer, foodie, wine lover, animal hugger, outdoor enthusiast and Pearl Jam super-fan.

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