Camping Gadgets


Backcountry enthusiasts are always looking for the next bit of kit or gadget that can make their outdoor life easier. We look for hacks and quick fixes, but here are some of the gadgets that won’t offer any quick fixes and are not worth the space they take up.


The Flashtorch delivers a laser hot enough to start a fire, so you are able to get your fire going anytime, anywhere, without having to carry around those bulky matches or lighters. A great idea on paper but the reality means you are walking around with a flashlight in your pocket, able to set your jeans on fire if you accidentally sit on it. It also looks exactly like a laser pen, so when your kids get hold of it, the neighbour’s cat will end up totally blind. It costs more than a box of matches, is bigger than a box of matches, and it’s unlikely you will remember your galactic fire-starting pen when you forgot all other traditional fire-starting tools.


The company pocket-knife company, Victorinox, have come up with the ultimate in useless camping tools. They have produced the SwissChamp XAVT which is neither pocket-sized nor light enough to really be useful. It has over 80 different tools, including a digital clock. Not only is it near impossible to find the specific tool you are looking for, but when you do you won’t be able to use it due to its awkward size and weight.


For those moments when you just can’t bring yourself to rotate your wrist and turn your marshmallows, the electric marshmallow toaster will do it for you. The plastic handle and batteries make this entry not only pointless, but utterly unsuitable for the task at hand.


The cast iron panini press can only have been designed by a non-camper. Once inside your backpack, the weight of the cast iron will ensure you risk a hernia every time you put it on. Why stop there? Why not find a portable crouton maker for a side salad? If you are the kind of person who can’t live without a panini for a few days, maybe camping isn’t for you.


A “lightweight” wok specifically designed for camping. The wok is neither an essential, nor lightweight piece of cooking equipment. The stir-fry can wait until you get home.


The bubble tent is exactly what it sounds like, a huge inflatable transparent dome which you sleep in. Imagine living in a snow globe without the snow. Privacy is non-existent. The faintest whiff of sunshine, and the whole dome instantly becomes an oven. It also requires an electric pump to stay inflated, so I hope you are the kind of person who only camps in locations where you have a constant supply of electricity or you are prepared to bring your own generator on every camping trip.


Sleeping and listening to music no longer have to be mutually exclusive activities. Thanks to the queen-sized mattress with built-in speakers, you can sleep, whilst blasting out your favourite Metallica hits.


Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your thoughts through the comments section.

Mike G
Mike G

Mike loves to travel on the open road, he's really into vehicles of any kind, especially those with 2 wheels.