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Everyone loves a camping gadget, whether it’s brand new technology or a throwback to traditional tools.
The best gadgets make outdoor life easier – and are lots of fun to use. You might not necessarily need them, but you’ll certainly enjoy using them.
Here’s some of the brand new stuff you’ll find in the shops in 2018, all designed to improve your camping life.
ROBENS TONGAS ENAMEL KETTLE
This is a lovely looking piece of kit that conjures up images of early American pioneers brewing up coffee over an open fire. The kettle comes in a classic design in white enamel, with a handle that allows you to use it with a tripod over the fire. Matching plates, bowls and cups are also available.
OUTWELL COLLAPS WATER CARRIER
The innovative Collaps range of folding camping accessories from Outwell has been a huge hit since it was launched a few years ago – with new products and colours joining the collection every year. This year the company has added a water carrier to the range. Shaped like an upside down bucket, it holds up to 12 litres of water and dispenses the liquid from an easy to operate tap and folds flat for storage.
You’ve been out walking all day and all you want to do is have a rejuvenating brew before settling down in your tent for the evening. But the kettle is taking an awful long time to boil… “Wait, is this burner still actually on? Nooooo! I’VE RUN OUT OF GAS!” Nightmare. Of course, all this could be avoided if you were able to check how much was left in the bottle before you started. There are complicated ways of doing this involving scales and floating bottles in water, but Jetboil have come up with a gadget that can work it out instantly. The new Jetgauge tells you the exact percentage of fuel remaining in the canister, saving you from having to perform complicated science experiments and avoiding teatime calamity.
PRIMUS COOLER BACKPACK
A 22 litre capacity backpack for keeping drinks and food chilled on the move. The roll-top is easy to open and close and the waterproof interior liner can be removed to give it a wash. The insulated pack can be filled up with ice or kept cool using the Primus Icepack and should keep contents fresh for the day. Thanks to the roll-top opening, it’s quick and easy to open and close and its 30 mm shoulder straps offer comfortable carriage. There’s even a handy bottle-opener integrated into the backpack’s buckle.
LIFESAVER EXPLORER BOTTLES
LifeSaver’s water filtration technology saves lives worldwide in the aftermath of humanitarian crises, providing water, free of virus, bacteria and cysts. The stylish LifeSaver Explorer bottles use the same award-winning technology, trusted by such as the British military and Oxfam. Designed for the outdoor enthusiast, this bottle also has an innovative new inline pump feature, while combining the ability to store 450ml of water. The replaceable cartridge filter saves the equivalent of up to 2,000 one-litre water bottles so it’s kind on the planet too.
LIFEVENTURE OS MAP TOWEL
How cool are these? The Lifeventure soft fibre trek towel is now available in giant size featuring Ordnance Survey maps of Ben Nevis, Snowdon or Scafell Pike, the highest peaks in Scotland, Wales and England respectively. As well as looking great, each towel absorbs nine times its own weight and dries eight times faster than conventional towels. The towels are also treated with Polygiene odour control – to keep them fresh even when they’re packed away or in transit.
ROBENS WOODSMAN STOVE & CHARGER
Like it or not, electronic gadgets are an important part of most people’s camping kit these days, but keeping them charged up can be a challenge. The Woodsman stove provides an answer. It’s small, portable wood burning stove that generates enough electricity to charge your phone via USB. Because you can burn branches and twigs, there’s no need to carry fuel and the whole kit packs compactly into its own carry bag.
MSR TRAIL BASE FILTER SYSTEM
The MSR Trail Base provides fresh, safe water for back-to-basic family camping trips or expeditions in the wild. It combines the best features of the new, ultra-light TrailShot Microfilter with the reliable, high-volume MSR AutoFlow filtration system. So it should meet all your filtration needs, whether it’s large-volume basecamp filtering or instant hydration straight from the source when you’re on the move.
OUTWELL PELICAN L
A self-inflating cool bag, that packs flat for transporting and storage but inflates in less than five seconds to a capacity of 30 litres. Outwell say the bag will stay cool for up to 15 hours using an 800ml ice block. Getting into the bag is easy, with a large u-shape access on top. There are two carry handles as well as a shoulder strap for taking the cool bag out on picnics and the water resistant liner makes cleaning it simple.
GOAL ZERO NOMAD 7 PLUS
The Nomad solar panel system has been redesigned to be lighter and smarter than its predecessor, with a detachable kickstand and new electronics designed to ensure the best solar charging experience. It will allow you to charge smartphones and other USB-powered devices on the move, even in unpredictable environments. The Solar Intensity Indicator uses LED lights to tell you the quality of current solar conditions.
KLEEN KANTEEN STRAWS
Plastic straws are an environmental disaster so we are delighted to see these new reusable stainless steel straws with soft colourful silicone tips by Kleen Kanteen. Reduce your plastic use and waste, turn down disposable straws and use these instead.
HYDRO FLASK FOR KIDS
Small enough to fit in a child’s hand but big enough to quench their thirst, these 12oz bottles are drop-proof, spill-proof and keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Available in a variety of colours, it’s durable – a silicone sock protects the lower half from knocks and prevents spillage – and comes with a leak-resistant lid with a foldaway straw.
A washing “machine” that fits neatly into your backpack? Impossible, surely? Well, no actually. Laundreez is an easy way to wash your clothes on the move when you don’t have access to a laundry. Pop your washing in the robust waterproof bag, seal it with the screw cap and gently swish it around to remove dirt and odours. No scrubbing is required. Laundreez then folds neatly to fit into luggage. It also works as a traditional dry bag, protecting valuables when near water.
LEKI VINTAGE VOYAGER WALKING POLE
From the inventors of the modern walking pole, here’s a classic. The Voyager might have a retro look but it is brand new. It comes equipped with Super Lock, an internal adjustment system with a holding force of over 140 kg (that’s 22 stone!). It’s stable, sturdy and reliable, with a soft strap and ergonomic handle for comfortable grip.
With a built-in firestarter, hammer, one-handed blade and an emergency whistle, the Signal is a must-pack for your backpack, whether you’re heading out for a long trek, doing a spot of wild camping or just going for a Sunday morning yomp in the hills. And the beauty is that it’s pretty handy around the home and in the car too. Other features include two pliers, wire cutters, a saw, can and bottle openers, screwdrivers and a diamond coated sharpener.
KAMPA TERRACOTTA TABLEWARE
Melamine tableware may not be the most exciting sounding piece of camping equipment, but this new range from Kampa is certainly eye-catching. It looks for all the world like actual ceramic but has all the practical qualities of 100% melamine – so it’s rugged, light, easy to clean on campsite and dishwasher safe, if you want to give it a zap when you get home. The 16 piece set includes four each of dinner plates, bowls, side plates and mugs.