9 Essential Pieces of Camping Gear You Need for Your Next Trip

Wise Owl/Amazon
Wise Owl/Amazon

Camping doesn’t have to be synonymous with roughing it. A trip to the great outdoors can be vastly improved by bringing along a few pieces of useful gear. There are products that make every part of the camping experience more enjoyable, from outdoor cooking to lounging in the woods. Whether you’re planning a relaxing weekend outdoors or a long backpacking trip, these are the camping must-haves to add to your packing list.

1. Stanley Easy Carry Outdoor Cooler; $50

Stanley

The food and drink menu of your next camping trip shouldn't be limited by your equipment. This double-walled cooler from Stanley keeps items cold for 27 hours, which is roughly 40 percent longer than a standard cooler. It's big enough to hold nine cans, or seven quarts of goods, if you're looking to eat as well as drink on your outdoor excursion.

Buy it: Stanley

2. Stanley Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set; $80

Stanley

This full camping kitchen only weighs 5.6 pounds and fits in your backpack. Thanks to the innovative nesting system, the cooking gear set is super portable, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality for convenience. There are 19 pieces of durable kitchenware featured in the package, including a stainless-steel pot, a cutting board, and a frying pan.

Buy it: Stanley

3. Stanley Stay Hot Camp Crock; $65

Stanley

Enjoying a hot, homemade meal on the trail is possible with this portable camping crock. It holds three quarts of whatever you want to pack, whether it’s soup, chili, or mac and cheese. The double-walled vacuum insulation also keeps cold things cold, making it a perfect portable ice bucket.

Buy it: Stanley

4. Coleman Sundome Tent; $55-$191

Coleman/Amazon

Coleman’s Sundome Tent is designed to keep you safe and comfortable. Large windows and a ground vent promote airflow, while the welded corners, inverted seams, and rainfly keep the interior dry in any weather. There’s even an e-port you can use to power your electronic devices. With sizes ranging from two to six occupants, you can choose the tent that’s best for your camping party.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Wise Owl Hammock; $28-$39

Wise Owl/Amazon

Even the simplest campground can become a serene oasis with this hammock from Wise Owl. Just attach the straps and carabiners to two nearby trees and climb into the comfortable parachute nylon sling to start your relaxation session. The hammock folds up into a package about the size of a grapefruit, according to the company, which means you can even take it on long trips when space is limited. It’s available in sizes for one or two occupants.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Coleman Camping Chair; Various Prices

Coleman/Amazon

At least one cupholder is the standard for most camping chairs, but this one from Coleman goes above and beyond. The collapsible cloth chair features a cooler pouch built into the arm that can fit up to four cans at once, so when you take a seat around the campfire, everything you need is within reach.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hydroflask Water Bottle; $42-$90

HydroFlask/Amazon

This water bottle from Hydro Flask is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and works just as well for hot drinks as it does for cold ones. It’s also a stylish accessory to have on the trail; the bottle comes in a range of sizes, with a powder coating available in 10 colors.

Buy it: Amazon

8. BEARZ Outdoor Blanket; $22

BEARZ/Amazon

If you aren’t sure what kind of blanket to bring on your outdoor adventure, grab this one from BEARZ. The versatile piece of gear is a beach blanket, picnic blanket, and hiking blanket all in one. It’s even waterproof, so you can attach it to your tent and use it as a tarp when it rains. When it’s not being used, it folds up into a package that fits in your pocket.

Buy it: Amazon

9. TETON Camp Pillow; $15

Teton/Amazon

It’s hard to justify bringing your fluffiest pillow on a camping trip when space is limited, but this travel pillow from TETON solves that problem. It compresses into a compact carrying case, and when unpacked, it expands into a soft, comfy pillow that rivals the one you left on your bed at home.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

Stackcommerce
Stackcommerce

The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest video game consoles of the past few decades, with worldwide sales topping 55 million (that's more than the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and it's only a few million behind the original NES). The problem with a console being so popular is that it's not always easy to spot one on store shelves. If you haven't had luck finding one in recent months, you can enter this contest to win your very own Nintendo Switch, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a pair of Switch-compatible Logitech wireless headphones, and a $300 Nintendo gift card. Head here for more details.

While you wait to see who wins, check out these other great deals on gaming accessories.

1. Protective TPU Case for Nintendo Switch Console; $12 (20 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

Once you get your Switch, you'll want to keep it in pristine condition. This protective case is made with shock-absorbent, flexible TPU for full protection against bumps, scratches, dust, fingerprints, and even the occasional toss in the heat of the moment.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Two-in-One Docking Station for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons; $16 (20 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

The standard Switch will only charge one pair of Joy-Cons at a time, so if you've got a roommate always willing to hop in on a quick game of Mario Kart, you'll need this spare charging dock to make sure their controller is ready to go. The weighted base keeps the controllers stable so they’ll sit still to charge until you’re ready to play.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Four-in-One Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Dock; $18 (28 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

Same as above, except this model charges two pairs of Joy-Cons at once. The easy-to-read red LED light lets you know it’s working, and the green lets you know it’s time to play.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Ultra-Slim 500-Game Retro Gaming Device (Red); $14

Atelier Delfina

This portable HD gaming device packs over 500 classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Contra, Tetris, and plenty more. And with five hours of battery life, you'll get plenty of nostalgia before needing a recharge.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Ninja Dragon Stealth 7 Wireless Silent Led Backlit Mouse (Black); $28 (30 percent off)

Onetify

The precision (or lack thereof) of a mouse can make all the difference when gaming on a PC. This wireless model comes with a 1600DPI true gaming sensor, ultra-precise scroll wheel, and high-precision positioning to avoid any lag while in a game.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Gamecube Controller Adapter for WII/PC/Nintendo Switch; $10 (50 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

A Nintendo Gamecube controller is still the best way to play any of the Super Smash Bros. titles, and with this adapter, you can use the old-school controllers on the Wii U or Nintendo Switch for an easy way to dive into multiplayer games. It also works for PC gaming.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Gforce 3 Professional 7200rpm USB 3.0/Esata External HDD (Black); $140 (11 percent off)

Fantom Drives

If you haven’t already, you’re going to want to back up all of your files to an external hard drive. This external HDD has 3TB of storage, meaning you likely won't run out of space even if you tried.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Core 17-Inch Gaming Backpack With Molded Panel; $110 (15 percent off)

Mobile Edge LLC

This bag was designed specifically to hold gaming laptops and consoles, plus their accessories, in three large storage sections and four side pockets. It also features an external USB charge port for instant power.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.



Save Up to 67 Percent on These 10 Back-to-School Essentials

My Miggo
My Miggo

Back-to-school time may feel a bit different this year, but the basics are still the same. Make sure you have everything you need, from lamps to external hard drives—and everything you didn't expect, like a webcam light—at a price you can handle. Whether you're studying from home while living on campus or going into class, here are the 10 best deals on college living essentials.

1. Bamboo 6-Piece Smart Pocket Sheets (Gray/Queen); $39 (67 percent off)

Bed Bath Fashion

Quality sleep is important to stay healthy and sharp during a packed day, and these bamboo and microfiber sheets will do the trick. You’ll rest even easier when you don’t have to search for the remote, your phone, or earbuds while lying in bed, since these sheets come with handy side pockets to stash equipment (or snacks) for easy access.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Ventifresh Eco: Next Generation Odor Eliminator (2-Pack); $96 (33 percent off)

Ventifresh

Stinky roommates, hot equipment, and tight spaces where you microwave dinner beside your bed can lead to stale odors. This device, which was a hit on Indiegogo, uses NASA-inspired photocatalyst technology to purify the air anywhere.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Case Logic 14.1-inch Laptop Messenger Bag; $25 (73 percent off)

Case Logic

Protect your tech and your back with this nylon messenger bag. The ergonomically designed bag includes pockets for all your accessories and an easy-access magnetic closure. There’s space for your laptop, tablet, and supplies all in one nifty crossbody.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Gforce 3 Professional 7200rpm Usb 3.0/Esata External Hdd (Black); $140 (11 percent off)

Fantom Drives

There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project, only to have it deleted in an unexpected software crash. Protect all of your data with this external hard drive, which boasts 3TB of space for your photos, videos, reports, and more.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Pictar Home-Office Kit; $90 (35 percent off)

My Miggio

If you could go back in time to talk to yourself a year ago, you’d probably never believe that work and school would be conducted like a FaceTime call—and you'd definitely give yourself a heads up to buy one of these Pictar sets with a wide-angle lens, lighting, and tripod to make video meetings easier to deal with.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Townew: The World's First Self-Sealing Trash Can; $105 (12 percent off)

Townew

If you have roommates, there’s no doubt that taking out the trash is a nuisance. It may be full to the brim with junk that’s not even yours, but it will sit for days while you wait for somebody else to step up for once and do their part. This automated bin is on your team, though; it will seal the old dirty bag on its own for you to neatly grab and then it populates a fresh bag in the bin on its own.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Bladeless Handheld Cooling Fan; $20 (50 percent off)

Home Essentials

This fan is not only effective, but it’s quiet enough to keep on during Zoom meetings without interruption. It will give your room a cool breeze without the buffering of traditional bladed fans, which means it’s also safe around kids and pets.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Jashen V16 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner; $160 (46 percent off)

Jashen

This cordless vacuum cleaner will pick up grime from your hard floors and carpets, without the tangle or tug of a cord. The cordless cleaner runs on a rechargeable battery that can vacuum for up to 40 minutes, and the whole thing comes with multiple attachments to make cleaning tough spots, like in between couch cushions, even easier.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. Thor Bottle Opener (Bronze); $11 (26 percent off)

MarqInno

Harness the power of Thor when you open your end-of-the-day drink. It will feel appropriate to use the tool of a superhero while you reflect on the heroic job you did that day.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

10. Led Lamp With Wireless Charging; $40 (33 percent off)

Changeworx

Light the way wherever you look with this super mobile LED lamp, whether that's at your desk or in the common room. It includes a unique wireless charging pad for your phone and AirPods to juice up while you study.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.