Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Tue March 24 2015

Cool Camping Gear You Need this Summer

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | March 24, 2015

Cool Camping Gear You Need this Summer

Photos courtesy of their respective products.

There is always new camping equipment being brought to market each year, some of it needed, some of it pure popcorn (credit card survival knife anyone?). Here is a chance for you to get ahead of the curve and on your next “guys' weekend away” or just another family camping trip, and have some cool new gear that isn’t just functional, it makes for a great conversation piece as well.


Ever been out in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception, and separated from the rest of your group? Here is a brand new way for you to still keep in touch without needing a cell network to do it. GoTenna is essentially a texting, location-sharing set of walkie-talkies. The way these work is that the GoTenna pairs up with your cellphone, and allows you to send messages and share your location with another GoTenna over a low frequency radio signal, all without the worry of a cell network. The company says it will give you a distance of about 50 miles, and obviously you need to be paired with another GoTenna for it to work. These are great not only for camping, but also for anywhere or anytime you are without a cell network. Or when you just need to text your husband to come home from the bar in which he claims there is no service. This item is available for preorder right now and will ship in the summer.

Yeti Coolers Rambler Colster

All right, this is a piece of equipment that you need to get for your road trips, backyard BBQs, and even for watching sports on TV in the house. Which means it is certainly perfect for camping. This is the koozie to end all koozies.  The Colster is made from kitchen-grade stainless steel, has double-wall vacuum insulation, and a Thermolock gasket to lock your bottle or can in place. I know that $30 for a koozie might seem like a lot, but you can throw out all those free ones you won on St. Patty’s Day five years ago.

LuminAID PackLite 12

Fresh off their Shark Tank win, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta are going bigger and brighter. Coming out this spring is their lantern concept based on their original Version 1 Solar Light. It folds down, charges in seven hours of sun, and provides 12 hours of consistent LED light. There are three brightness settings with the brightest bringing the amount of shine time down to six hours. The lantern is a four-inch cube when inflated and a must for everyone’s Christmas list.

POWERPERE Best Collapsible Water Bottle

One of the hardest things to deal with when hiking or camping is basic lack of storage.  This collapsible water bottle is just what you need to save some room in your pack. It’s made of silicone and 100 percent BPA free, doesn’t absorb odors, is leak proof, unbreakable, and can hold cold and hot liquids. The bonus here is that the bottle is dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.

Poweradd Apollo2 10000mAh Solar Battery Charger

At this point most people have some sort of stick charger for their phone or tablets, or at least know of their availability. The Poweradd Pilot 2GS is kind of a stick charger on steroids. It is able to charge two devices simultaneously and is good for a laundry list of devices including most of the Apple and Android products. It comes with a carabiner and micro USB cable but you will have to buy a separate Apple-to-USB adapter if you do not have one already. It will take awhile to charge by sunlight, but if you charge it by wall outlet before you leave, it will hold the power for four to five days.

Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case

If you have an iPhone, this is the case for you. They bill themselves as “The world’s most protective, ultra slim military-grade waterproof case for everyday use,” and they aren’t lying. The Catalyst case is waterproof to five meters and impact resistant to two meters. You can still use all of the normal features of the iPhone and even the audio isn’t affected by the case. The housing is clear in case you want to show off you phone as well.  These are great if you are taking some close-to-the-surface underwater shots! There are also additional accessories available, such as a floating lanyard.

NYNE Aqua Floating Bluetooth Speaker

So you want to hear your music while you float out on the lake but the speakers are all the way back on shore? No worries, NYNE has you covered with their Aqua floating Bluetooth speaker. Waterproof to three feet, carrying strap included, Aqua will stream music for ten hours on one charge from as far as 33 feet away. Now you can take your waterproof phone along with your waterproof speaker and cruise down the river with tunes the whole way. There is also a microphone on the speaker so when your buddy who couldn’t come calls, you can tell him exactly what he is missing.

So now that your gear is all the talk around the campfire, let’s hope that you can cook, too. And we’re talking more than s’mores here. What is your favorite new toy to go outdooring with?  Let me know in the comments below.


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