Camping gadgets + apps

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April showers might be here a little early, but I’m already dreaming of how I’ll spend warmer weekends.

I’ll be honest: I was never really that interested in sleeping in the great outdoors until I started working at a magazine that’s got camping down to an art. Now, it’s like I’ve drank the juice and there’s no going back.

We’re planning to start car camping in our available weekends, pulling out the backseats of our compact SUV to turn into a bed to crash in after a day of camping. The biggest bonus isn’t just skipping two drives in one day (or finally getting your sleep schedule on track), but waking up to views like these:

Now, I might not have a sweet van to live the #vanlife, but you can bet I’m eyeing some gadgets to take along for the overnight adventure.


Not only is a GoPro the quintessential excursion device, but the wide range of mounts make it easy to customize for your exact needs. Grab the perfect accessory whether you’re looking for group shots (selfie stick) to a rock climber wanting a play-by-play of the ascent (helmet mount), or even if a swimmer (there’s a floaty!) Now there’s no excuse not to capture the perfect video of whatever activities you were up to.

Solpro Helios Smart External Battery Pack

Worried about charging your phone on the go? Pick up this smart battery pack that uses solar pads to charge your device. No more running the car for no reason other than charging your tech addiction (#guilty).

UE Roll 2

The favorite portable speaker of The Sweethome, making sure you have a great speaker with you on your trip is an easy must. (Plus, picking a fun color like the ones UE offers will make it easy to spot.) Make sure you build your playlists beforehand, since service may or may not be available once you’re camped out.

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

There’s a lot of things that excite me about this stove: no fuel to buy and bring along, compact, and can charge your phone while you use it. Basically, it’s the full package for someone like me (who’s really just looking for something that can heat her water kettle or make quesadillas). The electric power helps kickstart the fire, which only needs twigs and sticks that you find along your campsite or even backyard.


Free on both iOS and Android, this app makes it easy to stargaze by just pointing your smartphone to the sky. Make it a game to see who can guess the most right before checking the app for what constellations and planets are above you.

The Outbound

Want to do something fun, but no idea where to start? The Outbound collects local outdoor adventures, so you can just open the app to see what hikes, secret spots, campsites and more are worth checking out.

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