Skip to Content

29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets

| Updated Jun 20, 2023

The RV Lifestyle is better with these must-have camping gadgets! This massive guide will help you find gifts for your RV friends and family!

In the olden days, camping was pretty simple: a tent, sleeping bag, compass, and some other basic items, and you were ready to go. Today, there are so many camping gadgets available that it’s hard to know which ones are really life-changing and which are excessive. 

Ranging in the definition of “necessity,” here are a bunch of camping gadgets that we love based on our own experience or recommended by others in our Facebook group.

With only a couple of exceptions, most of these are fairly inexpensive.

Hey, if you buy something through my links, I might get a little something-something as a thank you. No extra cost to you, promise! Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets

Here’s our list of 29 must-have camping gadgets. They are in no particular order. We love and use many of these, and the rest were highly recommended by members of our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group!

We've put our Amazon affiliate links with each gadget, which means we get a small commission on the sale of each item. It doesn't affect the price you pay at all.

#1 TickKey Removal Key

Camping in the woods means you and your pets will likely encounter ticks. The TickKey products are great for easy and quick tick removal. 

We always keep them in the RV and often toss one in our backpack when going on a hike.

#2 MPOWERD Luci Outdoor Inflatable Solar Lantern

We have several of these solar lanterns, and they are awesome!

Rather than worrying about running out of batteries, you just place these in sunlight during the day, and they’ll produce light all night. 

We generally always have them on hand, especially if we’re boondocking

#3 Mophie Powerstation

This is one of my favorite must-have camping gadgets.

I always keep one fully charged and handy. There’s enough energy with a full charge to charge my laptop once or my smartphone three times. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about running a vehicle battery down charging cellular devices. 

#4 Midland LXT500VP3 2-Way Radios

Two-way radios are truly a must-have camping gadget that everyone should invest in!

Jennifer and I have a pair of these that we use when hiking or when we simply need to communicate from a distance. 

We’ve found this specific model to be very reliable, so I’d recommend them to anyone. 

One of our most common uses is when backing into a camping site. Instead of relying on hand signals in the mirror, Jennifer uses the walky-talky to tell me left or right or STOP!

#5 A2S Survival Paracord Bracelet

This is a must-have camping gadget that could potentially save your life. It’s a cool all-purpose tool that you conveniently wear on your wrist.

If you do a great deal of hiking deep into the woods, then you should definitely check these out!

It has a built-in compass, fire starter, whistle, emergency knife, and yards of paracord you can use as a rope. It's a tool you hope never to need but should definitely have.

#6 Wine2Go Portable Folding Wine Bag

Who says you can’t bring a nice bottle of wine camping? If you don’t like worrying about transporting glass bottles, the Wine2Go has you covered! It is a reusable, refillable, foldable, and recyclable pouch that can hold a full bottle of wine.

It’s easy to store, and it’s really a great way to enjoy a bottle of wine right at your campsite or on a picnic. The best part is that’s one less piece of trash to dispose of later!

#7 LINK AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracking

 LINK AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracking

This is a must-have camping gadget for anyone who camps with their dogs. As most of you know, Jennifer and I bring our boy Bo on every camping trip. Though he’s well-trained and won’t venture far away from us, we don't like to take any chances. 

If you’re camping with your beloved dog, then do yourself a favor and buy one of these collars. On the off chance that your dog gets loose or spooked and runs away, it’ll be much easier to find him in the strange location. 

#8 MilitaryLensatic/Prismatic Sighting Compass

MilitaryLensatic/Prismatic Sighting Compass

This is a must-have camping gadget that anyone who’s serious about hiking and camping should have. It is a good old-fashioned compass in modern form.

Sure, there’s one built into your smartphone, but you shouldn’t rely on a compass that can run out of batteries! As we all know, things happen, so don’t risk getting lost!

#9 X-Plore Gear 3-in-1 Multifunction Survival Tool

X-Plore Gear 3-in-1 Multifunction Survival Tool

The X-Plore 3-in-1 is another must-have gadget for the survivalist-minded camper.

It's important to know how to start a fire without matches, and this tool helps with that. Plus, it has an emergency whistle and a compass. 

#10 Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight

This is one bright headlamp! It has 165 lumens, and we love it! In fact, Jennifer and I both have one of these. 

We use them even just walking around the campsite at night and pack them in our hiking packs.

#11 Gourmia Manual Coffee Brewer

I’m an avid coffee drinker, and I want to make sure I can have it anywhere. The Gourmia manual brewer is a must-have camping gadget that allows you to brew coffee without electricity. 

This is the perfect thing to brew your favorite K-Cup at the campsite in the morning. It’s rather inexpensive and doesn’t take up much space. 

#12 weBoost Drive X RV Cellular Amplifier

Okay, this gadget is expensive. But it's the best in its class.

I work from the road, so having solid cellular coverage is essential, but it’s not always possible with just our carrier alone. 

This is why we use this weBoost cellular amplifier, which is geared to the RVer. These devices boost cellular signals, and with the one I use, I have coverage pretty much everywhere I go. 

They have lots of models from which to choose, and I can confidently recommend this brand because I’ve used several of their models throughout the years. The Drive X RV is the best of the bunch.

#13 JBL Flip Bluetooth Speaker

This is one of our must-have camping gadgets for enjoying life on the road. The speaker is very versatile, waterproof, and has great sound quality. 

We use it mainly to listen to podcasts and music, but recently we started using it for the audio when we talk to our family at home via FaceTime. It's also handy when streaming movies over our laptop or tablet.

#14 J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight

J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight

This is my favorite flashlight, and I always keep one handy! It has LED bulbs, 300 Lumens, and has three modes. 

Not only is it bright, but it’s a great flashlight to carry in your pocket because of its small size. 

#15 Resqme Original Car Escape Tool

Resqme Original Car Escape Tool

Okay, this one may not be directly related to camping, but I love this tool! In fact, I made sure each of my loved ones have one. 

We keep one in the RV and our passenger car and one on our keychain.

This tool will cut vehicle seatbelts and break windows. You never know when an accident will occur, and if it does, you'll be glad you have this tool.

#16 Can Opener

There is nothing better than a can of soup on a chilly day. Until you discover that you left your can opener at home! 

While some can openers come complete with other gadgets on board, this one from Amazon is simple and sleek. It also does not take up too much room in your precious RV kitchen storage. 

#17 Backcountry Cast Iron Pan

People love cooking on cast iron because of its excellent heat retention for even cooking. That is no different when camping!

This 12” pan comes pre-seasoned and has a non-stick surface. It can be used on any cooking surface, including electric, gas, induction, grill, fire pit, broiler, and oven. 

It also comes with the handy cloth handle mitt. Keep your hands safe from a burn when pulling the pan off the flame. 

#18 Wine Key Tool

This 3-in-1 gadget will easily open your bottle of wine while on camping. Not only does it come with a stainless steel corkscrew. It also comes with a serrated blade foil cutter and a bottle opener. 

Easily open that bottle of wine at the end of the day. Then turn it over to open a bottle of beer for those guests that drink brink instead!

This wine opener also comes in a gorgeous storage case to project on those bumpy drives. 

#19 Camco Wine Glass

I know, another wine gadget?! But when we asked our RV Lifestyle FB group what gadgets they loved to take camping, wine came up a lot! And this is a favorite…  

The Camco wine tumbler set comes with removable wine glass stems. Simply place the tumbler inside the stem to use, then remove it later for easy packing!

They are available in yellow, green, blue, and red. Match your RV style or favorite color. 

The best part about these glasses? They feel like luxury from home, without being breakable! 

#20 Level Mate Pro

Make leveling easy with the LevelMate PRO! It takes the frustrating guesswork out of leveling your RV. 

Use your smartphone to help you find the most level camping spot without ever leaving your vehicle! Install the device ahead of time, and then use an app on your phone to see how to level your RV is from both directions. 

This will come in handy when you are tired from driving and trying to set up your camping spot. 

Dramatically reduce your leveling time, and frustration, after a long day of driving. 

#21 Flat Top Griddle

Turn your double-burner camping stove into a flat top griddle. Make breakfast with eggs, bacon, and pancakes all at once. Or, make burgers for the entire group in a single go. 

This extra-large cooking surface is made from heavy-duty steel. It diffuses heat evenly across the surface, providing a nice, even cook. It also comes seasoned for your taste! 

#22 Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow

Never get a bad night of sleep again while camping! This excellent camping pillow is 100% polyester memory foam to conform to your body. 

Lightweight and portable, the small pillow opens to a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. The medium expands to a 14 x 18 inch size for the ultimate in comfort. 

When you are done using it, compress it back down to fit into its waterproof stuff sack. 

Did it get dirty while camping? When you get home, machine wash it and dry it on a cool setting. 

#23 Stainless Steel Coffee Mug

Not only are these mugs stylish and sleek. They will match any camping decor that you already have. They are also made to be outdoors. 

These stainless steel mugs are portable, come with a lid, and are unbreakable. They are also insulated using double-wall steel, and BPA-free.

They also come complete with a lifetime warranty. If you are unsatisfied with their product, they will give you a 100% refund with no questions asked.

#24 Countertop Ice Machine

Do you love to have ice-cold beverages? Bring a little luxury on the road with you. Granted, it may not be a necessity, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a must-have for many!

This countertop ice maker can start producing ice in as little as 8 minutes. It can produce up to 26 pounds of ice in one day!

I know that RV counter space is precious. But if you miss the luxury of having ice when on the road, this is the solution. For more options, check out these 7 Best Ice Makers for Camping.

#25 Stanley Battery Jumper

A portable jump starter can be a lifesaver when on the road. 

There may be a time that you forget to turn off your lights when stopping for a hike or in town at an event. Nothing is worse than getting back to your vehicle only to realize that you have a dead battery. 

Save yourself worry and hassle by keeping a portable jump starter in your car. That way, you will not have to look for someone else to help you jumpstart your vehicle!

#26 Leatherman Multitool

A multitool can come in very handy when traveling. It can even help save a life! 

Whether you need to open a can of food for survival or cut a wire that no longer serves a purpose, this handy device does it all. 

The Leatherman Signal has 19 tools in one! Not only does it have a cutting device, but it comes with pliers, wire cutters, hammer, saw, bottle and can openers, and a diamond-coated sharpener. 

Talk about a great tool to throw in your RV drawer! 

#27 Portable LED-Light and Fan

These little devices really come in handy! Not only can they provide light where you need it. They are also a fan to keep you cool on stuffy camping evenings.

Use the light for up to 37 hours without having to change batteries. 

They are small and compact to easily store when traveling. 

#28 Water Pump for 5-Gallon Water Jug

Do you take large 5-gallon bottles of water when traveling? Don’t forget a pump! 

Pumps are lightweight and compact and make getting water from a 5-gallon jug very simple to do. 

#29 Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Who doesn’t love coffee on a cool, crisp morning when camping? Especially if you did not get a great night’s sleep! 

Make it simple using a single-serve coffee maker. It is compact and can be easily stored while driving. It also takes less time and makes less waste than a traditional coffee pot maker. 

The best thing? Choose a fun color to match your RV decor. It comes in black, red, light blue, light pink, and grey. 

Want more options? Here are the 13 Best Coffee Makers for RV Travel.

29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets 1
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.

Looking for an awesome place to explore? Try the Adirondacks.

We've written a 7 Day RV Adventure Guide to the Adirondacks and the nearby Finger Lakes Region. We tell and show you where to go, what to see and where to camp and boondock. It has lots of tips, maps, and photos to help you have an awesome adventure.

Please check it out!

29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets 2

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-04-09

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

13 Responses to “29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets”

May 18, 2022at5:34 pm, drunk wineo said:

sounds like you need to tone down the wine consumption, 5 products are related to your alcoholism, not a good look


May 02, 2022at8:05 pm, 7 Great RV Kitchen Gadgets to Save Space said:

[…] 29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets for 2022 […]


May 02, 2022at6:15 am, 7 Great RV Kitchen Gadgets To Save Space | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] 29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets for 2022 […]


January 31, 2022at5:50 pm, Claudia Glenn said:

Lots of good ideas. I may get my son the paratrooper cord bracelet for his birthday!


December 25, 2021at6:16 am, Merry Christmas! | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] 29 Must-Have Camping Gadgets for 2022 […]


October 09, 2021at6:17 pm, Chef Dave said:

I just read thru your list of 29 must have items, above here. I implore you to look at the 1 star reviews of all of those products. I never look at 5 star reviews as I’m afraid many of those posters get some compensation for those glowing reviews. I always look at the 1 star reviews as they are the most truthful. It’s sad how much junk Amazon sells. It’s cheap crap from who knows where, mostly China I bet, I’d rather pay more for made in America products than what Amazon sells.
I’m new to the Rv life, but well seasoned in being proactive in purchasing things I need.


March 14, 2021at8:33 pm, Brian Templeton said:

One further item could be added to to the must have survival list, that is the very rugged cylindrical steel mouth whistle
like what used to be used by British policemen, blown hard, it can be heard for at least half a mile, and if one is not visible, it can help rescuers find you.


March 14, 2021at8:12 pm, Tara said:

A Merlitta pour over cone & brown filters are much more eco friendly & cheaper for coffee than using K Cups.


March 13, 2022at8:34 am, Michael McKie said:

Absolutely! Your cup of coffee will taste a lot better as well. We normally use a French press at home but use the one cup Keurig for camping – less cleanup. Now you have me thinking…


February 28, 2021at11:29 am, Jean hansard said:

I think you did an article on three ways to clean the black tank. I can’t find it, can you post it again? Thank you!


February 25, 2021at9:41 am, Stan Wutka said:

Must have item for us, Frig-A-Mate or that what it used to be called. We have been using these in our RV for over 40 years. It is a little battery operated fan, powered by 2 d cell batteries, that last 2 – 3 months. With the gravity type RV fridge air is circulated only when you open the door. This thing aids in cool downs, when you first turn it on. It helps equalizes the temp thru out the fridge. It prevents lettuce and other items from freezing. It doesn’t take care of all the issues of an RV type frig but I say improves things about 70 %. Here is a link to amazon, they are available at a lot of other places too.


February 25, 2021at5:00 pm, Thomas said:

Thanks Stan. We are ordering the fan tonight. Not for RV but for home refrigerator which is famous for freezing our lettuce.


February 25, 2021at9:34 am, Marcus said:

Remember, the headlamps are great but be courteous and turn them off or look down when you are approaching other walkers. The lights can be blinding. I don’t think you would shine a flashlight directly into someone’s face but that is what you are doing since the beam shines in the direction you are looking. Same etiquette applies with headlamps.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top