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Compact Camping Gear That’s Perfectly Packable AND Practical

Matador Pocket Blanket Compact Camping Gear

With so many cool adventures to be had and so many cool things to help you have them, deciding which items of super innovative items of camping gear to pack can be super tricky sometimes. Thank goodness for compact camping gear – here to save the day and enable us gear junkies to bring along everything – including the kitchen sink! Check out our favourite bits of ‘can’t live without’ compact camping gear that will make it into the backpack every time.

Compact camping gear

Timberland collapsible shoe

Timberland Men’s Radler Trail Camp Collapsible Hiking Shoe

A second pair of shoes can be a real luxury when camping or out on the trail. So choosing a pair of camp shoes that are not only comfortable and practical, but also lightweight and packable, is not as easy as it sounds. Take a step in the right direction with the Radler Trail Camp shoe that folds in half and then zips up – a quality shoe as well as a real space-saver.

Grilliput portable grill

Grilliput Duo portable grill

If you’ve ever tried cooking your dinner on a fire with no grill, you will understand how essential this cool little tube of simple metal rods can be for your gourmet camping creations. All the stainless steel grill parts of the Grilliput Duo, fit inside the largest tube for compact storage. And there’s even a cleaning groove to scrape the burnt sausage or solidified fat off the grill bars before tucking it back into your backpack.

Spark SPII Sea to Summit Sleeping Bag

Spark SP II Sea to Summit sleeping bag

This teeny hand-sized Sea to Summit Spark SP II sleeping bag is an ideal sleeping companion for summer backpacking and bikepacking, when space is limited and weight saving essential. And with the 850+ down fill, you can extend your summer adventures into the cooler nights of autumn without losing fingers and toes to the cold.

xFyro Earbuds

xFyro xS2 Wireless and Waterproof Earbuds

A great soundtrack can really turn a rainy camping weekend around. Not so great, though, when it’s so wet that can’t even wear your headphones without them getting wrecked. Fear not camping musos: the xFyro xS2 Wireless Earbuds have arrived! The award-winning engineers at xFyro audio created the most advanced pair of waterproof earbuds on the market, bringing next-generation technology to today’s active listener. With a waterproof (and dust-proof) rating of IP67, these tiny earbuds can deal with prolonged sessions of singing in the rain. You can even take your soundtrack into the lake with you for a swim… just don’t venture more than 30 feet away from the shore (and your music playing device!). To top it off, these robust xFyro waterproof earbuds are housed in a compact carrying tube that protects the buds, chargers them whilst they’re stored AND can even charge your phone!

Hydaway bottle

Hydaway collapsible water bottle

Say no to useless plastic bottles that are clogging up our landfills, and grab yourself a collapsible Hydaway Bottle that won’t clog up space in your pack. These BPA free silicone bottles are available in 12oz or 21oz volume, and are ideal for travelling, backpacking and camping – clip them onto the outside of your pack or slip one into your handbag for everyday use.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mini Pump

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir mini pump

If you’ve forked out on an expensive featherweight sleeping pad then you don’t really want to go adding to that weight with additional gadgets to inflate it. Or do you? At only 65g, this >Therm-A-Rest mini pump is barely noticeable in your pack, and a day of tough hiking can leave you all puffed out – making inflating your bed a chore. So take the hit on those few extra grams and enjoy a luxurious sleep with no set up effort needed.

Wavetech portable microwave

Wayvtech portable microwave

Now this really is a cool bit of compact camping gear. Yes, it may take away a small bit of the fun of camp cooking, but for those who are a disaster in the kitchen at the best of times, this WayvTech portable microwave will solve all your culinary calamities at the push of the button. A full charge from the mains or your car will provide 30 minutes of wave power, leaving you time and energy to focus on simply enjoying being out in the wild.

Collapsible Kettle Compact Camping Gear

Collapsible kettle

There is a whole range of collapsible camping cookware available, but this kettle is definitely one to add to the camping checklist. It may be somewhat of a luxury when you could just brew up in a collapsible cooking pot, but a good cuppa requires pouring perfection – simply unattainable from a pot. With a 5 cup capacity, you’ll always find time for tea at camp, and with this cool kettle’s compact design, you’ll definitely find space.

Matador Pocket Blanket Compact Camping Gear

Matador pocket blanket

Packing for a day hike means keeping things minimal and as light as possible. Certainly not the time to be adding your new waterproof picnic blanket to your pack – leave that to the glampers. But just as there’s always time for a picnic, there will always be space to add this tiny pocket-sized blanket to your pack. It folds out to 1.6m x 1.1m – just right for some refined mid-hike al fresco dining.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

Sawyer mini water filter

This is an excellent addition to the backpacks of fast and light wilderness campers, where water sources might be questionable and filtering it is key. The Sawyer Mini can be used as a straw, directly from the water source, from your drinking bottle, or attached to a pouch that comes with. At only 57g it’s a huge weight saving on the several litres of water you will need to carry each day. Just make sure you have a water source to filter!

Firebox Nano Stove Compact camping gear

Titanium Folding Firebox Nano 4 oz Ultralight Stove

Diddy and cute it may be but this little plate of lightweight metal certainly packs a punch when it comes to generating heat quickly. The Nano boils two cups of water in 3:10 minutes, and with wood burning and multi-fuel adaptability, it is one of the most powerful and versatile stoves in its class. At only 7.6cm wide and 0.7cm thick when packed down, you’ll need to be careful not to lose this flat-pack cooking solution in the depths of your backpack. And to top it off, it needs no assembly and is adjustable to fit different sized pans and cups – all 113 grams of it.

Handpresso Coffee Maker

Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Maker

What better way to start the day than waking up in the wilderness, tucked up in your sleeping bag, and sipping on a strong, freshly brewed coffee whilst taking in the view?

Wake up now and stop dreaming – you really can do that with the genius of this lightweight portable coffee maker. Eco-friendly and compatible with either ground coffee or ESE coffee pods, the Handpresso works in much the same way as a bicycle pump. And yes – it produces the magic of that perfect morning coffee, wherever you end up.

GoTenna Mesh tracking device

goTenna Mesh

Travelling with a group and trying to stay connected can be almost impossible in some places. But if your group can mesh together when network coverage is down then you’ll be sorted! The genius goTenna Mesh enables you to link up with other mesh users to create your very own network. Plus, the more people that are connected, the stronger your communications. It’s watertight, rechargeable, lightweight and only 4 inches long, making it ideal for outdoor use. All you need is an IOS or Android device with Bluetooth, and some pals to mesh with!

Tent at night with reflective guy lines

Nite Ize Reflective Cord

What could be worse than failing to find where you pitched your tent when returning from a midnight call of nature? Finding it by tripping over the hidden guy lines would probably do it! Replace those pesky hidden guy lines with some Nite Ize Reflective Cord and you’ll never lose your tent (or risk breaking your neck!) again. The tough nylon cord has a special reflective strip woven into it that gives the appearance of a fully illuminated rope when a light is shone on it.

But it’s not just guy lines that this multi-purpose rope is good for. At 2.44mm thick, the lightweight rope is ideal as a washing line, and prevents people from garroting themselves in the night. Or hang up your bear bag with it, making midnight snack time much less complicated! Whenever you need cord at camp, make it the Nite Ize Reflective Cord and you’ll never be caught short in the dark again.

folded camping cutlery

Esbit Titanium Folding Utensils

With a combined weight of only 46g (1.6oz), this featherweight Esbit Utensil Set will be the envy of your camping pals as they pull out their spork that barely does any of its functions sufficiently. You, on the other hand, will be shoveling in your neatly curled noodles with the four strong prongs of your gorgeous fork, and the polished spoon. Slice up some cheese and apple for afters with the serrated edge of your oh-so-sleek knife and you’ll wonder how you ever fed yourself with just a spoon for all those years! Fold the whole lot up and you don’t even have the burden of packing awkward shaped utensils that pierce into all your other gear. On the Christmas list already? Good. They should be.

Purple camping fork with mini carabiner

CRKT Eat’n Tool

Weighing in at a mere 1.5oz (42g), the Eat’n Tool surely must qualify for some kind of Usefulness Per Gram Award? Like a Spork but way better, this multi tool not only enables you to gobble up your dinner without straining your arm muscles, at all, it also offers 3 hex wrenches, a flat head screwdriver, and the icing on the cake: a bottle opener!

The mini carabiner allows you to clip it onto your backpack or belt for meals on the go or some impromptu DIY, and you can even choose from an array of highly fetching colours. All at a very reasonable price I might add. Stocking fillers – sorted!

Cnoc Vecto Water Container

Cnoc Outdoors Vecto Water Container

The 2 litre Vecto Water Container is the ideal hydration partner for backcountry adventures. Its wide opening slider makes refilling super easy – no waiting for ages while your bottle fills up. And the narrow mouthpiece can be guzzled from directly, linked with a water filter, or fitted with a hydration hose. Once you’re done, the BPA free bladder collapses down nicely to disappear in your pack. So smart.

About the author


Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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