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Camping season is here! While hauling out last season’s dusty gear to clean and freshen isn’t a lot of fun, assessing what you have and what you need, then picking up some new toys, IS fun! I scoured the Best Buy website for some cool new equipment that can make camping easy.

Secur 4-in-1 Light & Power Bank
Light is so important when you’re out in the woods. Power is too, so why not get a device that covers both those needs. The rainproof 4-in-1 Secur Light & Power Bank does everything, from charging your iPhone or iPad (meaning you can keep the kids from getting bored) to keeping your campsite illuminated when the fire burns low. You’ll get about three iPhone charges from this device, and it even has a handy magnetic base so it’ll stick to a car, truck or RV.

Secur 4000mAh Solar Panel Charger
Another environmentally friendly option for charging is to use the sun. The Solar Power Bank 4000 charger from Secur uses the light all around us to keep keep smartphones, tablets, GPS, or cameras charged. Dual ultra-high-efficiency solar panels provide up to four times the charging power of traditional solar panels; in fact, you can charge a cell phone up to 4 times on a single charge.

BioLite CampStove Wood/Biomass Camping Stove Bundle
This device bundle is on top of my wish list because it provides heat, and power. I tested one out last season and found it very handy. The CampStove uses wood to cook and grill, and then also converts the heat into usable electricity for charging. How? The stove converts heat from a wood fire into electricity using a thermoelectric generator in an attached power pack. The heat powers a fan that blows air back into the burn chamber for better combustion, and surplus electricity goes to the USB port allowing device charging.

The stove also has energy storage capabilities via its integrated lithium ion battery which will hold the energy you’ve created, to use later. An LED dashboard allows you to monitor your power generation and battery level. That cool technology aside, the CampStove will boil water in just a couple minutes too so it’s perfect for early morning coffee, particularly since this kit comes with a kettle too (as well as a grill attachment for the stove!). Check out the test video to see how the kit’s core, the CampStove works.

Zippo 2-Burner Propane Windproof Camping Stove
If a more traditional camp stove is your thing, you’ll like this version by fire and burning stalwart Zippo. Dual burners produce 17,000 BTUs of heating power, while the push button ignition means quick and easy starts; just like their lighters! The burner and chimney design also protect the stove from wind and direct more heat up towards your pot or pan, meaning cooking is quick and easy. The lid also locks in place so it won’t bang around during transport.

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World Famous Stainless Steel Cookset
You’ll need some pots and to cook in whichever stove you choose. I own this kit from World Famous, and I can’t tell you how handy it it. It’s super compact, with handles that fold in for easy and space-efficient storage and transport in the included mesh bag.The stainless steel cleans easily, doesn’t hold onto odours and copper bases distribute heat quickly and evenly.

Danawares Frozen Kid’s Camp Chair
When you’re spending hours at camp or circled round the fire, comfort is key. It’s also nice when everyone has their own place to chill. Getting your kids their own chairs gives them their own space to feel proud of. The Danawares Frozen camp chair features favourite characters from Disney’s Frozen. It’s made for kids aged 3 to 10, comes with a cup holder in the arm rest, and it folds down for transport, tucking away easily inside its nylon carrying case.

Sportz by Napier Compact Short Bed 2-Person Truck Tent

When it’s time to turn in for the night, this might be my new favourite tenting option. This tent kit fits into the back of a truck bed creating a restful sleeping area for two. The Sportz Truck Tent has over 5.6 feet of headroom with vents and windows for fresh air. There’s another smart feature; a rear access door allows you into the truck’s cab for additional storage and the colour-coded pole and sleeve system makes for a fast, easy setup.

My personal must-haves: Wine glasses and a head lamp

govino.jpgMy camping kit is pretty lean, but there are a few items that I always bring along. I always take 4 Govino wine glasses. They’re shatterproof plastic, but they look like fine crystal. They’re perfect for campfire charcuterie. I also always pack a headlamp for hands-free cooking at night, or trips to a dirty outhouse when you don’t want to set anything down.

What gear do you need with you on outdoor getaways? Whether it’s your must-haves, or your ‘glamping’ accessories, let me know!

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog