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Must-have camping gadgets and gear

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Cool camping gear

Camping season is upon us. But before you head out into the wilderness we wanted to help make sure you're ready for anything. Whether you're a camping novice or you spend more time in a tent than in your house during the summer, we have a cool tool for you. Check out our picks for must-have gadgets and gear to pick up and pack before you hit the road.

GSI Outdoors Espresso Maker

GSI Outdoors Espresso Maker

If you're a coffee drinker, the thought of being on a multiday camping trip without your morning mug is probably enough to make you consider staying home. Enjoy the outdoors and a shot of espresso with this cool gadget. The lightweight European-style espresso machine makes four steaming servings and is designed for use over your camp stove. $35 at REI.com

Coleman Fold ‘N’ Go InstaStart Portable Propane Grill

Coleman Fold 'N' Go InstaStart Portable Propane Grill

Grilling things over an open fire is a lot harder than it looks. Not being able to control the temperature means "well done" is usually the only option. Avoid burning dinner every night and create great meals on the go with this portable camping grill that has enough room to cook grub for up to six people. $80 at Amazon.com

SteriPEN Journey

SteriPEN Journey

If you're heading into the backcountry, you're going to need a good water purification system. Rather than relying on the use of chemicals, test strips or having to spend what feels like hours pumping water through a filter, give this cool gadget a go. The handy water purifying device uses shortwave ultraviolet light to disrupt the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other icky things that could make you sick, rendering them harmless. The LCD screen lets you know when the water is safe to drink. $100 at Steripen.com

Eton Scorpion Solar Powered Digital Weather Radio

Eton Scorpion Solar-Powered Digital Weather Radio

This durable, multipurpose gadget does it all — it's an LED flashlight, AM/FM radio, weather band radio (so you can tune in to monitor approaching storms) and USB cellphone charger. Oh, and it's also solar and hand-crank powered to ensure you can use it even if the sun refuses to come out. $47 at Amazon.com

Solar Powered Water Bottle Cap

Solar-Powered Water Bottle Cap

Turn any standard wide-mouth reusable bottle into a solar-powered lantern to light up your campsite or your tent with this unique LED cap. Simply pop the lid onto your bottle of choice and the high output solar panel charges up the four bright white LEDs. Voila — bottle cap and a light source in one. $20 at Thinkgeek.com

Garmin GPSMAP 62stc GPS

Garmin GPSMAP 62stc GPS

Avoid getting lost on the way to the campsite or while on a hike with this rugged, hand-held GPS built for the great outdoors. The compact yet sturdy device makes it easy to stay on track and the altimeter tracks changes in barometric pressure and plots pressure over time to help you keep track of changing weather conditions. It even has a built-in 5 megapixel digital camera. $480 at Amazon.com

Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink

No one likes dish duty (especially when camping), but you can make washing up much easier with this compact camp sink. What starts off as a pocket-size pouch unfolds into a sturdy, standalone lightweight wash tub for simple post-meal cleanup. $30 at Summithut.com

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Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink

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