We campers are an independent lot. What we need, we tend to just go out and buy. That makes gift shopping tricky, but there are plenty of “camping enhancers” out there if you know where to look.
Let There Be Light
If you’re a “green” camper, you’re going to love receiving the LightCap 300 solar water bottle light from SolLight. The screw-on cap is topped by a solar panel that charges four white LEDs and one red LED (for night light use). When activated, the LEDs illuminate through your water, turning the bottle into a very usable lantern. And the entire bottle also serves as watertight storage.
Pros: Tough and packable.
Cons: It takes 24 hours of direct sunlight to charge the bottle, but that will yield 8 hours of essential light.
Available: $29.99 at Amazon.com
A Packable Teapot
Silicone has likely invaded some part of your kitchen, from potholders to spatulas. But this new collapsible kettle is not only unique, it could be the only way to pack along your teapot. The stainless steel bottom is bonded to the collapsing silicone top, which folds into itself to a size of just 6.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches deep.
Pros: Holds 40 ounces of hot water and takes up very little space in the RV.
Cons: Only for use on gas or electric stovetops. No open fires, please.
Available: $32 at Amazon.com
Don’t Skip The Workout
When you’re traveling in an RV, it can be pretty difficult to pack along the gym equipment. Even your trusty aerobic jump rope would be a problem. But how about a jump rope, without the rope? A digital jump rope is simply two handles with weighted balls on the end of a shot tether. As you “jump rope,” the balls revolve and mimic the feel of an actual jump rope in your hands. The net result is that you’ll find yourself jumping, as usual, without worrying about tangling the rope. It might look a bit weird, but it’s effective and will give you a solid workout. There’s even a counter on one handle to help you track progress and caloric burn.
Pros: Take it anywhere.
Cons: Fellow campers may think you’re crazy.
Available: $29.98 at Amazon.com
Keep It Steady
The Gerber Steady Multi-Tool is a handy gadget that combines a very functional tripod for compact digital cameras and phones, along with the fine-edged blade that Gerber is famous for. Now, you can take that “selfie” without extending your arms. It also comes with an adjustable phone and camera mount.
Pros: A great knife, with a neat added feature
Cons: No giant SLR cameras, please.
Available: $44.71 at Gifts.com
Catch The Perfect Roasted Marshmallow
We’re always on the lookout for great ways to roast food over open fires (check out our favorite at RollaRoaster.com). Now, we’ve found Firebuggz Fishing Pole Roasters. This unique entry into the roasting game provides a fishing pole to mount up to four marshmallows. Then, you just “fish” in the fire until they are toasty.
Pros: A sure way to keep the kids interested
Cons: Now you have to eat four at once
Available: $24.95 thegrommet.com
One Log, One Fire
Now you can take your campfire anywhere, with no stove, no stack of timber and no mess. The OneLogFire is a unique, packable, complete all-natural fire system. Just light the wick in the hollowed out, kiln-dried log, and the non-toxic fire starters packed inside the log will ignite and give you a warm two-hour fire. It even comes with a handle, and isn’t much larger than a can of paint. Take it anywhere, and make your fires convenient and hassle free.
Pros: Portable, and keeps the fire contained within the log.
Cons: You still have to be careful. It IS a fire.
Available: $23.95 for a two-pack at Onelogfire.com
Until Spring Arrives . . . Indoor S’mores!
If you camp up North, it’s a long time until spring. But that doesn’t mean you can’t share the best tastes of camping with the Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster from Coolthings.com. Just plug in the toasting device, load the side trays with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate, and get busy remembering summer!
Pros: Portable to the deck, and no mess s’mores.
Cons: It’s a one-trick pony, but you end up with s’mores!
Available: $69.95 at Hammacher.com
Your Kid’s First RV
If you’re an RVer with kids (or grandkids) who love to camp too, you know that they adore the Jetaire Camper Play Tent and plush campfire set. The RV/tent brings the campsite right into your home for hours of fun play. Add the “S’more The Merrier” campfire for the full experience.
Pros: A great way to keep the camping fun going all year for your kids.
Cons: Not a thing
Available: $199 for the RV tent, and $69 for the plush campfire at landofnod.com
Don’t Forget The KOA Gifts!
If you’re looking for a “no brainer” gift for your favorite KOA camper, don’t forget the new “KOA And The Art of Kamping” book from our friends at Schiffer Publishing. The hardcover book features a walk through our “Art of Kamping” collection, as well as other memorabilia collected by the authors. And finally, if you just can’t figure out what to give, there’s always a KOA Gift Certificate, available in denominations from $25 to $500. The KOA Gift Certificates are accepted at all KOA campgrounds in North America, and can be used for site fees, KOA store purchases or other “pay for” activities.
Pros: Whether it’s the Art of Kamping book or a gift certificate, both are sure to be appreciated by your special camper.
Cons: What’s not to like?
Available: You can purchase the “KOA And The Art of Kamping” book at Amazon.com. KOA Gift Certificates can be purchased at KOA.com
Other Shopping Resources:
• KOA.com Marketplace: Check out our partners for great deals on RV supplies, rentals, road help services and equipment.