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Summer camping is the best — and camping when it's warmer outside comes with perks like swimming, lighter clothing, and grilling for family and friends. As long as you stay hydrated and bring a few necessities that will keep you cool, you can have a great time in the great outdoors, no matter how hot it is. You probably already know the basics and have them in your backpack, RV, or truck at the ready (UV gaiters are must, as is sunscreen and bug repellant!), but we wanted to find some things that you may not have on your packing list.
There are some great summer-only camping products that will help make the experience a little more manageable — whether it's because the heat can be uncomfortable and you need solutions, or you're looking for fun summer-themed products that will really come in handy for that family trip, we rounded up a few of our favorite finds. These summer camping products will keep you comfortable in the heat — and okay, some of them aren't as necessary as others (an outdoor popcorn maker made the cut because come on, freshly-popped popcorn around the campsite sounds like a good time), but all of them will enhance your next weekend trip. Check our list below for what we're packing for a camping trip this summer:
1. Stay Cool With These Useful Towels
Don't let the heat stop you from enjoying hiking or other camping activities — and this pack of cooling towels should be a must-have on your summer camping gear list. Soak these microfiber towels in water, wring out the excess liquid, and shake them a few times — it'll keep you cooler for up to three hours. It's also great for pets, and is machine-washable or easy to clean by hand.
2. Try Out A Fan To Keep Cool In Your Tent
This is one of the best battery-operated fans for your next camping trip you can find (especially car camping during summer). The 5-inch fan lasts up to 214 hours for use on low speed, 46 hours with medium speed, and 14 hours with high speed. The 180-degree rotation cools your whole sleeping area, too. There's even a timer option, and it's battery-operated but has an included USB cable that you can connect to a power bank, so you'll never run out of ways to keep this fan on all night.
3. A Bracelet That Fights Off Mosquitoes
We've raved about these bracelets before. They're a great chemical-free alternative to bug spray, but they're also fantastic to use as an additional layer of protection — and in the summer, you can never have too much bug protection. This 10-pack is DEET-free and made with essential oils like geraniol oil, lemongrass oil, and citronella oil. These organic, non-GMO, and cruelty-free bracelets are also waterproof, so you can wear them out to the pool, lake, or while in the kayak. Each band will also last up to 250 hours, so they'll last the entire weekend getaway.
4. The Best Water Bottle Holder for Hiking
Carrying your water bottle by hand is such a hassle, but you need a water bottle with you at all times in the summer. This bottle cover can be hooked onto your backpack or you can carry it over your shoulder (there's a comfy shoulder strap). It will also carry your essentials — it has pockets for your key, iPhone, and credit card so you don't have to weigh yourself down with a backpack (that will only add to the heat!) Another summertime bonus: it fits your typical YETI or Camelback 32-ounce water bottles, but it will also fit in a plastic Gatorade or water bottle and keep it ice cold for up to four hours.
6. A Five-Gallon Jug To Stay Hydrated
This five-gallon drink dispenser is a must-have solution for staying hydrated on the campsite. Of course you probably already have your cooler for beverages and food, but chances are it can't hold five-gallons of water in addition to all of the other stuff you need inside of there. This heavy-duty option with a steel handle guarantees you will have plenty of fresh, cold water during a particularly hot camping outing, and it will be a great additional product to take with you that will ensure you won't have to resort to buying expensive plastic jugs of water just to get the water you need.
7. A Lightweight Camping Mat is a Better Option Than a Heavy Sleeping Bag
This ultralight camping mat has a pillow attached to it and is a way lighter alternative than a heavy sleeping bag — just inflate it and top with a light blanket, and you're good to go. It's also great to use to lay down by the lake or riverside, and it's quick drying and deflates and folds down to the size of a water bottle when you're done with it. A reviewer gave it five stars and wrote: "I have used this 5 times this summer and have zero complaints. Sleeps great, small, and light."
8. A Water Bottle With a Mister Attachment
This water bottle is a fun but useful invention to have on you when you get really hot while camping, biking, or hiking. It's a standard water bottle, but also has the ability to mist you when you're getting extra-hot, so it's a great two-in-one product for those blistering days. It has a leak-proof, pull-top silicone spout cover, and it has a mylar lining to ensure water stays cooler for longer. Reviewers love the wide mouth so it can accommodate ice cubes, and that it fits in most bike water holders.
9. An Easy-to-Use Outdoor Shower
When it's hot, nothing feels better than a shower — but if you're camping, that's not so easy to do. Enter this heat-absorbing and leak-proof five-gallon shower that's small to pack and incredibly easy to use. Just fill it with whatever water you have around (even from the creek!), put it out in the sun for a bit, and it heats up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in three hours — or, if you prefer cold showers, you can use it right away (there's a temperature indicator on the back). This also comes with a hose, a shower head, and a water tap, so you don't need to purchase anything else to get this going. The shower head has an easy on/off switch and a choice of a low or high water flow. Reviewers say it can last for up to three showers without having to replace the water — even more if you're just getting sunscreen off or taking a quick wash to cool down.
10. A Solar Charger for When You're On-the-Go
Everyone needs a portable charger. Yeah, your phone may not have the best signal on a camping trip, but that doesn't mean you should give up on having a charged phone. Stay prepped with a solar-charged power bank — and when the sun's out all day, you can ensure you'll have an option to charge your phone whenever you need it. This power bank is dust-proof, heat-resistant, and even drop-proof. That means no damage caused by the elements. For daily charging, consider charging it at home first, or charge it via one of two USB ports for concerts, sports events, airports, fishing trips, and more. We love that this power bank also doubles as a LED flashlight, and it can work continuously for up 100 hours and send SOS signals for emergencies.
11. The Perfect Product For Summer Snacking
If you think hot dogs and marshmallows taste better over a campfire, wait until you try popcorn popped over a wood fire, charcoal, or gas grill. This tin outdoor popcorn maker makes three quarts of popcorn in just under five minutes. Making a fluffy batch that isn't burnt is simple, thanks to the steam vents. This popcorn maker is safe to use over a fire, and there's a long wooden handle to keep your hands safe. It's also super easy to clean — the non-stick coating just needs a wipe down with a paper towel. This is such a fun addition to your camp cookware.