31 Portable & Ultralight Backpacking Gadgets Made for Exploring

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By Nathan Jude | Updated: August 3, 2021

Want the best? Head straight to the top 6 backpacking gadgets we’re geeking out over!

A study found that the proportion of total backpackers over the age of 30 has doubled in recent years. [source]

It just goes to show that you’re never too old and it’s never too late!

As you’re gearing up for your next big adventure, it’s important that you carefully reflect on what you’re going to take with you. 

Whatever you do take needs to be absolutely necessary otherwise it will just weigh you down!

From solving difficult travel problems to making your trip an experience to cherish, we have compiled the best backpacking gadgets for you.

backpacking gadgets

The Best Backpacking Gadgets & Gear in 2024

1. Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator

If you constantly dread losing your way in the wild, the Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator can be your little guardian angel. 

This satellite communicator uses the 100% global Iridium network to help you send and receive messages wherever you are. It also includes an SOS alert that will directly go to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center so that your safety is guaranteed. 

Ultra-portable and ultra-durable, you can take this gadget along for countless adventures.

It’s also worth noting that alongside its amazing messaging and SOS services, the device lets you use maps, color imagery, NOAA charts, and detailed updates on weather forecasts. 

Buy on Amazon

2. Thermacell No-Spray Portable Mosquito Repeller

Mosquitoes have always been the worst camping killjoys. But with the Thermacell No-Spray Portable Mosquito Repeller, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

It requires no sprays and no unnecessary scents. It also runs on refills that will last you for a long time.

On activation, this mosquito repeller creates a 15-foot shield around you that protects you from mosquitoes for 12 hours in a go!

Just one look at it will tell you how lightweight, sturdy, and durable this it is so you know that you’ll never have to bother about annoying mosquitoes ruining your camping trip again.

Buy on Amazon

3. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Travel with the confidence that you’ll never run out of fresh water to drink with the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

This slim and ultralight lets you purify up to 1,000 gallons of water with it. This means it will constantly accompany you to all your adventures.

The best part? This device uses no chlorine, iodine, or other chemicals to purify contaminated water and requires no fussy batteries. Since water is the most essential element of your adventure, this water filter is literally going to be your lifesaver!

It goes without saying that this device kills all forms of waterborne bacteria and parasites so you drink the cleanest, BPA-free drinking water from the source. 

For using LifeStraw on the go, the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is a great option.

Buy on Amazon

4. Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

Camping requires packing light which requires carrying bare minimum clothes which obviously require to be washed before they’re reused. This is where the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag fits in.

This portable washing machine is a foldable bag that includes a scrubbing texture inside so all that you get out of it is clean laundry.

Simply unfold it, drop your clothes and cleaning liquid inside, seal the bag, and give it a nice little scrubbing from the outside for squeaky clean hiking clothes without any fuss.

Once you’re done, simply dry it and tuck the small laundry bag inside your backpack.

Buy on Amazon 

5. VSSL Essential First Aid Kit & Flashlight

VSSL Essential First Aid Kit with Flashlight

While a first aid kit holds the most important spot in your backpack, it doesn’t necessarily have to be bulky. This is why the VSSL Essential First Aid Kit & Flashlight is a smart choice.

The compact gear cleverly packs everything you need within a military-grade flashlight. This makes it literally, and metaphorically “the light in the darkness.”

From thermometers to large bandages and antibiotics, this kit covers all your emergency medical needs.

What’s great is that this first-kit-cum-flashlight is 100% waterproof, sleek, lightweight, and durable. Simply toss it in your backpack and you’re good to go!

Buy on Uncommon Goods

6. BioLite Campstove With Electricity Generation For USB Charging

A camp stove is great. But a camp stove with a USB charger is out of the world!

Meet the BioLite Campstove With Electricity Generation for USB Charging. Alongside, of course, helping you cook your meals through better combustion, this stove converts that same fire into electricity which then goes on to power your devices.

The electricity it generates is stored in its 2600 mAh battery which is enough for USB charging your device while it’s on or whenever you need it.

This portable and durable camp stove comes with sturdy, foldable aluminum legs for support. 

Buy on Amazon

7. Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove

Made from galvanized steel, this folding pocket stove from Esbit is the perfect cooking companion for anyone who likes to keep their gear as light as possible when backpacking.

Weighing in at an incredible 6.3 oz (180g), you’ll completely forget it’s even there until you start feeling a little peckish.

It has been engineered to sit in two cooking positions, which allows for small and medium sized utensils such as mugs and pots.

We really like that Esbit has included six 14g solid fuel tablets making this package a great deal.

Buy on Amazon

8. Frog & Co. Waterproof & Windproof Dual Arc Plasma Lighter

The Frog & Co. Waterproof & Windproof Dual Arc Plasma Lighter is the ultimate flame gadget you’ll need on your adventure.

You don’t need any batteries or fuel to light the flame with this lighter because it comes with a rechargeable USB cable. It lets you light the flame up to 300 times on a single charge so you know it will last you throughout your trip.

It’s windproof and waterproof so you can light it up in just about any weather.

The device also comes with a para tinder cord so you have instant flame whenever you need it. It also includes a flashlight and a whistle which are sure to come in handy for the trip. 

Buy on Amazon

9. HIKENTURE 4-in-1 Stainless Steel Camping Utensil

The HIKENTURE 4-in-1 Stainless Steel Camping Utensil packs your most important cutlery in one utensil.

It includes a knife, fork, spoon, and bottle opener which are all detachable so you can effortlessly use whichever utensil you need.

The material is not only ultra-portable and ultra-durable but it’s also compact and rust-free. This makes it a total winner in terms of quality and ease of use.

This traveler’s essential comes in a nice little nylon pouch for you to pack it in. 

Buy on Amazon

10. Bulin Lightweight Backpacking Cooking Set

The Bulin Lightweight Backpacking Cooking Set smartly stashes all your cookware in a compact collapsible bundle.

Made of only the best quality materials, the cooking set includes:

Despite the many pieces it comes with, it is surprisingly easy to pack and fits perfectly inside your backpack.

Buy on Amazon

11. Biodegradable Outdoor Wipes by Combat Wipes

In the wild, you can’t exactly set up a nice little bath whenever you feel like it. However, with the Biodegradable Outdoor Wipes by Combat Wipes you can stay fresh at all times.

Unlike regular wipes, it comes with an efficient cloth texture that not only makes you feel fresh as ever but also remains gentle on your skin. Its aloe vera and vitamin E infusion provide your skin the nourishment it needs.

It’s worth noting that these wipes are biodegradable and come folded in a single-wipe pull-out. This means they’re both easy to use and dispose of. 

Buy on Amazon

12. Wacaco Portable Espresso Machine

A nice hot cup of coffee feels like a warm hug during outdoor adventures. With the Wacaco Portable Espresso Machine, you can now make the perfect espresso whenever and wherever you need it.

Since the machine is operated manually, you don’t have to worry about charging it. It also boasts a sleek, compact design which makes it highly portable and versatile.

With this device, you even get to have complete control over the way your coffee is ground. Its simple and clean design lets you extract your coffee in a breeze!

Buy on Amazon

Love a good shot of espresso? So do we! We love them so much we created an article on the best gadgets for coffee connoisseurs.

13. iMaxAlarm 130dB Personal SOS Alarm

With the iMaxAlarm 130dB Personal SOS Alarm, you can rest assured about your safety and security no matter where you are in the wilderness.

This sleek, elegant, and lightweight device is capable of sending off a loud siren/alarm that can go over 130 dB so that you can stay calm knowing that the rescue teams will be alerted during an emergency.

The device is extremely portable and robust. You can toss it in your backpack, purse, pocket, or even wear it around your neck.

Buy on Amazon

14. Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio & Powerbank

No matter how how extreme your camping trip is, the Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio & Powerbank is the one gadget you’ll most certainly need.

The all-in-one device includes the following indispensable camping gears:

It’s also worth noting that if power isn’t available, you can make use of its solar charging as a final resort. 

Buy on Amazon

15. RANDY SUN 100% Waterproof Backpacking Socks

Nothing can be worse than water seeping into your socks whenever you’re outdoors, and if you’ve ever wished there was a solution to this annoying and inconvenient problem, the RANDY SUN 100% Waterproof Backpacking Socks are here to grant that wish.

These socks are waterproof through and through which means you can now have a carefree hiking experience.

In addition, they are breathable and lightweight, thus keeping your feet dry and comfy and their soft, cushion sole protects you from any kinds of blisters.

Buy on Amazon

16. Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern

The best part about the Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern is that it runs on solar power so you won’t find the need for batteries or electricity.

It has a USB charging and can be used as an emergency power bank. This makes it a unique and versatile gadget that every camping enthusiast would love to have.

The lantern has high, low, and SOS light modes so you can use it for different moods as well as for sending emergency alerts.

We love how you can collapse this lantern to 2.4 times smaller after use which saves up a lot of space in your backpack.

Buy on Amazon

17. Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Music elevates your camping experience and the Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker elevates your music experience.

This speaker comes with high-capacity battery life so you can play your music for a long time. Its interface design and silicon case are not only waterproof but also shockproof and dustproof. This means neither rain, nor the wind can kill your beats.

With the help of its carabiner, you can hang it just about anywhere and enjoy your music. You can even pick up your calls through its Bluetooth feature. 

Buy on Amazon

18. Collapsible Water Bottle by Niki Singlaub

Collapsible Water Bottle by Niki Singlaub

The Collapsible Water Bottle by Niki Singlaub truly defines utility + aesthetic goals.

You can literally carry this water bottle in your pocket when you’re on your hiking trail. When you’re thirsty, pop the bottle open and when you’re done drinking the water, simply collapse it and toss it in your purse, pocket, or pack.

It also goes without saying that this bottle is odor- and BPA-free, so all you get to drink from it is clean, fresh water. 

Buy on Uncommon Goods

19. Stainless Steel Retractable Straw

stainless steel retractable straw

It’s important to reduce rubbish, especially when you’re on your trails. You can do this by ditching the plastic straws and opting for the Stainless Steel Retractable Straw instead.

This eco-friendly straw can be reused countless times which means you can never run out of straws.

The kit includes a stainless steel straw that you can use for sipping your beverages, a straw cleaning brush to keep your straw tidy, a straw holder, and a hook & keyring to hand it wherever you want.

The straw and brush are retractable so you can save some space by stashing it neatly inside the holder. 

Buy on Etsy

20. Collapsible Silicone Dog Bowl

If your dog is accompanying you on your next trail, including the Collapsible Silicone Dog Bowl in your backpack would be a great idea.

When your dog needs food, simply pop the bowl out and fill it with food. Since the bowl is made of silicon, it is water, sand, and dustproof. It’s also BPA so your dog stays safe from other toxins.

Once done, you can simply collapse it into a flat disc and save up a ton of space.

It comes with a carabiner which can use to hang the bowl wherever you see fit. You can even start playing frisbee with the bowl when you’re not using it. 

Buy on Amazon

21. Ultralight & Compact Camping Chair

With the Ultralight & Compact Camping Chair, you don’t have to make do with sitting on the grass on your camping trails anymore.

What makes it ultra-portable is its compact and easy-to-carry design. Despite weighing just 2 pounds, this chair is capable of holding weight up to 250 lbs so you know you can easily carry it just about anywhere.

You can easily set it up just wherever you plan to sit and fold it down when you don’t need it anymore. Made of durable and heavy-duty materials, this versatile device will sustain even the roughest of terrains. 

Buy on Amazon

22. Gatorade Gatorade Prime Energy Chews

The Gatorade Gatorade Prime Energy Chews are the perfect energy boosters you will need on the go.

Whether you’re gearing up for a challenging hiking trail or other sport, popping these energy chews right before action is sure to amp up your fuel so you know you’re ready for an adventure of any kind.

It’s worth noting that they are the most researched energy boosters and have a legacy of over 50 years which means they’re the best energy chews you’ll find in the market. 

Buy on Amazon

23. Power Talkie Off-Grid Communication Device

Power Talkie Off Grid Communication Device fulfills the necessity to carry a communication device that would work even if there is no network.

The Power Talkie Off-Grid Communication Device is an advanced two-way walkie talkie that lets you secure a long-range and reliable source of communication no matter how difficult the situation gets.

By downloading the Power Talkie Smart App on your mobile phone, you can send voice and SMS text messages even without the need for WiFi or a cellular network.

You can even use its rechargeable battery as an emergency power bank and send emergency SOS alerts. 

Buy on Amazon

24. Garmin Instinct Tactical – Rugged GPS Watch

The Garmin Instinct Tactical – Rugged GPS Watch may be one of the most important adventure essentials you will need.

The watch has a world-class barometric altimeter, compass, and GPS that lets you track your adventure no matter how challenging it seems.

It also monitors your heart rate, stress, and other activities. It has a solid battery life – powerful enough to work 16 hours in GPS mode and 14 days in smartwatch mode.

Since it’s built to match the U.S. Military standard, it is not only water-resistant (up to 100 meters) but also shockproof so you know it will sustain throughout all your adventures. 

Buy on Amazon

25. 3-in-1 Portable Backpacking Hammock

The 3-in-1 Portable Backpacking Hammock is the ultimate hammock any camping enthusiast will ever need.

Alongside the ample comfort it offers, this hammock comes with a high-quality mosquito net that will keep you protected from mosquitoes no matter where you’re camping. Its hood provides a comforting shade to protect you from harsh sunlight.

Although it’s ultra-light, it can withstand a weight that’s up to 440 lbs., making it sufficiently spacious for just about anyone.

In case of an emergency, you can even use it as a tent, provided you place it on dry ground. 

Buy on Amazon

26. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflating Backpacking Pillows

The TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflating Backpacking Pillows ensure that you always have a good night’s sleep on every adventure of yours.

This magical backpacking pillow weighs just 2.75 oz and inflates to the world’s most comfortable pillow within just 3-5 breaths. You can even deflate it within seconds which cuts out all the fuss associated with other messy inflatable pillows.

Alongside securing the ultimate comfort, this pillow is slip-resistant so you don’t have to worry about your head moving about the pillow while you’re asleep. 

Buy on Amazon

27. Sleepingo Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad

When it comes to camping sleeping pads, you would obviously look for something that is comfortable and portable. The Sleepingo Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad perfectly meets this requirement.

Weighing just 14.5 oz, this sleeping pad can be inflated easily to provide a 2-inch-thick support surface for sleeping. Made of high quality, sturdy material, this sleeping pad will let you sleep like a baby and wake up without any backaches.

It’s not only waterproof but tearproof too so use you can use it just about anywhere.

Once you’re done using the sleeping pad, you can simply fold it down to the size of a slim water bottle and stash it away in its sleek pouch.

Buy on Amazon

28. MOICO 1000 Lumen LED Rechargeable Headlamp

Unlike other bulky headlights, the MOICO 1000 Lumen LED Rechargeable Headlamp weighs just 2.44 oz, which makes it ultralight and ultraportable.

It has a rechargeable battery that can be easily USB charged with Portable power banks like the FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio.

We love its motion sensor design which lets you turn the light on or off just by waving your palm. It also comes with 8 working light modes which let you meet your ever light requirement.

It’s waterproof and fit for use in every weather condition. It also has a 60-degree flexibility range that lets your headlight reach different ranges and angles. 

Buy on Amazon

29. Etsfmoa LED Headlamp Beanie

A regular headlamp can be annoying if you’re backpacking in cooler weather.

With the Etsfmoa LED Headlamp Beanie, you have a unique and inbuilt headlight that’s stitched into a warm and fuzzy beanie. This means you can now go night exploring while staying warm and comfy.

Since it comes with a rechargeable battery, you can charge it from just about any USB port. A single charge will let you use the flashlight for 8 hours straight so you get your whole night of adventure covered.

You can even adjust the flashlight’s brightness levels as per your surroundings. 

Buy on Amazon

This beanie is also perfect for dimly lit campsites. If you enjoy spending a few days in the great outdoors, then you’ll love our article on the best camping gadgets for your next trip.

30. 24L Waterproof Pack-able Backpack

24L Waterproof Pack-able Backpack

The 24L Waterproof Pack-able Backpack is just the backpack you need to beat the rains.

Weighing only 5.5 oz, this backpack won’t wear you down on your trails. It comes with a waterproof surface, dry bag roll-top closure, and a water-resistant zipper so that there is no chance of water seeping inside it.

Though this bag looks impressively sleek, it has 100% capacity to stand the test of time, weather, and rugged terrains so you know it’s fit for all your adventures.

It has a compact design which lets you even fold this backpack and pack it away in case you need the right backup option. 

Buy on Uncommon Goods

31. BEARZ 55″ x 60″ Outdoor Waterproof Blanket

The BEARZ 55″ x 60″ Outdoor Waterproof Blanket lets you fit your hiking blanket or your travel mat in your pocket.

With an extremely versatile design, you can use it as a waterproof picnic blanket, hiking blanket, camping tarp, travel mat, and even a beach blanket.

This device won’t get worn out no matter how rugged the ground is. However, make sure you keep it dry on wet/damp ground when taking breaks so that the blanket doesn’t get affected.

It’s waterproof, sand proof, puncture-resistant, and comes with hoops that will enable you to use it as a camping tarp.

Carry it around easily in the included cool, protective pouch with carabiner.

Buy on Amazon

The Top 6 Backpacking Gadgets We’re Geeking Out Over

Garmin inReach GPS Satellite Communicator

An all-in-one safety & navigation device.

Buy on Amazon

3-in-1 Portable Backpacking Hammock

A versatile & ultralight sleeping solution.

Buy on Amazon

Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

Clean your clothes absolutely anywhere.

Buy on Amazon

Bulin Backpacking Cooking Set

An entire cooking set in one easy-to-carry package.

Buy on Amazon

Biodegradable Outdoor Wipes by Combat Wipes

The most environmentally friendly wipes available.

Buy on Amazon

Solar Hand Crank Radio & Powerbank

An emergency device you’ll be glad you packed.

Buy on Amazon

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backpacking gadgets

Hey! I'm Nathan Jude, also known as the HPGE (Human Powered Gadget Engine) and I freaking love all things gadgets. I started 6gadgets.com to share my passion and geek out with other like minded 'tech heads'! If I'm not searching the globe for new gizmos, you'll find me on the golf course or spending time with my beautiful family.

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