If you're planning your next holiday under the canvas, here are a few bits of tech worth having, from the must-have to the downright bonkers.
Light the way
A torch is a camping essential, but there are times when you just don't have a hand free to light your way. That's where a headlamp proves an invaluable and lightweight addition to your camping kit. Check out the Silva Siju model (RRP £14.99), which is super compact, waterproof and comes with three light modes, enabling you to deal with any little night time emergencies, even when you've got your hands full.
Where a headlamp is just not enough, try the Joby Gorillatorch (£26.89). Water and dust resistant, lightweight and featuring an ultra-bright LED with dimmer control, it has the added advantage of magnetic feet, and wrapable legs so that you can attach it to pretty much anything that happens to be in the vicinity.
Whether you're heading to a campsite or planning a more rugged trip, you'd be surprised how often a multitool comes in handy. For the original, and some would say, the best, try a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, which ranges in price from around the £18 mark to an all-singing, all-dancing £61.99 'Champ'. Alternatively, try the Gerber Steady (from £50), which comes with 12 components including screwdrivers, bottle opener, blade and pliers, as well as acting as a tripod for a compact camera or smartphone.
Part of the fun of camping is cooking dinner over a gas stove, but if the weather's unkind, it can be more of a trial than a joy. Take some of the stress out of mealtimes with the MSR Reactor. Made from hard-anodised aluminium, its real boon is that is enclosed, so you don't have to worry about the wind and rain. It comes in a variety of sizes starting from £59.99 for a 1-litre pot, and the makers claim it boils a litre of water in just three-and-a-half minutes, making your morning cuppa breeze, even if there's a wind.
At the greener, more affordable, and ever so slightly more time consuming end of the scale, the Solar Kettle from Contemporary Energy retails for £35. It only holds approximately half a litre of water, and given that it uses a thermal vacuum tube to convert the sun's rays into heat, takes some two hours to make a brew. But it can also be used to sterilise contaminated water, as well as desalinate sea water - one for the more adventurous outdoor types.
As wondrous as the sounds of nature are, there are times when a few tunes help to set the mood. Since we're rarely without either an iPod or a smartphone these days, the Go Travel Speaker Case (£19.99) is now all you need to add soothing music to your evening. Plus your mobile music device into the retro case and it works either zipped shut, with a transparent rear window allowing you to operate your device, or opened up with integrated stand, and the sound will not disappoint.
And with Bloom Boots (£89.99) you can ensure the music never dies, by carrying your tunes around in all weathers. Complete with a waterproof pocket for your smartphone, these bright yellow wellies connect your device to a Bluetooth-enabled speaker and allow you to listen to Bloom.fm's app and radio streaming, so even the Great British weather won't get the better of you. One for the festival goer rather than the serious camper!
What's your must-have camping gadget? Leave your comments below...