Portable hot tub

11 items that could make any city-slicker love camping

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Sure, camping is all about escaping the daily grind and getting back to nature, but sometimes there’s no harm in having a little boost to make that nature experience even better. If you’re a city slicker seeking a few comforts of home for your tent, or even a backcountry camper who just likes cool toys, these oh-so-fun items will have you embracing the great outdoors to the fullest.

Air conditioner cooler


Can’t sleep in the heat? No problem! This portable, battery-powered air conditioner (rechargeable via both a wall charger and a power cord that can plug into your cigarette lighter) will you keep your tent cool even as the sun comes up. It also doubles as a cooler, although we wouldn’t recommend keeping a food-stocked cooler in your tent if you’re out in bear country. More info: icybreeze.com

Mini espresso maker

Instant coffee? Please. Get your morning americano fix with the Minipresso by Wacaco. It’s small (175 mm), it’s light (weighs less than a pound), and it’ll turn you into a campground barista. Just be warned that other campers may come your way for a cup of java once they smell that roast. More info: wacaco.com

Shower shelter

Feel grubby no more! Wash off a day’s worth of camping dirt without trekking to the nearest comfort station. Instead, set up this lightweight and waterproof (of course) shelter that comes with a shower head loop (you’ll need to buy the shower system separately), storage pockets, and even a towel rack. More info: homedepot.ca

Propane-powered shower

Of course, a shower shelter won’t cut it with just a bucket of cold water. To get the full cleaning, you’ll need hot water, which you can get from a propane-powered water pump. This one’s storage tank holds enough water for a 10-minute shower, and you can heat up more than 60 gallons of water before having to recharge the batter or refill your propane. There’s a 6-volt pump, too, so the pressure should wipe off that camp grime for good. More info: zodi.com

Glow-in-the-dark water bottle

It’s a water bottle, no it’s a flashlight… no it’s both! Leave this BPA-free Tritan bottle in a lighted spot, then watch it glow once it gets dark. Kids can keep it by their sleeping bag for midnight thirsts, as well as midnight runs to the privy. More info: canadiantire.ca

Compartment cooking pans

No worrying about who wants what for dinner with these pans that let you cook multiple meals and sides all in the same pan. Just make sure to time it right when you’re adding to the pan so that you don’t end up overcooking your veggies while waiting for your protein to fry. More info: glampinggirl.com

Portable flushing toilet


Are a few of your campers not fond of peeing in the bush? Well, they won’t have to with a portable flushing toilet. This one has both fresh and waste tanks for easy disposal, and a piston pump and slide valve flush system. Just remember that it doesn’t come with toilet paper. More info: colemancanada.ca

Lotus belle tent

Have a way better night’s sleep in this luxurious tent that will make you feel like a sultan. With a four-metre diameter, this palace-like tent offers plenty of space to move around. Toss in some throw pillows for a sitting area, because you might want to spend your entire trip in here. More info: lotusbelle.com.au

Wine tote and nesting wine glasses

You may not have access to your wine cellar while you’re in the woods, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sipping your evening Shiraz in style. GSI’s Wine Tote includes a 750 ml soft-sided wine carafe, a zippered pocket for nesting wine glasses (you’ll have to buy those separately), and a shoulder strap so you can easily carry your wine with you wherever you go. GSI’s nesting glasses also hold hot drinks, so you can even switch from chilled to mulled wine when the night gets cool. More info: gsioutdoors.com

Deluxe camp kitchen

Cook up at a feast in this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink portable set-up. With shelving, a towel rack, spice rack, utensil hooks, zippered fabric “pantry,” heat-resistant tabletop, and removable wash basin, this portable kitchen has everything you’ll need to cook up a real meal once you’re sick of hot dogs over the fire. More info: basspro.com

Collapsible hot tub

The lake might be cold, but you don’t have to worry about the chills, because back at your campsite, you’ve got a warm spot to soak! This portable hot tub has a 60-inch diameter, so it can seat you and a friend or two comfortably. Unfortunately  there’s no larger size available, so you won’t be able to have any serious hot tub parties. You’ll need to buy the heater coil separately, which can be heated with propane or firewood. More info: theoriginalnomad.com