Thursday, June 1, 2023


Unusual space- and weight-saving multi-tasking camping gear

By Cheri Sicard
Why pack multiple items in your RV when you can save space and weight by packing multi-tasking camping gear instead?

The team at Playing with Sticks has come up with a list of some of their favorite camping gear that does double or even triple duty.

Not every item will benefit every camper, and the video below is realistic about the pros and the drawbacks of each.

Nonetheless, each of the items featured in the video can do more than one job around your campsite. And digital nomads, gamers, and others who use their computers on the road will especially benefit from some of these items.

The product picks begin with Innopower’s better solar panel. This is a powerful space-saving 200-watt solar panel with 20-70 degree angle adjustments. It even has an indicator light to let you know you have it placed optimally.

So what else does it do? When not in use soaking up solar energy, the panel converts into a sturdy camp table. The host admits he thought it sounded gimmicky when he saw it in the sales literature, and I had the same thought. However, he claims his family ended up regularly using it for this very purpose.

Next up is the Mini Cooker Kettle from Buydeem. For van lifers or those in extremely small spaces, this gadget can eliminate the need for a small stove. It comes with a recipe book that includes soups, porridges and more. Basically, if you can make it in a slow cooker, you can make it in the mini kettle. Of course, this low-wattage glass kettle can also boil water. As it has a handle, you can even eat or drink right out of the kettle, cutting down on dishes.

Next, the portable, and I mean portable with a capital P, tire inflator by Mocteek, unfortunately, did not eliminate the need for an air compressor. But it makes for a good emergency backup plan.

The tiny tire inflator is not much bigger than a cell phone. It’s also a handy flashlight. But its best use is as an emergency backup power source as it features a strong lithium battery.

The video covers three different multi-use camping lanterns. Unfortunately, the color-changing Biolight Base Lantern is no longer in production, but it is still readily available online.  Use it to keep the bugs down in red mode, but it has a rainbow of other color options, too, along with warm light and daylight. It lasts longer than most rechargeable lanterns, but best of all, it also functions as a power bank that can charge your phone, tablet, or other devices.

The MIFA Speaker/Lantern has great sound and a power bank and costs only about $20 more than a decent Bluetooth speaker alone. Camille’s Camping lantern has similar features in a stylish retro-looking exterior.

Lastly, digital nomads and graphic designers will especially want to check out the portable external computer monitors. Leave the huge laptop at home, but still have plenty of monitor space to work with. This is an excellent low-space, low-weight solution to bringing along a desktop computer.

Check out the video for these innovative multi-tasking camping gear picks. I know I had not seen a number of them before.  Hopefully, you, too, will discover some useful surprises.



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