Four Essential, Space-Saving Pieces of Camping Gear

Lightweight, ingenious outdoor gear that’ll drop pounds from your pack.

Outdoor camping gear setup.
A lighter pack is a better pack.Kyle Glenn via Unsplash

Long-distance hikers and backpackers obsess over minimizing the weight of their gear. More sportsmen would certainly benefit from doing the same, especially those who intend to cover miles or spend substantial time in the wilderness. Because, after all, hunters and anglers have the added weight of a rifle or fishing tackle to reckon with. We’ve rounded up four ingenious pieces of camping gear that’ll help shed pounds from your pack and prove super handy in the backcountry.

MPowerd Luci 2.0 Pro
An easy-to-pack solar light source.Amazon

The Luci inflatable solar lights won us over on a recent Alaskan fishing trip. The Pro model puts out an impressive 150 lumens of light and lasts 50 hours per charge. It’s also waterproof and rechargeable via USB if sunlight is in short supply. Perhaps most notably, the Luci 2.0 weighs just 4.4 ounces—about equal to a deck of cards—and deflates to 1.5-inch-thick, 5-inch-wide disk, making it a perfect, easy-to-pack way to provide light to your campsite.

UCO Grilliput Portable Camping Grill
A cleverly designed cooking grate.Amazon

If you’re bent on cooking over an open fire, this stainless-steel, 19.8-ounce portable camping grill creates a 9.1-inch-by-10.2-inch cooking surface when assembled and breaks down to an 11.4-inch-by-0.9-inch tube, for relatively easy storage and packing. According to user reviews, the grill isn’t quite as durable as, say, a heavy-duty welded steel grate. But that’s no real surprise. What the Grilliput will do is pack easily and help you reduce weight.

Gerber Dime Keychain Multi-tool
A practical tool in a mini package.Amazon

A wave of mini keychain multi-tools have hit the market over the past few years. But many of these bitty tools, though novel, tend not to be terribly practical in the backcountry. The Gerber Dime is an outlier in this regard. The 2.24-ounce workhorse boasts 10 different tools—a bottle opener, needle-nose pliers, a wire cutter, a blade, a package opener, scissors, a medium-flat driver, a crosshead driver, tweezers, and a file. And yet, through some next-level design know-how, the stainless-steel Dime measures just 2.75 inches when closed, and users have applauded the little wonder for its quality and durability.

Sea to Summit X-Pot
A space-saving cooking tool.Amazon

At 10 ounces, this silicon-sided pot weighs less than many other backpacking pots and holds a substantial 1.4 liters. (It’s also available in 2.8- and 4-liter versions.) The 7-inch pot’s chief appeal, though, is that it collapses down to about an inch thick, ensuring that it takes up almost no space in your pack. The X-Pot’s aluminum base heats up just like a traditional camping pot, and it should work with most normal backpacking stoves.