7 Camping Upgrades for $50 or Less
Little luxuries for nights spent under the stars
I grew up camping with my family in a tent trailer at New Brighton State Beach in California, where we fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Coin-operated showers and drinking water were only a short walk away. My dad would post citronella tiki torches around our site, and we’d unfurl a carpet to wipe our feet on. Looking back—now that I’ve been on multiday backpacking trips, slept in a truck on the side of the road, and skipped showers for days—I realize that it was a very luxurious way to camp.
Glamping, or glamorous camping, is a rapidly growing market that’s expected to hit a revenue of $1 billion in the United States by 2024. More people than ever before are seeking out yurts, treehouses, Airstreams, and other luxury camping amenities. But not everyone can afford to splurge when they go outside. If you want to elevate your basic campsite to a posh getaway for cheap, add a little bling with these bougie, budget-friendly products.
MPOWERD Luci String Lights ($45)
Brighten up your base camp by stringing 18 feet of glowy lights between the trees or around your tent. The USB- and solar-rechargeable battery powers these ten LED nodes for 20 hours while also charging your device.
Baffin Cush Booty Slipper ($35)
These extra plush camp booties, made with abrasion-resistant quilted nylon and synthetic fill, keep your feet warm and help you look the glamping part. Nonslip soles keep you safe around the campfire, and a drawstring closure traps warmth down to 20 degrees.
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes ($5)
When there isn’t a coin-operated shower at your campsite and you want to freshen up, these soft viscose wipes with aloe vera and vitamin E will leave you feeling revived. They come in two sizes—extra large and compact—and they’re compostable.
Helinox Side Table ($50)
Keep your gear off the ground with this compact and stylish table. The 10.5-inch top is ideal for playing card games or perching nightcaps. It weighs only nine ounces and can support up to four pounds. Three aluminum-alloy legs keep it stable, and a drawstring carry bag makes it easy to transport.
GSI Outdoors Gourmet Pourover Java Set ($50)
Forget instant coffee. Make fresh cup after cup every morning with GSI’s complete kit, featuring a grinder, collapsible drip cone, and reusable filter. At less than a pound, it tucks into your backpack without feeling like you overpacked. Just add the beans of your choice and hot water.
Kelty Bestie Blanket ($25)
Camp blankets can be pricey, but this affordable option from Kelty doesn’t skimp on features. It packs down to the size of a roll of paper towels and can be machine washed. Its polyester fabric and synthetic Cloudloft insulation are super cozy. Snuggle up with a pal fireside under its six-by-three-foot span, or tuck yourself in for stargazing.
Yeti Rambler Lowball Vacuum Tumbler ($20)
Vino, beer, water, hot chocolate, tea, coffee—whatever your drink of choice, this ten-ounce, double-walled, vacuum-insulated mug fits snugly in your hand and keeps your beverages at just the right temperature. The stainless-steel body and clear lid are BPA-free and easy to clean.