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Downsize Your Camping Gear With These Multi-Use Products

With Tools and Equipment That Do More, There’s Less to Bring Along

The challenge of packing for a new expedition can frustrate even the most passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Take too little, and the lack of some necessity or convenience can spoil the trip. Take too much and wind up being weighed down by unnecessary things.

What should a savvy camper do? One solution is to find the type of gear that does more with less.

Here are five examples where popular outdoor equipment fills multiple roles to lighten your pack and simplify your life.

Multi-Tool Survival Shovel

A California auto accessory company sells this version of the popular multi-purpose wilderness shovel. This model boasts one of the widest ranges of features. So many you might forget some if you haven’t used it in a while.

It features a repositionable shovelhead that serves multiple functions, from digging to scraping. The head features dual-use edges for sawing and cutting wood. The multi-section handle comes apart to reveal a James Bond array of tools, including a pick, screwdriver, hacksaw, knife, fire starter, whistle, and, naturally, a bottle opener.

When disassembled, it fits into a compact pouch for stowing in your car or backpack, so you never have to adventure without it.

Multi-Tool Camping Scissors

GoSun solar oven demonstration

A more compact and inexpensive multi-tool is these heavy-duty scissors by the outdoor company Coleman. The two pieces come apart via a slip lock to form separate knife edges, while one half includes a serrated “fish-scraper” as well as a flat tip for driving screws and a hole that fits hex screw heads. With the pieces joined, it will also serve as a wrench, wire stripper, nutcracker, jar opener can opener, and, most importantly, bottle opener.

Some of these functions are more useful than others. No one’s going to abandon their rotary can opener for this gadget, for example. But it’s so small and versatile that no one will regret having one in their camping gear or even their kitchen.

Flashlight Survival Tube

If you’re the type of person who always forgets to pack something essential (and who isn’t?), then this might be for you. It’s an aluminum tube measuring a little over nine inches long and two inches wide. It features a four-mode light on one end and a cold-resistant compass on the other. Unscrew the waterproof end to access the nine canisters inside containing a wide variety of camping essentials.

Whether you want to start a fire, dress a wound, cut a log, catch a fish, purify some drinking water, or mend a hole in your gear, the kit has you covered. There’s also tape, a bamboo cloth, a beeswax candle, a whistle, and a can opener. Confusingly though, there’s no bottle opener.

Wearable Sleeping Bag

Now that we’ve got our bottles open, it’s time to get comfortable. The Kubie is an insulated, water-resistant cover measuring 86.6 by 67 inches.

Zip the two edges together, and it becomes a sleeping bag. Or pull out the integrated hood and convert it into a poncho for cold evenings. It can be pegged to the ground with the corner loops or suspended from trees as a shelter. Convert it to a hammock with a separate accessory bundle.

It folds into an attached bag with a carrying handle that doubles as a pillow, weighing 3.6 pounds. In addition to being a handy camping accessory, it’s perfect for keeping in the car year-round.

Sleeping Bag Tent

We’ve got wearable sleeping bag/hammocks covered. However, the genuinely intrepid adventurer will need this compact shelter and sleeping bag combination.

The shelter cleverly keeps you snug and dry while not restricting your movement or making you feel claustrophobic. The lower bag half neatly zips together with the upper canopy, which features plenty of ventilation and space to stow your gear and bottles out of the elements. A wraparound rainfly keeps out the wettest weather.

Getting in and out is easy. The canopy can be folded back while sitting inside, and there’s a back hatchway as well.

The entire shelter comes in a compact bundle weighing only five pounds, making it ideal for backpackers.

*All prices US dollars. Check links for current price and availability.

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