The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will Love - Backyard Boss
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The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will Love

Camping is an amazing escape from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine. However, not everyone is interested in ‘roughing it’ completely. The good news is that the camping gear market has grown incredibly, with options for campers of all preferences and skill levels. By choosing the best tent accessories to meet your needs, you can easily make the most of your camping experience. It’s also crucial to have the best tent for camping.

With so many different options, where do you start? How do you know which accessories are worth the investment and which will join the pile of unused camping gear? In this guide, we’re going to look at five recommended accessories and tell you what you should consider when shopping. Before your next outdoor adventure, let’s look at which camping gear will help you make it the best trip to date!

The Backyard Boss Top Tent Accessories for 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
COMLIFE 5000mAh Battery Camping Fan with LED Lights - The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will LoveCOMLIFE 5000mAh Battery Camping Fan with LED Lights
  • 5000mAh Battery, USB Chargeable
  • 40 Working Hours
  • Includes LED lights and Hanging Hook
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Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern - The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will LoveTough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern
  • 6000mAh Battery, USB Chargeable
  • 200 Hours of Light
  • Includes Cellphone Charging Bank
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REDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint - The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will LoveREDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint
  • Waterproof 210T Ripstop Polyester Fabric
  • Available in 8 Different Sizes
  • Includes Drawstring Carry Bag
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Outry Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp - The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will LoveOutry Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp
  • Waterproof and Ripstop 210D Oxford Fabric
  • Available in 2 Different Colours
  • Includes Stuff Sack and Tent Stakes
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SAMIALOR Campsite Storage Strap with 12 Buckles and 6 Clothes Pins - The Best Tent Accessories Every Camper will LoveSAMIALOR Campsite Storage Strap with 12 Buckles and 6 Clothes Pins
  • Strong Abrasion and UV Resistant Nylon Material
  • Holds Up To 150 lbs
  • Includes 20 Loops, 12 Hooks and 6 Clothespins
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Why You Can Trust Us

I grew up in a family that camped every summer. It was our go-to vacation, exploring local parks and campgrounds and planning road trips to camp in beautiful destinations. This passion for outdoor travel carried through to my adult life.

Today, my husband and I do our best to head out at least once a month with our pups to explore the beautiful parks in our area. These trips include rustic backcountry sites that we must hike or canoe to access as well as more spacious car camping sites. When car camping, we take advantage of the ability to easily transport more gear by camping in a larger tent and including all our favorite tent accessories for a comfortable and relaxing experience.

The accessories included in this guide have been chosen based on a combination of first-hand experience, reviews from other campers that I know and trust, and careful research into the available options.

Best Camping Fan

COMLIFE 5000mAh Battery Camping Fan with LED Lights
    Encourage airflow and keep your tent cool on even the hottest days with your choice of three speed settings on this USB rechargeable fan.

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Why We Like It: With three different fan speeds to choose from, this USB rechargeable tent fan will help you battle the hot summer temperatures while tent camping. 

The fan includes a built-in hook for easy hanging in your tent, hooking onto accessory loops, or ropes securely. Two buttons on the fan allow you to choose from the different fan speeds and three levels of brightness provided by the 12 super bright LED bulbs found in the center of the fan. The hook can also fold away into the base of the fan, providing you with a stable surface to place it on a table or desk. You can even mount it to the wall at home or in a travel trailer.

By combining the features of a fan and a tent lantern, this is a great space saver for those concerned about keeping their bear to a minimum. The fan charges using the included USB cord in your vehicle or using a portable power station. Using the fan mode, a full charge can last anywhere from 4 to 40 hours, producing an airflow that can be felt, at over 3 ft away. If you are using only the lighting function, the battery provides 147 – 440 hours of power, depending on which brightness settings you use. By offering 360-degree rotation, you can direct the airflow wherever you need to stay comfortable during your camping adventures.

Who Should Buy It: Summer campers searching for a solution to improve airflow and cool down their tents should consider purchasing this rechargeable fan.

Best Camping Lantern

Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern
    Providing up to 200 hours of light from a single chare, this light weight and durable lantern will illuminate your tent or even you full campsite with ease.

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Why We Like It: One of the most important tent accessories that you will need when heading out on your next camping trip is a source of light. 

While this can come in the form of a lantern, headlamp, or flashlight, the larger coverage area provided by a lantern allows you to light up your tent or campsite for the whole family after the sun goes down. The Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern can provide up to 200 hours of light from a single charge, depending on the lighting setting that you use. A battery life indicator on the front of the lantern makes it easy to check when it’s time to charge. It required USB charging cable stores conveniently at the bottom of the lantern.

This rechargeable lantern was designed with durability in mind. It was drop tested up to 6.5 feet with no resulting damage and boasts IPX-6 water resistance. There are 6 optional lighting modes, including high (400 lumens), medium (162 lumens), low (40 lumens), SOS, red and red flashing. It also features a power bank to charge your cellphone regardless of where you may be. The lantern can sit on any table or surface, or it can be hung using the built-in hanging hook or included utility hook.

Who Should Buy It: The Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern is a great choice for those shopping for travel-friendly lanterns and flashlights.

Best Tent Footprint

REDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint
    Available in a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide range of tents, this ultralight, waterproof tent footprint will protect your tent from moisture.

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Why We Like It: If you have invested in a tent that you love, you will want to do everything possible to protect it so that you can enjoy it for as many years as possible. 

One of the best accessories that you can purchase for this purpose is the REDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint. Weighing less than 1 lb, it’s small and lightweight for regular travel. When placed beneath your tent before setting up, it protects your tent floor from moisture and damage that occurs from regular wear and tear. You can find the best fit by choosing from 8 available sizes.

Outside of its original intended use, this tent footprint can also double as a picnic blanket. By suspending it using ropes or poles, you can also use it as an effective waterproof overhead canopy. Unfortunately, many users warn that there aren’t enough tie-down points for this purpose, with the only available points being at the four corners. While it can stand up to the wear and tear of regular use, this ultra-lightweight footprint will not protect your tent from the damage caused by rocks and twigs.

Who Should Buy It: If you are looking for an easy way to extend the life of your tent by protecting it against the damage of regular use, this lightweight tent footprint is a great solution.

Best Tarp for Tent Camping

Outry Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp
    This strong and durable multi-purpose tarp can be used to keep your family and all your gear safe and protected from the elements.

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Why We Like It: Constructed from ripstop 210D oxford fabric, this tarp is designed to be both durable and waterproof, standing up to the elements on your next outdoor trip. 

The tarp features a grommet in each of the four corners as well as 2 in the middle for tie-down options. It is a great overheard canopy to protect your tent or provide you with a dry place to hang out with your family on a rainy day. It can also double as a tent footprint, picnic blanket, hammock shelter, or cover to protect your backyard furniture at home.

The Outry Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp is available in 3 different sizes, including small (4 ft 9 in by 7 ft 2 in), medium (5 ft 9 in by 7 ft 2 in), and large (7 ft 9 in by 7 ft 2 in). You can store it in the provided stuff sack for easy transport. It also comes with 4 stakes (or 6 stakes for medium and large sizes) to help you secure the tarp as needed. While it is designed for repeated use, some users warn that it is a thinner fabric than expected and may not stand up to heavy abuse, such as protecting outdoor furniture during the winter months.

Who Should Buy It: Campers looking for a reliable tarp to protect their tent and camping gear during rainy weather should consider the Outry Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp.

Best Campsite Storage Strap

SAMIALOR Campsite Storage Strap with 12 Buckles and 6 Clothes Pins
    Keep your gear organized, off the ground and close at hand with this convenient campsite storage strap.

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Why We Like It: Regular campers and outdoor adventurers know that you can never have too much storage space, especially when it comes to getting your gear up and off the ground during rainy weather. 

This convenient storage strap can be suspended from trees or poles in your tent, outside at your campsite, or around the home, allowing you to hang water bottles, lanterns, clothing, and more. In total, this storage solution can support up to 150 lbs.

The provided band includes 20 separate loops which keep your gear spaced out instead of sliding towards the center due to weight. It comes with 12 hooks and 6 clothespins to get you started, although some reviewers warn that the carabiner hooks are of lesser quality than the storage strap itself. For this reason, you may want to consider purchasing stronger replacements. This can be used to store gear close at hand when hammock camping, organize your tent, maintain a tidy cooking area, or dry wet clothing after a rainy day.

Who Should Buy It: The SAMIALOR Campsite Storage Strap with 12 Buckles and 6 Clothes Pins is a great solution for outdoor travelers that are looking to add a little organization and order to their campsite.

Tent Footprint vs Tarp

A tent view from inside, door open to the scenery and camping gear all around
Image Credit: Steve Halama on Unsplash

Tent footprints and tarps look very similar to those who are unfamiliar with these key tent accessories. The biggest difference is their intended use and what part of your tent they protect. At the same time, they can often be used interchangeably if needed to help minimize the amount of gear you are carrying on your camping adventure.

Tent Footprint

Often designed to be thicker and more durable than a tarp, a tent footprint is used to protect the floor of your tent and the areas where the ends of your tent are in contact with the ground. It includes creating a barrier against moisture in the ground and providing a layer of protection against rough terrains, rocks, sticks, and other items that may damage your tent floor.

A thicker tent footprint will protect your tent against damage more effectively, but it also adds additional weight to your gear. For this reason, you need to look at the area that you will be camping and assess your risk. If your campsite is on a softer sand surface or even on a patch of grass, the protection needed will be less than those setting up a tent on rocky ground.

Tarp

Often lower cost than a tent footprint, a tarp is designed to protect the tent from above. It is hung over the tent to create a waterproof barrier on a rainy day or to create shade and block the dangerous UV rays from bearing down on your tent. Many experienced campers will tell you that a tent is a must-have item that should be included on every camping checklist regardless of how experienced you are in the world of outdoor travel. Hanging a tarp over your tent is an easy way to give yourself peace of mind.

In addition to protecting your tent, a tarp can be hung in other areas of your campsite to create a wind barrier, if needed, a shady and dry seating area or cooking space. Be sure to choose a tarp that is large enough to extend beyond the size of your camping table or surface when creating a kitchen area to provide yourself with room to move around the table easily.

How to Hang a Tarp for the Best Rain Protection

To properly hang a tarp, you need to start by choosing the right size. A tarp should extend beyond the surface area of your tent to allow for safe runoff of the rainwater away. Space is also a concern when setting up a covered kitchen area or even when setting up camping chairs to lounge comfortably on a rainy day. While you don’t want to go too large, a little extra room is crucial.

Setting up a tarp requires simple supplies such as rope, paracord, bungee cords, tent stakes, or spare tent poles if you don’t have suitable trees nearby.

The easiest way to hang a tent is to suspend it securely from mature trees in your area. The following video from Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp program will walk you through how to hang a tarp between two trees most quickly and securely. After all, happy campers are those that get set up done with as little stress as possible so that they can kick back and enjoy their vacation.

Camping Without Electrical Hookups

A camping tent sitting outside with a solar panel set up on the ground in front of it
Image Credit: Backyard Boss

One of the biggest questions that new campers have is how to power their lights and other accessories without the benefit of an electrical hookup. The good news is that there are many options available that will power your outdoor gear while still maintaining that feeling of nature. It means, for many campers, avoiding using a loud or disruptive generator during the trip. Whether you’re planning your first off-grid trip or shopping for the perfect camping gifts for the outdoor lovers in your life, the power supply is an important factor in your decision.

Battery-Powered Accessories

This most common solution for camping off-grid is to select camping accessories powered either by standard disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries. Each of these two options has its benefits and challenges. Accessories powered with standard disposable batteries, like the AA and D batteries that you can purchase at any big box store, will create more waste throughout your trip. They also involve packing and carrying additional batteries during your trip. On the other hand, accessories with rechargeable batteries will need some sort of power source if they need to be recharged.

Portable Power Banks or Power Stations

Small portable power banks and larger power stations are available in many sizes and power capacities. The smaller the unit, the easier it is to transport with some options fitting comfortably into a pocket or backpack. However, these small power banks only provide a limited capacity for charging. If you have bigger power needs, consider a larger power station with the ability to run CPAP machines, portable refrigerators, and charge laptops for those who work on the go.

Solar Power

Another way to charge and power your camping supplies is with portable solar panels. Using the same technology that powers houses with large solar panels on a smaller scale, these travel solar panels fold up in a way that allows you to take them with you on the go. When unfolded, they can be placed in an open spot to capture the power provided by the sun’s rays, recharging a portable power bank, or even charging your device directly.

Electricity Generating Camp Stoves

A lesser-known power solution, electricity-generating camp stoves use combustion technology to create a portable campfire that you can use to cook meals or make your morning coffee while also charging your outdoor gear. Depending on the unit, the fire can be fueled with gas canisters, pellets, or more simply with sticks and twigs that you find at your campsite. A great way to combine your camping gear needs, this combination camp stove and charger is also a great practical gift idea for those that enjoy a more rustic camping experience with minimal gear.

How We Picked

There are many great tent accessories and gadgets available on the market. It made it challenging to narrow our list down to just 5. First, we looked at the types of accessories and how they benefit as many campers regardless of their experience level as possible. It meant taking a step back and looking at the camping basics. From there, we researched more into the many products available and the brands behind these products.

We looked at each option carefully, assessing the durability, versatility, reliability, ease of use, portability, and value. It narrowed our list to only those options that we believe are well worth the investment. From here, we looked at the different features that each product offered, allowing us to identify what set them apart from the others. The 5 products included in this guide stood out as a great addition to any camping gear checklist.

The Top Tent Accessory for Your Next Camping Trip Is…

Each of the accessories included on our list is very different from the next, offering its benefits. However, we feel that one of the options stood out as an item that could improve the camping experience for travelers of all ages and experience levels.

The COMLIFE 5000mAh Battery Camping Fan with LED Lights does a great job of improving the ventilation and airflow in your tent. It helps to cool your tent in the summer months and reduce moisture buildup in the winter. By incorporating LED lights in the design, it doubles as a lantern in the tent, allowing you to cut back on the number of different accessories that you need to pack. Better still, it provides all of these benefits at a low price point.

 

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