5 More Useless Camping Products

Last year I scoured the Internet in search of the top five useless camping products. Having just received a summer catalog from one of the big outdoor gear chains, I thought it would be a good time to pick five new items that don’t quite make the cut, when it comes to outdoor utility.

Tent stakes that come with new tents

tent-stakeI’m actually a bit embarrassed that I didn’t include these in my original list, as these pathetically small and lightweight pins (seriously, how could something like this be called a “stake”?) have probably caused more problems for more people than any other pieces of so-called camping gear.

Cruzin Cooler®

cruzin-cooler1Now, I’m not saying the Cruzin Cooler doesn’t look like a whole lot of fun, and I’m sure it would be a big hit at parties or a tailgater. But for this to be sold as a camping product is a bit over the top. I wonder if Ellen goes camping?

Plastic cups in cook sets

cooking-setsI’m not picking on Stansport here, almost every manufacturer uses these tiny plastic cups with their cooksets. I’m pretty sure I could fit about ten of these little cups inside my Stanley® insulated coffee mug.

Electric Fly Swatter

electric-fly-swatterWe have some pretty aggressive black flies down in the Los Padres National Forest, so I can understand the novelty of this device. If the flies are bothering you, though, it usually means that you are not moving fast enough. So save yourself $10 and hit the trail during the afternoon, when the flies are out.

sleeping-bearThe Great Sleeping Bear

Okay, so this isn’t really a product yet but, let’s face it, somebody will make this bear-suit-sleeping-bag thing. Seriously officer, I thought it was a bear!

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16 thoughts on “5 More Useless Camping Products

  1. Hey, just googled “Camping in the Rain” and after browsing thru a few websites I thought this one the best so far.

    Camping season is Sept. thru April in Florida and I’m waiting for the cooler weather!

    • Thanks, Rick – I’m glad you found CampingBlogger! I hope you have a great time camping in Florida. I know there are some great parks I would like to visit, down there, someday.

  2. The cups included with cooksets aren’t that bad. They are super-lightweight, non-tippy, marked as measuring cups, and stack compactly. It is hard to find an insulated mug that does even two of those things. We always bring a few for measuring, dipping out hot water, and holding incidental stuff while cooking.

    I’d list lots of things as worse than those. Maybe candle lanterns — dim and they can set fire to your tent.

    • Thanks Walter – candle lanterns, I haven’t thought of those in years! That’s what my friends and I camped with in high school (along with Sterno stoves).

  3. LOVE the bear! Great list. I have been working on skinning back to be a car camper that is almost a backpacker. I see people in campgrounds with amazing stuff and wonder why they do that to themselves.

  4. oki – does that thing have a satellite dish? 🙂

    Alan – I know what you mean, my son is going through a Star Wars kick and everything he picks up turns into a light saber. Then, of course, his two sisters turn into Storm Troopers! His sisters don’t appreciate that game at all.

  5. LOL.—-Arizona – ouch! My son would love to torment his sisters with that thing.


  6. Joshua – that’s a great idea, if I can find enough useless gadgets! btw – that’s not a titanium stake, it’s a cheap aluminum one.

    Arizona – ouch! My son would love to torment his sisters with that thing.

  7. I laughed out loud when I saw the sleeping bear bag. That is so funny!!!! I also have the electric fly swatter and I love it. My 4 yr old son got a hold of it once and boy, was that painful to retrieve!!

    Arizona’s last blog post..Geocaching!

  8. Yay! This should be a regular feature: useless camping gear. It’s the foil to all the gear porn posted everywhere else (included my site). I agree that tent stakes tend to be useless, but that picture you’ve got looks a like my titanium tent stakes which I’ve found great because they’re thin enough to get in ground that repels thick stakes and they’re light, too. I’m pretty sure manufacturers aren’t including titanium stakes with their tents, though. 🙂

  9. Just searching through google for a camping (family/car) camping blog and came across this article and site. Its a great site! I’ll be back often and pass it along to my friends.


  10. Deb – I don’t get it, either. You can pay $250+ for a tent and it still comes with junk tent stakes.

    Nick – the thing that confuses me about the cooler is that you can’t open it while your driving! Maybe it’s a safety feature?

  11. I would definitely say you hit the nail on the head with these. I have always thought those tent stakes were a waste of time. I seriously don’t see the point in any of the rest of these wacky products either. Packing these would be a waste of time and energy although it looks fine to ride around on a cooler!

  12. No kidding on those tent stakes. I don’t know WHAT they’re useful for (toothpicks?) but definitely not for staking a tent. They tend to bend right in half whenever I try them. But, hmmm, that bear suit looks kinda fun! I don’t have one of THOSE in my gear closet.

    Deb’s last blog post..Searching x 2 & Rappeling x 6