There are people who camp and there are people who like to wake up with a clean bathroom a few steps away. I'm the latter. Which is not to say I'm not an outdoor enthusiast. I am, but I'm also a firm believer that the right gear can make all the difference. Camping gear has come a long way from leaky tents and weak camping stoves, and there are now plenty of ways to chill out in comfort with Mother Nature. To round up the coolest camping gadgets, we solicited the help of Jose Murillo, manager of REI in San Francisco. Murillo could probably convert the most hardened of urbanites into a tree-hugging happy camper. For our day of camping, he brought hand-crank lanterns, in-tent entertainment, and more. We were no slouches, either. Our contributions included a 17-foot canoe that folds and an iPhone case with an embedded solar panel. Watch the video to see the gear in action.
As for the debate about whether technology belongs outdoors, you can argue that with friends and family around the campfire late into the night. But if you ask me, the question is irrelevant when you're enjoying your fourth round of s'mores under a starry sky. Even a camping purist might agree with that.