5 Essential Japanese Camping Goods for a Stress-Free Camp (2021)

In 2021, all eyes are on camping and the great outdoors.

With social distancing still at the back of everyone’s minds, recreational activities like camping that get us out of the house — yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city — are garnering more attention than ever before.

In fact, the Fall 2020 edition of the annual North American Camping Report revealed that more than 50% of respondents saw camping and more isolated off-the-grid sojourns as the safest form of travel going forward. (Air travel, both domestic and overseas, ranked last, unsurprisingly.)

As the pandemic is still an ongoing situation, we don’t see that figure dropping anytime soon.

Infographic on safest forms of travel from 2020 survey
Source: North American Camping Report Fall 2020


Of course, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to camping and outdoor adventures. Even the most seasoned camper will come face to face with a host of very real challenges on each foray into the great outdoors.

What are these challenges?

What camping gear will help you overcome them?

Read on to find out!

Top 5 challenges that face all campers

Whether you’re a casual fan or a seasoned veteran of camping, the biggest challenges remain the same:

  1. Staying connected
    Your phone and other battery-powered gadgets are your lifeline to family, friends, and the rest of the world. Avoid a flat battery like the plague.
  2. Staying mobile
    Traditional sleeping bags sacrifice simple freedom of movement for warmth at night and in the morning. Don’t be at their mercy.
  3. Staying hydrated
    You want to make sure liquids are at just the right temperature when drinking them. What’s more stressful than a cup of coffee in winter that’s still hot to hold, even an hour after it was made?
  4. Staying clean
    A clean body means a relaxed mind. You’ll want to be able to wash away all the blood, sweat, and tears that accompanies a rugged outdoor adventure.
  5. Staying tidy
    As with any public place, it’s common courtesy to tidy up and leave things the way you found them upon departure. Doing so effectively and efficiently is where the difficulty lies, though.

Still, don’t be discouraged. It’s by overcoming challenges that we can grow stronger and more fond of the activity in question, after all…

Man at a river

There’s a solution for that

So long as you gear up and prepare well for your camping journey, these trials and tribulations will become a walk in the park — both figuratively and literally.

We’re here to give you a little leg up in that respect.

We’ve tracked down the perfect product solutions to help you overcome each of the 5 camping challenges listed above. We want to help make your trip as enjoyable and pain-free as possible.

Ready to get on top of all your camping woes?

Let’s get started!

#1. Stay connected: Carabiner Battery

What is it?

Carabiner-shaped mobile battery

How does it help?

Provides instant power without bogging you down

Closer look

There’s nothing more soul-crushing than realizing your gadgets have run out of battery while outdoors.

Be it a Kindle, Walkman, or — heaven forbid — your phone itself, an electronic device with a dead battery means a disconnect from the rest of the world. No more camping guides, no more Google Maps, no more emergency phone calls…

While mobile batteries aren’t exactly uncommon in today’s market, there’s one glaring inconvenience: You have to keep the gadget and the battery itself close to each other while charging. More often than not, this means literally holding both in your hands at the same time (unless you’ve got kangaroo-sized pockets). 

Person holding a phone connected to a mobile battery
Not the most ideal setup when you’re out camping…


The problem is that you need to keep your hands as free as possible when navigating rugged terrain in the great outdoors — be it climbing up rocks, clinging to trees, or even just maintaining your balance while crossing streams.

Thankfully, with a Carabiner Battery, that becomes a non-issue. By securing the power source directly to your backpack (or even your belt buckle), you can keep your device powered on and within close range at all times.

Carabiner Battery on tote bag

Of course, as it looks like a run-of-the-mill carabiner and not a fancy, bulky piece of 21st-century technology, you can rest assured there’ll be nothing to spoil the outdoor vibes. An added bonus!

Where can I get it?

ZenMarket, via Amazon


#2. Stay mobile: Kleio Sleeved Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag with sleeves

What is it?

A sleeping bag with sleeves

How does it help?

Lets you use your hands freely while you’re snug inside

Closer look

A long, hard day out in the wilderness has come and gone, and now you’re ready to tuck in for the night. You hop into your Kleio sleeping bag, zip up, and think about the exciting things you’ve got planned for the day ahead.

Now that you’re all warm and comfy inside your Kleio, here’s a small snippet of all the things you can easily do without ever having to take it off again:

  • Check tomorrow’s weather on your phone
  • Confirm tomorrow’s trekking route on your pocket map
  • Text good night to your loved one back home
  • Set your alarm clock so you can get up bright and early for the next adventure
  • Put your earphones in and crank up some lullaby music
  • Have one last sip of hot cocoa
  • Scratch that itch on your ear…

Traditional sleeping bags restrict your movement and make it hard to perform any of the actions listed above.

But the Kleio incorporates sleeves into its design, giving you a full range of movement and the freedom to actually get things done — no matter how small.

The Kleio sleeping bag’s benefits aren’t just limited to nighttime, either.

On those chilly mornings up in the mountains or otherwise away from the city, what could be more relaxing than warming up with a fresh pot of coffee and digging in to some piping hot breakfast, all without having to expose your body to the harsh outdoor elements?

Even if you feel like actually getting up and going for a brisk morning walk or slotting in some exercise at daybreak, the Kleio lets you do that too.

The Kleio sleeping bag is a prime example of a key camping gear takeaway: namely, that practicality is essential.

With only two hands and a pair of shoulders on you, you’re going to want to be able to accomplish multiple things with the one piece of equipment.

Why try dealing with the extra bulk of one more sweater, when you can leave it at home and make do with your sleeping bag as a substitute instead?

Where can I get it?

Direct from the all-new ZenPlus


#3. Stay hydrated: Cat Tongue Tumbler

Cat Tongue Tumbler and cross-section of features
Cross-section diagram adapted from ZoomPress


What is it?

Tumbler with special temperature regulation

How does it help?

Keeps drinks, soups, and other liquids at a constant, pleasant temperature

Closer look

Have you ever sipped a cup of coffee or tea fresh from the pot, hoping to feel all warm and fuzzy inside — only to be spitting and sputtering the next second, unable to cope with the intense heat?

Some of us just aren’t as tolerant to hot liquids as others. In Japanese, it's known as nekojita, or “cat tongues,” since our averseness to the heat makes us no different from our feline friends.

This tumbler was tailormade for nekojita: Its special heat-absorbing element cools freshly poured liquids (about 80°C for coffee from the coffee machine, for example) down to pleasant drinking levels (60°C range) in just a couple of minutes. Moreover, the vacuum insulation actually maintains that temperature for a whole hour after the fact!

What could be more stressful than having to lug around some freshly brewed coffee that’s too hot to even drink? Or, conversely, soup you hoped would warm your soul that has gone cold and lost all its calming effects?

When you’re outside and at the mercy of the elements, it’s not enough to simply “have something to drink.” You want to be able to sip something that is just the right temperature so you can not only quench your thirst (or simply satisfy your body’s dehydrated state), but also feel good while doing it.

Where can I get it?

Yahoo! Shopping, via ZenMarket


#4: Stay clean: Cogit Shower Bag

What is it?

Hanging portable shower

How does it help?

Lets you have a fresh, clean shower wherever you are

Closer look

Personal hygiene is a key pain point for any camper.

For many, the ability (or lack thereof) to have a refreshing shower or bath while camping is precisely what makes or breaks someone’s willingness to even go in the first place.

You may be thinking that since you’re out under the stars — and not tucked into a nice, clean bed — there’s no real need to wash up properly.

But clean sheets or not, do you really want to drift off to sleep with that sweat on your face, dirt under your nails, and mud in your hair?

Even a dip in a nearby creek still means you’ll not only be bathing in saltwater, but also quite possibly with fish, crabs, and other marine life at the same time.

Not exactly a refreshing thought, is it?

With this Shower Bag, you can feel confident knowing that you’ve got real, pre-filled shower water (max 20 liters) running over your body and washing away all that muck and grime.

Just you and the H2(O).

Where can I get it?

Bic Camera, via ZenMarket and Rakuten


#5. Stay tidy: LOGOS Foldable Dust Box

What is it?

Portable color-coded rubbish bin

How does it help?

Separate and store all your trash when your camping trip is over

Closer look

As we established with entry #2 on this list (the Kleio sleeping bag with sleeves), camping is a very hands-on pastime.

You need to keep your belongings as compact and as organized as possible if you hope to be able to carry everything around.

After all, do you really want to be lugging around a dozen or so small garbage bags, each filled to the brim with food scraps, empty drink containers, plastic wrappers, spent charcoal, and more? 

This handy foldable box helps you and your fellow campers keep everything nice and contained when it’s time to pack up and head home.

It’s color-coded based on the type of garbage you can throw inside, with individual sections for burnables, recyclables, and aluminum cans. No more accidentally mixing messy leftovers with other types of rubbish!

Where can I get it?

Rakuten, via ZenMarket

Recap: 5 camping goods for a stress-free camp

Here’s the 5 main challenges facing otherwise happy campers that we covered in this post — as well as unique gear that can help you overcome those challenges.

  1. Staying connected: El Commun Carabiner Battery
  2. Staying mobile: Kleio Sleeved Sleeping Bag
  3. Staying hydrated: Doshisha Cat Tongue Tumbler
  4. Staying clean: Cogit Shower Bag
  5. Staying tidy: LOGOS Foldable Dust Box

Make sure to keep these potential difficulties in mind the next time you head out on an outdoor adventure!

Gear up for the great outdoors

Various camping gear on a mat

As a perfect blend of outdoor leisure and social distancing, there’s not much that can top camping in terms of popularity and interest in 2021.

But out there in the wilderness it’s literally you versus the world, so you need to make sure you’re properly geared up. With the right equipment, no doubt you’ll be able to tackle any challenge that camping throws your way!

Over to You!

What tips do you have for overcoming the camping challenges mentioned in this post?

Where is your favorite camping spot?

Drop us a line on social media! We’d love to hear from you!

Visit the new ZenPlus website for more quality outdoor goods direct from Japan!

Article| 09/04/2021 | Made in JapanzenplusOutdoorCampingJapanese products