8 Gadgets for Hikers and Campers
Whether you plan to do some light hiking or get intense with a several-day excursion, these gadgets will keep you comfortable, safe and plugged in — even when you’re many miles from civilization.
Camelbak All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier ($99)
The stream you’re hiking next to looks so refreshing, especially since your water bottle is bone-dry, but you have no idea what kind of creepy crawlies are living in that water. Camelbak’s All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier enables UV rays to zap bacteria in a minute. Screw the cap in, hold the power button down and rotate the bottle while the rays zap more than 99 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
Goal Zero Sherpa 50 ($249)
When you’re in the middle of the wilderness and your phone dies, panic can easily set in — even if you can’t get a decent signal. Goal Zero’s Sherpa 50 lets you breathe easy, since this portable recharger can charge a smartphone, iPod or laptop via a solar panel in five to 10 hours. The recharger weighs less than a pound and has 50-watt hour power capacity.
Magellan Switch ($249)
For those who want to know how much distance they’ve covered on the trail without packing a bulky GPS unit, Magellan’s Switch Series crossover GPS watch is just the ticket. The timepiece is water resistant to 50 meters and sports a 1.3-inch high-res display. In addition to GPS data, the Switch tracks distance, speed and elevation.
MicroJet Lighter Torch ($19.99)
Rubbing sticks together is for suckers. MicroJet’s Lighter Torch turns your butane lighter into a microtorch. Using the butane in a normal lighter as fuel, the torch converts into a wind-proof, waterproof electronic fire-maker able to burn at 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
Olympus TG-320 ($179)
Need a versatile camera that can take whatever the great outdoors can dish out? Olympus’s TG-320 is a rugged, digital camera that’s water-, shock- and dust-proof and delivers 14-MP resolution. It can also capture 720p HD movies underwater. The best part is the price.
Osprey Atmos and Aura ($199-$239)
Going backpacking? Osprey has you covered with its male and female SS12 Atmos and Aura hiking backpacks. The featured AirSpeed suspension features an arched Lightwire Alloy frame for easy weight transfer, and the mesh panel facilitates ventilation. Plus, you can customize your fit with an adjustable torso length, interchangeable harnesses and an adjustable hip belt fit, so you’re comfortable on the trail.
Solio CLIP-MINI ($35)
Need to venture away from camp during the night and your clunky flashlight is out of batteries? You won’t have to stumble in the dark with Solio’s CLIP-MINI, a rechargeable solar and USB LED light. Though it takes six hours to charge in the sun, the gadget features five lighting modes varying in brightness and a built-in diffuser.
Sony DEV-3 Digital Recording Binoculars ($1,399)
When you’re in the great outdoors and happen to see an unusual bird or even a grizzly, chances are you’ll want to see it up close or shoot video to show off to your friends. Sony’s DEV-3 Digital Recording Binoculars lets you do both with its 2D and 3D full HD video recording capabilities. The device sports up to 10X magnification and can take 7.1-MP stills.