Are you torn between being a high-tech gadget junky and needing your outdoors fix? I feel your pain. That’s why I put together this list of high-end and high-tech camping gadgets to help you get your gadget fix. So load up your tent, gear, and gadgets as you head to the woods for a weekend of camping in the great outdoors.
Starting this list is one of the coolest items on it. Portable battery packs and solar chargers have become common place but this takes it to the next level. The battery pack can be charged from AC, Car, or the included Nomad 20 solar panel. But it’s the output side where this thing really beats the competition. The usual 12v and USB ports for charging are common place but the Sherpa also has a built in 100w AC inverter!
Water filtration is a must when in the back country. Even crystal clear streams can have dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. The SteriPen makes sanitizing that water super easy. Just dip the UV wand into a liter of water and stir. The UV light sanitizes the water.
Note: This is not a chemical filter and will not remove particulates.
The most beautiful campsites don’t have wifi and are often outside of cell service range. Unfortunately for many of us staying connected isn’t an option anymore. The inReach SE uses the iridium satellite network to give you text messaging, email, and social media posting in even the most remote places. Android and iOS companion apps are available to pair your phone or tablet. Trigger a life saving SOS message in emergency situations and never fear a weak signal or coverage gap.
The Scorpion II from Eton packs a massive punch of features and functionality and is a lot cheaper than you’d think. The built in battery can be charged from a USB charger or the built in solar panel or crank. From there you can connect a USB cable to charge your accessories. If that’s not enough it features a built in AM/FM radio, NOAA weather bands, and an LED flashlight. All of that functionality is wrapped up in a rugged exterior skin so this thing can take a beating.
Solar showers are nothing new. You fill them with water and let them sit in the sun to warm up. This gadget takes it to the next level though. Add air pressure to the bag with a foot pump and then shower with ease. No hanging from trees or holding the bag up for each other.
This isn’t your ordinary water purifier. Besides being one of the fastest at 2.5 liters per minute and one of the easiest to operate water pumps it’s also one of the best. Most water pumps have an average pore size of .2 microns, which is good but still allows for some viruses and small organisms to get through. The MSR Guardian has a .02 micron pore size, one tenth the size of others. This traps even the smallest bacteria and viruses in the water. Each cartridge is good for 10,000 liters of filtering. The pump itself is designed to withstand heavy use, freezing, drops from up to 6 ft, and harsh environments. If that hasn’t sold you on it the pump meets NSF protocol P248, the testing standard used by the U.S. military for cleaning “worst-case” water conditions.
No list of high-end high-tech gear would be complete without featuring the super coolers that were made famous by brands like Yeti. Taking insulation to the next level in both quality and quantity Yeti’s and similar high end coolers are changing the landscape of keeping food cold. I’ve personally seen a single block of ice keep food cold all week in a yeti during near 100 degree temperatures. The tundra is one of their best with thicker stronger walls and even certified bear-resistant. For cheaper but similar performance also check out options from Pelican, Igloo, and even Ozark Trail.
Designed for boaters but perfect for anyone in the outdoors the Garmin Quatix is nothing short of amazing. GPS, altimeter, barometer, compass, waterproof, the list of features just goes on and on. It can even wirelessly stream NMEA data for wind speed, direction, and more.
It seems every camp gadget has to charge your phone these days. It’s quite understandable though with space at a premium when camping. Weight is even more important when backpacking. And staying charged is a requirement for many people. BioLite offers a unique proposition. Using heat from the fire to create electricity, the stove serves as both a petroleum free cooking method and a charging source at the same time. That combines the charger and the stove while dropping the space, weight, and expense of packing in fuel canisters.
The fuel cell charger fom PowerTrekk is a really interesting idea. It combines a lithium ion battery with a hydrogen based fuel cell charger. You can charge the battery from the wall or from the fuel cell. The fuel cell requires a disposable puck that reacts with water to create hydrogen. Electricity generated by the hydrogen fuel cell charges the battery. The disposable pucks make the fuel cell rather inefficient. But a battery with off-grid charging makes this a high-tech list worthy gadget.