Gadgets and Gear forthe Great Outdoors

For those who can tear themselves away from their computers long enough to explore the great out of doors, there are a lot of gadgets to make that experience more fun. Here’s a roundup of some gear to use when you’re camping, hiking, or just having fun outside.

BioLite CampStoveDevices That Turn Heat into Electricity

The BioLite CampStove burns small pieces of wood with the aid of a small blower that circulates air in the fuel chamber creating a hot and efficient fire. A thermoelectric generator provides 2W of power at 5V to a USB port for charging smartphones and other portable devices. A microprocessor manages the blower and power generator in this high tech camping gadget. You can buy a BioLite CampStove for around $130.

PowerPot V

Using thermoelectric technology, the PowerPot adds a pad to the bottom of a cooking pot to provide power to a USB port so when you’re out camping you can charge your iPod while you’re cooking your meal. The PowerPot V is a 5W version that can charge smaller devices like smartphones and sells for $150. A larger 10W version PowerPot X is coming soon and will sell for $249.

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Sea to Summit Pocket ShowerBring Along Your Own Hot Shower

Solar shower devices are not complicated; they are basically a dark bag full of water that gets heated by the sun to provide a hot shower. Hang one from a tree in the morning and come back to a hot shower in the afternoon. The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower holds 2.6 gallons of water and costs about $30. Users say it takes a while to heat up and has a tendency to drip but it’s lightweight and small and can also be used to haul water.

Nemo Helio Pressure Shower & Summer Shower 5

The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower costs around $100, holds 3 gallons of water and uses a pump to provide around 5 minutes of pressurized water for washing your hair or the dishes. The Summer Shower 5 costs around $35, holds about 5 gallons of water and has extra features like Velcro straps and pockets to hold shampoo and soap. The Sumer Shower 5 gets good ratings from users who say it works well and holds up well.

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ECOXGEAR’s ECOXBT Waterproof SpeakersListen to Your Music on This Waterproof
Wireless Speaker

If you’re inclined to listen to music while floating down the river, you might want to consider springing for ECOXGEAR’s ECOXBT waterproof Bluetooth speakers. There is some tradeoff in fidelity but for around $130, you can own a speaker that can be submerged for 30 minutes. It also floats and can play for up to 10 hours on a charge.

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handpresso Portable Coffee MakersMake Espresso on the Trail or In Your Car

The Wild Hybrid hand-powered espresso maker from handpresso uses a hand pump to pressurize hot water to turn out a cup of genuine espresso. The handpresso Wild Hybrid weighs about a pound and costs $116. Handpresso also offers the $199 handpresso auto E.S.E. which uses a 12V electric pump that you can power off your car and could come in handy the next time you’re stuck in traffic and looking for cup of espresso.

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Nemo Losi 3 Person TentThree’s Company in This Roomy Tent

The Nemo Losi 3 Person Tent has won numerous awards including Outdoor Magazine’s “Gear of the Year” award. It weighs less than 6 pounds and has a unique pole configuration that creates vertical walls for a roomier interior. Reviewers are impressed with its roominess but also say it packs down a little on the large side. The 3 person tent will cost you around $350. Nemo also offers a Losi 2 Person Tent for around $300.

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High Tech BinocularsHigh Tech Binoculars

Binoculars have come a long way over the years adding features like image stabilization and recording ability. The Canon 10 x 30 mm Image Stabilizer Binoculars are light and compact and cost around $500. Users give them good marks but note they require a battery. The Sony DEV-50V/B Digital recording binoculars will cost you close to $2,000 but they offer the ability to shoot photos or record 2D or 3D videos.

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SteriPen AdventurerWater Purifiers Will Clean Your Water

The SteriPEN water purifier uses ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy up to 99.9 percent of harmful micro-organisms in seconds including giardia, cryptosporidium and other bacteria and viruses. You can buy a SteriPEN Adventurer for around $100 that is good for about 8,000 treatments.

Lifesaver Bottle 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

The Lifesaver Bottle 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle uses a filter with tiny, 15 nanometer holes that can stop viruses, bacteria and other harmful microscopic things and making chemical purification unnecessary. The Lifesaver bottle also comes with an activated carbon filter which can trap chemicals like pesticides, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals and can also make the water taste better.

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Innovative Solar Light
Innovative Solar Light

A company named MPOWERD has come up with an affordable solar-powered lighting device they think can help provide light for under-developed countries as well as anyone looking for a practical lighting device to use someplace like a campsite. The Luci is an inflatable lantern that can provide 12 hours of light from 6 hours in the sun and can hold a charge for 2 months. It costs around $15 and you can use one of their partners to buy a lantern or two for a worthy cause.

Use Solar Power on the TrailUse Solar Power on the Trail

Consider taking a solar panel on your next camping trip. They come in all shapes, sizes and prices including the Brunton SolarRoll that costs around $435 and outputs 14W of 15.4V power using amorphous thin-film solar cells and flouropolymer construction or consider the 6 watt Brunton Solaris Foldable Solar Array which costs around $175. Goal Zero offers a line of solar chargers that includes the Goal Zero Switch 8 which costs around $120 and is better suited to smaller devices.

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GorillatorchJoby Gorillatorch Holds Onto Anything

From the makers of the GorillaPod camera accessory, comes an LED lamp called Gorillatorch which runs off 3 AA batteries and sells for around $30. You can either wrap the legs around something to hold it in place or use the magnetic feet to attach to something metallic.

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