7 Futuristic Tech Gadgets for 21st Century Camping
BY STEPHANIE LEE
In theory, camping is supposed to be a fulfilling exercise in breaking away from our normally technology-dependent lifestyles and pretending for a second that, yes, we can in fact (sort of) survive in an analog world. (But some can’t. Like these two guys.)
But hey, we live in an age where you can press a button to have someone deliver a burrito to your door. Why not sleep under the stars and frolic through the sunflower fields with the help of technology to enhance your outdoorsy experience? Bring along these handy and portable gadgets for a totally contemporary camping trip.
You don’t need a water bottle that reminds you to drink water. But you know, need / want. It’s a fine line.
When you camp, one of the most important things that helps ensure you’re healthy and happy is staying hydrated.
But when you’re out of your normal element, you can unintentionally and easily ignore your body’s typical thirst signals. For example, if you’re sweating a lot more than usual from hiking and being distracted by majestic, nature-y things, you may not immediately think about replenishing the water loss. And it’s no joke.
As “I can do that myself” as it may seem, this smart bottle takes one for the team and syncs up via Bluetooth with your phone, monitors your water intake, and will alert you to take a sip of H2O way before you ever get to the unpleasant effects of dehydration. If you already have trouble meeting the daily recommended eight glasses (which, by the way, isn’t an iron-clad rule), it doesn’t hurt to get a reminder from your equally smart phone. Water: even more essential than your phone. (It’s true.)
This “Life-proof” case will keep your phone intact (and snapping some interesting POV shots) while tumbling down that rocky cliff.
That said, your phone is handy to have along. (Even if you’re not using it for the majority of your outdoors exploration, it is useful in case of emergencies…or breathtaking photo opps.) How can you keep your fragile smartphone safe in the not-so-fragile outdoors? The folks at LifeProof have anticipated every fall, splash, and oops that could happen to your phone and designed a case that pretty much protects it from you, life, and every oversight in-between.
The case—designed for a variety of models—is incredibly durable and supposed to be water-, dirt-, snow-, and drop-proof. It even comes in different colors. You can now rest easy in your decision to go leap off a 50-foot waterfall. And feel more carefree during your everyday urban adventures.
Charging your devices is as easy as boiling water. No, seriously — this boils water and charges your devices.
No electrical outlets in your tent? You’ll need a good pot to boil water for cooking, so you might as well use the generated heat to charge your electronics, too. According to Power Practical, the PowerPot makes this possible via “thermoelectric technology,” which is this fancy idea of converting electricity from a temperature difference (in this case, boiling water being “colder” than fire).
You simply connect your device via USB to the pot, add water, and place it over the fire (the pot, not your phone). Even a quick 20-minute charge will supposedly give you 120 minutes of talk time, although mileage may vary depending on your phone model and other factors. Also: tea! So cozy.
Unravel this luminous invention to give your campsite the feel of an outdoor taverna.
From the same company that brought you PowerPot, the Luminoodle Light Rope is an incredibly versatile LED light source. It comes with extra accessories that let you affix it to various objects to hang it, spread it out, drape it over you like a sash, or curl it up into a great bundle of light. Luminoodle is powered by any USB battery or power source, and it’s waterproof, to boot. And you can live out your fantasies of being Indiana Jones in the wild with an illuminating whip-like gadget.
Tentsile Flite Tree Tent looks pretty rad in concept. If you set it up correctly, you’ll have the feel of a tent, the support of a hammock, and the novelty of sleeping like you’re a magician—a huge plus if you don’t find the hard ground very comfortable. The tent is designed for two people and comes with a rainfly that’ll keep you and the tent dry in rainy weather. (If there are no trees around, you can simply pitch it on the ground.) It’s a modern innovation to (temporary) 16th century living.
If there’s no crystal clear lake to bathe yourself in, you can still wash off the bug spray and sunscreen with this portable shower.
A unique factor of camping is that showers become a bit of a luxury. You can go a few days without a proper shower, but what if you could bring a shower with you?
This one isn’t just a bag filled with water that you hang from a tree. No, this is far more glorious. The Helio is pressurized, and in comparison to your rugged lifestyle, it’ll feel heavenly. According to the website, its 2.9-gallon capacity will release about 5-7 minutes of continuous water. (Ahhh, so refreshing.)
We’re all for roughing it, but we gotta have our coffee in the morning.
Coffee addicts like to camp, too. And there’s really nothing that beats a nice cup of joe at camp at sunrise. Well, actually, there is one thing that beats it: a well-made espresso shot. For that, you can try the Handpresso Pump Noir. It works kind of like a garlic crusher and has its own pressure gauge and portafilter, allowing espresso-making aficionados to get the right compactness and perfect cup. Barista not included. (You’re packing light, after all.)
Stephanie Lee is a nomadic writer and types to you from anywhere in the world. She writes for Lifehacker.com and her site FY!S. Her motto is “Take life by the balls, but have a ball.” Learn more by visiting www.thefyslife.com to read her lighter takes on travel, life,and shenanigans. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.