A piece of advice for all you outdoor adventure “purists”out there. Just shut up, will ya? It’s exhausting listening to all you haters out there bag on those who choose to take their technology with them as they engage in their wilderness exploits. Sure, there’s an established etiquette out there, but if that’s how you feel, stop using clipless pedals on your bike, coolers, a GPS or even a compass. Heck, stop driving to the trails in your truck while listening to your satellite radio or iPod. Stop using maps and guide yourself using only the feakin stars. Stop being a hypocrite and embrace. Technology evolves. We evolve. Even the most hard core adventurer needs that most valuable product of human technology; ibuprofen. It’s never a bad idea to avail yourself of the latest and greatest our fellow humans have invented. Celebrate it.
That said, now let’s talk tech. By now, it’s now a given that you will be heading into the wilderness sporting your latest and greatest iPAndroiKindlePhablet or whatever you choose. Rock on, adventure geek. But if you’re looking for “the new,” check out our latest killer Top 10 List of Adventure Technology. This list sports everything from the simple to the sublime. Yes, all the haters out there will still try to get on you and judge, but they will have to do so while hiding their incredible jealousy. Go ahead. Let them borrow it. It will be fun to crush their spirits just a bit.
Garmin GTU 2
This tiny Garmin GPS transmitter can be attached to you or any other object so that you or others (yes, mom, I’m being careful) can track your location on any computer. Don’t be creepy and attach it to your girlfriend on a Saturday night or anything, but it’s totally acceptable to put it on your dog, in your backpack, in your kid’s pack, or attached to anything else you feel is valuable when you are out nature. It’s less than $200 and perfect to use when you have to know the location of something at any time. www.garmin.com
POV.HD Wearable Camera
This being the only software managed “helmet cam,” for some, it leaps to the front of the HD camera pack for a couple reasons. It’s really small, waterproof, shock proof, dust proof and comes with a remote control and a recording unit with a two-inch LCD screen for playback and content management. At just about $600, it’s pricy, but being able to control the recording with the remote makes it worth it. www.vio-pov.com
BioLite Camp Stove
What could be better? A truly green camp stove that burns wood, eliminating need to carry fuel, and has the ability to convert that heat into usable electricity to charge your phone, GPS, lights or other camp gadgets. At $129, easily worth the money when you consider fuel costs and replacement battery prices. www.biolitestove.com/
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus
If you don’t want to cook to get your energy, then go solar. The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus is a super fast solar cell package that can attach to your pack during the day to charge either your USB gadget or the AA battery pack for swapping when needed. Powerful enough for an iPad, GPS or phone, the Guide 10 Plus is the perfect balance of light weight and power efficiency. $120 www.goalzero.com
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Seriously, it’s about time a phone company made a phone tough enough to actually go outside. The Samsung Galaxy s4 Active sports IP67 technology; the ability to be under a meter of water for 30 minutes. That’s basically as good as most heavy duty GPS units and better than some Oh, and it can play DOTS! So, if you’re looking for a new phone, and you have the habit of dropping it in water, or mud, or beer, this might just be the one. Price and availability varies, of course.
SAS Survival Guide
What about apps? Glad you asked. The SAS Survival Guide has been around forever in book form and has finally come to the virtual world. Developed by a member of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world, this guide has everything from what to eat in the wild and how to set a bone to how to contact others via Morse code. This truly is a one stop shop for survival information. Just make sure you can recharge your device so you can use it. $5-$6 on iTunes
Every Trail App
The Every Trail app gives you access to hundreds of thousands of user submitted hiking, camping, skiing, climbing and sailing route maps and travel tips to help you plan your next great adventure. You can post and update your own routes, incorporates social media for all your sharing needs and the pro version allows for off-line access. Free for the basic version up to $4 for the pro.
For being so simple and cool, it’s amazing this hasn’t found a place in every pack in the country. The Gorilla Torch by Joby sports magnetic, rubber coated feet for mounting and knobby, flexible legs that can grip around things like trees, tent poles and the legs of fellow hikers. The lamp is dim-able and will shine for 20 to 80 hours of light on three AA batteries, depending on settings. $30 www.joby.com
We’ve talked coffee before and there are a ton of options to get your fix out on the trails, but for the ease and money, the Brunton Flip-N-Drip is tough to beat. Just boil water in the carafe, add coffee, attach the re-usable filter and mug and flip the whole thing over. You and a friend will be enjoying coffee in about 10 minutes. It’s also handy for tea or your favorite freeze-dried foods. $45 from any outdoor retailer.
Katadyn Powdered Beer
Surprised? I love technology. No, there’s no alcohol, but this “beer flavored beverage” does tend to hit the spot after a long day of hiking and setting camp. Just add cold water and enjoy with your dehydrated green chili mac and cheese. Yes, wine lovers, they make a powdered red wine, too.