Exploring the great outdoors on your own two feet can be a lot of fun; however, if you really want to get the most out of the experience, it’s best to bring along some hiking tech with you!
And while bringing along an assortment of gadgets on a hiking or backpacking trip may seem sacrilegious, there are some serious benefits to bringing some tech along for the ride, like improving your safety.
After all, while hiking in the middle of nowhere can be a lot of fun, spraining your ankle and being unable to call for help is not only distinctly not fun, but also incredibly dangerous.
In addition to safety benefits, hiking accessories and gadgets can also enhance your outdoor experience by providing some pretty cool conveniences, like turning fire into electricity!
To help our readers learn more, this article will cover the best hiking accessories of 2019 and how they can make the outdoor experience even more exhilarating.
1. Sena Expand
When it comes to Bluetooth headsets, the Sena Expand is not only one of the best outdoor communicators on the market, but it’s also one of the best gadgets for hiking.
Indeed, the Sena Expand was designed to provide a stable and secure fit in any situation, allowing you to take hands-free phone calls, listen to music from your smartphone, and communicate headset-to-headset over great distances (up to 900 meters!).
What’s more, the Sena Expand is the only Bluetooth headset of its kind that is water resistant, so if you happen to get caught in a downpour, you don’t have to worry about your headset shorting out!
And if your friends or family happen to be using a different brand of headset, don’t worry, the Sena Expand utilizes the Universal Intercom protocol, so you shouldn’t experience any compatibility issues.
While all of this might sound a bit excessive (what’s wrong with a good old fashioned walkie- talkie?), having a device that provides hands-free communication is invaluable, especially when the terrain gets rough or starts to go vertical!
After all, some hiking and backpacking trips feature long stretches of light climbing, and you can’t communicate with your friend if your hands are occupied now can you?
2. Garmin GPSMAP 66s
If you’re the kind of explorer who likes to wander off into the unbeaten path, a GPS device, like the Garmin GPSMAP 66s, is going to quickly become your favorite outdoor hiking accessory.
Equipped with a large 3’’ sunlight-readable color display, a barometric altimeter, a three-axis compass, and support for multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), the Garmin GPSMAP 66s is truly a must-have device for serious backpackers.
In addition to these great features, the Garmin GPSMAP 66s also offers up to 16 hours of battery life in GPS mode and 1 week in expedition mode, enabling backpackers to go further than ever before without having to swap AA batteries.
Finally, the Garmin GPSMAP 66s is built to military standards for thermal, shock, and water performance (MIL-STD_810G), and can be used as an SOS beacon—just in case you get stranded and need to call for help!
3. CampStove 2
For multi-day backtracking trips, the CampStove 2 is one of the most useful gadgets on this list!
Weighing in at a mere 2 lbs., the CampStove 2 allows backpackers to cook and boil water on the go; however, that’s not the true selling point: the energy used from burning wood can be turned into usable electricity!
So while you’re preparing dinner, you can use the fire’s energy to charge all of your electronic devices through the 5V USB output, including your portable battery packs!
What’s more, the CampStove 2 also includes a fan that helps create a smokeless fire, making cooking more enjoyable and easier on the eyes.
4. LifeStraw Go Water Bottle
When going on a hike or backpacking trip, water can be a bit of an issue. After all, even on day hikes, who really wants to carry around a jug of water or wear a camelback that’s eventually going to run out?
What if you could simply bring a single water bottle with you then refill it with water from a nearby lake or stream instead? Luckily, there exists such a water bottle, and it’s called the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle.
Featuring a 2-stage integrated filter straw that removes 99.99% of bacteria, 99.99% of parasites, and even microplastics, the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is truly a must-have for hikers who want to simplify their water consumption needs.
And while it might sound too good to be true, rest assured that the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle has been rigorously tested and certified by laboratories using standard testing protocols set by the US EPA, NSF, and ASTM, making it one of the best hiking gadgets you can own!
Finally, if you happen to be the charitable type, you will be pleased to know that for every Life Straw product sold, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year!
5. PowerPort Solar Lite 2
When out and about in the great outdoors, electricity isn’t exactly a resource that you can just stumble upon.
And while taking a portable battery pack with you is always a great idea, it doesn’t hurt to bring a backup energy source, like the PowerPort Solar Lite 2.
Unlike a portable battery pack, or even the CampStove 2 featured on this list, the PowerPort Solar Lite 2 allows hikers and backpackers to passively create an electric charge with the help of solar radiation.
This is how it works: the PowerPort Solar Lite 2 is a foldable solar panel of sorts that can be attached to any backpack, so while you’re out and about on your hike, the PowerPort Solar Lite 2 is turning the Sun’s solar radiation into useable electricity—pretty cool, right?
And for hikers who are worried about weight, the PowerPort Solar Lite 2 only weighs 12.05 ounces, making it one of the best backpacking gadgets for ultralight enthusiasts.
As an alternative to the Garmin GPSMAP 66s, the Bivystick is a portable device that transforms your smartphone into a satellite communicator.
Instead of attempting to be an all-in-one device, the Bivystick provides your smartphone with satellite connectivity, allowing you to send and receive text messages from anywhere in the world, automatically share your location every 10 minutes, share your location via text message or social media, and SOS functionality.
The Bivystick also features a 5200 mAh backup battery capable of charging your phone up to 2 times, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Best of all, hikers and backpackers can make use of the Bivystick without an annual contract! So if you only have a single trip planned for the entire year, you can simply pay for that month ($17.99) and then cancel right after.
7. Tool Logic Credit Card Companion
When going on a multi-day hike or backpacking trip, it’s important that you bring along a few tools. Things like knives, matches, tweezers, and so on and so forth can really come in handy, especially when you need to set up camp or start a fire; however, bringing all these tools along with you can be a huge pain if you’re trying to make your backpack as light as possible.
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