For many people, camping is a way to “get off the grid” and disconnect from our always-on, technology-driven society. For that reason, it might seem counterintuitive to bring smart tech on your next camping trip. But hear me out.
Smart products don’t necessarily have to keep you connected to the “grid” you’re trying to escape. You can sign out of social media and email and still use these 10 cool gadgets—many of which are designed to keep you safe and help you have more fun while you’re exploring the great outdoors.
1. A speaker to clip to your bag
Want to listen to tunes while you explore, but don’t want to wear headphones? This portable Bluetooth speaker is perfect for your outdoor adventures, as it can clip on to your bag for hands-free entertainment. And it comes with other useful features, like a selfie remote and built-in light.
2. A water bottle that keeps tabs on your hydration
When you’re having a fun day of hiking, fishing, or just hanging out at camp, you might forget to stay hydrated, and that can lead to serious health concerns, especially during the summer. This smart water bottle has your back though, as it measures how much you're consuming and can keep you on track to meet your hydration goals with the help of a companion app.
3. A backpack that lights the way
Ever head off on a hike, only to realize you won’t make it back before sundown? With this smart backpack, you can just power up its LED light to illuminate your path and ensure you and your fellow hikers get back to camp safely.
4. A sensor that monitors UV exposure
Nothing can ruin a fun vacation quite as fast as a serious sunburn. Luckily, this UV ray meter will monitor the UV index in your area and send reminders to your phone when you need to reapply sunscreen.
5. A phone charger fueled by fire
Even if you’re heading out to the most remote location you can find, you can still keep your phone juiced up thanks to the BioLight CampStove. This innovative technology uses fire to charge your phone, camera, lights, and more. You can also get add-on accessories for the stove so it can be used for cooking, boiling water, and making coffee.
6. A multi-purpose LED light
This lightweight lantern is perfect for all your camping needs. You can hang it in your tent, place it on the picnic table, or carry it to the bathroom, and one charge lasts several months! The light has an associated app that allows you to set a schedule for it or even turn on “presence detection” so it lights up as you enter your tent.
7. The ultimate outdoor speaker
Whether you’re having a party on the beach or a cookout in the mountains, your gathering simply wouldn’t be complete without great music. This connected speaker is a must-have for avid explorers, as it’s splash-proof, has a rugged design, and sounds rich whether you're in the woods, the beach, or your backyard. The Flip 3 is also the best portable Bluetooth speaker we've ever tested.
8. A panic button to let your contacts know you need help
Sometimes you might find yourself in a bad situation while camping, and if you’re miles away from civilization, help might be hard to come by. With the Instinct button by Revolar, however, you can send automatic text messages to selected contacts in case of a medical problem or other emergency. The button even sends them your exact location so you know help can find you.
9. A smart bobber that helps you find fish
I can tell you from experience that fishing is harder than it looks. You can pick a seemingly great spot, only to spend hours waiting for a single bite.
If you’re an amateur fisher and actually want to catch something, you need the iBobber to help you out. This connected fish finder uses sonar to figure out the best spot for you to cast, and a single charge can provide 10 hours of fishing time. That's enough time to catch at least one fish.
10. A real-time GPS tracker to keep tabs on your mates
Sometimes when you’re camping, the kids might want to go explore on their own. Give yourself peace of mind by placing a smart GPS tracker in their packs—this way, you can monitor their location in real-time and find them quickly if anything goes wrong. You can also stick the tracker on your car to let someone back home know your location.
_Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.