One of the most sacred elements of camping is the opportunity to escape the scourge of constant connectivity for peace and quiet. However, there's no reason to shun modern technology completely while you're hanging with Mother Nature. To help ensure your next outdoor excursion is as pleasant as possible while still affording you the essential off-the-grid experience, here are 12 requisite gadgets you'd be wise to bring along.
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1. Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL 2 mtnGLO Tent
Price:$350 This award-winning two-person, three-season tent features strips of built-in LEDs along the interior, providing the sort of ambient light you just can't get by blinding each other with headlamps.
2. SOL Origin Survival Tool
Price:$35 When your hours of watching Bear Grylls inevitably fails you, this palm-sized kit could very well save your life. The compact rig comes equipped with a flash signal mirror, sturdy steel blade, whistle, Fire Lite striker, compass, stainless steel wire, nylon cord, foil, tinder, survival instructions, and a waterproof compartment for valuables.
3. Goal Zero Lighthouse LED Lantern
Price: $80 This dimmer-equipped lantern will keep your campsite nice and bright for hours on end, and can also be used to juice up other gadgets simultaneously via the built-in USB port. And no need to freak out when it's running low on power itself thanks to a turn crank that provides 10 minutes of power for every one minute of turning.
4. GoPro HERO4 Session
Price:$400 Take a POV video of your time on the trail, or capture phenomenal cliff views, without weighing down your pack with GoPro's latest action cam. The minicam records stunning 1080p60 footage in a rugged and waterproof package that's 50% smaller and 40% lighter than any of the brand's other cameras.
5. LifeStraw Go
Price:$35 Nothing ruins a hike like being doubled over in pain after sucking down some far-from-fresh water you boldly filled up your Nalgene with. Play it safe and carry one of these refillable water bottles, which employ LifeStraw's innovative chemical-free filtering tech to produce drinkable water from any source, on the go.
6. Nomad 13 Solar Panel
Price:$160 To quickly recharge your lantern, phone, GPS, headlamp, and everything else that's tuckered out, Goal Zero's low-profile solar panel power pack will strap to your pack and seamlessly soak up energy all day under the sun.
7. WindBurner Stove System
Price:$130 Slightly lighter and less bulky than the Biolite, the 1-liter WindBurner can boil water in less than three minutes. It also doubles as a French press and the whole thing is neatly packaged for exceptional portability.
8. Ultimate Ears Roll
Price:$100 From the same team behind our favorite Bluetooth speakers on the market, this new wafer-shaped offering is not only waterproof, but also has a built-in bungee strap that easily affixes to your pack.
9. Alite Mantis Chair
Price:$93 Admittedly not firmly in the "gadget" category, we're looking past that because these collapsable guys are not only hyper-portable at under two pounds apiece, but one hell of a comfortable place to take a load off after a long day of backpacking.
10. Sea To Summit Pocket Shower
Price:$33 After a day or more spent schlepping a heavy pack, you'll definitely be craving a shower. And while it doesn't provide a high-pressure Kohler-level spritz, you can hang this pouch of water from a tree branch to enjoy an eight minute washdown.
11. Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
Price:$52 Keep an eye on everything around you once the sun goes down using this highly rated and ultra powerful multi-function headlamp, which is packed with dimming capability, strobe and distance modes, and a red night vision function.
12. Verizon Jetpack
Price:$50 If you're fully committed to going off the grid and leaving your phone behind, it's good to have a backup plan to plug into the outside world for precautionary reasons. Verizon's Jetpack is a mobile hotspot that can connect any Wi-Fi-enabled device without a data plan to the web, making it easy to read weather reports on the trail, or tap into GPS to make sure you're still on course.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor and would recommend adding a large low-tech flask to this list.