The Best Camping Tech to Take Your Wilderness Retreat to the Next Level
You might not have cell service, but you'll have a fully charged phone for pics, headlamps that won't quit, music for days, and much more.
You'd think camping and tech would make strange bedfellows. After all, most of us go camping to disconnect from our phones and day-to-day routine only to reconnect with the environment and embrace the little things nature has to offer, like listening to the wind rustle through the trees or cracking a beer at noon on a Saturday.
And there's merit to that sensibility, but it's not the only way to camp. In fact, camping tech has made leaps and bounds when it comes to the devices we can employ to make us more comfortable, safe, and relaxed in the wilderness. To wit, we found eight amazing tech products that will only enhance your experience off the grid, so you can spend more time telling stories with friends around the fire and less time looking for new batteries for that burnt out headlamp.
Price: $200 - $2,099
If there is one thing on this list you should absolutely buy, it's a Jackery power station. The main reason being that everything else on this list can be charged using a Jackery portable power station. The logic is sound. With one of these mobile energy plants, you can charge all your devices, inflate air mattresses, plug in lights, and even run a Margaritaville Frozen Drink Machine. Fresh margs by the river while mountains abound? Sign us up.
You have options when it comes to what kind of Bluetooth you'd want to take into the great outdoors. The JBL Charge 4 is the perfect combination of ruggedness and quality—like the Chris Hemsworth or Samara Weaving of speakers. With the Charge 4, you'll get 20 hours of playtime, the ability to connect to other JBL speakers, and a waterproofing so nice you can submerge this baby in the lake and it'll come out still playing your tunes.
The Ledlenser ML6 is a rechargeable lantern with an adjustable brightness of 25 to 750 lumens of white light. It's runtime is four to 70 hours depending on how you use those lumens, and the lantern has a power bank installed in it making it a backup charger for your phone or other small devices. There's also an attached hook so you can hang it from trees or rope and a magnetized base which you can use to stick on your car—or refrigerator to hold all those old photo booth rolls.
This solar cooker from GoSun can bake, roast, steam, and sauté. It'll cook a full meal in 20-minutes in direct sunlight and reach temps as high as 550-degrees...using zero electricity or fire. It's made to cook for 2-3 people, so you'll have to plan meals accordingly if you're with a big group. It'll even work on overcast and cloudy days.
Most headlamps that run on AA or AAA batteries won't warn you when the power is low, meaning if you're out collecting firewood or hiking post-sunset, you'll literally be left stranded in the dark. The Actik Core headlamp from Petzl also won't tell you when the battery is low, but does give you a backup plan. The headlamp not only will run off three AAA batteries but also comes equipped with a rechargeable battery, so if one power option fails, you'll have another ready to go.
If you spend any time outdoors, away from cities, you should be able to name, like, three constellations and 2-3 plants (hint: Mars is the one kind of tinted red). Prepare to add "master stargazer" to your Bumble profile when you bust out this incredibly user-friendly telescope from NexStar. There's a lot of info I won't pretend to understand about this specific telescope, but here's a review: "This scope is small enough to be easily portable, yet strong enough to allow you to view some very interesting stars and planets. The belts of Jupiter are very prominent as are the rings of Saturn...I am very, very happy with this telescope."
This is a small, portable stove that can cook your meals and charge your gear in one fell swoop. The attached battery is charged by adding small twigs and kindling to the main chamber, which will keep burning by adjusting the airflow produced from said battery. If you want even more out of the CampStove 2, grab the Complete Cook Kit with a French press attachment which will boil a liter of water in ~5 minutes.
This is a solar-powered, water-resistant GPS watch that can run up to 54 days on the sun's mighty rays alone. The watch's GPS will track your location even in remote areas where you might not have service, as well as connect to your smartphone in areas that do. It'll also monitor your heart rate, track your calories & steps, and yes, tell you the time.