If you're heading to the great outdoors on a little getaway — whether that's for a half-day hike, camping in the woods, or a week-long excursion into the backcountry — you should make sure you're stocked with the right supplies.
But beyond the basics, there are a few gadgets designed to make your experience outdoors even easier. Check out our recommendations for nine high-tech tools to stow in your backpack on your next escapade.
Mosquitoes might be one of the worst thing about spending long days outdoors, but with the MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller, you'll be able to save your skin from bites without spraying DEET all over your body. The portable device uses flameless heat to disperse a scent-free cloud of repellent up to a 15-foot radius. The device works for up to 12 hours on a single fuel cartridge, though you'll need to replace the repellent every four hours.
This solar-panel-charged device is a two-in-one deal: it's a super bright lantern, and it's a phone charger. Win-win! The PackLite Titan provides your campsite plenty of light in one of two modes: white light, which illuminates up to 300 square feet on the highest setting, and lasts 100 hours on the lowest, and red light, which is ideal for gentle night time use. The best part? It packs down relatively flat, making it super easy to transport.
Marketed as the world's first self-cleaning water bottle, the LARQ uses a UV-C LED light to sanitize not only the water inside, but also the bottle itself, meaning it won't develop any gunk if you use it for days on end. The light reportedly removes "99.9999% of bio-contaminants," meaning you can fill it from pretty much any source.
If you're overnighting in the woods, you might want to bring a portable camp stove to cook up your meals. With the BioLite CampStove 2, you won't only have a stove that can boil a liter of water in four-and-a-half minutes, but also a portable charger powered by flames. (Well, technically powered by heat.) You can charge your devices as you cook, or you can store the energy and charge on-the-go later.
Your Apple Watch might be great in the city, but in the backcountry, you're going to want something a little more specialized. Enter the Garmin Fenix 5S, an all-purpose watch that can track your physical activity and your location via GPS or GLONASS, as well as read your environment via an altimeter, barometer, and compass.
Sometimes there's just not good cell service out in the wilderness, which can be a blessing in disguise — or a huge problem if you're separated from your group. But the goTenna Mesh device solves that problem. It allows you and anyone using Mesh within your range to text and use GPS services on any smartphone without cell service. Think of the device as a means to turn your smartphone into a super advanced walkie-talkie!
You probably have some sort of power bank to charge your phone on the go under normal circumstances, but if you're heading outdoors, you'll want to have a portable charger that can handle more rugged situations. The Goal Zero Venture 30 Power Bank, which is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, has enough juice to power your phone two to three times. It can also be charged via USB or the company's solar charging devices, sold separately.
Want piping hot coffee on the go? Pick up a Wacaco Pipamoka, which uses vacuum pressure to brew a cup of joe. The device also doubles as a heat-retaining thermos, so you don't need to transfer your coffee. But just one word to the wise — the device doesn't heat up your water, so you'll have to do that separately. Wacaco also makes on-the-go espresso brewing devices, too, if that's your preferred style of caffeination.
When there's no cell service out in the wild, there's still one way you can connect with the world: via satellite. If you don't want to buy a separate sat phone, you can simple purchase a Somewear Global Hotspot, which will connect your device to a global satellite network. It has a long-lasting battery, too, functioning up to 10 days on a single charge, depending on how frequently you use the device. Just note that you'll have to buy a data plan in order to use it — they start at just $8.33 per month.
Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.