The whole of Australia has amazing spots for camping, hiking, and exploring. From remote bush to regional areas to popular coastal spots, camping in Australia is a great adventure. But as you head out into nature, you don’t necessarily have to leave your technology at home. Epic, beneficial technology has made its way into virtually every aspect of our lives, and camping/outdoors activities are no exception.
Sure, you might not bring along the laptop when camping in the bush, but there are plenty other useful---if not downright essential, gadgets you’ll want to pack.
To make life easier and improve your experience in the great outdoors, here are 10 fantastic gadgets for your next Aussie adventure.
Having some spare chargers with you is key, but in the wilderness, you’re unlikely to have electricity! Portable battery packs are the solution, and in 2018, plenty of solar-powered ones available too. These battery packs will provide you with backup---or in the case of solar, endless--energy to power your devices. This could be tablets, smartphones, or other devices that run on a charge.
Some great options for these packs include the Powertraveller Discovery 6000 mAh Battery Pack and the Powertraveller Extreme Solar Kit.
A smart lantern
You might have smart light bulbs in your home. Why not take a smart lantern on your camping trip?
Here’s one potential choice: the LANDER Cairn XL 1P65 Waterproof Smart Lantern. This lantern will provide as much as 250 hours of illumination---well over a week. And at the same time, it doubles as a power bank and can charge 4 mobile devices at once, keeping every member of the family well-powered. The power bank has a 10,000 mAh capacity and can supply as many as 4 rounds of charges.
And the Cairn XL serves as an excellent lantern, too, brightening up any campsite with its ultra-bright 350 lumen LED bulb. As a smart lantern, you can control the lantern’s settings over Bluetooth by using the free Cairn XL app on either iOS or Android. With the app, you can adjust power, dimness, colour, turn on a light strobe, and more.
A stove that doubles as a phone charger
Many of the latest tech gadgets for camping serve multiple purposes. This is ideal because campers know that being weighed down with too much gear can be problematic. By having items that perform double duty, you can minimise what you bring and lighten your load.
Here’s a cook stove that also charges your devices.
The BioLite CampStove 2 is a wood burning, portable stove that can not only cook meals and boil water in minutes, but can simultaneously give your mobile phone a power boost. The CampStove 2 is the second iteration of this item, and the new version has 50% more power. Despite the increased power, the stove ‘s internal fan system generates flames which are almost completely smokeless, yielding a faster cook time and cleaner air.
As you cook and charge, you will be able to refer to the Smart LED Dashboard, which provides real-time info on battery level and heat intensity. With the CampStove 2, you can charge a device even when a fire isn’t burning via the integrated 2600 mAh battery.
The stove is highly portable, with foldable legs making for easy transport. So toss it in your pack (or your car) and head out to the campsite.
A solar shower
While not the most tech-heavy item on this list, a solar shower is still a wonderful gadget for a camping holiday. The bladder of water is warmed throughout the day by the energy of the sun. By nightfall, you’ll be ready to enjoy a toasty warm shower.
A good buy is the Companion 20L Solar Shower, which is durable, easy to use, and comes with a temperature gauge.
A smart, yet fashionable wristwatch
A smartwatch is a definitely a must-have gadget. While the watch will be particularly practical when camping, you will get a lot of use out of it in your everyday life as well. One great-looking possibility is the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. This is a smart sports watch that is ideal for outdoor adventures.
It’s got a huge number of features, and can be integrated with various apps to track your fitness progress such as running power and speed.
On a trip in nature, the satellite capabilities are going to be the vital element. The watch uses multi-satellite technology including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo for ultra-accurate tracking. You’ve also got colour TOPO maps which use Trendline™ popularity routing to help you find and follow the best trails.
This is a long-lasting watch, going for as many as 10 days while in smartwatch mode while GPS mode (more power-draining) delivers roughly 8 hours of power.
A speaker powered by the sun
The #1 goal on any Great Aussie Adventure should be having fun. For many travellers, music is an essential part of this. A speaker will help you blast your tunes and if it’s solar-powered, even better. The Eton Rugged Rukus is a very popular solar speaker with clear, smooth audio. This is known as an “all-terrain” speaker, and it is great for camping, the beach, or the pool. Don’t worry too much about getting it wet, as it’s got a PX-4 splashproof rating. It’s not waterproof, but it can be used in a pool or beach setting.
The most exciting aspect of the Rukus is that it operates on the sun’s energy. Throughout the day, you can have non-stop music playing. When night arrives, the inbuilt battery will keep the beats pumping for another 8 hours.
You can connect your mobile device via Bluetooth with one-touch pairing, and then control the music remotely. This is perfect for those who want to bring along their favourite playlist.
A smart water bottle
Keeping hydrated is important every day, but when you’re actively exploring the outdoors, it’s easy to get dehydrated. That’s where a smart water bottle can come in very handy. There are a number of smart bottles on the market, and most of them work by reminding you to keep sipping your water.
The Hidrate Spark 2.0 can help you hit your daily H20 goals. The bottle illuminates when it’s time for you to consume more water. (This information is based on the physical factors you’ll input into the companion app). Track your water intake throughout the day plus more: if you lose your app, the app will show you on a map where you had it last. The app can also sync up with other popular fitness apps like FitBit, making tracking your health seamless.
A caffeine delivery system (aka a coffee grinder)
What will they think of next? This portable coffee grinder doubles as a lantern. The Lume is “the world’s most compact electric grinder” and you can use it both at home and on-the-go. With a USB-rechargeable battery, you can easily bring it along for your next camping adventure.
You’ll enjoy amazing, perfectly ground coffee using the Lume Portable Burr Grinder. It uses ceramic burrs in a stabilised cage formation to create uniform, soft coffee grounds. And the USB-charged battery can last for up to 50 cups of ground beans.
Rising before dawn to brew your morning cuppa? No problem. The Lume is a lantern, too, so it will illuminate beautifully when charged. In fact, the 150 lumen light will last approximately 20 hours at full charge.
A super smart pop up tent
Even your tent can be smart these days! Innovative company Cinch! Has created tents that can pop up “in a cinch” and provide exceptional quality for campers.
Cinch Pop Up Tents come in a variety of sizes, boasting features such as phone-controlled LED lighting, solar power, climate control, and a pop up living area that can connect multiple tents.
BBC called it “the smartest tent we’ve seen.”
Why not try something new for your next camping getaway?
A pretty serious generator
Do you camp and camp hard? For the family that needs a significant amount of portable power, you can’t do better than a Goal Zero Generator. The Yeti 400 will be there to meet your demands, providing an enormous amount of power. The product description states, it’s “like taking a wall socket with you anywhere.”
Because the generator runs on solar power, it can last, essentially, forever. You can also give it a bigger boost by plugging it into a wall socket or a car for charging.
For those wanting to go off-grid, whether for the weekend or for life, this quiet, powerful solar generator is worth every penny.