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Tech for Adventures

Date Published: 02/18/2018 | Author: Best Buy

The great outdoors is calling. The mountains, woods, rivers and trails offer an opportunity to unplug from the digital hum of modern life and reconnect with the wild world around us, if only for a little while. But tech still can and should be a part of your next outdoor adventure.

Let's look at some of the top camping gadgets you'll want to bring along, from the practical to the just plain fun.

Tech for the Trail

Electronics keep getting smaller and more powerful, which has led to an explosion of tech-infused hiking and camping accessories you can take anywhere. Stuff you wouldn't have dreamed of carrying up a mountain or down a river just a few years ago now fits neatly in the palm of your hand.

The camcorder is a prime example; we've come a long way from the shoulder-mounted behemoths taking grainy, Bigfoot-conspiracy-level footage. Today's action cameras capture incredible HD photos and up to 4K-quality video. They're durable enough to withstand the most extreme elements, and small enough to comfortably wear on your head or chest (or mount to practically any surface), so you can stay in the moment while capturing all your exploits. You never know whether your trip might become the next social media sensation.

A portable Bluetooth-enabled speaker makes another fun addition to your camping checklist. Although the sound is big, these speakers are so small and lightweight you can attach them to a backpack or a belt loop and forget they're even there. With hours of battery life and no Internet connection required, these make a great trail companion, and are even better when you're relaxing back at the campsite.

We're not all Eagle Scouts. Luckily, you don't have to be. When you pack your hiking GPS and two-way radios, you can stay on track and in touch with your party. The latest handheld GPS units come pre-loaded with easy-to-read maps, and you can add your own waypoints before or during your hike, so you know where you are and where you're going. Two-way radios, a tried and true piece of trail tech, are a great way to stay in communication across miles of rough terrain.

Tech Essentials for Camping

Back at the campsite, there are plenty of great reasons to tote along some tech gear. Smart prep and the right camping accessories can save you a lot of trouble, like getting trapped by the elements or caught in the dark.

Your natural surroundings can be awe-inspiring during the day, but that sentiment fades when the sun goes down and you're forced to scramble around in the darkness with no flashlight. Keep the trail and campground well-lit with high-powered, long-lasting flashlights and portable lights.

Similarly, refrigeration is a modern wonder we often take for granted at home, but it's less of an afterthought once your cooler runs out of ice. There might not be a store up the road selling more, so invest in a trustworthy camping cooler that's insulated enough to keep food and drink cool for at least a couple days.

On a final note, always remember that Mother Nature can be unforgiving, and when you're off the grid, it's always best to be ready for the worst. An emergency is something you never want to think about but always need to plan for. A first aid kit, reliable shelter and plenty of drinking water should cover most situations, but something could always happen that's out of your control. Be sure to bring an emergency radio you can use to pick up weather reports and other important announcements. These useful tools usually have multiple functions, and can double as a flashlight, device charger, SOS beacon and more. All the camping gear in the world is no substitute for being smart, so make sure there's a plan in place and help on the way, just in case the unthinkable happens.

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