The Outsiders: Tech for Your Trip
“Roughing it” meant something different when we were younger, but damned if the great outdoors isn’t made even greater with a WiFi connection to Netflix. These tough gadgets keep you alive and entertained, whether you’re prepping for the zombie apocalypse or car camping in Muskoka.
Feed the BioLite CampStove some delicious sticks and twigs, and in return it’ll provide you with a hyper-efficient smokeless campfire for cooking meats and boiling liquids. Even more important than sustenance, it’ll also convert heat into usable electricity so you can recharge your smartphone, tablet and other USB-powered gadgets. $140, Mountain Equipment Co-op, www.mec.ca, www.biolitestove.com
When you’re off the grid, the Etón Scorpion becomes your lifeline to civilization with an AM/FM radio, LED flashlight, USB charger and a NOAA Weather Band receiver that tunes into weather forecasts and emergency alerts for your specific location. Powered via solar panel, rechargeable battery and hand crank, it will always have juice. For the worst conceivable emergency, yes, it even comes with a beer bottle opener. $51, www.etoncorp.com
Whether your questionable water source is a tap, community well, fresh-water stream or a washroom attached to a no-name gas station, the SteriPEN Freedom Water Purifier produces drinkable water in 48 seconds by zapping bacteria, viruses and protozoa with UV light. This rechargeable, portable lifesaver can treat 20 litres on a single charge. $103, www.steripen.com
The Garmin Epix TOPO Canada touchscreen watch puts high-resolution, full-colour topographic maps and satellite imagery directly onto your wrist, giving you crucial intel on where the closest Tim Horton’s is. In addition to GPS navigation, this watch also utilizes GLONASS to access 24 Russian satellites, thereby finding your position quicker and making you feel one step closer to being James Bond. $780, Mountain Equipment Co-op, www.mec.ca
The rugged, shock-absorbent Braven BRV-1 outdoor speaker is IPX7-certified, meaning that it can be submerged into a one-metre deep lake for 30 minutes, which also means it’ll easily shrug off rain, waves and spilled Merlot. Play your music via wireless Bluetooth or using the audio cable and then ward off wandering black bears who hate both hard projectiles and Justin Bieber tracks. US$99, www.braven.com