Must-haves for your 2015 outdoor adventure

It’s that time again. Time to unfold yourself from the desk and emerge into the sunlight. Even though high-tech gizmos aren’t necessary for getting out and enjoying nature, we here at DT know from experience that the right assortment of tech gear can make outdoor excursions simpler, safer, and more fun. These days more and more companies are making gear that’s designed to withstand the elements, and make those backpacking trips more vacation and less survival. We’ve added some new tech to our round up of the best summer outdoor gear.

ECOxBT Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($130)

EcoxBT

Ever wished you could take your tunes along on a nice, relaxing river float? Now that waterproof Bluetooth speakers are hitting the market with a vengeance, your dreams are a reality. This badboy is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, completely buoyant and self-righting, and connects wirelessly to your smartphone in a snap. Their sound isn’t the best we’ve heard from a wireless speaker, but it’s crisp and clear in the midrange, which helps your tunes effectively cut through any ambient nature noise.

Available from:

Amazon Best Buy

Columbia Sportswear Omni-Freeze Zero Shirts ($38+)

Columbia 2

How cool is this shirt, huh? Sorry, couldn’t help it. That’s what you get when you make stuff that looks as cool as it makes you feel. Columbia Sportswear has outfitted it’s Omni-Freeze Zero shirts with little blue rings that absorb moisture as you sweat, drawing away heat in the process and leaving you feeling like you’re wearing a little portable air conditioner. And the best part is, the shirts are pretty stylin’; long-sleeve, golf polo, tank top, v-neck- take your pick. You can even get hats, shoes, and bandannas with the wearable tech.

Available from:

Amazon Columbia

BioLite CampStove ($130)

Biolite

This badass little biomass stove has won the hearts of techie outdoorsfolk ever since it completed its Kickstarter campaign, and we’re still in love with it two years later. It runs on nothing more than twigs and bits of wood, it can boil a pot of water in under 3 minutes, and it uses any waste heat created to power anything that charges via USB. As an added bonus, BioLite now offers a grill attachment.

Available from:

Amazon REI

Titan Stormproof Matches ($10)

Matches

Still need something to light the stove, right? It would suck to get to the middle of nowhere and discover your lighter is out of fuel or that the striker is worn to a nub. Say thanks to the experienced campers at UCO for their line of Stormproof matches –and this is the king of the bunch. At more than 4 inches long, these are the biggest baddest matches you’re like to find. Water resistant and nearly windproof, you can get 25 in a box with a pair of spare strikers. If you get the kit, you get 12 matches in a waterproof floating carry case with three strikers, and both are $10. Come July, you’ll be able to grab these.

Available from:

Amazon REI

Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet ($300)

Earl 1

If you’re thinking “why the hell would anyone need a tablet in the backcountry?” rest assured, that was our initial reaction, too. But then we looked at the features on this thing. Tablets by nature are designed for maximum utility, and Earl is no different. It’s almost got too many features to list here: it runs Android 4.1 and can run apps, has a flexible and durable 6-inch screen, solar panels on the back for charging, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, FRS/GMRS/MURS transceivers (two-way radios), GPS, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, thermometer, anemometer, AM/FM/SW/LW radios, and a 20+ hour battery life. We’re still waiting on the finished product.

Available from:

Earl

Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting Headlamp ($175)

Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet 1

Petzl’s headgear already sets the bar high for headlamp manufacturers, but the NAO reactive lighting system takes things to a whole different level. It’s more than just a head-mounted lamp – it’s got two different beams and an ambient light sensor that adjusts them in real time to fit what you’re looking at. The beam will get tighter and more focused when you’re looking at something in the distance, and instantly adjust to a dimmer, wider beam when you put a map up to your face. Necessary? Probably not. Cool? Absolutely.

Available from:

Amazon REI

SteriPen Water Purification System ($100)

Steri

Purifying water is a must when you’re out in the wilderness, but boiling takes too long, iodine makes it taste nasty, and reverse osmosis pumps are just a pain. If you’re looking to kill off waterborne illnesses in a snap, check out SteriPen – a fast, compact, and lightweight water purification system that uses high-intensity UV light to murder microorganisms in your water. The light kills 99.99 percent of all viruses, bacteria, and parasites in just a few seconds.

Available from:

Amazon SteriPen

Naked Water Filter ($25)

Naked Bottle

If you like the SteriPen, but not the taste of grit in your water, then add the Naked bottle top water filter to your go-bag. In the top of the bottle is a new filter made of electro-spun polymer that removes cysts, bacteria, and silt. It doesn’t get viruses, but it also doesn’t need to be charged. What’s more, the top itself can fit other sports bottles in case you already have a bottle you love. If you missed out on the Kickstarter campaign, check their page for info on where to find one.

Available from:

Liquidity

PowerPot ($100)

Powerpot 3

Electricity is hard to come by in the backwoods, and when it comes time to power up your gear on the trail, you’ve generally got three options: battery packs, solar chargers, or thermoelectric chargers. PowerPot is one of the latter. This clever little cooking pot feeds off the heat created by your campfire and converts it into usable energy you can use to juice up any USB-powered device.

Available from:

Amazon REI

Next Page: Nine more must-haves for your 2015 outdoor adventure

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