Bring GPS tracking and protective radar to the campsite with the Ra. Lantern

Campers and backpackers searching for a new light source to take with them on their outdoor adventures may want to check out the latest camping gadget to hit Kickstarter. Dubbed the Ra. Lantern, it not only illuminates a campsite but also delivers a host of other useful high-tech features for anyone exploring the backcountry, including real-time GPS tracking, wireless communications, and a radar warning system.

At first glance, the Ra. Lantern appears to be a powerful source of light similar to many lanterns on the market. It’s capable of putting out as much as 500 lumens of light on its brightest setting and even comes equipped with a handle making it easy to carry around. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear the device actually features several different parts, including the Ra. Core base unit and two detachable light panels.

Since each of these panels also emits up to 500 lumens of light, campers have the option to take one with them while finding their way in the dark. But the individual modules also do a lot more than simply illuminate a trail. For instance, it allows them to connect an iOS or Android device to the Ra. Lantern via Bluetooth, enabling them to use the modules to create a wireless network allowing them to stay in communication with others up to a mile away — even when a cell network doesn’t exist.

The Ra. Core serves as a base station of sorts and facilitates sending text messages via a special app. This same app allows users to also track each other’s whereabouts using the GPS chips located in their connected smartphones. It also features an onboard radar system which creates a protective mesh surrounding the campsite. The device’s radar module is able to detect movement from up to 30 feet away and then send a notification to users if anyone (or anything) draws near. Should that happen, the lantern also begins to blink rapidly in an effort to scare errant creatures away.

The device draws its power via a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which boasts a 45,000 mAh capacity. In other words, that is enough to keep the lantern illuminated for up to 50 hours. The Ra. Core unit also comes equipped with two USB ports to keep mobile devices, tablets, digital cameras, and other gadgets charged. According to the Kickstarter page, the lantern recharges an iPhone up to 12 times, or an iPad as many as three times, before requiring its own recharge.

The designers of the Ra. Lantern seek $80,000 to get this product off the ground and, as of this writing, sit a little over a quarter of the way to that goal with just over $22,000 raised. If the crowdfunding efforts prove successful, the device plans to go into production in June before shipping in July. It’s expected to carry an MSRP of $298, although early-bird supports have the ability to pre-order one now for $129.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Outdoors

Sleep comfortably under the stars in one of the best tents

An essential piece of gear whether you're camping in your backyard or on a multi-day backpacking trip, here are our picks of the best tents currently on the market from car camping varieties to the best three-person option.
Deals

18 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up and plugged in while on the go, we've rounded up our favorite must-have gadgets currently available. You'll find everything from mini arcade machines to a folding Bluetooth…
Home Theater

Are there reasons to own a projector when big TVs are so cheap? Glad you asked

Since no single aspect of your home theater setup is more important than your display, we weigh in on the projectors vs. TVs debate. We've put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the right option for your lifestyle.
Outdoors

Hammock camping: Everything you need to know to get started

If you're looking to give hammock camping a try we have helpful tips and hints on how to get started, what to expect in the field, and the gear you'll need to completely replace your tent and still get a good night sleep.
Product Review

Garmin's Fenix 5X Plus is built for fitness freaks who fawn over every feature

With onboard music, full-color topographic maps, and new sport metrics, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus sets a high bar for GPS smartwatches. Find out how it can help boost your performance in our Fenix 5X Plus review.
Product Review

Withings Steel HR Sport is a fitness tracker you’ll love wearing

Withings jumps back in the wearables game with the new Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch that is as much a fitness tracker as it is a timepiece. It's so good that it hasn't left our wrist since we pulled it out of the package.
Cars

Sell your house and explore the planet with these awesome camper vans

Camper vans aren't just for pensioners. Check out the wildest creations that will go anywhere on the planet while keeping you comfortable no matter how far off the grid you end up.
Emerging Tech

Like a Bat-Signal for cyclists, this laser light makes bikes visible to drivers

The Laserlight Core is a smart projection system for bicycles that's designed to promote safer cycling. It works by projecting an image of a cyclist 20 feet in front of you as you ride.
Outdoors

These zip-on bike tires change up your tread to match the terrain

Retyre gives cyclists the ability to change the tread on their bike tires simply by zipping on an overlay designed to provide better grip on trails or in the snow, without replacing the existing tires.
Photography

From filters to mounts, these 16 GoPro accessories help you shoot all the action

A GoPro is only as good as the tools you use with it. Here, we've rounded up the best GoPro accessories currently available, from rotating time-lapse mounts to a wearable camera harness for your best friend.
Outdoors

Here are all the best rain jackets on the market right now

Spring is here which means it's officially raincoat season. From high-tech, lightweight shells to modern-looking, waterproof trench coats, check out our list of the best rain jackets built to keep you dry.
Outdoors

Garmin’s new Instinct GPS watch is built for the sportsman in all of us

The new Garmin Instinct is a GPS multisport watch for people who love to be outdoors. The $300 Instinct takes the best features of the company's popular Fenix watches and packages them into rugged, military-grade package.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.