Top 10 Tech Gadgets to Take With You
People who picnic, camp or glamp tend to fall into two categories – happy-go-lucky souls who buy dubious tech during Little Chef stopovers, and those who plan their tech needs like the SAS. As far as we're concerned, to fail to plan is to plan to fail, so check out our five essential pieces of kit so you're not caught short while 'enjoying yourself.'
Mother, I'm so, so cold...
If you're camping in Blighty, you need to assume a weather spectrum that takes in near-arctic conditions.
The Redwood Portable Gas Heater runs off gas canisters, keeping it nice and simple. Its pleasing, retro look will actively attract marshmallows and chestnuts for toasting.
The current price tag, around £40/$60 USD/AUS$82, seems fair exchange for the shivers.
Give me my blanket
We love this LED picnic blanket, which was pimped from various odds and sods available from any DIY store. It makes us feel like we could al-fresco dine without falling into a rocky crevice and having a '127 hours' experience.
Pimp a few and they'll be ideal for spelling out 'help' on the ground if you get into trouble.
Can we marry this? Would that be wrong? Not only does the Bio Lite Camp Stove look like it's waiting for a go no-go for take-off, but it will also charge smartphones, headlamps and LED lights, thus bordering on genius.
It burns only wood, so fuel is free if you're foraging, and 46g of wood will boil about a litre of water.
It's got quite a price tag of £125/$130.95 (around AUS$177.94) which is a little bit of a drag, but if a thing's worth doing it's worth doing well.
No one wants hot sandwiches, ever, unless they're properly toasted, which is completely different. The Dometic CDF-11 Smallest Portable Fridge Freezer plugs into a 12V car socket offering a cooling range of +10C to -18C and a 10.5L capacity.
Its optimised absorption technology also means quiet operation, which will be a welcome change from at least one member of your camping group.
This one wields a heftier RRP at around £330/$515/AUS$699, but buy it for the excursion and you're also sorted for the zombie apocalypse.
Last resting place
Make no mistake, if you're roughing it in the outback, or as close as you can get to Area 51, soon you'll yearn for a congenial platform upon which to rest.
Besides, you could get sand or snakes in your tech by sitting on the ground. Cue this little beaut – the Intex Inflatable Corner Sofa.
Fast-up tech means you won't double the size of your inflating limb, while a handy corner design means a friend can even chill with you.
Find it online for around £77/$120/AUS$177 and kick back in style.
I can see you
Tech and bodies of water rarely mix, the exception being Seawolf class hunter-killer submarines. Indeed, one of the key lessons of any survival outdoors movie is that you have to be able to navigate rivers without losing your kit.
Think about it – last thing you want is any real-life repeat of Deliverance. So, we'd reach for an MPOWERD Inflatable Solar Lantern.
Lightweight, waterproof, shatterproof and rechargeable, it has three settings including a high viz emergency 'flasher'. Giggle. Which is obviously also ideal for tent raves.
Priced at around the £10/$15/AUS$20 mark, we reckon it's a steal.
Given that the average human will start to die after three days without water, it makes sense to ensure you're sip-tastic for the duration of your camping jaunt.
Just saying, people. So, grab your Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System, fill each bag from the dirty puddle on the ground and squeeze clean water out through the clever filter device. Now that's tech that could save your life.
Amounts range from a 16-ounze to a 64-ounze pouch, and you can easily find them online.
Can you smell my armpits?
If you have to ask, the answer is probably 'yes'. To avoid being zipped out of your tent by angry people covering their noses, smart campers will pack the NEMO Helio Pressure Shower, which uses solar power to give you a warm, high- pressured dose of happiness.
Not only that, but lovely tech means it can sit on the ground and still deliver the pressure you'll need to clean your gear, wash dishes or de-scum fellow campers.
We think the price of around £65/$100/AUS$135 is a fair one for this practical luxury.
Master and commander
Sailing and camping are great shipmates – but we all know people who should never be trusted with a map, let alone a marine chart. It's all good, because Garmin has made quatix - a GPS-enabled marine navigation watch that leaves your hands free to point when you see land, or push anyone overboard who's trying to nick it from you.
Tactical tech includes auto-calibrating altimeter, three- axis compass, temperature sensor – plus a full deck of sailing features including a virtual starting line and tack assist.
You can pick one up for around £200/$300, which isn't cheap, but it'll make you look and feel like James Bond, so it's money well spent, obviously.
One of the main reasons to go camping is to film wild cats and put them on YouTube, but without the right tech, you won't see a whisker. These Sony DEV-50 Digital Recording Binoculars should do the trick. Not only do they offer 25x magnification and image stabilisation, but you can record in full HD and 3D modes.
They don't come cheap, so probably more one for the aspiring David Attenboroughs.
Still, you could make that back, and more, if you capture Bigfoot.