Friday, July 24, 2015

Take Your Favorite Home Tech Camping With You This Summer

"If you’re into camping but like to bringing some of you're favorite tech with you, these gadgets should keep you comfortable."

There are those campers and hikers who trek out into the wild for the expressed, desire to get away from it all. Camping for them is a minimalist, more primal experience. Then again, there are some who like trees, sky, rivers and wildlife, but don’t want to miss out on the game or what their friends are doing on Facebook.

For those less hardcore camping fans, there are items out there that allow them to take their stuff out where their stuff wouldn’t naturally be.

In this era, when the quality of television crushes the juvenile drivel we see in movie theaters these days and people pay more attention to sports than U.S. military engagements, there are those folks who simply can’t live without their TV. Sure, they could DVR everything and enjoy it once they return from their wigwam, but that would require waiting. They must have TV now.

For those dedicated viewers, there’s the outstanding WInegard Pathway X1 Portable Satellite Antenna (top). The domed receiver is about the size of a microwave oven and comes packed with a DISH receiver to receive the full section of satellite channels. Winegard reports that it’s the smallest automatic portable satellite TV antenna available, selling as a bundle for $549.

Now, it’s not exclusively for camping as it’s primarily designed for outdoor uses like tailgating parties and outdoor get-togethers. The receiver needs a power source, so a generator or RV hookups is a must. But, those factors in place, the X1 sets up easily enough through a simple interface and works flawlessly. If you have a TV friendly to outdoor use (like this elite SunBrite version), the X1 guarantees you’ll have the same TV service in the middle of nowhere that you have at home.
If it’s a laptop you want to take with you, the impact and water resistant STM Drifter bag ($139, above) is a smart choice for deep excursions. The Drifter fits most laptop sizes with a computer compartment designed to keep the device both secure and cool. The bag also holds more pockets than you’ve had hot dinners, so other travel and camping necessities. Those pockets and compartments seal up tight to protect all items inside from the elements.

For any traveler looking to take a little New Age thinking with them into the woods, there’s the Active Edge Survival Strap. It’s tightly wound para-cord that will always come in handing during any camping emergency. But, its designers somehow merge electromagnetic fields into the fabric so the wearer has the benefit of “prescribed pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.” It’s supposed to help with joint trouble, muscle aches, etc.

I wore one for a weeks as a test, and I can’t claim any particular health benefits during that short period. But, it is certainly a whole lot of para-cord.

Finally, if it’s music a camper must bring along to the forest or the beach, the Nyne Aqua ($149.99) is an impact resistant, waterproofed audio device that floats. Sure, it’s designed first and foremost for pool use — but you can still rock out while fording every stream.