Millions of people are gearing up for a road trip this Labor Day long weekend, or at some point this fall, many of whom will be going on a camping trip.
Don’t forget to pack some technology for your travels.
Oh sure, some might think it’s silly to bring electronics while enjoying the serenity of the great outdoors, but the right gear can actually enrich and enhance your time spent off the grid with your friends or family. family.
Whether you call it “glamping” (glamorous camping), “pamping” (pampered camping) or just bringing a few comforts home, technology can help you stay safe, entertained and connected to the outside world, if you need it.
What follows is a backpack full of ideas to pack for your next camping trip, music festival, remote cabin, or RV park.
Even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a hot shower in the middle of the wilderness.
Joolca HOTTAP V2 Essentials Portable Hot Water Kit (starting at $299) can give you that shower, with over 15 hours of runtime on a single tank of gas, via its 37,500 BTU burner (with a flow rate of 1.6 GPM for ample pressure).
Note: If you do not have a pressurized water source at your campsite, be aware that you will need a pump, sold separately, to bring water from a river or lake.
Alternatively, Joolca offers an outlet kit, for $419, which houses both the hot water kit and the 12-volt pump. The two-stage filter will remove almost anything from the water source and is durable enough to throw into shallow rivers and streams.
Billed as the world’s smallest water heater in its class, HOTTAP V2 Essentials also includes a magnetic shower head that attaches to any metal surface, or consider Joolca’s Ensuite Double Camping Shower Tent ($189), which gives you some privacy while bathing (with a changing room as well).
give me shelter
The Coleman Skydome 6-Person Camping Tent ($179.99) features “dark room” technology that blocks 90% of sunlight compared to a comparable Coleman tent, the company says, which helps keep the tent cooler and also allows you to sleep after sunrise.
The WeatherTec tub-shaped floor keeps you and your stuff dry, plus patented welded corners and inverted seams to keep water out. A reinforced frame has been tested to withstand winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
This Coleman Skydome model measures 10 x 8 feet 6 inches, with a center height of 6 feet and nearly vertical walls.
Setup only takes five minutes.
Rise is great
Exactly as it sounds, a “truck tent” attaches to the bed of your pickup truck, using tent poles and straps to secure it in place, and gives you the freedom to camp in multiple locations. They’re also raised off the ground, can help ward off snakes and creepy critters, and have no problem ripping your tent floor over sharp rocks or tree roots.
From $199, Rightline Gear Truck Tents has a floorless design that allows you to set up and take down the tent without removing your gear from the bed. Installation is quick, with color-coded poles and pockets, while heavy-duty straps and plastic buckles won’t damage the truck’s finish. One equipped and inflatable Truck Bed Air Mattress (from $89) completes the experience.
Accommodating two adults, the water-resistant tent features two pockets for smartphones, glasses and small personal items, a lantern hook, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls and a sky-view vent for more light, ventilation and sleep under the stars.
The power to go
While Anker has portable generators starting at $199, the Power plant 757 ($1,399) is the granddaddy of them all thanks to a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery—similar to those used in today’s electric vehicles—that last six times longer than standard lithium-iron batteries ( estimated to last up to 3,000 full charge cycles).
Additionally, this generator can be charged up to 80% in just one hour by plugging it into an AC outlet. If not available, it also supports the Anker 625 solar panel accessory, which can charge the Anker 757 to 80% in 3.6 hours of direct sunlight.
The device houses six AC outlets, two USB C, four USB ports and a car port.
Campers also like the flat roof because it provides extra surface area.
Do you have food?
Check out GearLab’s Editors’ Choice Award winner in its “Best Camping Stoves of 2022” roundup, the Camp Leader Everest 2X ($189) is a portable, sturdy, wind-resistant stove.
It houses two 20,000 BTU burners, giving a total of 215 square inches of cooking space. Camp Chef says it includes a regulator (upgraded from its predecessor) to connect to 1-pound propane cylinders (sold separately), as well as an optional adapter to use larger tanks.
Along with a flip-top lid to provide a 3-sided wind shield, the 12-pound stove offers unparalleled ignition to ignite the burners with the turn of a knob.
Speaking of cooking, campers can also enjoy the GCI Outdoor Folding Cooking Station ($110), which includes a heat-resistant aluminum main tabletop, as well as multiple flip-up side tables, a rack, and hooks for trash bags or utensils.
“Swiss army knife” gadget The Etón FRX3+ Multi-Powered Weather Alert Radio ($59.99) is a multifunction device with an AM/FM (digital radio) radio, the seven NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather band stations and an alert feature that broadcasts weather alerts from emergency.
Although it has an internal lithium-ion battery (2600 mAh), you can also use the hand crank and the small solar panel to keep it charged in case of emergency.
The FRX3+ also features a USB port for charging a smartphone, auxiliary input, LED flashlight, emergency red LED flashing beacon, alarm clock, headphone jack and Moreover.
Follow Marc on Twitter for his Tech Tip of the Day posts: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.