Stepping into the great outdoors has changed pretty dramatically in the last few decades. A bevy of electronic devices is available to make your great adventure into the darkest forests a little bit safer. Major developments in battery life, smaller components, and higher powered processors have allowed big operation in small, lightweight packages. What are 5 newly essential devices you need in the wild with you?
Of all the areas of outdoor electronics, the GPS has had the most considerable impact on backcountry travel. Magellan offered the first handheld GPS device in 1989, and since then the race has been on. Current versions of the handheld GPS provide present location, directions, tracking, waypoints, and mapping. Look for durability, battery life, coverage, and additional features that can from weather to altimeters. A good GPS can save your life in case of an emergency. Backcountry hiking and skiing have been made much safer and more available to many because of the security and accuracy of GPS location.
Though not an electronic device, not having clean water will definitely make any other device not matter. Modern water filtration has made pulling water out of the worst standing water situations pretty viable for getting clean, safe water. Ranging from large Gravity filtration for handling large amounts to small highly portable mine filtration systems clean water is a drip away. No longer do you have to worry about intestinal disorders making your backwoods adventures real adventures.
Range finders are being used in a number of areas, and they offer great benefits in archery, golf, shooting, and hiking. Rangefinders allow you to very accurately gauge distances to specific objects. Look for ease of use, rugged durability, low light capabilities, and optical quality. Whether your target is a bull elk or the tee on the fifth hole, your odds will increase dramatically when you know accurate distances.
If you have any thoughts of seeing wildlife, having a good set of binoculars will be important to you. Binocular manufacturers offer a myriad of options for the buyer. Choose the style that most suits you intended to use. Other considerations to look at are price, binocular size, magnification power, objective lens diameter, brightness, relative brightness, eye relief, the field of view, focus ability, lens coatings, weather, fog, and water resistance. Electronics have even combined the binocular with the rangefinder. Great optics are worth the money, as going cheap in this area most always leads to disappointment.
This may seem to be an odd addition, but one of the joys of exploring the outdoors is hearing critters as they move about or around your campsite. Learning who has been checking you out can be a fascinating and sometimes frightening affair. Good trail cameras will take a multitude of pictures, store them on SD card, date, and time stamp, be very durable and easy to use.
Take advantage of these most modern additions to your pack. Not only will they potentially save your life but some of these will definitely enhance your outdoor experience.