Below are 12 of our FAVORITE gadgets for hiking, camping, and exploring. We own all of these ourselves and can vouch for their awesomeness.
Inflatable Solar Light
My little sister got us on of these and it is too cool! Clip it on your backpack flat while you hike. It’ll charge in the sun all day. In the evening, blow it up and turn it on for a surprisingly bright and super light weight lantern to hang in your tent.
Zac loves these little journals. They are waterproof and great for jotting down notes on the trail.
So Zac’s parents got us one of these and it gives me great peace of mind when we are out in the middle of nowhere. You can text custom messages to family, post a check-in on social media, share your location, and map waypoints as long as you have a clear shot at the sky. And in a real emergency, you can send a SOS distress signal and search and rescue will receive it.
We bought this little lightweight backpacking tent last year for an incredibly reasonable price on amazon (click photo for link). This thing has been great for the 2 of us. It is not an all-season tent but it did well for us in late fall at 10,000 ft elevation in the rockies. There are lighter ones out there but I was very happy with this purchase for the price.
Zac surprised me with these snowshoes last Christmas and they’ve been one of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts! Snowshoeing was new for us and we fell in love immediately! You can also buy extensions for these if you are a larger person, it helps you stay on top of the soft powder.
My mom got us one of these and it has been the most fun toy! See the video below where we attached it to the car and drove through deep snow. These things can take a beating!
Pocket sized backcountry grill
This little grill is perfect for backpacking. It is puny, folds down and fits in that little orange case (which literally fits in a pocket) and works well. What more could you ask for?
So we tried to take Tuco and Frankie with us on a snowshoe hike to a hot springs in Utah last year. Tuco did just fine, but with the texture of Frankie’s fur, ice quickly accumulated on and between her toes so we had to turn around. After that trip, I got her these booties and they’ve been great! They stay on really well and when she’s outdoors and distracted by smells and hiking, she forgets she’s even wearing them.
LED Dog Collar
Speaking of the pups, these light up collars have been AMAZING when our dogs are exploring around camp!
A bear barrel is a must when camping in the rockies. In some state parks, you cannot get a backcountry pass if you don’t have one. They are pricey, considering they are just a thick plastic jug but you need one regardless.
These things are cheap and just stretch right over any hiking boot. You will be able to walk across frozen lakes with ease. Try not to giggle at all the newbs busting their butts.
National Parks Pass
The ultimate nomad gift: The National Parks Annual Pass! We have used this thing so many times and it has easily paid for itself. This pass will get you into ANY national park in the country!