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Travel Tech: Best Camping and Hiking Gadgets


Think of the Channel Islands’ scenic trails, with amazing vistas and fresh ocean air—not to mention the whale and dolphin watching on the way over. Sound like the perfect place to set up camp? We know. But before you pack up the trunk, you’ll want to snap up these key gadgets to help set the mood and capture the moment, while staying well-hydrated during the day and warm at night. Whether you’re headed to a national park or something more off the grid, with these gadgets you won’t miss those little daily luxuries (much).

1. Samsung W300 Rugged Full HD 1080p Pocket Camcorder

Why We Like It: Just like its predecessor (the W200, featured back in March), this new pocket camcorder is also easy to use, rough-and-tumble, shoots high-def video, and can pause during recording. But it’s got a stereo microphone, which comes in handy with the Smart Background Music feature. You can add preloaded music to your videos. And if it senses someone’s speaking, it’ll automatically lower the music so as not to overwhelm your narration/dialogue. It also features additional filming effects. And it comes in a wider variety of colors: black, orange, and red.

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2. Women’s Xspress Fitness Runner

Why We Like It: This versatile shoe provides great cushioning, support and breathability for those invigorating runs and long hikes on light trails. The rubber outsole gives great traction. A removable inner layer provides extra padding and a comfy fit. If you do remove it, you’ll see…right through the shoe’s heel! That "skylight" adds stability. In addition to black/coral, it comes in white/navy and silver/blue.

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3. Organic Insect Repellent

Why We Like It: Lemongrass oil gives this child- and pet-safe insect repellant its sweet, flowery smell. It’s sized for easy transport in your purse and on the plane. But it’s definitely a good idea to bring along this environmentally conscious product as you explore the outdoors.

How Much:
2.5 oz, $12; 4 oz, $18

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4. Vapur Sweater

Why We Like It: As opposed to most "sweaters," this one’s worn to keep things cooler. More specifically, it insulates and protects Vapur’s .4L or .5L "antibottles." So whatever tasty beverage you’ve got stored in these flexible, rollable containers will stay chilled longer as you’re camping and hiking.

How Much: $7

Buy It: Visit

5. Concentrated Tent & Gear Solarproof

Why We Like It: Help your gear serve you longer. Just a single application of this safe, water-based solvent can double the useful life of your tent’s fabric. It’s also amazing for backpacks, camera bags and more, protecting them from UV damage and adding water repellency in the process.

How Much: 5 oz, $13; 33.8 oz, $39

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6. Braven 625s speaker

Why We Like It: Add both tunes and lumens to your path. This rugged, rubberized wireless speaker sounds super as it plays up to 16 hours of your favorite music. But it can also charge your gadgets on-the-go! And using that same port and the included LED flashlight, it serves as a nice little beacon. Adding to its utility, it comes with a lanyard and water-resistant dry bag.

How Much: $180

Buy It: Visit

7. Selk’bag 4G Lite

Why We Like It: Instead of being cramped in a cocoon-like bag, this limb-liberating "sleep wear" system lets you be cozy but free. Its dual front-entry anti-snag zippers make for easy entry. The water-resistant Polyester shell, thermal collar and insulated hood keep you warm. If you need to cool you off—or get to your pants pockets—just open the hip vent and fold back the hand-covers. The feet have reinforced nylon soles with traction-friendly grips. So you can amble around the campsite all snuggly, sneakily avoiding the morning air’s chilly kiss.

How Much: $99

Buy It: Visit

Enter to win Braven’s 625s Portable Bluetooth speaker. Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He’s written four books, plus hundreds of mobile and wireless tips for Sony and PC World. In addition to his daily Discovery News gadget blog, you can find links to other gadget articles, social feeds and lists of his current favorite gadgets at

Photo credits: 1. Samsung; 2. Aetrex Worldwide, Inc.; 3. Tick Tock Naturals; 4. Vapur; 5. Nikwax North America; 6. Braven; 7. selk’bags

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