Tech Accessories for the Great Outdoors

It’s finally summertime, which—hopefully—means the perfect weather to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities from going to the beach to camping under the stars to just barbecuing in your backyard. And you don’t need to leave your love of cool tech indoors—these devices can help enhance your time in the great outdoors.

Tent: Immerse Yourself in Nature

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The Oasis, from Lithuanian designer Vytautas Puzeras, is not your standard tent. The bubble-like dome is more of a portable shelter for glampers who want to feel what it is like to be immersed in nature with a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. The Oasis can fit six people, withstand temperatures from -4°F to 104°F, has curtains for when you need a little shade or privacy, and storage space underneath the wood panel floors. However, this is not for a quick getaway—it takes two people five hours to assemble and four hours to take down.  

Lantern: Providing Light for All

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MPOWERD’s Luci ($10 to $25) is an inflatable solar light that can shine up to 12 hours on a single charge. While this lightweight and energy efficient light source can be used in your backyard or on camping trips, MPOWERED also has something larger in mind. They want to help supply light to the 1.5 billion people in the developing world who still live without electricity. In addition to buying the device for yourself, you can also donate $10 so someone without electricity can a have a little more light in his or her life.

Connectivity: Always Stay in Touch

TechKnow_2_goTennaUnfortunately, even our smartphones can’t get service everywhere. But goTenna ($199), a cognitive digital radio, can help you create your own off-network grid so you can text and access GPS without service. However, you can only communicate with others who have goTenna. The device is sold in pairs, but your network can include larger groups as well. Encrypted messages can be sent one-to-one or via a group chat. You can also broadcast to anyone with goTenna as well as share your location in case you are in need of help.

Smartwatch: Your Outdoor Guide

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Nature doesn’t always cooperate with your plans, but now you can have all of the latest information on your wrist. The Casio WSD-F10 ($500) is a smartwatch specifically designed to perform in the rugged outdoors—it is built to military specifications and is water resistant up to 50 meters. Additionally, a range of sensors provide essential information for outdoor activities, including compass direction and distance to nearby landmarks, air pressure so you can keep track of changing weather conditions, sunset and sunrise times, and tide graphs so you know the best times to fish.

Cooler: A Party in a Box

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Everything you may need for an outdoor party is located in the Coolest Cooler ($450). It has a built-in blender for cocktails and smoothies, splash-proof Bluetooth speakers, a USB charger for your devices, an LED lid light, a bottle opener, corkscrew, plates, a cutting board, and a ceramic knife. And to make it easier to travel with anything else you want to bring along, it has a “done in one” tie-down bungee cord to keep everything together.

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