Outdoor accessories for your outdoor adventures! Including items like two-way radios and portable chargers, the cool gadgets listed below are convenient and perfect for your next trip.
Grand Trunk Travel Blanket
What Is It? Super lightweight and comfy, this packable travel blanket folds up to the size of a football, so it’s easy to stuff in your backpack. Stretched out, the blanket is roughly 6 feet by 3 feet and weighs just 16 ounces.
Pros: It feels good to be wrapped up in the blanket’s thin polyester shell, and the synthetic insulation inside does a great job of keeping you warm.
Cons: I don’t see myself spending $80 on a blanket, especially one that I would use sparingly. But if you have money to blow, this is a real nice product to keep with your hiking and camping gear.
Motorola Talkabout T605 H20
What Is It? If your idea of a restful weekend includes hiking in the Adirondacks or kayaking in the Catskills, then these cutting-edge two-way radios — a.k.a. walkie talkies on steroids — are the perfect toy for you. These bad boys have a range of up to 35 miles in ideal conditions, plus they can withstand submersion in water for a half-hour. Calling them rugged is definitely an understatement.
Pros: In addition to a nice carrying case for storage, the radios come with a bunch of accessories, including a car charger, rechargeable battery packs and whistle belt clips. Each has a built-in flashlight with red and white LED capabilities. Users can get weather alerts on the radios and choose from 20 call tones or vibrate mode.
Cons: Using all the cool features is a tad complicated, so be ready to read the instruction manual. Also, the battery life is pretty good, but if you’re planning to be out for a couple days in between charges, consider Motorola’s optional high-capacity battery, which is sold separately.
Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger
What Is It? Keeping your cellphone charged on a camping trip — chalk that up to 21st century problems. Not to fear, because Goal Zero’s awesome Flip 20 power bank will give your smartphone a longer life. In fact, you can use it to charge your phone (or other device) up to two times while you’re roaming the woods, paddling on the lake or wherever, enjoying nature, but not going totally off the grid.
Pros: It’s about the size of a fat Pez dispenser, which means it takes up virtually no space in your backpack (you can carry it around in your pants pocket if you really have to). It’s not waterproof, but it is water resistant, and can get rained on, although you probably don’t want your phone getting wet!
Cons: The only downside is that there is no built-in lightning cable (the one for iPhones) so remember to bring your charger!
ditto by Simple Matters
What Is It? While not a conventional hiking or camping accessory, per se, this cute little wearable is a great solution if you want to keep your phone in your bag, but still know when you get texts and calls. Basically, this device clips to your clothes and vibrates when you get an incoming message, call or email. With the included wristband, it can also be worn as a watch. You can set alarms and customize buzz patterns for when your kids or spouse call.
Pros: It’s tiny — about an inch long — plus it’s waterproof. It comes in various colors, including one that’s transparent (granted, that’s not really a color). It also has a cool “tether” function that makes the ditto vibrate when you are about to leave your phone behind somewhere.
Cons: Installing the battery was kind of awkward. I was also expecting more from the wristband, which felt like it could tear easily.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and should not be considered an endorsement from AAA.