Whether you are hiking a mountain trail, camping in a dense forest or just hanging out in your backyard, your devices need to be rugged enough to withstand the elements, as well as accidental drops. Here are a few noteworthy items to keep in mind for your next outdoor adventure.
G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt, $230
The G-Drive ev ATC from G-Technology is a sturdy, lightweight portable hard drive intended to keep data secure when you are out in the field. “ATC” stands for the all-terrain case, which holds a one-terabyte hard drive inside. G-Technology says the case will protect the drive from pressure, shock, water and dust, and it will float in water. The case has a Thunderbolt cable that is easily tucked away, and the drive also has a USB 3.0 port, making it a flexible storage system. For those who already own a G-Drive ev hard drive, a stand-alone all-terrain case is available for $130.
Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit, $170
With a portable backup battery, being off the grid does not mean being without power. Goal Zero goes a step further with its Solar power pack, which includes its durable Venture 30 Recharger and Nomad 7 Solar Panel. The Recharger has an attached micro-USB cable and a USB port for charging other devices, with the ports protected by rubber coating.
When the device runs out of juice, the solar panel can be used to recharge it. (Charging takes eight hours in full sunlight.) A “pass-through” feature allows the Recharger to send out power while it is charging. And its smart-charging technology means that devices will be charged at their intended amperage.
Gravitymaster GPW1000, $950
G-Shock bills the Gravitymaster GPW1000 analog timepiece as “the world’s first atomic solar hybrid watch.” What that means is that it receives radio signals transmitted from six timekeeping stations around the world and GPS technology to adjust automatically and display accurate time. The GPW1000 incorporates G-Shock’s “Triple G Resist” structure, making it resistant to shock, vibration and gravity; it’s also water-resistant up to 200 meters. Other features include solar panels on the face of the watch and a rechargeable battery, as well as a forged metal bezel and metal buttons, a non reflective sapphire crystal covering the watch face and a durable carbon-fiber insert band.
Blackout Buddy H2O, $10
The Blackout Buddy H20 light from the Eton Corporation is not a gadget you will use often; in fact, you will be able to use it only once. There is no power switch (it’s activated by a few drops of water after it is unsealed), so you get one shot, and it’s done. But once the light is on, the Blackout Buddy H2O will last 72 hours, making it handy in case of emergency.
The light’s compact design makes it easy to carry in a backpack or camping kit. Eton says it can be stored up to 10 years without degradation. If you are looking for a reusable light, consider Eton’s Scorpion II solar-powered flashlight, which costs $60 and features an AM/FM radio and a USB charger.
Navigation apps help users determine where they are and where they are headed. Google Maps is the market leader for free navigation apps, and Apple is making strides to catch up, but if you are planning to venture off road, paying for an app with more features might be a better option.
One of the better apps is MotionX-GPS for iOS devices, which has topographical and road maps that can be downloaded and stored for access in areas that do not have cellular coverage. For seafaring adventurers, marine maps are available. You can track your movements, mark waypoints of favorite locations, record routes and even add geotagged photos along your journey.
Monster iSport SuperSlim, $150
The iSport SuperSlim is the first wireless in-ear model in Monster’s line of fitness headphones. Monster says the headphones feature “the world’s slimmest design,” which makes them ideal for use with helmets or goggles. The headphones are lightweight and stay put in use; additional earbuds and tips are included to ensure a secure, comfortable fit.
Multipoint technology enables the headphones to be paired with a second device, which is useful if you do not have your music stored on your phone. Monster says the headphones provide five hours of playback on a full charge; for longer treks, wired iSport models are available. The iSport SuperSlim headphones are available now in green; a black version will be introduced next week.