Staying fit and active doesn’t mean that you need to leave your devices at home. In fact, they can make your time out in the wild even better.
We figured we aren’t the only ones who feel this way. And with Christmas coming up, we thought we would offer up some great tech solutions for your loved ones who enjoy getting off the beaten track.
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TomTom, from $381.65.
This has been my personal go-to for both hiking and running over the last few months, and I’m really enjoying the versatility, battery life and durability.
Hikers will appreciate that it has a GPS, compass and altimeter built-in. It also tracks your trail, so at the end of your walk you can see your entire circuit, as well as upload it to the dedicated app. Or if you have a particular trail in mind, you can download it to the watch ahead of time.
Seriously, this thing is so cool for hikers.
Other specialised activities it can track include cycling, swimming, skiing and gym visits. It also has specialised training modes such as interval and race, as well as personalised workouts tailored to your fitness level.
And if you like having your own personal soundtrack so you can feel like you’re in a Rocky montage, you can add 3GB worth of jams to the integrated music player.
The North Face, $350.
If you’re a regular hiker or camper investing in good hiking and camping gear is definitely worth it. But it can also get pricey, which is why I look for versatility.
The North Face offer Arrowood ‘triclimate jackets’ for both women and men that features a waterproof, lined shell with a midweight smooth-face fleece inner jacket that can be easily zipped out. This makes it good for sudden bouts of rain, as well as the inevitable layering that is needed during certain parts of the year.
At $350 for the base level models, they aren’t the cheapest gifts in the world – but for something this heavy duty, waterproof and customisable – it’s a good investment for the hardcore hiker.
MacPac, from $29.95.
Access to clean water is imperative when you’re out in nature. You may prefer to carry all the H20 that you need, but you never know when there may be an emergency. Plus, it never hurts to have a backup plan.
MacPac’s Lifestraw ($29.95) is incredibly compact water filtration device that filters out 99.9999% of protozoan parasites and waterborne bacteria.
Cartodraft, various prices.
This is one of the hikers, campers, 4WD enthusiasts and straight-up map nerds.
GPS and digital maps are great – until you can’t access them. Adventurers should always be prepared, so perhaps consider some topographic maps of your loved ones’ favourite wilderness haunts.
It may not be the sexiest present in the world, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of safety and practicality. Besides, there is something inherently beautiful about a proper, hardcore map.
Dash Cam/Crash Cam
LASER, from $59.95.
Considering that Christmas and the school holidays are coming up – this isn’t just a gift for motoring enthusiasts or people with expensive cars.
Dash Cams can be great for people who enjoy road trips, have long commutes to work or who love getting off-road.
LASER have just released an entire new range of their Navig8r Crash Cam equipment, which start at only $59.95, which will get you an 8MP front facing camera in 1080p.
This isn’t bad, but for a more rounded recording experience I am more of a fan of the Navig8r Dual X 817 F+R Crash Camera. It has 12MP front and rear cameras, records in 1296p Super HD resolution (so you can see the number plates and car make/model, which are important details in an accident), GPS and Wi-Fi. You can also connect them to your smart phone with a dedicated app. This bad boy clocks in at $199.95.
Belkin, from $44.98.
A bit of an obvious entry, but you can never have enough power banks. I carry at least 2 on me at all times. Besides, just because you’re all over them doesn’t mean that your outdoor loving parents or loved ones are.
We have already written about three of the best power banks available. And although the Cygnett ChargeUp has been my go-to for hiking this year (it’s thin and incredibly durable) I do find it takes quite awhile longer to charge the bank than it used to.
I have had a great experience with the Belkin MIX IT RockStar (10,000mAh). I carry two phones at the moment (I swear one isn’t a burner) and an iPad – so being able to charge two devices at once with 4.8 Amps is ideal.
Generally $89.95, at the time of writing I found the gold version on JB Hi-Fi for $44.98!
I probably don’t need to explain why this is great for holidays, camping and hiking – but I will say that carrying this around out on the trail has made me a hero with my mates.
If you’re after USB-C you can get that too, but only with 6600mAh battery size.
If you’re going out in the wilderness for a few days, a power bank may not quite cut it. Fortunately, Kogan has a solution with this solar phone charger.
With four mono-crystalline solar panels, you can charge your devices with the power of the sun. Plus, it’s only $69.
The one caveat here is that it doesn’t contain a battery (hence the price) so you won’t be able to store your power. My suggestion would be to use it to charge your power banks during the day time, which you can then use for your phone when needed.
And if you’re short on space in your pack, this folds right up for easy storage.
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