Depending on just how uncharted the territory, preparation for an outdoor adventure can involve throwing any number of gadgets in your pack before you set out. A GPS device for finding your way around in the day, a flashlight for finding your way around in the night and perhaps a walkie talkie for when you're lost may all be part of the toolkit. Startup Fogo Digital has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a modular, multi-purpose flashlight that squeezes functions like these into a single pocket-sized device, aimed at lightening the load when you're headed into the wilderness.
Over the years, the backpack has evolved slowly. It's gained new and improved features, but it's remained essentially the same: a dual-strapped sack. But a host of more substantial backpack redesigns over recent years, such as multifunctional jacket backpacks
and restructured strap systems
, suggest that evolution might be accelerating. The Offpiste UltraPack leaps forward a few evolutionary stages, strapping a gear-hauling triangle to your torso via a single strap for new-found athleticism.
Norwegian architecture firm Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter (JVA) recently completed a cabin situated some 1,200 m (3,937 ft) above sea level in Norway's rugged Okstindan mountain range. The Rabot Tourist Cabin is one of many official DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) cabins scattered around the country, and shelters hikers from the harsh local weather conditions.
In 2013, Hydrapak introduced its SoftFlask series
of soft-sided TPU water bottles designed to collapse into your pocket. The design seemed handy, but we wondered why the company chose to use a rather big, bulging bottom on a design meant to pack small. It addresses this shortcoming with the all-new Stash. The Stash's collapsible TPU body is paired with a flat bottom that snaps together with the top, making the packed bottle even easier to transport.
Keeping mobile electronic devices powered up can be difficult for the modern camper and hiker. Generating power from Mother Nature in the form of wind and sun is the preferred option for many, with a number of portable solar
generators emerging to fill this need. The latest is Windpax, a collapsible, portable wind turbine system designed to not take up too much space in a backpack.
If there's one thing liable to ruin the backpacking experience, it's being weighed down by too much baggage. The problem is there are several things considered essential for the serious backpacker who spends his or her day hiking and his or her nights camping in the wilderness. One of which is a stove. The Vertex Ultralight Backpacking Stove could solve the dilemma of traveling light vs. eating every evening.
Backpacks have seen plenty of changes and innovations of late, as evidenced by the Pelican S100
and TYLT Energi+ device-charging backpack
, but most of those changes relate to the pack itself. The folks behind the Coxa Carry system leave the pack alone and focus on the straps and belt, creating a solution that they believe is more comfortable and functional than the typical set of shoulder straps.
A solution for athletes that hike or run at night, and get thirsty while doing so, the new GoMotion Synergy Hydration LightVest offers a unique blend of LED lighting and storage. The chest-mounted light is designed to provide a more comfortable beam than the headlamp, while the greater pack offers space for water and more.
Recently launched outdoor line Rocky S2V is more determined than the Discovery Channel to ensure that you're prepared to survive. For backcountry skiers and other winter explorers, it offers a jacket with an integrated survival kit
. For hikers, it offers the Substratum boots, which can start a fire as well as pull you out of other jams.
In recent months, Google Maps has ramped up its cartographical efforts to provide more detailed maps of North Korea and take users to more exotic locations like snow-covered mountains
and underwater coral reefs
via Street View. Now thanks to the Trekker
, Google's own backpack-mounted camera system, users can explore stunning 360-degree panoramic images on a virtual hike through the Grand Canyon.