Gadgets : If reports are to believed, most of the western world spend their free time staring at the television, playing video games or surfing the net for hours on end. While that may be some people’s idea of a good time, many of us would rather spend our leisure time outside, taking on the challenges nature has to offer. Whether you enjoy mountain climbing, camping, or just the occasional picnic in the countryside, there’s no denying the great outdoors is far more interesting than anything TV or the internet has to offer.
But that’s not to say that there’s no place for technology out in the wilderness. Some pretty smart inventions have been created with the outdoorsman (or woman) in mind. Ray Mears may be happy rubbing sticks together to create fire or using the moss on the trees to tell which way is north, but even the most adventurous of us could still use a little help out in the wild.
Taking technology outside
There is a whole host of gadgets that can be of assistance when taking on Mother Nature. Some are well known and well loved, like the compass and the trusty Swiss Army Knife. But some, while newer and more hi-tech, are just as useful, and once you’ve started using them you’ll wonder how you ever survived outdoors without them.
For example, the portable UV monitor is a handy little gizmo that lets you know exactly how strong the sun’s rays are wherever you happen to be. Calculating against your skin type and the protection factor of your sun cream, it alerts you when you’ve had optimum exposure to the sun and would be wise to find some shade.
The solar backpack isn’t just useful for carrying provisions. It is equipped with a handy solar panel which stores energy from the sun while you are hiking along. This energy can then be used to recharge a device such as a digital camera or mobile phone, meaning you need never lose contact with the outside world, or miss the opportunity to take the ultimate wildlife snap.
For those that enjoy al fresco dining, but lack the patience to build the perfect bonfire, the Notebook portable flat-folding barbecue is a must-have. This lightweight, easy to carry item, which is smaller than the average laptop computer, unfolds into an instant barbecue which can be taken anywhere – just add charcoal!
Gadgets for the urban survivor
If you shy away from the wilderness, but still like to get out about in town, there are outdoor gadgets to suit you, too. Battery powered heated gloves are a real boon on those long winter nights. The shake-powered torch doesn’t need batteries, so can be relied on the event of a power cut. In the event of a breakdown at night, you’ll be glad you had an emergency rechargeable torch in your car’s cigarette lighter.
So if you’re going on walkabout, don’t just rely on the survival tips of Ray Mears or Bear Grylls, wise as they may be. Give yourself even more of an advantage with some hi-tech gadgetry. After all, if it’s good enough for James Bond, it must be good enough for you.