Ever tried navigating a trail with just a map? Well, it’s not the most efficient way to get around. Thankfully, today’s gadgets can step in as your new favorite outdoor buddies. These gadgets can help ensure you not only survive the trails you’re ambitiously trying to tackle, but also have a safer, healthier experience.
From gadgets that improve your navigational skills and safety to gadgets that track your physical performance, here are some types of gadgets that will make you the envy of all woodland creatures (and other outdoor enthusiasts) you come across.
Devices for navigation and security
Before modern technology, humans used various techniques to navigate the wilderness. Travelers also relied on celestial navigation, which used the sun, moon, and stars, as well as natural landmarks, to determine direction and location. Since time immemorial, these methods have enabled people to effectively explore and navigate the wilderness.
Modern advances in technology allow you to use satellites, global positioning systems, and instant global communications to stay connected and safe no matter where we roam. And when venturing into the great outdoors for activities like hiking or mountain biking, navigation and safety should come first. Because a wrong turn or a sudden emergency can turn an exciting adventure into a perilous walk in the woods.
Smartwatches and navigation devices for outdoor enthusiasts
The Garmin Instinct Solar is an example of a smartwatch that also has solar charging capabilities to keep your device powered even on the longest hikes. It is also equipped with GPS, as well as GLONASS (the Russian analogue of GPS) and the Galileo satellite system (developed by the European Union through the European Space Agency) to track your location pinpoint anywhere in the world.
For those who like to push their limits, the Suunto 9 is designed to withstand extreme conditions. This smartwatch offers GPS navigation as well as something called FusedTrack, a software feature that offers better battery life while maintaining tracking accuracy between GPS readings.
Personal Emergency Response Devices
If you’re looking for a dedicated layer of security, Personal Emergency Response Devices (PERs) have you covered. For example, the Spot Gen4 is a satellite communicator that keeps you connected in remote areas with customizable tracking intervals and two-way satellite messaging (via subscription). That means you’re never out of reach for help.
The emergency SOS feature alerts the 24/7 International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) and the check-in feature allows you to share your location with friends and family during your trek.
Alternatively, Garmin devices have topographic maps and a TracBack feature that makes it easy to retrace your steps. Additionally, devices like the Garmin Tread – Overland Edition are also connected to IERCC, allowing you to send your location to emergency responders through the device.
Another compact option for satellite communications is the Garmin inReach Mini. This device offers global Iridium satellite coverage for two-way text messaging and an SOS feature that connects you to a 24/7 emergency response team. Location tracking and sharing features let you keep loved ones in the loop, while compatibility with other Garmin devices makes route planning and checking weather updates easy.
Another non-Garmin option is the ZOLEO Satellite Communicator. This compact device offers global two-way messaging, weather updates and location sharing. Similar to other devices, you can automatically include your GPS coordinates in check-in messages. And in emergencies, the ZOLEO app also provides SOS alerting and communication, connecting you to the IERCC 24/7.
Outdoor fitness and health tracking gadgets
Before technology made precise fitness tracking possible, people used more rudimentary and subjective methods to measure their physical fitness and monitor their progress. They were based on personal observations, experiences, and how they felt during and after the workout. How archaic!
Today, the wearable tech market offers multiple fitness tracking options to keep you informed of your heart rate and other fitness and health stats, even in the most remote of locations.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is such a fitness tracker. It comes in a compact package and is equipped with sensors otherwise found on more expensive devices in the Fitbit range. From activity tracking to heart rate monitoring to providing sleep data, the Charge 5 keeps you on top of your health, while the built-in GPS and 7-day battery life mean you can use it on multi-day hikes.
The Polar Vantage M2 sports watch is also worth a look. This versatile wearable not only records your daily activities, but also has more than 130 profiles for tracking sport-specific training metrics. Polar Vantage M2 is also equipped with GPS so you don’t accidentally end up in another country.
Another excellent option for outdoor fitness tracking is the COROS APEX Pro. This multisport GPS watch has been carefully designed for outdoor enthusiasts. With accurate navigation and positioning, the APEX Pro is supported by GPS, GLONASS and the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
There are other gadgets for sports enthusiasts too; One product that brings a touch of futuristic flair is the AR glasses from ActiveLook. These take outdoor fitness tracking to the next level with augmented reality. These smart glasses allow you to focus on the trail while displaying real-time data like speed, distance and heart rate right in front of your eyes. Also check out the apps that will help you spend more time in nature.
Get ready and take your wilderness adventures to the next level
Finding the perfect gadget involves striking the right balance between navigation, security, and fitness tracking. With a range of devices at your disposal such as From Garmin Instinct Solar, Suunto 9, Fitbit Charge 5, Polar Vantage M2 and the cutting-edge ActiveLook glasses, you can undoubtedly discover the ultimate gadget to enhance and enhance your next outdoor adventure.
The great outdoors beckons and these devices ensure you’re equipped to conquer any trail or terrain while monitoring your health, fitness and safety. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or an avid novice, let these state-of-the-art products guide you on your confident step into the great outdoors.