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6 Ways to Make Your Camping Experience More Convenient

For some people, the hardship of roughing it is part of what makes camping fun. They like pretending to be Bear Grylls or on the set of “Survivor,” pulling their food out of a river and starting a fire by hand. It’s part of “getting back to nature” for them.

But that’s not you. You love being in the great outdoors, but the more convenient and comfortable you can make the experience, the happier you are. You probably have a portable charger. There’s nothing wrong with that (no matter what your survivalist neighbor might say), and there are plenty of gadgets to support that preference. Here are our six favorites.

6 High-Tech Gadgets to Enhance Your Camping Experience

1. Portable Solar Power

Although getting at least a mile away from the nearest power outlet is the whole point of camping for some, access to electricity for light, cooking, and music can make the whole experience more enjoyable. Reliable phone charging can also give an otherwise rough camping site an extra margin of safety.

In the past 10 years, breakthroughs in solar technology have made solar charging and power cheaper, portable, and more reliable, resulting in solar charging stations you can easily pack.

Camping solar units are foldable or rollable for easy portability and come with or without batteries (or with detachable batteries to give you the option). Be sure to get the outdoor or ruggedized models, as opposed to the more fragile units designed for urban or academic use.

Some of the most highly recommended camping solar units for this year include:

  • BigBlue 28W
  • X-Dragon 40W
  • Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus
  • Goal Zero Boulder 100
  • Renogy 15,000maH

2. Pressure Showers

Camping showers have been around for a long time, but they’ve been far from perfect. Mostly, they consisted of a bag — or, in earlier years, a bucket — attached to a tree above your head, which you filled by hand and let the sun warm up. These showers sort of got you clean and were slightly better than just washing in the nearest river or lake.

A pressure shower improves on this model by attaching a foot pump to the unit. As you stomp on the pump, it fills an internal bladder with air, pushing the water out through the hose. That means you don’t have to elevate your water reservoir, and you can get reasonable water pressure. It also lets you use the shower for other things like washing dishes and winning squirtgun fights with your kids.

As a bonus, most come with a trigger nozzle so you can avoid wasting water between sprays. A few come with solar or electric heating so you can take a hot shower in the wild.

This year’s top pressure showers for camping include:

  • RinseKit Portable Outdoor Shower
  • NEMO Helio X
  • Advanced Elements Summer Shower
  • Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
  • Reliance Outdoors Flow Pro

3. Water Treatment Tech

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve been camping and hiking enough that we don’t have to go into detail about how heavy water is to carry and how much water you need per day to stay hydrated, healthy, and clean. You already know how convenient it is to be able to use whatever water is on-site.

Water treatment used to mean boiling it or screwing up the taste with iodine tablets, but recent technology has added two new options. Portable, fast-acting water filters have come so far you can drink water you found in a stream through a straw that delivers drinkable H20 by the time it gets to your mouth.

Further along the sci-fi spectrum, you can find UV light water treatment that feels like you’re using something from “Star Trek.” You just insert the battery-powered UV light into your water, follow the directions, and kill all the bugs.

Filter straws for camping we recommend include:

  • Sawyer Products MINI
  • LifeStraw Steel
  • LifeStraw Personal
  • Membrane Solutions Water Filter Straw
  • Survival Hax Outdoor Water Filter

UV camping water purifiers on our list include:

  • SteriPEN Adventurer
  • SteriPEN Aqua
  • CrazyCap Deep UV

4. Sandless Mats

If you have trouble finding sandless mats in the camping section, look for them in beach gear. These mats and blankets are made with a weave and material that actively repels sand and dirt. If you set one down in front of your tent, it keeps the tent cleaner because you track in less dirt and dust. When you pack up to leave, the mat is grit-free, so you don’t end up with gunk in your pack or gear bag.

For added convenience, most models come with attached pockets you can fill with sand (ironically), dirt, or rocks to keep them laying flat and prevent them from blowing away in the wind. Our favorite makes and models of this simple but helpful camping tool include:

  • Wekapo Sand Free Beach Blanket
  • WELLAX Sandfree
  • Wildhorn Sand Escape
  • FUTERLY Sand-Free Mat
  • CampMe Premium Beach Blanket

5. Next-Level Tents

For a very long time, tents came in various configurations but with only a couple of basic structures. They all required setup using those bendy poles you slid in through the loops even though you were tired and it was probably already getting dark. They were fine, at best.

Newer models offer multiple other solutions. Some spring out and pop up, fully assembled and ready for use. Some have inflatable ribs you can pump up, possibly using an electric air pump powered by your portable solar unit. And some versions come with hammocks on the inside for extra-comfortable, warmer camping.

The specific features you’ll want will depend on what you like and dislike about your current tent and about how deep into the wild you like to go. The fancier the tent, the bulkier or heavier it tends to be.

Depending on what you want, check out the following prime examples of the various types of upgraded tent options:

  • Hemiplanet Inflatable Geodesic Dome Tent
  • Vango Odyssey Air 800
  • ICOrer Automatic Pop Up Tent
  • EDMBG Instant Tent
  • Kammok Roo Double
  • ENO JungleNest

6. Cooking With Style

We know you love your classic Coleman gas unit. You’ve built a lot of great memories making simple, nutritious meals with it over the years. But there are ways to make cooking and eating much more enjoyable —  dare we even say decadent — in the 21st century. Consider the following additions to your camp kitchen loadout:

  • Portable electric cook pots like the Biolite KettlePot
  • Gelatin-based edible cups so you don’t have to pack or burn the trash
  • The Bearbowl, a cooking pot that folds flat for packing
  • The Roccbox, a stone bake oven you can fold and pack

Final Thoughts

Just because this article focuses on high-tech camping conveniences, don’t forget that there are many low-tech camping survival items you shouldn’t leave out of your planning.

If you combine these old-school tools with new-school technology, you can turn your next camping experience into something as easy and luxurious as a stay at a five-star resort. Well, maybe not that luxurious, but it will be very comfortable.

Charles Greene grew up on the East Coast roughing it with his family on camping outings. But as an adult, when he camps, he enjoys some of the luxuries mentioned above.

Protempo US Aquires Outdoor Tech

IRVINE, CA – April 20, 2020 – Protempo US Limited, a global consumer electronics distributor announced the completed acquisition of Outdoor Tech, a leading ruggedized consumer electronic and helmet audio company.  The Outdoor Tech brand will contribute tremendous value to the Protempo product offering, providing for high-margin quality goods to be offered through Protempo’s expansive sales and distribution network. 

Gerry Fay, Protempo US CEO stated, “I have long been an admirer of the Outdoor Tech Brand.  Their product design skills and unique brand has allowed them to quickly grow within both the consumer electronic and outdoor industry.  There is much opportunity ahead for Outdoor Tech, particularly when combined with Protempo’s vast resources and omnichannel network. We believe we are well positioned to develop Outdoor Tech into one of the largest action electronic brands globally.”

Both US corporate headquarters, which are conveniently located in Southern California, have already begun to diligently work on a seamless transition and integration of their operations. In addition to added sales support, Protempo offers customer service, fulfillment and reverse logistic services.  Protempo’s additional resources will help the Outdoor Tech brand continue to flourish and gain market share.

“We are so excited to be part of the Protempo Family.  Outdoor Tech has been searching for the right partner to expand their sales and distribution reach for their high-quality helmet audio kits, earbuds, headphones, speakers, power banks, chargers and cables. We have been successful at designing and producing unique consumer electronics in support of a healthy and active lifestyle.  The acquisition by Protempo will allow the Outdoor Tech brand to flourish within Protempo’s global network,” said Charlie Gugliuzza, Outdoor Tech’s CEO.

About Protempo
Founded in 2004, Protempo works with leading brands worldwide combining a single, integrated technology platform with global logistics infrastructure and an international sales force based in every major market to offer complete management of reverse logistics, refurbishment, remarketing and distribution of consumer electronics. Protempo delivers tailored customer solutions through a broad product and services portfolio.  For more information, visit www.protempo.com .

About Outdoor Tech
Founded in 2010, Outdoor Tech® is an outdoor designer brand creating accessories for an action-filled lifestyle. Packing the world’s most complete line of Bluetooth audio and power built for reveling in the open air and on the road, Outdoor Tech proves there is a way to stay connected but not tethered. For more on Outdoor Tech and the rest of its line including rugged portable power and the iconic Yowie® Logo apparel collection, visit www.outdoortech.com .

5 Things To Do While You Are Stuck Inside

These are some strange times… strange times indeed. Fear not friends, this will all be figured out soon. For now, make sure you are safe and responsible. You may find yourself spending a lot of time inside (just like us) over the next few weeks. Here are 5 things to do so that you don’t go stir crazy.

Watch X Games’ Real Ski and vote for Alex Hackel

Alex is on our ski team and he is amazing. His Real Ski part is insane so watch it and vote for him. Protip: You can vote once a day, so do it every day. http://www.xgames.com/xgames/real/28891617/hackel-28891692

Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning
Clean all the things

This isn’t inherently fun but it can be. Put on your favorite maids outfit and get scrubbing. Or maybe you need to go through that closet and get organizing. You will feel so much better when you can finally find that one shirt that g-ma got you.

Support Small Businesses Online

Make sure you support your favorite small guy. Stock up on those non-essentials that will come in handy when it’s time to go outside and enjoy the outdoors again. https://www.outdoortechnology.com/

Write A Letter and Mail It

This is for you.

It’s crazy, right? Just think of the glory and excitement that someone will get when they have an actual letter in their mailbox. Not a bunch of coupons or political campaign nonsense. An actual letter… from an actual friend. Maybe the letter is a poem. Maybe it’s a love letter. Or maybe it’s a dissertation on why Blue Cheese is awful and should be banned throughout the world.

Make A List of Something and Post it to Social Media

Selfie

Lists are fun. Creating a list of 5 things to do during quarantine can be fun. There might be a little research involved. But at this point, you are really grasping for content out of shear boredom. Well at least you a being productive. Let me see your list.

Gadgetuser Reviews the Mantas

More and more journalists are getting a hold of the Mantas True Wireless earbuds. Guess what? They are loving them.

“Finding earbuds that provide clean and distinct sound while also being comfortable is not always an easy task. Luckily, the Mantas True Wireless Earbuds sport a unique ergonomic design meant for comfort. And comfortable they are. “

Head over to Gadgetuser to read the entire review.

The Mantas Factory Reset Procedure

All earbuds should work perfect directly out of the box. However, True Wireless pairing technology is a sophisticated technology and it is possible that through use, the settings can accidentally be altered to effect pairing.
If in the future you experience any issue pairing your earbuds, please follow the instructions below to reset the functionality.

  1. Make sure both the Left and Right Mantas are powered off.
  2. Enter your Bluetooth settings on your phone / device and forget both “ODT Mantas R” and “ODT Mantas L”.
  3. Reset Right earbud first – start with the earbud powered off.
    • Press and hold the Right power button (Approx. 10 seconds)
    • The LED indicator will flash, and you will hear voice prompts in the order below:
      • “Power On” (blue LED)
      • “Pairing” (flashing blue/red LED)
      • “Reset Paired Devices” (purple LED)
      • The earbud will turn off and you can release the button
  4. Repeat the same steps you did on the Right earbud for the Left earbud.
  5. Power on Right earbud, you will hear voice prompts “Power On, Pairing”.
  6. Power on Left earbud, you will hear voice prompts “Power On, Pairing, True Wireless Stereo Connected”. “True Wireless Connected” will indicate that the Left earbud has paired with the Right earbud.
  7. Pair “ODT Mantas R” with your phone.

The Chips Ultra Factory Reset Procedure

If your Chips aren’t pairing with each other you may need to reset the Chips Ultra. Here is how you are going to do that.

First, remove the Bluetooth pairing (forget ODT Chips Ultra) from your phone or other paired device and make sure both left and right Chips are powered off.

Power on the right Chip. It’s the one with the round logo on it.

On the right Chip there is a small hole on the top side of the Chip, take a paperclip and insert it in the hole and press twice. The blue light will go from flashing slowly to flashing rapidly. Leave powered on with light flashing rapidly.

Now turn on the left Chip and insert the paperclip in the hole on the top side and press twice so that the blue light flashes rapidly.

Both Chips will then pair to each other.

You can now pair the Chips with your phone or other Bluetooth devices.

If you continue to have trouble, please contact our support department by emailing support@outdoortech.com or calling 310-677-0190.

What Are True Wireless Earbuds?

True Wireless earbuds, sometimes referred to as TWS earbuds are earbuds with no wires anywhere. None, zip, zero, zilch. Isn’t that convenient?

Traditional Bluetooth earbuds have a wire that connects the left channel with the right channel. True Wireless earbuds use a Bluetooth connection to connect the right channel with the left channel. The Bluetooth connection in True Wireless earbuds eliminates the need for a wire to connect each earbud together.

Bluetooth Earbuds Explained
Traditional Bluetooth Earbuds

It’s important to note that while True Wireless earbuds do use Bluetooth to connect to each other, there is only one Bluetooth connection to the device that streams the audio. The way it works is that one of the earbuds is set as the parent earbud. That is the earbud that connects with the Bluetooth device (phone, tablet, etc.). Then the other earbud is the child so that one connects to the parent. Get it? Good!

True Wireless Earbuds Explained
True Wireless Earbuds

One of the best features of True Wireless earbuds is the ability/option to only use one earbud while streaming audio from your phone, computer, or other Bluetooth devices. When only listening to one earbud, the audio switches to mono mode. So both the right channel and left channel of the audio are combined so you don’t miss out on any stereo-mixed music. The ability to use one earbud in a set of True Wireless earbuds also makes it safer when riding a bike, running, or any other activity where you need to pay attention to your surroundings. Different states and areas have laws about diving with earbuds. Using one earbud may be legal in your area, you should check on that. This is a newer technology so don’t be surprised if the laws change rapidly.

I hope this helps you figure out the difference between wireless and true wireless Bluetooth connections. If you think I left anything out or if you want any more info, just leave a comment and I’ll try to help.

What is a Power Bank?

power bank splash
Kodiak Plus Ultra – Waterproof Power Bank

A power bank has many different names; a portable charger, backup battery, battery pack, and sometimes they have been called mobile electrical storage receptacle. Okay so maybe you haven’t run into anyone calling a power bank a mobile electrical storage receptacle but you never know, I’ve heard some pretty strange things in my day.

  • What is a power bank? It’s a battery that you can charge your stuff with.
  • What kind of stuff can a backup battery charge? A cell phone, GoPro, and other small electronics.
  • Are power banks rechargeable? Usually, a power bank is rechargeable.
  • What do I do when my portable charger is out of batteries? You can plug it in and charge it up again?
  • How long will a backup battery last? It depends on the capacity (size of the battery). Usually, you can get a few cell phone charges out of a power bank.

It seems like you have a lot of questions about power banks and portable power in general. You should probably take a look at a power bank that we make.

If you are looking for the best portable charger well you are in luck because we actually make some of those. Yeah, I don’t want to brag but our power banks are rugged, waterproof, and don’t look lame. We call them the Kodiaks. They have some pretty rad features. QuickCharge, USB C, Flashlight, and more; just click on that link above to see all the StuffYouProbablyWant.

Or, you can look at this picture of a goat. I call him Mr. Wavy Ice, it suits him.

Mr. Wavy Ice

There is a funny story about Mr. Wavy Ice but due to legal ramifications, I can’t go into it. Let’s just say that Mr Wavy it no longer allowed at Red Robin.

CES 2019: The Latest and Greatest from Outdoor Tech

Did you get a chance to swing by booth# 44770 at the Sands Expo during CES this year? Well if you didn’t don’t worry, here is a quick recap.

Take a look at some new Wireless Earbuds and True Wireless Helmet Audio below.

CES 2019 electronics
New Wireless Earbuds and new Helmet Audio

Here is a closer look at the new Chips Ultra. These are True Wireless Helmet Audio. You probably want to have these next snow season.

wireless helmet audio CES 2019
The Chips Ultra

So many options for retailers to carry our stuff and show it off. Check out some of the branded displays we have.

CES 2019 displays
Retail Therapy

Yeah, some really cool stuff. We can’t wait to get them in your hands.