Tech Gadgets for the Modern Hiker: Enhancing Your Outdoor Experience-Appalachian Outfitters

Tech Gadgets for the Modern Hiker: Enhancing Your Outdoor Experience

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Thanks to continuous advancements, hiking tech gadgets have come a long way. Incorporating them into your hikes can greatly increase your ease of maneuvering and orientation, improve safety and comfort, and help you create better memories. You’ll find more information about the best hiking technology and tech gadgets that elevate your outdoor adventures in this article.

Hiking with Technology – Is It Necessary?

Before we get started with outdoor gear and tech to improve your experience on upcoming hikes, let’s discuss the topic at large. Though modern hikers can easily acquire advanced tools to make adventuring in the wild more convenient, no doubt you’ll hear many differing opinions on this topic – after all, hiking and camping is all about reconnecting with nature, not fostering a further reliance on technological gadgets.

And to that, much to the dismay of some camping purists, we say a resounding “Yes, but…” To a great extent, technology can be used to enhance the camping experience without taking away from it. Additional convenience doesn’t absolutely diminish outdoorsmanship to fake, illegitimate or anything of the sort.

One thing to keep in mind, though, concerns the excessive use of this technology. A prepared hiker isn’t someone kitted out in the fanciest hiking tech gadgets, but someone who possesses a versatile set of survival skills to get by in all scenarios, especially should the gadgets fail for any conceivable reason.

Best Hiking Technology for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Without further ado, let’s break down the best hiking technology to add to your arsenal:

Solar-powered Watch

These days, smartwatches come with a range of functionalities, like step and distance counters, heart rate monitoring, and other performance-related measurements. However, they do have a downside in that you have to keep them charged.

So, to meet the needs of frequent hikers, companies have designed watches with built-in solar batteries. Wearing one of these means the more time you spend on the trail, the longer you can expect the device to keep going, rather than the other way around.

Portable Solar Panel

Not every device you own will have solar charging, nor is it economical to acquire a whole array of equipment like this from scratch. Instead, it’s much more practical to purchase a durable solar panel to keep your standard devices charged on the go. 

GPS or Handheld Satellite Communicator

In the most remote areas of the backcountry, cell service can be spotty at best. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, that certainly isn’t ideal, as being lost without a means of finding your way is never good. The ability to connect directly to satellite networks makes GPS devices for hiking a must to reach the places your phone’s app simply can’t take you to.

If you want even more advanced functionality, consider a satellite communicator. These gadgets let you stay in touch with others at all times and send out SOS signals when things go awry.


Maintaining visibility in the wild is crucial to avoid danger and identify solid ground – you should never head out after dark without a light source handy. Time won’t always be on your side, however. That’s the beauty of camping: some things go according to plan, others don’t, causing unexpected problems and delays. A headlamp will prove invaluable when you have to shuffle around in the dark but want to keep both hands free.

Power Bank

We already established that keeping your devices charged is important, so a power bank making this list shouldn’t come as a surprise. If possible, opt for a device compatible with your solar panel model, ensuring any devices you bring with you can’t run out of power.

Hydration Bladder

Keeping fluid levels topped up during an exhausting hike is a must. But, having to constantly take off your pack to reach for the bottle can frustrate anyone extremely quickly. The solution? A hydration bladder with a flexible hose to take care of that at a fraction of the weight of a chunky water jug.


Lastly, every trail and adventure benefits from being recorded. The beautiful sights and serenity of nature is why you set out on hikes in the first place, so why not record them to look at later? GoPros are accessible, easy to use, and produce high-quality footage. Snagging one to document your trips is definitely worth your while.

The Takeaway

Which one of these hiking tech gadgets are you looking to add to your stack? We hope this list of hiking tech gave you some valuable insight into what’s available. Embracing these technological advancements can make your trips more enjoyable and less stressful, letting you focus on the central idea – reconnecting with nature to the fullest.

You may also read: The Ultimate Guide to Lightweight Backpacking

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