OK, it's 2015 and you're getting set for a camping trip in the back country, which will require a bit of hiking to get you far away from roads and parking lots. This is not car-camping. This is true, rugged, outdoor camping. Old fashioned camping, if you will – hiking in which you earn the view of the scenery with your own legs and feet.

Now here's a question that you will have to ask yourself that probably did not come up when your father or your grandfather prepared for a hike or a camping trip. How many batteries should you bring along?

That's right, camping nowadays includes a cell phone, maybe with a global positioning system built right in. You might have a lightweight weather channel radio in your backpack. Maybe an air mattress complete with a battery-powered pump to blow it up.
How about an electric device for boiling water? And what about sounds? No camping trip is complete these days without a portable stereo system so you can rock out around the crackling campfire.

If you are hunting on this trip, there are numerous other gadgets that could come in handy. You can buy a device – this is true – that rearranges your oxygen molecules, turning them into ozone molecules, which combine with other scents in the air, making it harder for animals down wind to know that you are there, sitting in your tree stand and playing solitaire on your cell phone.

You will want to be able to see game from far away. A high powered rifle is meaningless without a high-powered scope to go with it. If you take a semi-automatic along, such as an AR-15, then you need AR-15 scopes to make lugging the thing around worthwhile.

Here are some of the latest gadgets that no high-tech camper can do without:

The Biolite Campstove

The biolite camp stoves relies on twigs for fuel by virtue of a fan that pushes oxygen to the fire. That allows it to be small, but very hot, concentrating the heat on a small burning area. At the same time – who'd a thunk it – it includes a devise that converts the heat on the side of the burner into electricity, which can be used to recharge batteries on cell phones and other gadgets.

This is considered an ultra-conservative way to cook, using very little of the earth's resources to cook a meal and power batteries.

There are several brands of these devises, ranging from $60 models that do not have the battery charging apparatus, to up to $300. A decent one can be found for around $130.


All you really need for a decent sound system in the woods these days is a speaker system. Think about it. The player is already in your pocket in the form of a smart phone with Bluetooth capability that can access a universe of music choices by virtue of cloud technology.

Recommended is a set of solar powered Eton Rugged Ruckus speakers that will set you back about $100 at LL Bean. Great sounds and an endless music selection at your finger tips in a stereo system that only weighs 18 ounces (a little over a pound). You can probably squeeze one into your knapsack, too, as the speakers measure 6 inches by 6.5 inches by 1.75 inches.

Solar Showers

There are many brands of solar showers and they are simple, easy to fold up and stuff into a knapsack, and well worth toting around.

On a canoe trip, you probably won't want to make the extra effort of lugging around a black plastic bag that can be hooked onto a tree branch just to take a shower. But if you're in high country, away from plumbing and you don't want to smell like last night's dinner and yesterday's sweat, there is nothing so luxurious as an actual hot shower miles from the nearest Motel 6.

The Hand Held Wind Sock

Take the concept of a wind sock and turn it into a cool, hand-held gadget and you might come up with the Caldwell Shooting Products Wind Wizard II, which tells you the exact wind speed. Anyone taking a long-range shot with a hunting rifle or an arrow knows that wind can alter your shot. This device helps you calculate you how much to adjust for the wind.

Scope It Out

The rifle scope is almost as critical as the rifle itself. If you can't see it, you aren't going to hit it unless your shot is an extremely lucky one.

The scope, however, is much more than a sharply focused telescope. It is underestimated as a safety device, simply because it helps hunters see what they're aiming at, which is the best safety device every made, with the exception of blank cartridges.

A Gadget That Eliminates Slapping

Have you ever scared away a deer by slapping a deer fly or a mosquito. Many of us have.

This is where the ThermaCell comes in handy. The device is simple. It heats up an odorless insect repellant that cannot be detected by game, but keeps the bugs away. If you are so inclined, you can purchase scent pads that give your tree stand that much needed earthy ambiance.

A Cell Phone That Quacks

All you need is the right application and your cell phone becomes a breath-saving duck call... or an elk call or turkey gobbler. Up to 20 different calls are available on a Cass Creek application reasonably priced. Of course, you can also buy camo-designed speakers to make your grunting or quacking cell phone even louder and more effective over a wider range of territory.