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Gadget Hacks for Tech on the Trail

June 25, 2015

  • by
  • Amos Adams

Even old-school purists are hard-pressed to dismiss the utility of modern backcountry “doohickeys” and innovative apps. But when batteries die, so does function. Active Junky leads the charge against dead gizmos and app collapse. Start with these 11 terrestrial tricks to find your inner electrons.

Hacks to Recharge:

These days, most tech runs on rechargeables.  2015 presents an array of battery-charging options to regain your amperage.

Cook a Charge

BioLite Camp Stove $119.60 - $123.46 Biolite’s campstove uses wood (shavings and sticks) to fuel your food preparation as well as your gadgets.  Make certain your biomass is dry and relatively sap-free. 

Boil a Charge

Biolite’s Kettlecharge simultaneously replenishes two backcountry scarcities—drinking water and battery power—over any heat source.  The durable Kettle earns its extra carry weight.

Crank a Charge

When the sun’s down and so is your battery power, crank away with the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight.  Be patient and keep cranking, knowing that Torch 250 serves as a solar flashlight as well.

Solar Charge

Goal Zero Switch 8 & Nomad 7 Kit Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharging Kit includes a battery bank and a lightweight panel to charge it up on sunny days.  Attach to your backpack for on-the-go recharging. Or stake your solar claim in basecamp or car rear window while on the road to adventure.

Carry a Charge

The Nebo PaL flashlight/battery bank permits you to charge up ahead of time and then bring backup energy with you.  While your other pals might energize you with humor, this buddy brings bolts of energy to camp. 

Hacks to Stay Charged:

Switch to Airplane Mode

Roaming drains batteries in a flash.  Switch your phone to airplane mode—we call it backcountry mode—and exit out of unused apps.  Better to use sparingly and go longer than to burn out early.

The Battery Flip

For any device that requires AA or AAA batteries: flip one battery around before hitting the trail, eliminating the possibility of accidental activation. 

Hacks to Enhance:

Camera Case Conversion

Buy a hitcase to turn your phone into a water-resistant action camera.  Hitcase provides countless mounting options, and a wide-angle lens to make videos pop.  You’ll be glad to have the back-up when action cams break or get left behind in the car.

The Camp Cup Boombox

Place your smartphone in your camp mug to amplify sound, turning it into a backcountry boombox.  Keep the sipping whisky away unless you’re looking to play some Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Internet Anywhere

Can’t wait two more days to post that selfie of you and the grizzlies?  New satellite communicators like the Spot Connect pair to your phone so you can share from anywhere. Traditional check-ins (“I’m Okay,” and “Send Help”) keep pace with access to social media, email, phone calls and text messages from anywhere there’s open sky above. 

Tools for Tech-Fools

While we don’t’ recommend replacing your multi tool, in1 smartphone cases include easy access to scissors, screwdrivers, and tweezers in a protective and sleek case.  Light duty repairs and grooming assistance are a phone call away.

Stay tuned to Active Junky as we share a series of coveted TrailHacks to better your time in the backcountry. 

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