Today’s advanced technology offers us many luxury hiking items which are, let’s be honest – non-essential. Instead of packing light, we sometimes end up with a portable espresso coffee machine in our backpack. Or we are constantly worried about our smartphone’s battery, while we ignore the beauties of nature.

When packing for a hike, you should follow the basic principles of lightweight backpacking. Considering many different manufacturers, brands, and products, choosing a proper and useful piece if hiking gear may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to know your personal needs and preferences. Some people like fully-charged music player, while others want a waterproof camera. Feel free to make your hike more enjoyable but don’t forget to reconsider your essential items once more.

Although many of us want to leave technology behind when headed to the wilderness, today’s technology can make our travels, especially hikes, more convenient, easier and safer. There are many useful gadgets that won’t draw you away from nature but will make you feel more secure, confident and well-prepared for emergency situations.

Taken at Kandersteg

Here are some hiking gadgets which will help you to bask in nature even more, without being concerned with basic things.

Multifunctional Headlamp

Forget old school flashlights. A multifunctional LED headlamp is a must on hikes because it allows you to use your hands. There are so many different headlamps on the market nowadays so it might seem difficult to choose the right one. Some headlamps are even equipped with the sensor which analyzes the light of ambient, so it automatically adjusts the amount of light. Anyway, there are several important features of a good headlamp:

Night Vision Mode – This is a crucial feature. A headlamp with the red light will allow you to plan your activities in the dark.

Water Resistance – What use of a headlamp if it can’t withstand a heavy rain?

Weight – Since you’re carrying it on your head, it should be lightweight and preferably not heavier than 300 grams.

Comfortable Strap – A headlamp must fit you perfectly, so it should be elastic enough but should stay firmly on your head.

Battery Type and Durability – You can choose a headlamp with USB charging or even solar charging, or a headlamp with rechargeable or disposable batteries.

Water Filter Straw

Among many different water filters, the water filter straw seems most practical. Just place it in the water and the water gets filtered and purified while you’re sucking it through the straw.

Water filters are very useful on long hikes when you’re not in a position to carry gallons of water in your backpack but you still need a lot of water to maintain an adequate hydration. A portable water purifier is a key essential item which will turn any river, lake or snow-melt into drinking water.

Faulhorn and Männlichen
Taken at Faulhorn and Männlichen

Mosquito Repellent Band

When you’re hiking in the Swiss Alps, you won’t encounter mosquito swarms in the upper regions, but in the lower regions, they might bother you around evening. So, the ideal pest control for your hike trips could be a light-weight, Eco-friendly pest repellent bracelet with adjustable strap and pure natural oils that will redirect mosquitoes and other insects to search their meal somewhere else besides your skin!

GPS Watch

A GPS mapping technology communicates with satellites, allowing you to be located anywhere in the world. Among many hiking navigation devices which can help you to determine your current location, a hand watch that includes barometer, thermometer, altimeter, compass or even shows your heart rate and accurate sunrise/sunset times is a handy piece of hiking gear. But of course, always bring a printed map in addition to a GPS device.

Portable Solar Charger

Use the sun’s energy to produce clean, renewable energy. In order to keep your mobile phone and other electronic devices running while you’re on a hike, a solar charger is a perfect piece of equipment.

Portable solar chargers come with several different output options and storage capacities, and they use different wattage, amperage, and voltage. When choosing appropriate solar charger, you should also consider various aspects which affect the efficiency of the charger such as weather conditions, the number of devices you’ll be charging, preferable size and weight etc. Choose the one that suits your needs and your habits.

Now that we’ve provided you with a quick insight on useful hiking gizmos, just to remind you – Don’t forget the good old Swiss knife!


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