Getting out and about in the great Australian outdoors is exceptionally good exercise, a great way to acquaint yourself with our native fauna and flora, and it can be a lot of fun, too. Now, you can head out in little more than a set of hiking boots and hope for the best, but that’s setting yourself up for a challenge that’s tougher than it should be. Not to mention the risk of ending up in a Burke & Wills-style situation, which nobody wants or needs.
Thankfully, technology is here to help. Before you set out on your next big hike, consider any one of these gadgets, which are designed to help you make the most of your bushwalking adventures. Some gear will enhance your trek, while some will make sure you make it back home to tell the tale.
DJI Mavic Mini, $599
Seeing Australia’s bushlands from the path is great, but it’s even more spectacular with a literal bird’s-eye view. That’s what the DJI Mavic Mini can afford you, and its lightweight size means your pack won’t be massively weighed down. Just make sure you’re complying with the drone flying laws in the area you’re in before take-off.
Overboard Phone Case, $31
There are specific heavy-duty cases for some popular models, but if your phone lacks water resistance, or you just want a general purpose heavy duty case for any phone up to 6.7 inches in size, then the Overboard Phone Case could make it easy (and safe) for you to take your mobile on your next hiking expedition.
LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns, $34.99
If you’re planning an overnight stay in the great outdoors – or in the worst case scenario you get stuck outdoors without intending to – having a safe light source is a must. LuminAID’s Solar lanterns are inflatable and water resistant with up to 24 hours of illumination when fully charged.
Travelling as a group? It’s a smart idea to pick up a simple set of handheld radios, one for each member of your hiking team. No, just having your mobiles is not enough by a wide margin, because the wide swathe of the Australian landscape includes plenty of areas where you’ll have no mobile reception at all. Whereas if you do get split up, having locally working radios can make it easy to locate lost team members, or get help from the outside if the worst happens.
C_EDITION Folding Spoon Fork SUS 304, $12.99
Plenty of folks take cheap disposable cutlery with them when camping, because if it breaks, what’s the problem?
The problem is the environmental damage all that plastic does. It’s also really quite wasteful. This combo set of stainless steel fork and spoon folds down for compact carrying, and of course you can just take it home with you when you’re done, because unless you’re Superman (or maybe Uri Geller) it should last through your hiking adventures nicely.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, $699
Garmin’s Fenix 6 Pro comes with topographical maps onboard to help you find your way, heart rate monitoring to keep track of your fitness and even Garmin Pay support, so you can use it to pay for your coffee at the café on the edge of the national park when you’re done.
Elemental Tech Water Bottle With Filter, $39.99
Your need for hydration is much more pressing than your need for food, and if you do find yourself in a bind, you’ll benefit from being able to filter what water you can find so it’s safe to drink. The Elemental Tech Water Bottle comes with a filtered straw and claims that it can remove 99.9% of bacteria with little more than your own supplied suction.
Emergency Foil Mylar Thermal Blanket $9.95
It’s best to be prepared, as any scout could tell you, and even in a temperate country like Australia, night time can be surprisingly cold surprisingly fast. They’re not fancy, but you can also use the reflective nature of these blankets to reflect away sunlight, so they’re doubly useful as long as you remember to pack them.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims on Amazon.