Despite the fact that the average smartphone lasts only about two years, we tend to rely heavily upon them to complete our daily tasks and to receive vital information. But when you’re in a remote location, you’re often unable to use these gadgets — cell signals can be weak; wifi or 4G can be spotty or even nonexistent. While part of the allure of camping is being able to unplug and enjoy the simple pleasures, getting accustomed to a reality sans tech can be even more challenging than the physical activities families tend to do on camping trips. Each year, more than 11 million children and adults go camping in the U.S., but just because you’re out in the wilderness doesn’t mean you have to go without the latest technological developments.
One of the most recent advancements in outdoor technology will allow you to stay warm, dry, and safe — no matter the weather. A boutique technology camping brand called Alien Buffalo just launched The Buffalo Tent. The tent’s unique design and construction provides superior portability and storage without sacrificing on comfort, especially during rain, intense heat, or blackout conditions. It comes equipped with a reflective cover, water resistant zippers, and AC ducting, which allows the design to excel in all sorts of weather and temperature testing. Plus, it’s downright huge: it can create a center area bigger than nine feet without any annoying center poles.
CEO and founder of Alien Buffalo, Barrett Lyon, says “it is like having a portable living room in the size of a golf bag.” Although the tent weighs just 44 pounds, it can support an internal hanging weight of up to 250 pounds. It also has a staggeringly fast three-minute strike time.
“We have succeeded in creating something truly special that does not resemble or function like another regular tent. We started this brand because we felt there was a lack of options beyond just a standard tents and camping equipment,” says Lyon.
Other outdoors companies are following suit, offering products for camping enthusiasts who want a bit more comfort with a technological twist. While campers still appreciate the idea of getting away in a natural setting, many don’t want to give up all creature comforts. Along with lighter and more efficient tents, water filters are a must for today’s campers. Instead of having to boil your water or carry purification tablets with you, you can use a Lifestraw filter to remove 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, as well as 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. Filters like these can protect your family from E. coli, Salmonella, and other waterborne diseases, and even better, they’re astoundingly easy to use. For instance, Lifestraws are available in drink bottle form or as stand-alone straws you can insert for instantly clean water.
Even gym rats don’t have to give up their daily exercise routines when they’re camping. Although a 30-minute pole dancing session in the gym can burn as many calories as a good aerobics or calisthenics class, you won’t have access to the same type of equipment when you’re out in nature. However, there is an alternative: Kathmandu’s Active Resistance Kit. This kit acts as a mobile gym, complete with a variety of resistance bands and foam handles. Between this alternative weight-lifting and any hiking you’ll do while you’re away, you’ll come back from your trip in even better shape than when you left.
While not all of the newest developments are highly technical, they do provide an entirely new level of comfort for campers. Although some outdoors enthusiasts may find that these advancements defeat the purpose, they may actually encourage more people to take a camping trip next year. While the concept of roughing it may be holding people back from enjoying the beauty of nature, that may soon be an idea of the past with these tech trends.