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Getting lost in the woods isn't so bad with this tech

Engadget Engadget 15/07/2016 Roberto Baldwin
© Provided by Engadget

A walk through the woods. It sounds wonderful. Birds chirping, deer frolicking off in the distance, the majesty of the trees, the opportunity to get lost and drink river water that ties your stomach in knots. Hiking doesn't have to be a combination of pure joy and fear of succumbing to the dangers of being outside.

To lower your chances of becoming wild animal fodder, we found some great tech to take along on your next jaunt into the woods. To stay in touch with your companions, the GoTenna turns your smartphone into a two-way FM radio-based texting machine with location sharing capabilities. So if you do wander off the trail, your GoTenna-enabled friends can quickly find you.

If you do get get lost or forget to bring along a canteen, the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter will make a nearby river or lake a source of refreshment, instead of a series of trips behind a tree to unleash your bowels. Our test to filter out anything that would destroy the intestines of one (un)lucky hiker was (thankfully) successful.

We documented all this borderline-self-abuse using two Narrative 2 clips. Unfortunately, only one of them actually delivered on the promise of shooting video or photos every few moments. But the one that did work as advertised caught some candid photos of our walk. But you have to make sure the clip on is pointed in the right direction. A lot of our photos were of trees because the Narrative was pointed slightly up.

To keep all this tech juiced up, we wore the Voltaic Offgrid Solar Backpack. The panels on the bag take the raw power of the sun and use it to keep your smartphone, tablet or any other gadget charged up. The internal battery is removable so your devices aren't trapped in the bag when they need a to stay on during chats with your friends. It's also helpful when you're watching movies on your tablet while you fall asleep in your tent after a long day of enjoying the wilderness.

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