Hiking Essentials & Electronics

Carry a few essential items to stay safe on outdoor adventures. And while hiking is a great way to unplug, there are a few electronics that can be useful to take on trips as well.

Electronics and Safety Essentials

  • headlamp: Princeton Tec Axis rechargeable headlamp (2.7 oz, $47.59)
    This headlamp has high-power LEDs that are dimmable, a red lamp, and it’s rechargeable using a mini USB cable so there’s no need to carry spare batteries.
  • Personal Locator Device: DeLorme InReach SE (7 oz) no longer available – I recommend the Garmin InReach Mini instead.
    I added the InReach to my backpacking kit for the peace of mind that comes with an SOS device, but also so I could stay in touch with my husband when I’m out backpacking. The InReach SE is a two-way satellite communicator, so you can text back and forth as needed, which could be critical when an emergency requires it. The SOS button contacts emergency responders with your location and message. The device pairs with smartphones for use with the Earthmate app, adding mapping and the ability to type messages on a keyboard instead with the device’s clunky four-direction button. Annual or monthly service plans are required.
  • fire starter: Bic Mini and Sweetfire Fire Starters
  • repair kit: Gear Aid Tenacious Tape
    This tape can be used to repair just about everything. I also take the repair patches that came with my air mattress and tent, a spare carabiner, extra cordage, plus a small circle of screen repair.
  • battery backup: Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh + two connection cords (4.9 oz, $41.75)
    For recharging my DeLorme InReach, rechargeable headlamp, camera battery, and iPhone.
  • multi-tool: Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool (2 oz) No longer available, so I recommend the Leatherman Micra.
    The Leatherman Squirt multi-tool includes pliers, scissors, 2 screwdrivers, wire cutters, wood/metal file, straight knife and a bottle opener. Of all the tools on it, I use the scissors the most.
  • hex tool for making adjustments to the Peak Design camera clip
  • air pump & lantern: Flextail Gear Tiny Pump (3 oz, $29.98)
    Save your breath (and prevent mold inside the pad from the moisture in your breath) and use this small air pump to blow up your sleeping pad. This pump is rechargeable and includes a powerful light with three settings – perfect for hanging inside your tent to read at night.
  • dry bag for essentials: Zpacks Ultralight Small Dry Bag (0.4 oz, $29.95)
    This roll top dry bag is made from waterproof Dyneema fabric and has velcro across the top for easy closing of the bag.

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