Here I wanted to create a list of some cool hiking gadgets, listed in no particular order, for your delight and perusal! This list will be updated on an ongoing basis as cooler hiking gadgets earn their way onto the page!
There’s a quick snapshot of each gadget followed by a summary of any relevant information and a short preview if you want to look into any of them further.
So, without further ado, let’s get started …
1. Victorinox Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife
This bad boy is the perfect companion for any niggly jobs that need fixing while out on the trail or especially if you are planning on some camping while hiking.
With fourteen stainless steel tools including: a saw, screwdriver, bottle opener, can opener, scissors, tweezers and many more, the classic Swiss army knife is like having a mini toolkit in your pocket.
At only 91 mms / 3.8 inches long and weighing in at a comfortable 82.5 g / 2.91 oz it also fits neatly into any pack. This is a great little gadget to have packed away in your pack for fiddly emergencies. It’s also a simple and neat little gift for someone passionate about the outdoors.
2. Garmin Fenix 5X Plus GPS Watch
The Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is a premium multi-sport GPS watch and is a perfect fit for For the serious outdoor enthusiast. Its rugged design features a stainless steel or diamond like carbon (DLC) titanium bezel, multi function buttons and rear case that puts key stats at your fingertips in all conditions.
As well as standard watch functions, it features multiple outdoor sensors for GPS, as well as a tilt-compensated three-axis electronic compass, a barometer and an altimeter to give accurate elevation data as you move. There are bunch of apps and supporting software with it too.
The Fenix 5X Plus also features heart rate monitoring and work out tracking. You can even store 500 of your favorite tunes on it to bluetooth them to your earphones (sold separately) while you move!
The watch is multi purpose so it can be used to cater workout monitoring for lots of other outdoor activities e.g. running, swimming, etc. An impressive little gadget for the trail!
3. Garmin GPSMAP 64st
OK, well if you’re looking for the upper echelons of gadgets, this has to be it. This tool gives you a whole new world of mapping and positioning using the latest GPS technology from Garmin.
It has a 2.6″ sunlight-readable color screen and high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver with quad helix antenna. It also features 8 GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot.
With TOPO US 100k maps as well as a global basemap preloaded, you have mountains, excuse the pun, of information available at your fingertips.
The maps are also interactive so you can get a hands on feel for the terrain. With a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, built in camera and wireless connectivity via bluetooth technology or ANT+, this is a top end piece of technology!
4. KOSIN Emergency Survival Kit
So, where to start with this box of treats! The KOSIN Emergency Survival Kit contains a bunch of tools and tricks in it, specifically:
- Tactical Pen
- Water bottle clip
- Survival blow Fire Tube
- Fire Starter
- Emergency blanket
- Alcohol Pad
- Gauze Swab
- Multifunction card
- Wire Saw
- Multi-function survival bracelet
All of this comes in a neat plastic case. As you can see, there is a lot in this! This is perfect to have on hand if you get into a spot of difficulty, as it has a lot of very practical tools, etc. in it
It can be split apart to have items stored up in a pack, or kept in a car so as always to be ready for an emergency. It’s also potentially a very fun and practical gift for any outdoor enthusiast, not just a hiker.
5. BigBlue Solar Charger
This gadget probably isn’t as applicable to the day hiker unless day hiking from a base camp is involved. The solar charger power pack has 4 solar panels, each piece is 7w; so the power is 4*7w=28W.
The total output is 5V / 3.4A maximum (under ideal conditions), so the total power is 5V*3.4A=17W. Yes, that does sound technical, but probably important to understand the capacity.
Perfect for charging a phone, tablet or the like, but probably not ideal for trying to charge a power hungry laptop 🙂 The charger can be used with the following devices:
- iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 5SE, iPhone 8, X, iPad Air, Air2, mini2, mini3, mini4, GoPro
- Android Devices such as Samsung S6 S6 edge, S7, Nexus 6, 6p and more
- Some DSLRs with compatible USB cable
- Doesn’t work with an iPad Pro
It comes in a convenient foldable design which is really handy for when you want to store it away for carrying. It’s easy to use too when you need it, you just open it out and attach it to your pack or on your tent, using the four buckles on the charger, and you’re good to go.
There are three ports so you can charge several devices at the same time. You get the following in the package: BigBlue 28W Solar Phone Charger, 50cm Micro USB Cable, User Manual, 24-month Worry Free Card and friendly & Customer Service.
That should cover most of what you need, but be sure to check if you need to get a special charger lead for your specific device. All in all, a really cool gadget!
6. Light My Fire Titanium Spork
Ah, the trusty Spork! What camping kit would be complete without a few of these to bring some table manners to the wilderness! I often bring pasta or rice on my day hikes too so the Spork is an invaluable tool to have in your day pack.
First, some particulars:
- Length: 17 cm / 6.75 inches; thickness: 1 mm / 0.04 inches
- Weight: 20 g/ 0.7 oz
A titanium Spork is a very practical addition to any backpackers kit, it’s lightweight and will fit snugly in a day pack too. It is a well-established gadget that gets the thumbs up from Cool Hiking Gear!
For those of you not in the know, titanium is used to build aircraft and stuff of that ilk because it’s so tough, durable and light.
A titanium Spork will be with you for many years to come as long as you don’t lose it. The fact that this Spork is also named after a classic Doors song is a completely irrelevant point of note but hey, it’s a great song!
7. Suunto M-3 NH Compass
What hiking pack would be complete without a trusty compass like the Suunto M-3 NH! If you don’t yet know how to use a compass and read maps properly I highly recommend you learn as soon as possible.
Having a good compass and the ability to navigate is a crucial skill to learn to help ensure you can safely plan your hikes and take alternative courses of action as required.
The luminous bezel ring on this compass will turn easily in any weather to ensure you can get a good bearing in any conditions. This compass is balanced for reliable readings in the Northern Hemisphere.
Check out more of the best compasses for hiking here.
8. Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp
This water and weather resistant head lamp is perfect for when the sun goes down and you need to keep your visibility as optimum as possible. The headlamp consists of red, green and blue single power LEDs for night vision modes and has dimming and strobe settings.
The head lamp features 1 Quad Power LED and 1 Double Power white LED which emits up to 350 lumens on max setting.
The headlamp sits on a which pivot allows you to aim and target light from the head lamp as required. The sturdy but comfortable head band means you can comfortably wear the lamp around your head.
It has a max burn time: Low – ~160H on high – ~22H on low. The headlight is dust and waterproof (IP67 certified) and the sealed housing withstands immersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. I use this head lamp myself and it is a gadget of champions 😉
Check out more of the best hiking headlamps here.
9. GoPro Hero 8 Black
One of my favority all time hikes was to climb Mont Blanc. It was truly spectacular and the views were simply amazing. One of the guys on the trip had a Go Pro with him. Now I had of course heard of these but never really seen one in action up close.
After the trip we of course all shared our photo’s, videos, etc. I was truly impressed with the footage he took with the Go Pro. As it was attached to his helmet he got the full final ascent on camera and it was just awesome.
When we were chatting on the summit, you could hear everything really clearly too. Anyway, I digress 🙂 The Go Pro Hero 8 Black Action Camera is a very popular model that’s available on the market today.
It’s got oodles of features including being waterproof to 10 meters / 33 feet, designed to withstand very tough environments, live streaming, digital lenses, photo timer, horizon leveling and enough camera functions to keep any gadget freak entertained for quite a while!
10. Sawyer Products Mini Filtration System
This mini filtration system is ideal for practically all outdoor recreational activities. Whether you are heading on the trail hiking, planning a few days camping or if you are concerned about the water in a far flung location you are travelling to, this will help ensure your drinking water is safe to drink.
It removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli as well as removing 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. It also removes 100% of micro plastics
The filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs in a very comfortable 2 ounces. This attaches to a drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles as well as hydration packs.
If you don’t have time for that, use the straw to drink directly from your water source. It will filter up 100,000 gallons so you shouldn’t go thirsty 🙂
11. Tactical Pen Multi Tool
This Tactical Pen Multi Tool is something that can be easily added into a pack for emergency situations. It is constructed using aircaft grade aluminum which means this puppy is tough!
As well as of course being a pen, it also has an LED Tactical Flashlight, a bottle opener and can even be used to break windows! Now I know, you’re not likely to come into contact with a lot of windows out on the trail, but still, if you need to pack a pen in your pack, it might as well be a hard ass one!
It is favored by a wide range of professionals who work in challenging conditions e.g. first Responders, SWAT, and Other Challenging Professions. So there is no doubt it can hold its own.
One simple thing that I really like with this pen, is that you should have no fear of it busting inside your pack and ruining your gear. That’s some nice peace of mind!
12. Waterproof Lighter
Picture this! You’re out on a backpacking trip and unfortunately for you and your buddies, the weather is just bad! The wind has picked up and it is pouring rain as you make your way to your camp spot for the night.
After getting your tent up and some semblance of order back after a tough day, you are just hungry and want a hot drink. The last thing you need is to struggle with a crappy lighter to get your stove going.
And that is where this waterproof and windproof lighter will come in very handy. It works by using a rechargeable lithium battery which is charged via a USB.
You get about 2 hours of juice from a full charge, so good to go for an extended backpacking trip.
It has a metal-ring sealed lighter cover with a locking clasp. It also boasts an IP56 certified waterproof system, so water will not seep inside.
13. Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set
More for the hiker who enjoys a bit of backpacking, this nifty cooking set is versatile and very functional!
Don’t let the picture fool you, there is treasure inside :-), well not quite, but it comes with two nesting 295 ml / 10 oz insulated cups which are comfortably stored inside the pot.
The pot itself has a really cool locking handle which extends out for cooking but neatly folds away to save space when not in use. A really nice deal for carrying in a crammed backpack!
The pot is 18/8 stainless steel, 18-8 grade fastener has 18% chromium and 8% nickel content, so basically it won’t rust and it is of course naturally BPA-free.
Any backpacker knows that your main meals on a trip are generally best to come in the form of the heating up in a bag variety, for easy convenience. This cook set will take on the task very nicely, and you can brew up a nice cup of coffee in it afterwards!
14. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
The LifeStraw is an award-winning water filter with a crazy amount of positive user feedback and experience behind it!
It is a nice addition to any emergency / disaster kit and could definitely be a life saver if you run out of clean drinking water in the back country.
It can filter up to an impressive 1000 liters of contaminated water and it doesn’t use iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. Nor does it require batteries, solar panels or a nuclear fusion reactor 🙂
Seriously though, it’s pretty impressive that it just does the business as it is, nothing extra needed!
It tackles 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns, so it surpasses EPA filter standards. If you were unfortunate enough to drink water from the 0.0001% or 0.1% respectively, well, an already bad day would get significantly worse indeed!
It only weighs 57g / 2 oz, so super easy to pack and carry. This is a very impressive little gadget indeed!
I hope you enjoyed this short trip into the wonderful world of hiking gadgets! As you can see, there is a pretty diverse and interesting selection of them available, and for all sorts of practical uses while out on the trail.
It’s a never ending and ever changing sphere. With technology always moving at the speed of light, as you can imagine, there will always be plenty of new gadgets and innovations coming online, so we’ll do our best to update keep this page with new hiking gadgets as regularly as possible!