Gear up for a glamping trip this Labor Day weekend with these tech gadgets. – USA TODAY

Millions are prepping for a road trip this Labor Day long weekend, or at some point this fall season, many of whom will be heading out on a camping excursion.
Just don’t forget to pack some tech for your travels.
Oh, sure, some might think it silly to bring electronics while basking in the serenity of the Great Outdoors, but the right gear can in fact enrich and enhance your time spent off the grid with friends or family.
Whether you call it “glamping” (glamorous camping), “pamping” (pampered camping) or simply bringing along a few comforts of home, technology can help keep you safe, entertained and in touch with the outside world, should you need it.
The following is a knapsack full of ideas to tote along to your next camping trip, music festival, remote cabin or RV park.
Even the most seasoned outdoors person can appreciate a hot shower in the middle of the wilderness.
Joolca’s HOTTAP V2 Essentials Portable Hot Water Kit (from $299) can give you that shower, with more than 15 hours of run time on a single gas tank, via its 37,500-BTU burner (with 1.6GPM of flow for ample pressure).
Note: If you don’t have a pressurized water source at your camping site, be aware you’ll need a pump, sold separately, to bring water in from a river or lake.
Alternatively, Joolca offers an Outing Kit, for $419, which houses both the hot water kit and 12-volt pump. The two-stage filter will remove most everything from the water source and is durable enough to be thrown into shallow rivers and creeks.
Billed as the world’s smallest water heater in its class, HOTTAP V2 Essentials also includes a magnetic shower head that affixes to any metal surface, or consider Joolca’s Ensuite Double Camping Shower Tent ($189), which gives you some privacy while bathing (with a changing area, too).
The 6-person Coleman Skydome Camping Tent ($179.99) features “dark room” technology that blocks out 90% of sunlight compared to a comparable Coleman tent, says the company, which helps to keep the tent cooler, and also lets you sleep in past sunrise.
The WeatherTec tub-like floor keeps you and your things dry, along with patented welded corners and inverted seams to keep water out. A reinforced frame has been tested to withstand up to 35 mile-per-hour winds.
This Coleman Skydome model measures 10 x 8 feet 6 inches, with a center height of 6 feet, and near vertical walls.
Set up takes just five minutes.
Exactly as it sounds, a “truck tent” attaches to the bed of your pickup truck, using tent poles and straps to secure it in place, and gives you the freedom to camp in multiple spots. They’re also raised off the ground, can help avoid snakes and creepy crawlies, and have no issues in ripping the floor of your tent on sharp rocks or tree roots.
From $199, Rightline Gear Truck Tents has a floorless design that allows you to set up and take down the tent without removing your gear from the bed. Setup is quick, with color-coded poles and pole pockets, while heavy duty straps and plastic buckles won’t damage the truck’s finish. A fitted and inflatable Truck Bed Air Mattress (from $89) completes the experience.
Sleeping two adults, the water-resistant tent includes two gear pockets for smartphones, glasses and small personal items, an overhead lantern hook, glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls, and a sky view vent for more light, ventilation and sleeping under the stars.
While Anker has portable generators starting at $199, the PowerHouse 757 ($1,399) is the granddaddy of them all thanks to a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery – similar to those used in today’s electric vehicles – which last six times longer than standard lithium-iron batteries (rated to last up to 3,000 full charging cycles).
What’s more, this generator can be charged up to 80% in just one hour by plugging it into an AC outlet. If there is none available, it also supports the Anker 625 Solar Panel accessory, which can charge up the Anker 757 to 80% in 3.6 hours of direct sunlight.
The device houses six AC outlets, two USB C, four USB ports and a car port.
Campers also like the flat top, as it provides additional surface area.
Check out the winner of GearLab’s Editors’ Choice Award in its “Best Camping Stoves of 2022” round-up, the Camp Chef Everest 2X ($189) is a portable, ruggedized and wind-resistant stove.
It houses two 20,000 BTU burners, yielding a total of 215 square inches of cook space. Camp Chef says it includes a regulator (improved over its predecessor) to connect to 1-pound propane cylinders (sold separately), plus there is an optional adaptor to use larger tanks.
Along with a folding lid to provide a 3-sided wind screen, the 12-pound stove offers matchless ignition to get the burners going with the twist of a knob.
Speaking of cooking, campers may also appreciate the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station ($110), which features a main, heat-resistant aluminum tabletop, along with several fold-out side tables, a rack and hooks for trash bags or utensils.
“Swiss Army Knife” gadget The Etón FRX3+ Multi-Powered Weather Alert Radio ($59.99) is a multifunction device with an AM/FM (digital radio), all seven NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather band stations and an alert function that broadcasts emergency weather alerts.
While it has an internal lithium-ion battery (2600mAh), you can also use the hand crank and small solar panel to keep it charged during emergencies.
The FRX3+ also features a USB port to charge a smartphone, auxiliary input, LED flashlight, emergency red LED flashing beacon, alarm clock, headphone jack and more.
Follow Marc on Twitter for his “Tech Tip of the Day” posts: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.


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