Take some technology with you to the woods

You can’t escape electronics. Even if you head up to the high country to do some fishing, you’ll probably take your cell phone or a GPS receiver with you. And I’ve finally come around to realizing it’s not always a bad thing.

It seems like electronics are everywhere these days. We’re chained to our smart phones, computers run our vehicles, and homes with Internet connections are more common than those without one.

Electronics even play a part in our outdoor adventures. GPS receivers seem to be more common in the field than maps and compasses, and now with the latest smartphone apps, you don’t even need a separate machine to get you to camp or back to the truck. You can just tune in to the mapping software right there on your phone.

But one of the major benefits of the old map and compass way of navigating was that you never had to worry about running out of batteries. I admit I’m a GPS junkie, and I love letting my Garmin do all the work of recording my tracks. But that means I’ve got to switch out the batteries every six hours, if not more often.

I don’t have any idea how long my iPhone would last in the backcountry, but I bet it wouldn’t be anywhere near as long as a couple of double-A batteries in the ol’ Vista GPS.

But now there’s a solution to that problem. Quite a few solutions, actually. And many of them are the products of a company housed right here in Wyoming. Brunton, which is based in Riverton, has long been a leader in the navigation industry. Their latest creation is the Hydrogen Reactor, which creates electricity using a small hydrogen cell and the oxygen it gets from the air. They say it’ll fully charge a cell phone three and a half times on one hydrogen cell.

I’m going to try to get my hands on a Hydrogen Reactor so I can see how well it works. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know how it does. Until then, check out everything else Brunton has to offer. They’ve got binoculars, spotting scopes, solar power packs, and of course, compasses, as well as a bunch of other outdoor gear.