Gadgets for the Great Outdoors

New gear makes an alfresco lifestyle so much fun, you’ll never want to go back inside.

Being outside means different things to different people. But from poolside loungers to weekend hikers to ardent wilderness explorers, a bit of technology can be as handy as a sun umbrella, a walking stick or a Swiss Army knife.

Some of the niftiest gadgets, while appealing to the survivalist in us all, are also capable of more utilitarian uses. The CamelBak All Clear UV Microbiological Water Purifier, for example—primarily aimed at those who may find themselves in the woods for an extended period—can (if it comes down to it) clean tap water.

And some of the risk of adventuring in remote areas can be mitigated with the DeLorme inReach SE Satellite Communicator, which sends text messages via satellite and lets those at home track a traveler’s progress.

Other devices make work and entertainment more portable. Toshiba’s elegant new KIRAbook laptop computer is lighter than most summer beach reads and features a stunning touch-sensitive display that makes for easy operation. And when it comes to photography, special trips call for a camera like the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, which packs a long-range 50X optical zoom into a contained, easy-to-carry package. Get out there.