outdoor living gadgets

    Top 10 Must-Have Gadgets for the Ultimate Outdoor Living Experience

    Modern outdoor living has evolved beyond simple tents and campfires. Today, a plethora of gadgets can enhance your outdoor experience, making it more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. Whether you’re planning a camping trip or just looking to upgrade your backyard, these top 10 must-have gadgets will take your outdoor living to the next level.

    Key Takeaways

    • Beartooth MK II ensures you stay connected even in remote areas.
    • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter provides safe drinking water from natural sources.
    • TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A allows you to control outdoor devices remotely.
    • Portable Power Stations keep your devices charged and ready.
    • Smart Meat Thermometers ensure your food is cooked perfectly every time.

    1. Beartooth MK II

    Beartooth MK II gadget in an outdoor living setup

    At the forefront is the Beartooth MK II. This compact device transforms your smartphone into a powerful communication tool, creating a private network for you and your group. Ideal for areas with zero cell coverage, it ensures you’re always connected, whether you’re coordinating campsite activities or in need of emergency communication. It supports live location sharing, markers on map, direct and group messages with two-day battery life.

    2. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

    person using LifeStraw Personal Water Filter in a scenic outdoor setting

    The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an ingenious invention that allows you to drink directly from puddles or streams without any of the risks normally associated. The simplicity of use is one of its greatest features – just place one end into the water source and sip from the other. No pumping, no waiting, no chemicals.

    Key Features

    • Filters out 99.99% of pathogens and harmful bacteria
    • Can filter up to 1,000 gallons of water
    • Lightweight and portable


    • Ensures safe drinking water during outdoor adventures
    • Ideal for hiking, camping, and emergency situations
    • Affordable and accessible for everyone

    The LifeStraw is a lifesaver if you’re hiking over an extended period and can’t tote large amounts of H2O. One filter can turn a thousand gallons of pond or lake water into H2O that’s safe to drink.

    Customer Reviews

    Many users appreciate the simplicity of use and the peace of mind it provides during outdoor activities. The LifeStraw has received high praise for its effectiveness and ease of use.

    3. TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A

    smart outdoor plug in a modern backyard

    The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A is a versatile and reliable choice for anyone looking to add smart features to their outdoor appliances. It works with all the major platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings. This broad compatibility ensures that you can control your devices with ease, no matter what smart home system you use.

    Key Features

    • Dual-outlet design
    • IP64 weatherproof rating
    • App-based control and scheduling


    Retailer Price
    Amazon $18.99
    MSRP $29.99

    Why You Need It

    The TP-Link outdoor smart plug is sturdy as heck, easy to set up, and offers two smart plugs in one device. Honestly, that’s all you need out of a product for your outdoor living experience.

    With its weatherproof and sealed design, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A ensures safety and durability, making it a good choice for bringing smart features to your backyard appliances.

    4. Portable Power Station

    portable power station in a scenic outdoor setting

    A portable power station is essential for charging your devices during a camping trip. Models like the Goal Zero Yeti 500 Portable Power Station and solar panels provide a sustainable power source. These stations can charge smartphones, laptops, and cameras and even run small appliances. The solar panels recharge the power station during the day, ensuring you have power throughout your trip.

    Best Models

    When it comes to the best tested portable power stations in 2024, CNET experts tested over 90 portable power stations to find out which ones have the best performance. Here are our top picks:

    Model Battery Capacity (Wh) Price ($)
    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X 1516 1199.89
    EcoFlow Delta 1300 1260 999.99
    Jackery Explorer 1000 1002 899.99

    Features to Consider

    • Battery Capacity: Measured in watt-hours (Wh), this determines how long the power station can run your devices.
    • Portability: Weight and size are crucial if you plan to carry the power station over long distances.
    • Charging Options: Look for models that support solar panel charging for sustainable energy.
    • Output Ports: Ensure the station has enough USB ports, AC outlets, and DC carports for your needs.

    Investing in a high-quality portable power station can make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable and stress-free.

    5. Smart Meat Thermometer

    smart meat thermometer in an outdoor barbecue setting

    Why You Need a Smart Meat Thermometer

    Cooking over an open flame or portable grill is a beloved tradition when camping. A smart meat thermometer ensures your food is perfectly cooked without the guesswork. Devices like the MEATER Plus offer Bluetooth connectivity to monitor your meat’s temperature from your smartphone. This gadget ensures you never undercook or overcook your meals, providing accurate readings and notifications when your food is ready.

    Key Features to Look For

    • Bluetooth Connectivity: Allows you to monitor the temperature from your smartphone.
    • Range: Some models, like the MeatStick 4X, offer a range of up to 650 ft.
    • Accuracy: Provides precise temperature readings to ensure perfectly cooked meals.
    • Notifications: Alerts you when your food reaches the desired temperature.

    Popular Models

    Model Range Price
    MEATER Plus 165 ft $79.99
    MeatStick 4X 650 ft $124.99

    A smart meat thermometer is an essential gadget for any outdoor cooking enthusiast. It takes the guesswork out of grilling, ensuring your meals are cooked to perfection every time.

    6. Globe String Lights

    outdoor living with globe string lights

    Globe string lights are a fantastic way to add a touch of magic to your outdoor living space. Hanging globe lights outdoor across the backyard, deck or inside of an outdoor structure like a gazebo or pergola is a perfect way to add ambiance for every day or special occasions. These lights are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, making them a must-have for any outdoor setup.


    • Available in various lengths, typically ranging from 25ft to 96ft.
    • Dimmable multicolor LED bulbs.
    • Can be controlled via voice or phone.
    • Support for IFTTT applets.
    • Preset lighting scenes and Music Sync mode.


    • Enhances the ambiance of any outdoor space.
    • Versatile usage for everyday lighting or special events.
    • Easy to install and control.
    • Energy-efficient options available, including solar-powered models.


    You can find a set of six globe string lights for around $35 at major retailers like Target. Prices may vary based on features and length.

    7. Robot Lawn Mower

    robot lawn mower in a beautiful backyard


    A robot lawn mower is an innovative gadget designed to keep your lawn perfectly trimmed with minimal effort. These devices are perfect for those who want a well-maintained lawn without the hassle of traditional mowing. They come equipped with advanced features like GPS, cellular radios, and companion apps for remote control and scheduling.

    Key Features

    • GPS and Cellular Radios: These features help the mower navigate and maintain your lawn efficiently.
    • Companion App: Allows for remote control, setting mowing schedules, and even integrating with other smart home devices via IFTTT.
    • Terrain Handling: Some models, like the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD, are designed to handle hilly terrains effortlessly.


    1. Convenience: Automates the tedious task of lawn mowing, saving you time and effort.
    2. Efficiency: Ensures your lawn is always well-maintained without manual intervention.
    3. Smart Integration: Can be controlled and monitored via smartphone apps, making it easy to manage.


    • Cost: These devices can be expensive, but the investment is often worth it for the convenience and efficiency they offer.
    • Setup: Initial setup may require laying down boundary wires and configuring the app.
    • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is needed to keep the mower in optimal condition.

    Investing in a robot lawn mower can transform your outdoor living experience, making lawn care effortless and efficient.

    8. Wall-Mounted Pool Skimmer

    wall-mounted pool skimmer in a luxurious outdoor living space

    A wall-mounted pool skimmer is an essential gadget for any pool owner. It works alongside your filter pump to ensure your water is free of leaves and other debris. This skimmer does exactly what it is supposed to do—catches things like leaves and insects that fall into the pool. The surface of your pool will be cleaned within just a couple of hours after installation.

    Key Features

    • Works alongside your filter pump
    • Catches leaves, insects, and other debris
    • Easy installation with included mounting brackets


    • Saves the lives of tiny creatures that accidentally find themselves in the pool
    • Ensures your water is clean and safe for swimming
    • Reduces the need for extra work and maintenance

    User Reviews

    "The skimmer came with two different types of mounting bracket and one of them fit my Ultraframe Intex pool perfectly. I would recommend purchasing this skimmer to anyone with one of the Intex pools, it saves a lot of extra work." —thisguy

    Best Options

    • Best Overall: U.S. Pool Supply Premium Above-Ground Skimmer
    • Most Energy Efficient: Betta SE Solar-Powered Robotic Pool Skimmer
    • Best for Small Pools: Intex Deluxe Wall-Mounted Skimmer

    9. Portable Projector

    portable projector in an outdoor living space

    A portable projector can transform your outdoor living space into an entertainment hub. Whether it’s a family movie night or a next group trip, an outdoor projector is a great option for a fun experience. Here are some key features and considerations when choosing a portable projector for your outdoor setup.

    Key Features

    • Portability: Look for a projector that is lightweight and easy to carry. Some models come with a handle for added convenience.
    • Battery Life: Opt for a projector with a long-lasting battery. For instance, the Anker Nebula Mars 3 can last up to five hours in Eco Mode.
    • Water-Resistance: A water-resistant design ensures that your projector can withstand outdoor conditions.
    • Streaming Capabilities: Many modern projectors come with built-in streaming services, eliminating the need for additional devices.

    Top Models

    • Anker Nebula Mars 3: This 1080p projector is ideal for backyard use, featuring a water-resistant design and a battery that lasts up to five hours in Eco Mode.
    • Samsung The Freestyle: Compact and easy to set up, this projector can transform your campsite into an outdoor theater.

    Setup Tips

    1. Choose the Right Location: Ensure the area is flat and has a suitable surface for projection.
    2. Check the Weather: Make sure the weather is clear to avoid any interruptions.
    3. Prepare Your Content: Have your movies or shows ready to go to minimize setup time.
    4. Sound System: Consider pairing your projector with a portable Bluetooth speaker for enhanced audio quality.

    A portable projector can make your outdoor gatherings unforgettable, providing endless entertainment options under the stars.

    10. Multi-Tool

    multi-tool for outdoor living experience

    Versatility and Convenience

    A multi-tool is like having a portable toolbox in your pocket. These gadgets come equipped with various functions including knives, pliers, wire cutters, and screwdrivers. They’re invaluable for repairs, food preparation, and other camping tasks, all in a compact, easy-to-carry design.

    Key Features to Look For

    • Number of Tools: Ensure it has the essential tools you need.
    • Material: Stainless steel is durable and rust-resistant.
    • Size and Weight: Should be lightweight and easy to carry.
    • Ease of Use: Tools should be easy to deploy and use.

    Popular Models

    Model Price Features
    Leatherman One Hand Tool £104.40 16 features, one-handed deployment
    Gerber Suspension-NXT £14.45 Compact, lightweight, multiple tools

    A good multi-tool can save a lot of space in your bag and provide numerous benefits when dealing with the niggles and hassles of outdoor life.


    In conclusion, these top 10 must-have gadgets for the ultimate outdoor living experience seamlessly blend the essence of outdoor adventure with the benefits of modern technology. From ensuring safety and comfort to enhancing connectivity and convenience, each gadget is designed to elevate your outdoor experience. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a weekend warrior, these gadgets will make your next adventure safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. Embrace the beauty of nature with the added benefits of these cutting-edge tools, and make the most of your outdoor living experience.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Beartooth MK II and how does it enhance outdoor living?

    The Beartooth MK II is a communication device that allows you to stay connected with others even in remote areas without cellular service. It enhances outdoor living by providing a reliable means of communication, ensuring safety and connectivity during your adventures.

    How does the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter work?

    The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a portable device that filters out bacteria and parasites from water, making it safe to drink. It works by using a hollow fiber membrane to remove contaminants, providing clean drinking water from any freshwater source.

    Can the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A be used in all weather conditions?

    Yes, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug EP40A is designed to be weatherproof and can be used in various weather conditions. It allows you to control outdoor devices remotely through an app, making it convenient and versatile for outdoor use.

    What are the benefits of a Portable Power Station for outdoor activities?

    A Portable Power Station provides a reliable source of power for your electronic devices when you’re away from traditional power outlets. It is especially useful for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, ensuring that your devices stay charged and functional.

    How does a Smart Meat Thermometer improve outdoor cooking?

    A Smart Meat Thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature of your food remotely through an app. This ensures that your meat is cooked perfectly every time, enhancing your outdoor cooking experience by providing precision and convenience.

    What makes Globe String Lights ideal for outdoor living spaces?

    Globe String Lights add ambiance and charm to outdoor living spaces. They are easy to install and can transform your patio, garden, or backyard into a cozy and inviting area, perfect for entertaining or relaxing under the stars.

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