High Tech Gear for Your Off Grid Michigan Vacation

When you choose a vacation at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you truly get away from it all! However, some of what you are leaving behind you may miss. While exploring the water and forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you may find yourself away from power sources and other everyday comforts. There are many high tech gadgets, though, that can ensure no matter how far away from the grid you are, you have the comforts of home — without the stress of it.


Here are a few of our favorite finds for your off grid adventures:


Ways to Keep in Touch


Solar Charger. Even if you want to shut off your work email while on vacation, you’ll still need to charge your phone so you can take pictures of your trip to post later. Winnewsun makes a portable charging mat that gets its power from the sun! The solar powered panels can charge up to two devices at a time with USB connection, and it folds up easily for packing.


Texting and GPS. If you do need to stay in touch, check out GoTenna Mesh. When paired with your phone, it allows you to relay texts and GPS locations when you are out of service range. It’s a good choice when you need to stay connected to family.


Water Purification Necessities


Filter System. If you take an extra long hike or kayak trip, you may want to have a portable water purification system with you, just in case. LifeStraw Universal made the First Look List of 2018 on gearjunkie.com. This personal filter fits on most water bottles and comes with interchangeable mouthpieces.


Ultraviolet Sterilization. Another good choice for water purification is the SteriPEN. Using ultraviolet light rays, the SteriPEN can sterilize 16 ounces of water in under a minute. The USB portable solar charger mat mentioned earlier will keep this ready to go on your trip.


The Best of Wearable Tech Gear


Lightweight Coats. The weather can change in an instant along Lake Superior, making a packable jacket a necessity. A water resistant lightweight coat like this Ladies Monsoon can make all the difference if a breeze or light rain occurs.


Sun Protection. Similarly, a long sleeve wicking shirt can protect your skin during hours spent kayaking in the sun. This one from Columbia and available at Uncle Ducky’s fits the bill. Keep extra sunscreen with you to re-apply on face and hands.


Adding some high tech gear to your off grid Michigan vacation will make your journey a little easier. And don’t forget this low tech necessity – a couple of plastic garbage bags. Not only do they help you follow a “leave no trace” philosophy, but you can use them to lay on damp ground under your sleeping bag or to quickly cover a few things in an unexpected downpour. And then of course, there’s always a wet swimsuit or two – signaling a vacation well spent – that need to find a spot in the car on the way home.


Happy Adventuring!


Peggy Weber