Swiss Time and More
The StarTech 3000 ($275), from Swiss Army, may be the ultimate alpine adviser—in addition to telling time, it measures altitude, barometric pressure and temperature. If it would carry your stash of Baby Ruths, you wouldn't need a Sherpa for your next assault on Everest. Swiss Army Brands, 800-243-4045; www.swissarmy.com.
"No charge" is a good thing to hear when you're getting refills at the bar but a very bad thing to see when you're two miles from nowhere and need to use your cell phone to call a park ranger for directions. This 21-ounce Brunton Solar Pak ($40) converts solar energy into electricity and can recharge most battery-operated units, including cell phones and laptop computers. Brunton Company, 800-443-4871; www.brunton.com.
The Magellan Meridian GPS ($240) can pinpoint your location to within three meters and help direct you toward nearby airports, cities, highways, parks and waterways. You can also track your progress—or lack thereof—on a map that moves as you do. Magellan Products, Thales Navigation, 909-394-5000; www.magellangps.com.
The Jeep TV Lantern ($100) has a five-inch black-and-white TV, an AM/FM weatherband radio, a fluorescent lantern and flashlight, a compass, a thermometer, a sonic mosquito repellent (fortunately, it's barely audible to the human ear), an emergency flasher and a clock, so you'll know when Survivor comes on. You can plug the unit into your car's cigarette lighter or run it on eight D batteries. Power Brands, LLC, 800-354-8785.