10 Gadgets for Summer Getaways
By Chantal Bechervaise
Summer is in full swing and whether you own a summer home or are planning a camping trip, these 10 gadgets will help make life easier and more enjoyable for the whole family. (And they also make great gift ideas!)
Cleaning your grill can be a messy and labour intensive task. The Grill Daddy uses the power of steam to clean your grill. No scraping needed. Easily steam away baked-on food, grease, and black residue. According to Grill Daddy, the brushes won’t gunk up either. They are specially designed to clean and sanitize grills safely and thoroughly, and the Grill Daddy keeps all grills looking brand new and keeps food tasting great.
Cost: $14.99 up to $99.99 for the Deluxe BBQ Package
Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
Are you looking for an innovative way to add speakers around your summer home without having to add wires everywhere? Try Pulse, a smart bulb that combines the energy efficiency of a dimmable LED light with the high-quality audio of a JBL Bluetooth speaker. It provides a premier home entertainment experience that you can easily control with a free app from your smart device.
Simply twist Pulse into any standard light socket, and adjust both lighting and sound from almost any Bluetooth enabled device, including your smart phone and tablet. The app is available for iOS and Android. You can link up to 8 of these LED lights to play music and work in unison throughout the cottage.
Cost: $130 per pair on Amazon
August Smart Lock
If you are tired of misplacing keys or you don’t know how many keys are out there, you may want to try using a smart lock. The August Smart Lock is designed to use with your existing deadbolt and keyset and is easy to install. It replaces the thumbturn on the inside face of your door. With the iOS or Android app, you can control who has access to your summer home and when. You can grant a family member access 24/7 and a cleaner or maintenance worker access for only a couple of hours a week. The lock works over Bluetooth and the lock itself uses 4 AA batteries. The lock uses encrypted locking technology and you can see a log of who has entered the cottage and when.
Jokari Snap-On Can Strainer
Not all gadgets need to be high-tech. The Jokari Snap-On Strainer is a simple and innovative tool that is great for summer home use or camping. Simply clip it onto the can, invert and drain.
Cost: $3.99 on Amazon
This gadget is great for using outdoors at the summer house or while camping. Burning only wood, the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water, plus it charges mobile phones and other personal devices. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and flames are hyper-efficient with performance on par with white gas stoves.
The Big Turtle Shell Wireless Speaker
This rugged, wireless speaker is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It is perfect for outside on the deck, while barbequing, at the beach, or around the campfire at night. The Big Turtle is a water resistant, dust proof, and shock proof Bluetooth speaker ready to go wherever you go. It will pair with devices within a 10 meter radius and a charge lasts up to 16 hours. It can also be used to charge your phone or tablet.
Sherpa 100 Power Pack
There are a lot of power pack options available for charging phones and tablets but here is one that can fully charge your laptop – twice – while keeping the rest of your gadgets charged too. The Sherpa 100 Power Pack can be loaded from a wall socket in three hours, a car socket in four, or even charged in 15-30 hours by a Nomad solar panel.
McMurdo FastFind 220 Personal Locator
If you are adventurous and enjoy hiking and exploring while away, then you might want to give some thought to what would happen if you got lost. With the McMurdo FastFind 200, you have a simple and subscription-free way to signal for help. The device is small enough to fit in a pocket or a pouch. Once activated, it transmits on two frequencies simultaneously. The 406 MHz signal goes to both the GEOSAR and the LEOSAR satellites to ensure someone picks it up. The beacon can help rescuers pinpoint you within yards.
Here are a couple of gadgets for use at home while you are away for the weekend.
Ring Video Doorbell
Over 1 million burglaries occur just in the United States each year during daytime hours, when homes are usually unoccupied. Being home is often enough to deter a potential burglar. Whereas traditional security systems activate once a break-in has occurred, the Ring Video Doorbell is designed to help you prevent a break-in from taking place at all. Answer the door from anywhere. With Ring, you’re always home.
With Ring you receive instant alerts when someone rings your doorbell or motion is detected, via the free Ring app (iOS and Android). See and speak with visitors from anywhere using your smartphone, and watch recorded footage anytime with Cloud Recording.
Can’t find a pet sitter for a day or two? Ever wish you could feed your pet from afar? Meet the Petnet SmartFeeder, a device that lets you feed your pet using your smartphone. The SmartFeeder lets you set feeding times and programs itself to dispense your pet’s ideal food portion, so you can put an end to overfeeding. Once your pet has been fed, you can choose to be notified via SMS, Twitter or even Facebook.
Chantal is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She is passionate about everything related to the World of Work: Leadership, HR, Social Media and Technology. You can read more from Chantal at her TakeItPersonelly blog or follow her on Twitter @CBechervaise.