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The DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro Drone ($669). Art by Clark Miller.
The DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro Drone ($669). Art by Clark Miller.

Tech on the Trail: Silicon Valley’s Favorite Smart Hiking Gear

For hot summer hikes, these accessories make treks longer, lighter and easier to immortalize.

June 24, 2023 6:00 AM PDT

Drew Romero’s hikes were weighing on him, literally. A Reston, VA-based senior software developer for technology consulting company Tkxel, Romero thought heavy accessories—battery packs and bottles of water—would hamstring him on a challenging five-day hike through a remote mountain range in Skardu in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. That is, until he discovered solar-powered hiking gear: “It opened up a whole new world of possibilities,” he said.

Romero isn’t alone in bringing technology to the trail. Today’s hiking accoutrements aren't your basic lace-up boots and walking sticks—new high-tech upgrades can improve hikers’ comfort and safety, plus make the whole experience a bit more fun. Leave it to tech workers to level up their sojourns a notch with smart gear even as they look to escape their screen-riddled day jobs. We spoke with some of Silicon Valley’s most avid hikers to see what they’re using to elevate their time on the trails.

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