Before heading to your travel destination, it is necessary to be prepared for anything. Here are some of the latest tech innovations that backpackers find very handy. Indeed, great things come in small packages.

Waverly Labs' Pilot

These bluetooth-enabled earbuds are perhaps the most reliable real-time translator among its competitors. Pilot uses cloud-based translation engine and translates 15 languages and 42 dialects. It has a companion app which allows you to customise the earbuds and also access dictionary and phrasebook. Moreover, it has dual-noise cancelling microphones which help in making the conversation more audible. 

Sonic Soak

This small device is a portable washing machine that produces sonic waves to wash clothes. Simply place the device in water, add soap, and start the timer. The device creates ultrasonic sound waves in the water to create tiny high pressure bubbles that wash away stains. It is perfect for any travel mishaps where you could turn your bathroom sink to a laundromat in an instant.

WaterLily Turbine

This turbine charges your phone using water or wind. It is a portable device that charges any USB-powered device. It neatly fits your backpack and works in any kind of weather. In case of absence of rushing water or blowing wind, it has a hand crank for emergency charging. 10 minutes of cranking generates enough power for a six-minute phone call. 

Kingii Wearable

This inflatable airbag keeps you from drowning. The Kingii Wearable is a safety bracelet for swimmers that provides additional support to keep you afloat during emergency. Inventor Tom Agapiades created the device after one of his friends died from drowning. If you need help staying afloat, just pull the lever, and an inflation bag will pull you to the surface. The bracelet can be reused by replacing the CO2 Cartridge inside.


This straw makes contaminated water safe to drink. The lifestraw has several small filtration tubes that remove bacteria and protozoa from the water. It allows hikers and outdoor travellers to drink from any stream, lake, or river. It was created as an emergency response tool to filter dirty water after a natural disaster and is now used in developing communities, like in Africa, that don't have consistent access to clean water. You can purchase a lifestraw for your own everyday use and proceeds will help buy a lifestraw water filter for a community in need. 

ThermaCell Proflex Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

For excruciating winter weather, keep your feet warm and free from numbness with these rechargeable insoles. It is operated via Bluetooth, and has a companion smartphone app. There are three heat levels that is far from scorching and plenty warm if the ambient temperature is at or around freezing. To perfectly fit the insole, you can trim it. Moreover, the app is not really that reliable when it comes to monitoring the battery life so it is better to conserve it.