Buyer's Guide 2023: Nature & Travel

Prepare for your next outdoor adventure with this gear for the open road. Below, you'll find the best equipment for running, camping, backpacking, and more!

Garmin Vívoactive 4 with GPS ($199.99)

While the Apple Watch with its intuitive daily move goals remains my top recommendation for fitness tracking, if you’re looking for a more serious alternative, turn to the household name in GPS technology. Garmin’s Vívoactive 4 with GPS is an awesome option for tracking long-distance cycling, running, or other outdoor sports. What you lose in simplicity you’ll gain in advanced metrics like hydration, fitness age, all-day stress, and my favorite—body battery score, which tracks your vitals and sleep stats to advise you whether to hit the gym or hit snooze to avoid burnout. Bonus: the battery life lasts up to three days on one charge but will drop down to one with intensive use.

Targus Cypress Hero Backpack with Find My Locator ($129.99)

For any airport travel or urban expedition, a good backpack like the Cypress is a must. Its deceptively slim profile can safely stow Apple devices with room to spare. It has four main compartments with dividers that can easily fit a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and chargers. No need to attach an AirTag to the Cypress—Targus integrated Find My technology into the bag so you can track it alongside your Apple devices right from your iPhone. It has a sturdy build, high-quality zippers, and is eco-friendly, constructed from 26 recycled water bottles. This pack looks good, and you can feel good about using it too.

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Biolite CampStove Complete Cook Kit ($249.95)

During summer camping trips to Northern Iowa, I’ve discovered two essentials—a good coffee maker and solar-powered lanterns to safely light your tent. Biolite has both bases covered with its CampStove Complete Cook Kit. Just feed the CampStove sticks and pellets, fill the KettlePot with water, and press coffee grounds down with the included CoffeePress. I was impressed at the large size of the KettlePot which is bigger than your standard French Press. The CampStove also houses a 3,200mAh of power so you can plug your iPhone in to charge. The crown jewel is the Biolite lantern, a camping staple that has a way of making any outdoor scene feel cozy and inviting.

TRIBE Running Phone Holder Armband ($29.95)

On morning runs over the summer, I relied on this arm strap for my iPhone to give me full access to my Spotify library (I can only load a few playlists onto my Apple Watch at a time). While the Velcro strap chafed my arm slightly with long use, it worked much better than any other phone carrying accessory I tried. My phone fell to the ground in pants with phone-carrying pockets and jostled around distractingly when stowed in even the slimmest waist pack I could find. While not the most elegant solution, the Tribe has become one of my go-to running accessories.

Nomad Sport Slim Band for Apple Watch ($60)

Whether you’re taking your Apple Watch on a stroll or a marathon, you’ll need a band that can withstand sweat, rain, dust, and sun. I’ve found the Sport Slim Band from Nomad to be the most comfortable and secure option. The grooved rubber surface is breathable and resistant to discoloration unlike Apple’s sport line, and the stainless-steel pin feels sturdier too. It served me well on a recent hike near Whistler, British Columbia, along with an Otterbox Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger ($49.95) to top off my phone and watch on the way down the mountain.

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Author Details

Donna Schill's picture

Author Details

Donna Schill

Donna Schill is the Editor in Chief at iPhone Life, where she oversees all multimedia content production for iPhone Life Insider, the premium educational platform for Apple enthusiasts and lifelong learners. After earning her master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Donna joined iPhone Life in 2012, where she has produced dozens of magazine issues, co-hosted hundreds of podcast episodes, and taught over 20 live online courses. When not glued to her iPhone 15 Pro Max, Donna can be found traveling, writing and podcasting (, or hiking the Iowa prairie where she lives with her partner and their German shepherd, Fox.