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Outdoor gear that performs year-round

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Updated: 2/20/2013 10:34 am

(BPT) - Rugged camping gear is no longer just for adventurers and niche outdoor sports. High-tech or activity-specific outdoor products are gaining popularity because they also come in handy every day and around the house.

'As it turns out, the durability and dependability of gear needed on remote hikes or climbs has many outdoor lovers reaching for those same items around the home,' says gifts.com editor Dan Tower, who specializes in sharing gift ideas catered to specific occasions and recipients.

Tower identified the following durable gear, as camping season approaches, for its versatility across a variety of settings.

Water, water everywhere

It wasn't long ago that water bottles were strictly for camping. Now people enjoy having water within arm's reach at all times. Whether it's a need to stay hydrated or just the eco-sensible peace of mind gained by avoiding single use containers, a go-to water bottle has become a ubiquitous personal accessory.

Liberty Bottleworks make gorgeous, 100 percent BPA-free water bottles showcasing artwork sourced from emerging graphic artists. Arguably though, the best part is the bottles are the only American-made metal water bottles available, with production in Yakima, Wash. Plus, they're made from 100 percent recycled aluminum that's tough enough to pack for the jungle or urban jungle.

Let there be light

A headlamp may seem exclusive to adrenaline-pumping activities like rock climbing, caving and hiking at night, but this hands-free lighting source can be incredibly beneficial in a power outage, when changing a tire at night or more common activities like an evening bike ride.

The Energizer Micro Sport Headlight from Energizer is a new headlamp that offers a helpful, hands-free lighting source. While biking and running enthusiasts will especially appreciate its lightweight and slim profile, the headlight is similarly tailored for everyday activities like taking the dog for an evening walk. With a white spot light in the front and a red flashing light in the back, streets and sidewalks will be clearly illuminated, but more importantly, others will be able to see you.

Be my guest

The Pakmat Airbed is another great outdoor must-have that comes in handy all year. One of its most attractive attributes is that, when not in use, it is stored in a small canister. This benefit is obvious when backpacking and camping, but is also an advantage for apartment dwellers who don't have ample storage space or a guest room, and want to easily accommodate an overnight guest.

Part sleeping pad and part inflatable bed, the Pakmat is a self-contained air mattress that needs no electricity to inflate. Its container also doubles as the pump that inflates it and makes it sleep-ready. When the the slumber party is over, the Pakmat rolls back up into its canister, ready for the next adventure.

Just in case

There's a smartphone case that's tough enough to weather nature's nastiest elements, which will also assure parents their phones will be safer in the hands of young kids. The LifeProof Case takes gadget protection to an exciting new level. In addition to making your iPhone shockproof, the LifeProof case is also waterproof (and dirtproof and snowproof). Taking your iPhone up to 6 feet under water opens up a whole new world of picture- and video-taking possibilities - whether that's on your next kayaking adventure or at a backyard pool. Outdoor gear has numerous uses outside of campgrounds and state parks. As spring starts to do its thing, many outdoor enthusiasts on the lookout for the latest gear should also consider the year-round benefits of their purchases.

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