SALT LAKE CITY – It used to be that outdoor enthusiasts went into the wilderness to unplug. Now, many want to stay plugged in to their electronic devices as long as they can.
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As a result, companies in the outdoor industry are catering to hikers, bikers and paddle boarders by making an expanding number of products that protect smartphones from hard falls and water and keep electronic devices charged up for as many hours as possible.
Several of the latest gadgets are on display this week in Salt Lake City at the world's largest outdoor-gear trade show. One company has made a backpack with a built-in solar panel that charges a phone while a person hikes up the mountain. A wide array of cases and devices protect phones and tablets.