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Policy: Technology

Outdoor enthusiasts use gadgets to stay plugged in

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Photo - Vendors display their wares at the Outdoor Retailer's summer show in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The biannual show brings thousands to Utah. The world's largest outdoor-gear trade show runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Salt Palace Convention Center. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Vendors display their wares at the Outdoor Retailer's summer show in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The biannual show brings thousands to Utah. The world's largest outdoor-gear trade show runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Salt Palace Convention Center. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — 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.

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.

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