In today’s world, we’ve become accustomed to the luxuries and creature comforts that technology and innovation provide. Venturing into the wilderness can be a nice respite from email, traffic and some of the other distractions of the modern world.
While it’s nice to get away on a camping trip, you don’t necessarily want to leave everything behind—like a nice glass of wine or technology such as a GPS device or your smartphone. If you’re looking for gear to make your outdoors adventures simpler, more enjoyable and safer, then check out these six amazing camping gadgets and accessories that you’ll definitely want to have with you this summer.
The SOL Origin Survival Toolkit contains more than 20 items that can help keep you alive during outdoors emergencies. The kit is lightweight at 6.2 ounces, waterproof and barely takes up any space in your pack. The Origin case is made of robust ABS-plastic that opens up like a miniature suitcase packed with survival goodies including a flash signal mirror, a 10-lumen LED task light, steel blade with a lockable liner, whistle, removable directional compass, fire sparker, tinder, and fish hook and fishing line. The kit is also small enough to pack in a hydration or waist pack for mountain biking and trail running.
The Brunton Explorer2 foldable solar panel harnesses the sun’s energy to charge cell phones, headlamps, GPS devices and other electronics out in the boondocks. Explorer2 unfurls to reveal four independent polycrystalline panels that convert solar energy to five volts/1,000mA (milliamperes) with good sun exposure. This provides ample juice to charge a variety of power-hungry devices via the USB cables that come with your electronics. The whole unit weighs 14.8 ounces and folds up for easy storage and transport. Explorer2 also charges Brunton Sync Tech enabled headlamps and task lights. It also integrates with Brunton power systems for additional power off-the-grid.
The Exotac nanoSTRIKER gets campfires started fast. Period. This beautifully crafted ferrocerium igniter is a mere 10 millimeters in diameter by 85 millimeters long. It contains more than 1,000 fire-starting strikes in a self-contained and watertight unit. To start your fires with the nanoSTRIKER you’ll also need tinder materials that contain large surface areas like dry grass blades, wood shavings, cotton balls, dry leaves, clothing lint, etc. The tinder will ignite when it catches the 3,000-degree sparks from the ferrocerium rod as you scrape it with the unit’s ultra-sharp tungsten striking tool. Voilà — fire! After a bit of practice you can get ignition on the first or second strike. The ferrocerium rod also works when wet. Both rod and striker are replaceable.
Drink fresh wine on the mountain with the Platypus PlatyPreserve, a preservation system that completely isolates your wine from oxygen. Perfect for camping and backpacking, the PlatyPreserve reservoir holds 800 milliliters of sweet nectar. Transfer a whole bottle of wine to PlatyPreserve right before you hit the trail. Pack the PlatyPreserve in a backpack to keep the wine cool and out of contact with sunlight since high temperatures and ultraviolet light also ruin wine. The PlatyPreserve only weighs 24 grams when empty and the collapsible reservoir is constructed with materials that prevent leaks and provide zero taste transfer to your wine. It’s also BPA-free and made in the United States.
GSI Outdoors designed the Glacier Stainless Nesting Red Wine Glass so you don’t have to drink wine out of a dingy coffee mug or plastic water bottle. No, you won’t get the same experience as sipping from a Riedel Bordeaux Grand Cru wine glass, but the Glacier’s shape and unique interior finish do enable you to swirl, sniff and quaff your wine in the woods. The Glacier’s durable, polycarbonate stem and base unscrew from the stainless steel bowl and snap into the rim for easy packing and storing and it weighs a mere 4.7 ounces. You’ll never drink wine out of coffee-encrusted cups again.
The NRS 2.2 Bill’s Bag Dry Bag is a key piece of gear that seasoned river guides love. It keeps valuables dry through gnarly Class V rapids as well as on lakes, the ocean and at the campsite. The bag is constructed of a PVC/polyester blend and weighs 3.2 pounds. It has 2.2 cubic feet of containment space, enough for everyone in your crew to store gear that must stay dry. The bag cinches down with four compression straps to compact and stabilize gear. The adjustable backpack harness has a rubberized grab handle and extra wide padded shoulder straps. The NRS StormStrip closure system provides a crisp seal. This is a big bag and wouldn’t be ideal for backpacking or day hikes, but NRS also offers dry bags in different sizes and colors to suit longer trail excursions where weight and space matter.