Camping includes lots of gear, and new gear camping is always fun to find and buy. These items might not be necessities, but they’re still pretty cool and would be good additions to your camp kit.
Some are inexpensive and some are spendy, but they’re all worth checking out to considering.
FLAME STOWER CHARGER
Details: Like it or not, electronics are creeping into the outdoors like ants onto a dropped ice cream cone. Most of the time there’s a vehicle nearby to recharge them, but not always. The FlameStower FireCharger is a compact and lightweight USB charger for small electronics, powered by any heat source, like a stove or a campfire. It weighs just 10 ounces, so you can could take it on a backpacking trip or river trip where space and weight are at a premium. The product was designed for developing countries where cell phones are abundant and power sources to recharge them scarce. It’s now also available for campers.
To learn more or to buy: Go to flamestower.com.
Details: Speaking of electronics, this Elements ThermoTrek rechargeable handwarmer is a hand heat source when you’re camping. If you’ve been in Idaho’s mountains, you know it can get cold even during summer. Use them to warm you hands, or stuff it in a coat pocket for extra heat. Unlike chemical handwarmers that are disposable, or ones that burns lighter fluid or fuel, this one is reuseable and you don’t have to light it or tend it, just turn it on and off and then Just plug the handwarmer into the USB port on your computer or to a compatible AC charger using the included cable.
The ThermoTrek handwarmer is powered by a 4400 mAh lithium ion battery that provides up to six hours of heat on full charge. ThermoTrek heats up quickly and reaches a maximum temperature of 113 degrees.
A tough aluminum construction with protective silicone caps houses the handwarmer means it’s suitable for any weather conditions and can endure drops, bumps and bangs that are inevitable in the outdoors. It’s slim design means you can easily slip it into a pocket or glove.
To learn more or to buy: Go to celestron.com.
ICE MULE COOLERS
Details: We like our drinks cold and food safely stored, but coolers can be big, bulky and heavy. IceMule gives you an alternative to traditional platic coolers. They are light, waterproof and have similar ice-keeping performance of a standard cooler, but the portability of a backpack or dry bag.
The coolers are waterproof with no zippers, and even float, making them handy for boating or hiking to mountain lake or other place where you don’t want to lug a cooler. They’re also handy for horses, motorcycles and ATVs because they’re easy tie down, and you don’t worry about losing a lid.
Sizes range from small (10-liter, 1.5 pounds), which has enough space to pack a six pack, up to XX large cooler with 40-liter capacity and enough space for 36 cans and ice.
Cost: $50 for small up to $140 for XXL.
To learn more or to buy: Go to icemulecoolers.com.
Details: EMRG, a lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof inflatable solar lantern was designed for emergency situations, but the simple, reliable light works as a safe alternative to a fuel lantern inside a tent or RV. It also makes a nice mood light around camp or a way to light up spaces. It compacts to a handy 1-inch by 5-inch diameter and is 4 inches tall when inflated. It weighs just 2.5 ounces and has four LED lights that draw little power. It has four settings: bright, super bright, flashing, and red S.O.S. It cheap enough you can buy several to light up your camp. It runs six to eight hours on a charge and lights up about a 10-foot space.
To learn more or to buy: Go to mpowerd.com.
Details: I’ve been wanting one of these mega coolers for a long time. You know the ones? Super-tough, super-insulated and ungodly expensive? Add this one to the growing list – the Pelican ProGear 80-quart Elite Cooler.
“Adventure-friendly” features include a built-in bottle opener, lid-integrated fish scale and raised anti-skid feet. It’s also certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee as bear resistant.
Elite Coolers are American made with polymer exterior walls that feature an industry-leading 2-inches polyurethane foam core, which ensures extreme ice retention. Additional features include secure press and pull latches, a freezer-grade o-ring seal and dual molded-in handles for easy transport and tie-off
Cost: $550 for the 80-quart model. Other sizes are available.
To learn more or to buy: Go to pelican.com.