Roughing it in the great outdoors ain't what it used to be. These handy items will make life under the stars feel a little more like home.
Long, long ago, in a distant time we’ll call our collective childhood, there was an activity people of all types liked to partake in called camping. Though camping came in many varieties, the general idea was to pack up a tent, sleeping bag and the few other things necessary to survive for a few days (basic foods, bug spray, etc.) and take off into the wild for a rustic adventure. Whether that wild was literally off the grid or a glorified parking lot near a body of water didn’t matter so much; the real objective was to get away from an increasingly complicated, tech-integrated world and enjoy that old friend of ours, Nature.
For most of us, however, those days are long gone. The desire to get away from it all has been replaced by the desire to bring it all with us, lock, stock and barrel. Though some poor unfortunates have attempted to dub this “glamping,” we prefer something along the lines of creature-comfort camping and we think you’ll agree. Why focus on some idea of backwoods luxury when the real game is making batches of very strong daiquiris while playing Angry Birds as your phone charges and the fire roars?
BioLite CampStove – $129
Where there are twigs, there’s a way to charge your favorite handhelds. The BioLite CampStove is a modern miracle of efficiency and convenience. The football-sized stove not only provides a highly efficient flame to light the night or roast hot dogs over, but also allows you to power or charge your electronics. You could argue it’s a boon to staying safe in the wilderness, but really we’re all just pondering how many twigs it would take to make it through our favorite playlists. Oh, and one more thing: the thing can boil one liter of water in about four minutes. You can buy one here, but you’ll have to get in line.
JOOS Orange Solar Charger – $149
Another entry in the energy-anywhere category is the JOOS Orange portable solar charger. At 6” by 8”, this tiny little panel packs quite the punch. Capable of charging a whole range of electronics directly, the JOOS Orange can also be charged up to provide power if you need it later on. And it’s waterproof, so no worries if you leave it out in the rain or drop it out of the canoe. No word on whether it floats, however.
Zodi Hot Tap Portable Shower – $145
A traditionalist outdoorsman might not look so kindly on you for bringing this on a weekend camping trip, but he probably doesn’t smell so fresh. If you’re going all out, why go without a hot shower? The Zodi Hot Tap Shower is propane-powered and not the lightest thing you’ll take into the woods, but one 16-ounce tank of fuel will provide three hours of hot water. And if it’s just you and your lady friend outward bound, who knows what kind of fun you could find in the wild?
HEIMPLANET The Cave Tent – $670
The Cave is about as high-tech and convenient as tents get. And it looks like it’s from the future. Where most tents are process-heavy in the setup and, let’s face it, rather confusing, this one is a breeze. The exoskeleton-like frame is inflatable, so assembling it is one step and takes next to no time at all. You can get right into the party rather than waste an hour figuring out which pole goes through which hole.
Coleman Rechargeable Blender – $80
Who says you can’t have frothy frozen drinks in the wild? Coleman begs to differ. With more than enough power to crunch through ice (you’ll have to find that on your own), this sharp, not-so-little thing will give you as many as 30 pitchers of boozy goodness on one charge. And chances are you’ll be able to recharge it with one of our other ritzy suggestions.