Forget the Pot...The Kelly Kettle is a Smarter Way to Boil Water

At the summer's Outdoor Retailer, I came across a new piece of gear that is actually more than a century old. The Kelly Kettle was invented in Ireland in the 1890s but is just now making it over to the United States. The kettle is an all-in-one solution for boiling water for cooking and purification. Its double-wall design leaves a hollow center that fuels the flames like a chimney stove. Simply start a fire in...
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Cuissential SlickBoil Collapsible Kettle

Ordinarily I don't buy outdoor gear at kitchen supply stores, but the Cuissential SlickBoil looks pretty..well, slick. Like those collapsible cups that some people use for camping and backpacking, only in kettle form, the silicone kettle packs small (2.5 inches thick) and expands into a cooking tool. I'd imagine you'd want to avoid a campfire, but its stainless steel base should be plenty comfortable on a stove. It boils up to 4 cups of water....
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Grower's Cup Coffeebrewer Coming to US

A couple of weeks ago, we took a look at the Grower's Cup Coffeebrewer, which is essentially a small pot of Joe in a bag. At the time, we didn't see any sign of US availability, but that's about to change. Colorado-based Sport Hansa, which imports a lot of gear from the Scandinavian/northern European market, will be bringing Grower's Cup to US retailers, including Campsaver.com. The press release doesn't list pricing but says that it...
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Grower's Cup Coffeebrewer is a French Press in a Bag

There's no shortage of outdoor brewing solutions, but we're always interested to see a new one, especially one that's remarkably easy. The Coffeebrewer from Grower's Cup is basically a big, pre-filled, enclosed coffee filter in a bag. All you need to do is pour a half-liter of hot water in it, and you have yourself three cups of coffee. The downside is that it takes 5 - 8 minutes to steep and brew, so there'll...
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Multi-Functional Lighting For Camping and Backpacking

The Swiss Army Knife and Leatherman have earned iconic status in and out of the outdoors because they're useful for all kinds of tasks. The typical flashlight or headlamp will never reach the same level of adulation because all it does is flash a beam in one direction or another. These multi-functional lights, on the other hand, give you multiple lighting options, allowing you more flexibility at your campsite. One or two of them may...
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Toasty Tush Keeps Your Camp Chair Warm

Similar to lying out on the beach, camping can lead to uneven toasting. Sitting by the campfire can quickly give you a warm, roasting front while leaving your back exposed to the cold night air. Toasty Tush - not to be confused with As Seen on TV toilet seat warmer Toastie Tush - solves this problem by giving you a warming cushion designed specifically for camp chairs. Unlike some other heated seats, it doesn't use...
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Walkstool Steady Keeps You Balanced and Stable

A couple of years ago, while walking the floor of the Outdoor Retailer, I found the Walkstool, a nicely designed, portable stool imported from Scandinavia. A couple of days ago, while navigating the website of another prominent outdoor show (Outdoor Friedrichshafen), I came across a handy Walkstool accessory. The Steady is a simple add-on that holds the ends of the legs to prevent the stool from sinking into soft ground and to make it more...
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Camp Out In Your Toyota Prius With Habitents Module

The Prius is a wee bit small to outfit with a roof camper, but that didn't stop the industrious folks behind the Habitents from designing a way of overnighting in the hybrid. Habitents is a simple tent-like module that slides over the open hatch of the Prius. Fold the rear seats, and two people can lie down and catch a night of sleep. It has no poles and rolls up small enough to fit in...
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An Ultralight Washing Machine For Your Campground Laundry

Staying clean and camping don't really mix. Everything you touch - your tent, firewood, the ground, the picnic table, the vault toilet door - is covered in dirt, grime, grit and unthinkable microscopic predators. Couple that with a complete lack of running water, and you're bound to be grungy for the better part of the trip. If you're like me, you forget about it, take a wet-nap bath every now and again, and smoke the...
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Camping For Dummies: Colorado Launches First Time Camper Program

As enjoyable and relaxing as a weekend of camping is, it can take a lot of work to get there. I typically spend the better part of my first camping day of the season rummaging through closets, boxes, nooks, crannies, crevices, holes...to find and organize all the gear that I left strewn about the prior season. If I'm lucky, I get it all together and make it to camp with enough daylight to set up...
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A Different Kind Of Swiss Knife: Swiss Advance Knife and Fork

We're all quite familiar with Swiss knives from Wenger and Victoronix, but you may never have heard of Swiss Advance. That's because this Swiss manufacturer doesn't make red multi-tools; it makes eating instruments for camping and backpacking. As you might expect, its knife looks a little different than the classics. Similar to a retractable razor blade, the Swiss Advance knife (and fork) slides in and out of its plastic handle. When collapsed, they're small enough...
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Backcountry Base Camp: Luxuries and Conveniences For Backpacking

There's really nothing quite like truly embracing the wilderness and spending days at a time exploring. But if there's one downer to that experience, it's coming back to a barebones campsite after a day of hiking 20 miles. You can't really carry all the conveniences of a roadside campsite--furniture, food, cookware, drinks, etc.--into the backwoods, so you tend to make good with considerably less comfort. But being comfortable at camp doesn't have to mean being...
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Good Idea/Bad Idea: Zippered Vents Sleeping Bag

Ever look at your sleeping bag and think: 'I want to score that sucker like a piece of beef'? I sure never did, but the folks over at novelty and gadget purveyor extraordinaire Hammacher Schlemmer tried it out. The Zippered Vents Sleeping Bag attempts to solve a common problem of the outdoors: hot, stuffy sleeping bags on warmer-than-expected summer nights. You need a sleeping bag that's warm enough for the coldest temperatures that you expect,...
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Snow Peak Tulip Lantern With Autofocus

Snow Peak makes some of the coolest lighting solutions out there. The 250-lumen Tulip Lantern is a lamp-lantern hybrid that automatically gives you the light you need. When you stand it up, the Tulip serves as an ambient light source. When you point it down, it focuses a beam. This process is automatic, so you can quickly go from tent-wide lantern to spotlight (say if there's an unwanted visitor in the corner of your tent)...
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Get Dirty, Get Clean: Campsite Showers For Even The Gnarliest Adventurers

One common complaint among newbie campers is the lack of amenities for basic hygiene. Indeed, going a week--or even day--without a shower when hiking, biking and sleeping in the humid, sweltering heat of summer can make camping a no-go for many. But, with a little preparation, you can have your hygiene and your camping. Zodi Hot Tap The Zodi Hot Tap is a self-contained, single-burner portable shower. The propane-fueled burner heats your water up, and...
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Java Juice Coffee Extract Makes Your Morning Cup With No Hassle

Coffee in the outdoors is one of those nagging, little problems that inspires all kinds of innovation. The latest that we happened across is this Java Juice concentrated liquid coffee extract. Dump the extract into a cup of water and you have morning coffee in seconds. Since it's liquid, it mixes with hot or cold water, unlike powdered coffee that requires hot water. That's a big advantage if you're low on time or feel like...
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Revolve Camping Chair Spins 360 Degrees

Folding camping chairs are already a pretty great invention. They're comfortabe, inexpensive and pack small enough to slide into tight spaces - everything you want for a campsite. The Revolve Chair puts a new spin on the camping chair - literally. Thanks to a swivel base, the chair revolves 360 degrees like a desk chair. Need a beer from the cooler behind you? Don't get up; just spin around and grab it. The hardware doesn't...
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Pin Lights Prevent Tripsies at the Campsite

Pin Lights are a design study by Kim Jung Su, Kim Dong Hwan, Yoon Ji Soo and Yoon Jae Sun. I don't believe there are any plans for production, but there should be. They're a little large and awkward, but with a little tweaking, Pin Lights could be a very functional addition to any campsite. I don't know how many times I've tripped on my guy lines and/or stakes, so having a warning light built...
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More Portable Wine

  Well there's all kinds of good news if you just happen to be a nomadic or wilderness-recluded wino. Companies can't seem to get portable wine reservoirs on the shelf fast enough. The latest one I happened across is Bandit Vino. It comes in about half a dozen different flavors and costs about 8 bucks. Two pounds may be a lot of weight to fastpackers, but wine seems like one investment that might be worth...
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Rolled, Warm Tacquito: Hammock Sleeping Bag From Grand Truck

Carrying the not-so-sexy name of Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bag, the 32 F bag from Grand Trunk wraps you and your hammock up like a big, open-topped burrito and provides extra insulation from the cold below. The bag weighs 2 lbs. 10 oz so it won't cramp your ultralight hammock camping too bad. The sleeping bag is a solution for warming up the underside of the hammock, which can be pretty cold due to the lack...
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