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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Signal Snowboards Gets Experimental With Innovative Video Series

Concept cars are a well known phenomenon in the automotive industry. In fact, they often get more attention than actual production cars. For some reason, other industries just don't have concepts in the same way. You never really see concept bikes or canoes, do you? Unlike auto shows, the show floor of the Outdoor Retailer isn't decorated with any wild, conceptual prototypes; it has products and maybe a prototype or two on its way to...
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Odorico Pordenone: A Stylish, Functional Expanding Camper

A camper that looks like a stylish piece of modern architecture, the Odorico Pordenone is the brainchild of student Jakub Novak. Unlike the average pop up camper, this modular design includes hard surfaces that spread laterally via crank to offer a living room, kitchen and a bedroom. The expanding flanks reveal a large window that provides views to the wilderness just outside. It sleeps up to four. Unfortunately this modern, stylish, award-winning camper design is...
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360 Degree Panoramas As Easy As Throwing a Ball

I've always been photographically challenged. For the longest time, all my pictures had a little (or a lot) of thumb in them, and while I eventually learned how to position my hand, I don't exactly take magazine-worthy shots.  Nothing's worse than trekking to the top of a mountain, snapping a couple of photos and getting home to realize that you cut off half the panorama, messed up the lighting or missed a key detail. Trying...
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Sea Kettle Life Raft Ends One of Life's Great Cruelties

  One of the greatest hardships of getting stranded at sea has got to be sitting on a monormous reserve of water that you can't drink, while slowly boiling toward dehydration in the pounding sun. Forget the delirium that will ensue should you drink any of the salt water around you, just thinking about that evil irony is enough to drive anyone mad. Now, if you were sitting on the Sea Kettle life raft, you...
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V-10 Powered Dodge Viper RV?

  Imagine it: A 600-hp camper derived from one of the most awesome American cars ever: the Dodge Viper SRT10. You'd be the ultimate campground  balla. Unfortunately, that's not going to be a possibility. The above image was a little bit of humor from Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand. In response to a Twitter comment looking for info/pictures of the new Dodge Viper, which will be launched next year, SRT put up this...
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Concepts: Purpose-Built Heli-Boarding Chopper

  You know, up until I watched Deeper this past winter, I never realized just how limited helicopter skiing is. To me, it always represented the ultimate escape, a way of accessing mountains that would be difficult/impossible to get to on foot. But after watching the movie, I realized there is just so much more out there that helicopters can't touch (in the movie, pro snowboarders take a floatplane deep into Alaskan no-man's-land, camp for...
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Concept Gear: Alppac Generator-Backpack

    A few years ago, I came across a backpack that used a spring-based suspension system to generate electricity from kinectic motion. Unfortunately, that one was for military hands only. But if designers like Joel Lim YM keep up, we'll have a commercial generator-pack in no time. His concept, called the Alppac, uses a spring-based pinion generator to make electrical current out of your hiking motion. You can hook up your gadget directly and...
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Handy Camping Tool? Bottle Opener With Integrated Garbage Bin

  I don't know how many times I've laid down on the couch only to shower myself and my upholstery with a hailstorm of bottle caps from a recent camping trip or BBQ outing--or maybe just from sitting on the couch two minutes before. You see, nine out of 10 times, I don't have a garbage bin handy when I'm popping a beer. Sure, I could get up and throw the bottle cap out, but...
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Outdoor Design Triumph or Fail: Inflatable Sleeping Coat

The Inflatable Sleeping Coat is a recent design by Tsui-Wei. The coat functions as a traditional wind/waterproof jacket and can also be extended into a full-body raincoat. When the sun disappears, the coat is capable of being inflated into a camping mat/sleeping bag and used for sleeping. Unlike the JakPak, you'll need to bring your own tent if the weather is questionable because this offers very limited rain protection and insulation. The add-on rain skirt can also...
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The Spokeless Bike Wheel

This proof-of-concept design was undertaken by a group of nine mechanical design students from Yale. As a project for class, they set out to prove that a spokeless wheel was possible--and they did just that. The design doesn't look that practical for real-world application, but it certainly looks cool. The designers envision using the empty space to house a motor or basket. The bike is a single-speed configuration and looks to house internal gearing inside...
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Compact, Eco-Friendly Rental Camper Concept

  The Hotel Cube is a new camper design brought to us by Jianbo Huang & Ting Zhao. These two designers sought to rethink the camper from the wheels up to make a convenient, efficient space. The short little piece of cubery is envisioned as a camper rental. It maximizes interior space by focusing solely on where the most time is spent: the bed and the bathroom (hopefully not too much time in the latter)....
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High-Fashion Tent Jacket

  I don't do much of my gear shopping on the fashion circuit, but judging by this "Wearable Shelter" designed by a group of Philadelphia students--Jin Hong, Sebastian Brauer, and Jackie Starker, perhaps it's time to keep an eye out. The product is a jacket that transforms into a waterproof tent and it recently took an award at that So Re Fa eco-fashion show. It was designed for use in post-disaster scenarios, but such a...
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PUYL Bike Pump/Flashlight Concept

Here's a handy little idea courtesy of designer Kai Malter Roever--a frame pump that doubles as a bike/flashlight. Not only is the tool multi-functional, so is the user. The battery is charged by a dynamo-mechanism that is activated when you pump. So you can simultaneously pump up your tire and charge the flashlight battery. Supposedly, 20 seconds of pumping provides 45 minutes of light. When mounted to the frame, the light can serve as a...
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Tent that Transforms Into a Hammock

Admittedly, this is a rather old concept, but it seemed interesting enough to post anyway. The Respite shelter hammock, designed by Ryan Heiser, is a combination tent/hammock. Unlike other hammock tents designed to be tied in the trees and lift the user off the ground, the Respite includes a metal hammock frame that doubles as the tent frame. Simply zip or unzip the zippers on the canvas and enjoy a traditional tent or easy set-up...
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More Concept Survival Gear: Real Men Drink Pee Straight Up

  Debate about whether it's better to drink your own pee or not drink anything aside, one way to be sure you're getting hydrated is to distill and clean your pee. That's what this H2O Water Purifier, designed by Leonardo Manavella, is all about. When you're in the backcountry and the only water source you can conjure up is swishing around in your bladder, pee onto the Activated Carbon and then squeeze that recycled pee right...
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Concept Survival Gear: Reborn Survival Kit

Although most of us probably won't find ourselves fighting the perils of the choppy seas, just in case, here's an interesting piece of concept gear that would be invaluable. The Reborn Survival Kit, designed by Xue Zhichao, folds up like a baton and contains all kinds of gadgets that would come in handy should you find yourself looking out at an ominous ocean, with no clue of how to get home. Open the kit to...
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Swiss Army Camp Stoves?

Out of the two Swiss Army discoveries I've made this week, cologne and ultralight camping stove, I would have hoped for the former to be fake and the latter to be real. An ultralight camping stove-- that's something that the Swiss Army could actually use in a practical way. Unfortunately, the Swiss Army stove is merely a concept designed by Ryan Cavenagh, while the cologne is the real deal. Regardless, this concept stove appears to...
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More Concept Camping Gear: Camplite Aduro Stove

The Camplite Aduro stove designed by Rob Prickett may look a bit bulky, but when you study the design further you realize it offers a major advantage: it requires no fuel canister. Pull the cap off the leg and fill it directly with fuel and you're ready to cook. Details like weight, fuel type and how much fuel it holds haven't been provided, but it certainly could be a handy design. Currently, the stove measures 11.2" by 3.4", but...
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Concept Camping Gear: Self-Heating Thermos

  We've all seen those crank-powered flashlights at campsites and in home emergency kits. How about a crank-powered thermos that heats your food, potentially eliminating the need for a separate stove? The Vertigo, designed by Nicolas Bernal is just that. The self-contained, heating thermos includes a dynamo top that you crank to create electricity to heat the food held within the thermos. It takes about 3 minutes of cranking to heat up your meal. The shell...
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