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Tag Archives: camping

Multi-Zippered Sleeping Bag Lets You Regulate Your Temperature Just Right

By David Ponce

I have a strange internal thermostat. It’s picky to no end. Most of the time, I’m sweating, no matter how cool the place is. So what I end up doing is making my apartment glacial and hiding under the covers. Then as I start to get too hot, I poke certain body parts out until the perfect balance is achieved. It’s a tedious process but it’s the only way I can sleep. So they might have had me in mind when they came up with this sleeping bag. It features four horizontal zippers which can be used as vents. They are placed near the ankles, knees, waist, and chest and allow the camper to open them in various combinations for the optimal temperature adjustment. Which is great because hey, you don’t have any sort of control over the outside temperature, so something like this is essential. Comfort of course comes at a price, which in this case is $120. Mind you, that’s almost on par with a regular sleeping bag anyway, so you’re not paint much of a premium.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

PowerPot Charges Your Gadgets While Your Stuff Is Cooking

By David Ponce

You might argue that going out into the wild and being outdoorsy involves leaving your electronics behind. You know, get away from it all and all that. But lets face it, that won’t happen. And if you’re away from the grid for a prolonged period of time, you’re gonna want to do something about getting those gadgets charged up. The PowerPot is a special cooking pot that contains thermoelectric materials. This means that it will generate electricity as you’re heating up your dinner. There are two versions, which generate 5W and 10W of energy.

The Regulator Cord on both models has a high-temperature connector which plugs into the backside of the PowerPot, and three feet of flame-resistant cabling leading to the USB plug. This makes the PowerPot usable on open wood fires in addition to stoves

The basic PowerPot V, which contains 1.4 litres of liquid and generates 5W starts out at $125 while the larger 1.9 litre PowerPot X generates 10W and goes for $200. They’re currently projects on Kickstarter and if they reach their goal, they should ship in June.

[ Project Page ]

Tentsile Tents Take Things Off The Ground

By David Ponce

Bears, they sure like to snack on humans. No, that’s not true! We’re more like a full meal for them.

All bad segues aside, the Tentsile tents look awesome, and may actually make things a little harder for forest dwelling creatures seeking to nibble on your camping toes. They hang in the air, hammock-style, and the different models can accommodate 2, 3-4 or 5-8 people. The 5-8 person model doesn’t seem to require trees, instead relying on its own tripod like structure to raise the tent off the ground.

The structure comprises a collapsable frame of webbing straps with fire retardant, UV PU and water resistant polyester fabric infill panels. The frame is held in tension by elongates which collect at each of the three high level anchor points, and at the base to form internal spaces.

We don’t know how much they are, but they do seem to be available. We can’t imagine this stuff being cheap. Still, hit the jump for more pictures and links.

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BioLight Campstove Heats Your Food, Powers Your Gadgets

By David Ponce

Being off the grid is fun, but unless you’re really special, you never go full-off. Most people like to bring at least a cellphone with them, be it only for emergency calls. What better way to charge these then, than with a BioLight campstove. It’s a small device in which you are meant to burn wood or other combustible biodegradables (leaves, pine cones, etc.). While you place your pot of beans atop to heat, a thermoelectric element inside provides power which outputs through a USB port.

It’s $129 and should be ready to ship for “camping season 2012”.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

I Had No Idea Victorinox Made Swiss Army Knives With Built-in Lighters

Victorinox SwissFlame and CampFlame (Images courtesy VICfan)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. Did you know that from 2002 to 2005 Victorinox made a couple of Swiss Army Knives that featured built-in lighters? Something that would come in far useful while trying to survive in the wilderness than a corkscrew bottle opener. But, because the lighters only require a single action to ignite the flame, they were deemed too unsafe for sale in the United States. So if you had any interest in picking up either the SwissFlame or CampFlame models, you had to live in Europe or Australia, where apparently lighter regulations are far more lenient.

But if you’re determined, and happen to have a friend or P.O. box in Australia, you can still find them from online sellers like ‘Army Surplus Stores‘ for $129.50 AUD, which works out to about $137 US.

[ VICfan – Victorinox SwissFlame and CampFlame ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]

Stylish Cricket Camping Trailer Designed By A NASA Architect

Cricket Camping Trailer (Images courtesy Cricket)
By Andrew Liszewski

While probably outnumbered by scientists, engineers and even pilots, there’s apparently still a place at NASA for architects. And before turning his focus to more terrestrial endeavors, the designer of the Cricket camping trailer, Garrett Finney, actually worked on the habitation module for the International Space Station. So when it comes to designing small spaces that are as functional as possible, I can’t think of someone more qualified.

Each Cricket trailer is built to custom order, so customers get only what they want and/or need, and apparently range in price from about $10,000 up to $17,000. Amenities include a very compact stove and sink, equally compact shower and toilet, a tiny dining table and a couch that folds flat providing sleep space for a couple of people. The hard shell exterior is also strong enough to allow a couple of hammocks to be strung up inside for extra sleeping space for kids. The Cricket trailer is even light enough to be towed by some 4-cylinder cars since it weighs in at around 1,300 lbs before packed with provisions. And it takes just 20 seconds to set up once you’ve arrived at camp, which basically involves popping up the roof which is made extra easy with the assistance of automatic gas pistons.

[ Cricket Camping Trailer ] VIA [ Fancy ]

You Can Expect The Next Multi-Day Music Festival To Be A Sea Of These VW Camper Van Tents

VW Camper Van Tent (Images courtesy Firebox)
By Andrew Liszewski

Today’s modern hippie might find it difficult to procure a 1965 Volkswagen Camper Van, the iconic mode of transport for the flower power movement of the 60’s. But since they’ll probably spend most of their time just sleeping in it anyways given the cost of gas these days, this is a more practical alternative. Designed to look like a perfect 1:1 scale replica of their 1965 Camper Van, this tent is officially licensed by Volkswagen and comes in your choice of red, yellow or blue.

Inside it comfortably sleeps 4 people and is divided down the middle allowing couples to have a little privacy while they’re not making war, and the design even means it’s tall enough to allow people to stand up inside. At ~$486 (£299.99) it’s a little pricey as far as tents go, and unfortunately it’s not expected to ship until August 25th at which point your Summer of love is pretty much already over.

[ VW Camper Van Tent ] VIA [ Pocket-lint ]

BioLite Camp Stove Burns Clean, Charges Gadgets


By Evan Ackerman

Over 3 billion people use solid fuel (like wood) for cooking. This is not ideal, since the toxic smoke from indoor cooking fires kills 1.6 million people per year while wafting up into the atmosphere where it does all kinds of other bad stuff (in total, it’s about 50% of the nastiness of CO2 when it comes to climate change).

What do you care about all this? You don’t! What you do care about (maybe) is sweet camping gear. The BioLite stove is portable, efficient, and powerful. It burns pretty much anything you care to toss into it, uses only half as much fuel as a regular fire, and boils water significantly faster than a conventional petroleum fuel camp stove. The reason that we’re posting about it, though, is that what makes the stove perform so well is an attached thermoelectric generator. The generator uses heat from the fire to power a small fan that improves combustion efficiency by blowing air back into the stove, and there’s enough energy left over (1-2 watts) to charge portable electronics through a USB port.


The BioLite camp stove is a bit bulkier than some other camp stoves and weighs a pound and a half, but you don’t have to carry fuel, and unless you’re camping in the arctic, you probably won’t run out of stuff to burn. It should be available sometime this year for around $80.

Incidentally, the BioLite stove also reduces smoke emissions by 95%, which saves lives and the environment. But, you know, whatever… (There’s a larger version for the developing world for $50).

[ BioLite ]