Camping gear reviews and commentary on today's latest and greatest camping gear!

Friday, May 29, 2015

StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier


Last weekend our family went for a trip to the coast. We rented a small beach house that had everything we would need for an enjoyable stay. But my wife packed our vehicle like we were moving in permanently.

"You never know," she said. "They may not have comfortable mattresses, so we should bring the sleeping bags" and "what if they don't have a fireplace poker? We should bring ours just in case."

And the kids were no better. "What is there to do at the beach, dad? We better bring the Wii and some games."

Luckily, we had just purchased our StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier. The Max version holds a whopping 16 cubic feet of stuff. That's considerably larger than the competitors. We were able to get 4 suitcases, the espresso machine, a hammock(?), and the coveted Wii console in it. My wife may have a hoarding problem.

The StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier has a swing-away feature that lets me get easy access to the trunk contents. It also comes pre-wired with tail lights that hook up to your car's electrical system and it even has a license plate holder. They thought of everything!

Well, the weekend was a success. 9/10th's of the stuff we brought didn't get touched. But as my wife was quick to point out, "Luck favors the prepared." By that reasoning we must be the luckiest family in the world.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pocket Chainsaw



Finally! A saw you can fit in your pocket! We have been waiting for years for this invention. A little background. I come from a logging family. For 5 generations my family has made their living by cutting logs and hauling them out of the forest. Are you familiar with Easter Island? Yeah, my family took care of that. Before we got there, it was a tall forest of Douglas Fir. But how is anybody going to see monolithic statues when they're surrounded by trees? Want an example more close to home? How about Mt. Rushmore. Believe it or not, Mt. Rushmore was covered with Christmas trees. Poor Abe Lincoln looked like he was spiking his hair. They called us in to take care of that.
So suffice to say, we know what we're talking about when it comes to saws. In fact, we've tried to invent a pocket saw ourselves, but with horrible outcomes. My great-grandfather Boyd almost lost the family jewels after his spring-loaded pocket saw uncoiled in mid-step. So, while we're a little sad that we didn't come up with this unique design, we're glad someone did.
This Pocket Chainsaw is made of high strength, heat-treated steel and it's coated for rust resistance. It'll fit in your shirt pocket, pants pocket, coat pocket, hot pocket, or any other pocket you can find. Ah, Hot Pockets...couldn't you go for one of those right now? Me too. Check out Jim Gaffigan's take on Hot Pockets here. The saw is 28" long and weighs in at only 6oz. Heck, that's like saying it floats on air! What's more, it has 124 Bi-directional teeth. See ya later, Alligator! There's a new sherriff in town! And best of all, it can be used by one or two persons. Make a new friend by inviting them to saw wood with you. You may get slapped a few times as they infer that this means something else, but it will be worth it when you find a true friend. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Campside Old Fashioned

When I lived in the Midwest, my friends Peach, Boss, Todd and I would go camping the first week in May in upper Wisconsin. For those of you who know anything about upper Wisconsin in the Spring, you know that it's still damn cold. We liked to find lakes that were uninhabited by any other campers, which, at that time of the year was most of them.

One of the rituals we developed was having Old Fashioneds after dinner. Peach had a special recipe that really hit the spot. But it was a lot of work for a campsite. Luckily, he had his travel cocktail bar, containing almost everything needed.


The Ingredients are as follows:


  • Kessler Blended Whiskey
  • 7-up
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Maraschino cherries
  • cherry juice
  • sugar
  • orange
  • lemon slice
  • cinnamon sticks

The process is as follows:

Pour a couple of ounces of 7-up into a highball glass, then add two teaspoons of sugar and two jiggers of bitters. Muddle. Then add ice to the brim of the glass. Now add 1 ounce (or to taste) of Kessler. It has to be Kessler. No other blended whiskey works as well. Believe me, I've tried.

Now stir with a cinnamon stick. Add zest of orange, slice of orange and slice of lemon. Add jigger of cherry juice. Stir again and drink.

There is nothing better than sitting in your camp chair sipping your Old Fashioned and staring at a roaring campfire on a cold, crisp Northern Wisconsin night (and listening to the Chief on the radio playing country & western songs...right guys?)


Friday, May 22, 2015

Windcatcher Airpad 2 Sleeping Pad - the best backpacking sleeping pad

I recently attempted to break the record for the longest "Shh" but came up just short of the 1 minute, 44 second world record currently held by Jovah Siegal set on 7/26/10. My time was 1 minute 6 seconds. Granted, this was my first attempt and I will start to train vigorously over the next few months to attempt to break this record that has stood for almost five years.

Now I realize that I'm ready to get myself a Windcatcher Airpad 2 Sleeping Pad. The Windcatcher is the first sleeping pad that is inflatable without having your lips touch the valve. Their Quickstream™ Inflation multiplies your breath 10 times.
The Windcatcher® valve allows for EFFORTLESS DEFLATION and even doubles as the pad's carrying case, so you'll never lose or fumble with a clumsy stuff-sack again. The Windcatcher® AirPad 2™ also features an extra comfy 4" thick quilted support system for superior cushioning and comfort.

I'll be posting my world record attempt on YouTube any day now. Look for the press release announcing a new WORLD RECORD!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hennessy Expedition ASYM Hammock


I am UBA KAMILA, the first son of the third wife of President Jacque Kamila. With regards to detailed information and recommendation of your person and company from the Johannesburg Chamber of commerce and Industry (JCCI), I wish to ask for your favor and assistance in a very confidential business arrangement. A large amount of Hennessy Expedition ASYM Hammocks have come into my possession. I am needing your assistance in receiving this hammocks for safe keeping till when i come over to your country.
 
These hammocks are highly sought-after. The new Asymmetrical shape provides instant comfort over rocky, wet or sloping terrain and protection from sun, wind, rain, black flies, etc. The Expedition includes a patented self-closing entrance through the bottom, which seals automatically and a new comfortable shape to keep your back straight and level when resting on the diagonal. So now you understand how valuable this shipment is.
These hammocks were given to me as a portion of inheritance from my father and was never disclosed to anyone in the family except my twin sister, due to the polygamous battle for the struggle of birth right and for the fact that this his major properties and wealth were shared among his four legitimate wives.
My Mother happened to be third although she died when i was seven years old and we have little or nothing out of it.
I am currently in loggerheads with my elder brother MUSA, a major general who is currently Democratic Republic of congo’s (DRC) head, after our father was fatally shot dead by 2nd deputy defense secretary Haishiva Haludu on tuesday night, as a result of a growing rift between him and some of his top army commanders.
All i want from you is to assist me in claiming my consignment from the Security Company and assist me also in transferring the hammocks into your posession.
IF there is any way you can assist me, morally and financially, I would be most indebted to you. Please endeavor to keep this business confidential though it is 100%risk free. I am prepared to offer you 20% of the total sum for your assistance.
Best regards,
Uba Kamila

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Campfire in a Can


Store Employee: "Hello, Thank you for calling IGA. How can I help you?"
Me: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"
Store Employee: "Yes, we do."
Me: "Well you better let him out!"
<Click>

Ah, just think. There was a time when I thought that was funny. I'm sure the store thought it was hilarious. But when you're 11 and completely bored in the pre-cell phone era, what do you have but the telephone and your anonymity?

This little story sheds light on two things: first, I was emotionally stunted as a kid, and second, I like things in a can. So when I saw the Campfire In A Can, I knew it was right up my alley.

In terms of car camping I have always been frustrated at getting to a particular spot only to find out that they didn't have a fire pit or grill. The Campfire In A Can portable propane fire pit solves this problem. It also is great in areas where there are firewood restrictions or fire bans.

It's easy and quick to set up uses no wood, so it's smoke-free and spark-free, there are no ashes to clean up, and it's safe for use on patio mats, decks and grass.


You're not going to be lugging this thing in your pack on a long trip, but it serves a purpose--making you feel like you're camping. What is camping without a fire?



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Folding Firebox Nano Camp Stove

Is Kickstarter the coolest thing or what? The other day I was browsing on the site, trying to decide where to invest my extra millions, when I came across a camping product that is the ultimate in ultralight gear.

The Folding Firebox Nano is a foldable backpacking stove that weighs less than 6 oz. When folded, it's only 3" wide and .25" thick. That is tiny. The site says it has a "proprietary cross-feed fuel delivery system" which really means it allows you to insert sticks into holes on two sides of the stove and cross them, which creates a quicker, less smokey fire. If you don't want to use sticks, it can also accept a Trangia Spirit Burner. The Firebox Nano is hinged so you don't have to assemble it. Just pop it open, direct the pot stand arms inward for a small cup, or outward for a larger pot or frying pan and you're all set.

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