“Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”, said sci-fi writer Robert A Heinlein. And he wasn’t even a camper. Or British.
He also invented the water bed, you know. Well, sort of. Regardless of how much he “invented” it as opposed to coming up with the notion, he obviously spent a lot of time thinking about getting comfortable, which is kind of what this feature is about. Outdoor product design’s loss was sci-fi’s gain it seems.
We’ve muddled along quite nicely without him mind, and there is certainly no shortage of innovation in this round-up of camping gear and accessories from the traditional sleeping and cooking accoutrements to the more advanced electronic chargers and lighting systems that keep the millennials happy, all of which are improving levels of comfort and extending the appeal of the outdoor experience to a wider audience.
In short, they help create new customers, are simultaneously great additions to a core outdoor range and increasingly must-stock items.
Founded in the summer of 1999, Eagles Nest Outfitters began as a small operation in Florida with a big plan to travel the East Coast in a ramshackle minivan and sell hammocks at music festivals and community gatherings along the way.
In a short time, with more business than could be handled from the van, and weary from a life on the road, roots were laid down in North Carolina and the firm can now lay claim to being the industry’s leading provider of parachute hammocks.
Burton McCall took on UK distribution of the brand last year.
The product range is lead by the DoubleNest Hammock (below), which is big enough for two people but still manages to stuff easily into its attached compression sack. The lighter SingleNest Hammock is also available if you’re not a sharer. Both are made from High Tenacity Nylon Taffeta
ENO’s lightest hammock, the ultralight Sub6, weighs in at just 5.8oz but has a 300lb weight rating. Made from lightweight 30D ripstop nylon, stronger-than steel Dyneema line, and featuring new aluminum toggles, it combines with the firm’s Helios Suspension System to offer the ease and comfort of a traditional hammock, while fitting into even the smallest of packs.
When there aren’t two trees handy, the Atlas and Atlas XL Suspension Systems weigh 11 ounces and boast 30 total adjustment points. It features the firm’s patented Atlas Strap’s no-knots-needed set-up.
Hammock stands are also available. The portable, versatile and durable ENOpod can hang up to three ENO hammocks. Tool-less assembly is designed to make it easy to use, and fast to set up
A range of bug screens and tarps are also available from Eagles Nest Outfitters.
For more information contact Burton McCall firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01162 34611
American solar expert Mpowerd has fired up the lantern market with a new product that features a two-way USB charge point and requires no batteries.
Now distributed in the UK by First Ascent, the Luci Pro series of lights – named Outdoor and Lux – will power up mobile phones, cameras or any device that can be charged via USB. Also boasting an impressive 50 hours of light from a full charge, they can be re-supplied from either the mains or, of course, the sun.
The Pro versions are the latest additions to Mpowerd’s line-up of inflatable solar lanterns, including the superlight (73g) EMRG which includes an SOS flash mode. All Luci models are waterproof and packable, and have the added buyer-incentive of helping Mpowerd’s projects in disaster-hit regions and the developing world.
Since 2012, Mpowerd’s retail sales have helped fund Luci supplies to over 90 countries, bringing light to an estimated 2.6 million people. As well as relief regions, they’ve also made a big impact in countries without access to mains electricity – helping schools to function, clinics to stay open, and small businesses continue to operate after dark.
For more information contact Jason@firstascent.co.uk or call 01629 580 484
At 20000mAh, the GP PowerBank 3C20A high capacity mobile charger is the most powerful of GP’s available power banks. The large battery capacity means it could charge the average phone about eight times, and could charge a family for a weekend or a couple for multiple days.
It is Suitable for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Tablet PCs and most USB enabled devices like digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players and smartphones. It has a recommended retail price of £35.99.
No-one wants or needs a leaky tent in the ever-changeable British weather and Storm has a range of protective products to keep tents both clean and waterproof.
Over time, dirt and oil mask the water repellency treatment on the tent fabric, resulting in a reduction of the fabric’s ability to shed water; this leads to wetting out and leakages. Storm offers a range of products that clean and re-proof tents to ensure they continue to keep those inside the tent dry and protected.
Storm’s Tent Wash (£8 for a 300 ml trigger spray bottle) is suitable for tents, covers and fabric surfaces and is a good preparation for a re-proofing treatment. The concentrated spray-on cleaner helps remove general dirt, tree sap or bird lime, without damaging the original waterproof coating.
Where there is extra dirt, Storm’s Non Scratch Sponge (RRP £4.25) will aid removal. An easy and handy to use size, the Non Scratch Sponge offers an effective aid to the cleaning process.
Once a tent has been cleaned, the next step is to re-proof it to restore its waterproofing with a product such as Storm’s Brush On Canvas Proof (RRP £25 for 5L bottle).
For any tent damage and rips, Storm’s Tear-Aid Patch Pack (RRP £7.50) can be used for immediate on-site repairs and for more permanent repairs actioned at home during the aftercare process.
Exped offers a range of waterproof Fold-Drybags (£47 for a pack of four) for load organisation, keeping wet/smelly stuff separate. The lightweight and waterproof storage bags have a fold top closure and can be used inside non-waterproof backpacks, canoes etc. Made from durable and pliable PU-coated taffeta nylon with taped seams, a bright inner PU coating makes it easier to see inside.
The Pinnacle Camper (right) (£160) is an ultra-compact integrated cooking and eating set for four people, that packs down small. The durable, hard anodised aluminium pots are coated with Teflon Radiance technology for better non-stick performance. Made from BPA-free polypropylene, the nesting table set includes four plates, four insulated mugs and sip-it tops, four bowls and a two-litre pot with strainer lid, which nest into a generous three-litre pot and frypan with a strainer lid. A rugged stuff sack holds the set, and doubles as sink or wash basin.
The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Table (£55) is flame and heat resistant, a sturdy design supports stoves, works as a prep or eating surface, and even supports up to 20lbs, while compacting down to just 0.6ins thick.
The six-piece Light My Fire Lunchkit (£19) is made from food-grade polypropylene (the Spork is made of Tritan) and includes a lid/plate, a plate/bowl, two waterproof SnapBoxes in different sizes, a Spork and carry harness. Also available is the Light My Fire FireFork (£9).
Snugpak’s Journey Solo (£109.95) is a lightweight durable single person bivvi tent. The waterproof fly can be easily removed to allow the full mosquito net inner to be used on its own on dry warm nights for a cooler night’s sleep and a view of the stars. It is constructed with a durable ground sheet in a bathtub style and supplied complete with a tailored tent footprint to help protect the ground sheet.
The Journey Duo (Left, £169.95) is a practical two person tent with a low profile design, excellent in high winds, with ample storage in a generous front porch. It has a large front door with a mosquito net ventilation panel. Again, constructed with a durable ground sheet in a bathtub style, it is alsos supplied complete with a tailored tent footprint to help protect the ground sheet. Three and four-man versions are also available for £199.95 and £269.95 respectively
Ortlieb’s new range of waterproof first aid kits takes advantage of the company’s expertise in creating durable, waterproof products. The regular model uses PU-coated nylon fabric with a roll closure, and contains basic items required for trekking. Created in consultation with the DAV (German Alpine Club) the kit features belt loops plus straps for fixing to a backpack etc.
The Tikkid (£25) is Petzl’s first head torch specifically designed for children. It has a flood beam that offers comfortable vision for reading or playing, inside the house or out, with a useful but limited 20 lumens of power in high mode to protect sensitive young eyes.
The headband releases under tension for safety, and access to the battery pack is protected by a flat-head screw. It is controlled by a single button with three lighting modes: low mode, ideal for reading, high mode, for playing inside the house or out, and white blinking mode (20 lumens), to be visible from a distance. There’s a phosphorescent reflector, useful for locating the torch in the dark, and an automatic shut-off function after one hour.
Coleman BlackOut Bedrooms block out 99 per cent of light, so consumers can chose what time to go to bed or wake up in the morning.
The Party Grill 600 Stove is designed to be suitably-sized for a family, group of friends or other larger gatherings.
Multiple cooking surfaces include a direct stove for pan cooking, grill, griddle, plancha and the lid even doubles as an oven. It incorporates a collect and tip-away cleaning system with a water compartment to collect fat; Push and turn piezo ignition for convenient lighting and an extra-long runtime of up to 9.5 hours.
It comes with a carry bag and operates off Campingaz refillable cylinders (and other butane cylinders). RRP is £179.99.
The WakaWaka Solar Panel and Solar Link feature four SunPower panels that deliver 10 watts of power and can be directly connected to WakaWaka products like the Power 5 or Power 10 to transform them into solar charged power banks. The Solar Link has two USB ports to ensure you can connect the panels to your smartphone or other essential devices and have them charged simultaneously and directly from the sun.
The Panel is made out of high impact resistant, recycled PC-ABS for a durable, lightweight power solution at an RRP of £79.99.
The Power+ is a rugged, super-efficient solar powered charger and flashlight, with a battery capacity of 3000 mAh and will charge a smartphone, camera and other gear multiple times via its USB ports. In addition, it can provide up to 200 hours of LED light on a full charge. RRP is £59.99.
The Starlight RC1000 lantern has an output of 1000 lumens, with three light colours, plus a stepless dimmer setting on all three. Just press and hold the switch and adjust the light setting to the light output you want. In addition, it is rechargeable via USB and can be used to charge mobile devices. A hidden hook in the bottom of the lantern makes it easy for hanging. RRP is £50.
Vango’s range includes tents, sleeping mats, head torches and stoves.
With an RRP of £130, the lightweight Scafell 200 tunnel tent has two identical poles for quick and simple pitching. It is designed to perform in a wide range of weather conditions and, recommended by the DofE, is aimed at those looking to keep weight and pack size minimal. Built for hiking in the wilds it also features TBS II and Gothic Arch poles, which add stability, increase the run off of snow and rain and reduce the amount of stress across the poles.
The Dreamer 5 Sleeping Mat is a self inflating sleep mat, designed to provide a high level of comfort with an insulated filling and soft touch durable fabric cover. The simple twist valve makes set-up easy and when ready to pack up, it is compact and lightweight.
Vango’s Photon headtorch produces up to 150 lumens from the main LED, utilising a collimator lens to provide long distance light projection whilst maintaining soft peripheral light. Compact and versatile, Photon can be easily removed from the headband and clipped onto a helmet, clothes or rucksack.
The Roar stove comes attached with a piezo igniter and pre-heat tube and is suitable for use on the hill or at the campsite.
Lastly, the Pathfinder 65 Pack is new for 2018 and is an all rounder that uses a simple Size Tolerant back system to balance and spread the load, making it a comfortable multi-day trekking pack. It comes with top and bottom access points, twin daisy and an ergonomically designed hip belt for comfort. Recommended by The Scouts Association it is aimed at people taking part in their first multi-day hikes.