Some of us like toys in the out-of-doors and some do not. My wife, Jane, eschews the unnecessary when camping, and looks at my gadgeteering with bemusement. She knows when it comes time to figure things out like exactly how cold it got the night before, I’ll have the answer!
Coghlan’s Digital Dangler
Coghlan’s, a Canadian company, markets a humble $10 thermometer that records maximum/minimum temperatures. Reset it before you go to bed and in the morning you’ll know whether it really was that cold or if you need a new sleeping bag. The Dangler’s only drawback is that because it’s digital, it can’t read temps colder than10F so it won’t verify your winter camping record. Jane’s not sure why Canadians would bother with a thermometer that only goes to 10F.
Coghlan’s got its start back in the ‘50s with this toaster. Nothing more than a steel plate and some wires, it sits on your camp stove and, well, makes toast. Or bagels. Even pop-tarts! Simplicity itself, it retails for under $5.
REI Schwag Pockets
Schwag pockets are little cylinder baggies of nylon and mesh that hang from a loop inside your tent. They’ll hold your glasses, your knife, or anything in your pockets you don’t want to roll on all night. Retailing for $6.50/pair, they’re a whole lot cheaper than a new pair of glasses.
GSI French Press
GSI is a backcountry cookware company and their French press has been long considered one of the better ways to make coffee. Basically a cylinder into which you put coffee grounds and hot – not boiling – water, the French press has a plunger with a filter on the end of it. When your coffee is ready, you slowly push down the plunger, trapping the coffee grounds under the filter. If you want your coffee stronger, let it steep longer. French presses retail from $20 and up depending on size.
GSI Espresso Maker
No kidding, you can have espresso on the trail! GSI has two models, both small and lightweight cast aluminum which retail for $15 and $25. When I heat the gadget up, espresso emerges from the outlet tube into my waiting cup. Latte or mocha, Jane?
Hurricane Bob continues to enjoy gadgeteering even though he is on gear probation