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Cool Camping And Outdoor Gear For The Summer

There’s no better way to get through the winter doldrums (and the often cold and rainy spring) than thinking about how you’re going to spend your summer vacation.


If you’re into camping or outdoor sports, there’s no need to fantasize about the same old trips with the same old gear. There are some cool innovations which can put new excitement into your outdoor vacation this summer. Here are some of our favorites.

Tree Tents

Some people hate setting up camp on muddy ground alongside creepy, crawly creatures. The only thing worse is having companions who are constantly complaining – about setting up camp on muddy ground alongside creepy, crawly creatures.

Either way, the answer to the problem is simple: take to the trees. A company called Tentsile has developed a line of very cool two- and three- person tree tents, which not only let you avoid sleeping on the ground, but give you a new sense of freedom as you camp closer to the birds, the sky and the summer breezes.

In effect, these are suspended shelters with webbed frames, anchored to trees and held in the air by tension. The floors are separated into separate hammock areas, and the larger models have enclosed mesh roofs, removable UV-resistant, waterproof rainflies, and even doors. Since the tents are suspended as high as four feet off the ground, you can camp above rocky, wet or uneven areas – and enjoy the outdoors in an entirely new way without leaving any ecological footprint.

Safe Drinking Water

Dedicated hikers and campers know that it gets more difficult every year to find safe drinking water. That’s no longer a problem with the MSR Guardian Purifier, a portable unit which can turn any water into drinking water, anywhere you go.

The key to the Guardian is a new type of medical-grade fiber used in the filter; the unit makes use of three filters to eliminate every biological threat, including viruses and bacteria, from the water you collect. Even better, the pump is self-cleaning. It uses one-tenth of the purified water to flush the system while sending the rest to your collection container. You don’t have to scrub filters, you don’t have to backflush – you just collect fresh, pure water, more than half-a-gallon per minute.

The Guardian does cost $350 to purchase – but we didn’t say these toys are cheap. We just said that they’re cool.

Green Portable Charger

What fun is a modern camping trip without your tablet and phone? Few of us can separate from our devices anymore; unfortunately, charging them once you’re in the wild can be a challenge. The answer for 2016 is called Solar Paper.

This is the world’s lightest and thinnest solar charger, taking its name from the fact that it’s so thin it can fit into a notebook or day planner. There are three models available, and the number of solar panels determines the power capabilities of the charger. Charge an iPhone? It will take 2½ hours with a 5-watt (two-panel) Solar Paper. An iPad? 4½ hours with a 10-watt (four-panel) Solar Paper.

Solar Paper is water-resistant, weighs four ounces and is just a bit larger than an iPhone. Just as cool is the fact that it automatically resumes charging after clouds pass, unlike most solar chargers which have to be constantly reset when clouds obstruct the sun’s rays.

All the Power You Could Want

Solar Tent

If recharging your devices seems like too much work for a vacation, how about a tent that also supplies almost-unlimited power?

The Orange Solar Tent sleeps four, and has banks of photovoltaic cells built right into its design. Once you pitch the tent, it captures energy from the sun and sends it directly to a power station built right into the tent. You can operate a number of devices without ever having to worry about low batteries.

That’s what we call camping in comfort.


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