There is still a lot of great camping left this year, but with the days getting shorter it is time to take-stock of your outdoor packing list and evaluate what needs to be added, in order to account for the changing season. Here are a few items I ran across, last week, that add a new twist in utility, size and water repellency – important considerations for fall camping.
Seattle Sports H2Duo
Seriously, Roy, another water bottle? I know, I know, but the H2Duo from Seattle Sports really does add a new twist to the water bottle paradigm. The entire upper-half of the bottle unscrews, making the H2Duo infinitely easier to clean, than any other water bottle I have used.
This is a big deal for those of us who sometimes use our water bottles for (ahem) beverages other than water. I also like the idea of being able to unscrew the top and just use the bottom-half like a regular mug. The top, also, doubles as cup – though it looks too small to be of much use, to me.
The 1-liter stainless steel H2Duo is available in several different colors for $19.95.
Kodack Mini Video Camera
I am seriously video-challenged, when it comes to recording our outdoor memories. Our video camera is bulky, so if I even bring it on an outdoor excursion, it is relegated to the daypack which means I miss a lot of opportunities.
The new Kodak Mini Video Camera is the size of a credit card and takes full 640×480, 30 fps video, just like my bulky camera. And, at $99.95, it is less than half the cost of my unit.
It also has several smart features that I look for, in my digital products. For one, it is completely waterproof, so I do not have to worry about shooting video in the rain. Also, it uses SD memory cards, just like my digital camera and the netbook that I use for editing, on our trips. The icing on the cake is that the Kodak Mini has a flip-out USB port, so you can charge it and download it without packing an extra cable.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
A lightweight rain jacket is invaluable in the backcountry – in fact, I had to break mine out during two hikes, this summer. At $119, the Patagonia Torrentshell provides all of the functionality you would expect in a lightweight, breathable, jacket – but at a very reasonable price.
The 13.7 oz. Torrentshell packs away into its own storage pocket, so it is easy to keep with you, wherever you go. It uses Patagonia’s polyurethane breathable barrier with a nylon protective exterior. Because it can breathe, the Torrentshell will be infinitely more comfortable on the trail, than low-end rain jackets.
REI Hobitat 6 Tent
The new Hobitat 6 tent ($299), from REI, looks to build on the solid reputation of the Kingdom series, with an additional eight inches of headroom and a larger vestibule (optional: $89). Unchanged are the features that make REI tents standout from the crowd: beefy aluminum poles, two doors and a full-coverage rain fly.