While Carl is something of a hound for gadgets, I’ve always been a traditionalist. When it comes to travel gear, I tend to go or inexpensive and or classic. I’ve never ventured into the shadowy region of lightweight $400 tents and camelbacks; it seems a slippery slope for someone on my budget. However, I may be taking a turn to the dark side. Last year I reviewed The Ultimate Hang, which opened my eyes to the culture of hammock camping and some of the exciting new hammock options on the market. I was intrigued but still maintained that nothing could beat a classic Merida hammock. That may still be the case, but this winter while camping in a defunct telapia farm, I did actually experience one of these new hammocks. And I have to say it was pretty damn comfortable: lightweight, silky, easy to adjust, and the cloth created a good barrier against mosquitos (a prevalent force in a defunct telapia farm, as you might well imagine). After wrapping myself like a hammock taco and enjoying comprehensive mosquito protection, I may now finally be willing to admit that some of the new camping gear is worth coveting. Here’s my current wishlist*:
ENO Doublenest Hammock: This silky and light weight hammock offers the aforementioned mosquito protection.
Vapur Microfilter Water Bottle: This light-weight BPA free water bottle has a chemical-free filtration system removes 99.9% of water borne bacteria and protozoan cysts such as giardia and cyptosporidium. Hey, I could even use it here at the homestead! (We currently haul drinking water because our household water comes from an open spring.)
YETI Tundra 65 Cooler: Anyone who knows me knows that I value a good cooler. There are rules to cooler maintenance that I could expound upon at length, but suffice to say that I am the type of person to be impressed by a nice cooler. And I was extremely impressed this year in Mexico, when I saw my friend Chile’s new beer cooler. Massive, pristine, and it even had some sort of locking device to prevent marauding mapaches from getting into the Dos Equis. (OK, so that was actually me who was thwarted.) But the best thing? This cooler keeps ice for six days! I covet one. I mean check out the marketing materials: “The YETI Tundra 65 cooler is a heavy-duty generalist, equally adept at keeping your catches cold in the field or serving as the drink-and-food hub for a tailgate, party, or other times of general revelry. This ice chest is plenty roomy, holding 39 cans, a keeper redfish or a small quartered deer. Need your YETI Tundra 65 to serve as a hunting cooler one weekend, a marine cooler the next, and a party cooler right after? Don’t be afraid to mix it up: the durable polyethylene material can stand up to repeat duty again and again, and the integrated, self-stopping hinges scoff in the face of excessive use.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Expert tip: Cooler expert Chile Hammond recommends buying your Yeti Tundra at Austin Canoe and Kayak. This is the best deal and they offer free shipping.
*This is not a sponsored post but every time you click through to Amazon from our site, we get a small amount of much-needed money, which helps cover expenses for this site.