Each year, Americans spends $120 billion on outdoor recreation products and services, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. That’s a whole lot of awesome new apparel, equipment, accessories and services. Of the hundreds of new products aimed at canoeists and campers this year, these are our favorites. Discover the coolest innovations for new school boy scouts.
Columbia Sportswear OutDry ExtremeThough Columbia’s new OutDry Extreme may not look so different from the clammy rubber duck suits of yore, this two-layer breathable shell is a game-changer. The tough external fabric will never wet out yet contains millions of tiny perforations to allow water vapor to escape, while the inner layer wicks moisture away from the skin.
$250 | COLUMBIA.COM
Camp coffee doesn’t have to be synonymous with picking grounds out of your teeth. The sleek MiniPresso promises a gourmet-style hit of java wherever you are. Bold and modern, this is the smallest and lightest handheld espresso machine on the market. You supply the hot water, ground coffee and a brilliant sunrise, the MiniPresso does the rest.
$59 | WACACO.COM
Klecker Knives Klax Lumberjack
Successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign, we love this innovative multi- tool axe head. The Lumberjack features seven tools, including a knife blade, gut hook, wrench set and ruler. The head’s patent-pending clamp system allows users to fashion their own handle in the field if preferred.
$180 | KLECKERKNIVES.COM
Bending Branches Explorer
All of Bending Branches’ sustainable wood canoe paddles over $100 were redesigned last year, and they’re lighter and more beautiful than ever. This basswood Explorer boasts the look and durability of a very high-end paddle while remaining affordable to the discerning tripper.
$119.95 | WWW.BENDINGBRANCHES.COM
Hella Best Slingshot No. 4
A sophisticated version of a childhood favorite, you’ll be channeling David instead of Dennis with this beaut. Handmade in San Francisco, the Best Slingshot No. 4 is equally capable of mischief or hunting. For those with more money than time, Hella offers packs of pre-assembled ammo, including acorns, wooden pellets (pictured) and marbles. However, our favorite is their wildflower seed bombs, which we’d love to pelt across cities everywhere.
$40 | WWW.HELLASLINGSHOT.COM
UCO Titan | Stormproof Match Kit
Meet the Arnold Schwarzenegger of match kits. The Titan’s dozen ultra-thick matches are unlike anything we’ve seen before: Over four inches long, each can burn for up to 25 seconds and fire up in the harshest conditions—they’ll even relight after being submerged. Yeah, we were impressed too. Comes in a waterproof case with replaceable strikers, and cord to attach to a lanyard.
$9.99 | WWW.UCOGEAR.COM
The beefy one-pound Guardian rids H2O of dirt, protozoa, bacteria and even viruses, like Hepatitis A or Norwalk. Though overkill for a northern river trip, this filter shines for adventurers paddling in developing countries. The filter can churn out 2.5 liters a minute, but that’s not even the best part: With every pump a small amount of water is diverted to back flush the system, cleaning itself whenever in use.
$399 | WWW.CASCADEDESIGNS.COM
Sea to Summit | Aeros Pillow Premium
In just one night, the new Aeros from Sea to Summit changed two decades of anti-camping-pillow sentiments Goodbye, bunched up fleeces. The Aeros packs up to the size of a small fist, is practically weightless and when inflated it expands luxuriously, matching dimensions of a standard pillow. Sweet dreams, campers.
$56.95 CAD | WWW.SEATOSUMMIT.COM
Demerit Wear Badges
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience often comes from bad judgment. Memorialize everything that’s ever gone wrong on your canoe and camping trips with spoof badges from Demerit Wear. Eaten alive by mosquitoes, survived a capsized canoe or shouldered the heaviest pack ever carried down a portage? Wear your misfortune with pride—you’ve earned it.
$3.95 EA. | WWW.DEMERITWEAR.COM
Coleman | Conquer Headlamp
This smart headlamp provides adaptable light with just a wave of your hand. Part of Coleman’s brand reboot towards more technical gear, just pass a hand in front to choose between four settings, including a red light mode. This lamp can shine for 10 hours on low and is powered by three AAA batteries.
$34.99 | WWW.COLEMAN.COM
This article was originally published in Canoeroots, Volume 15 • Issue 2. Read this issue.