Monday, September 1, 2008

COOL GADGETS FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

JEEP® CAMPING EQUIPMENT, ULTIMATE SURVIVAL, SPOT, ENERGIZER, and ESSENTIAL GEAR

COMFORTS AND PEACE OF MIND FOR ADVENTURERS

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, S/S ’09 - SALT LAKE CITY, August 11th


Words, Judith Ecochard
Images courtesy of respective companies

JEEP® CAMPING EQUIPMENT

Manufactured by American Recreational Products, the Jeep® branded tents, an oversized sleeping bag, and airbed- we previewed at the gargantuan Salt Palace Convention Center booth- lived up to its MO as “the quintessential gear from the brand consumers trust to safely have fun out there.”





Made from rugged, advanced fabrics, the hot new line of tents that we tried out come in three sizes: “Hiker” (for two), “Sport Dome” (for four)…and the “Family Dome (for five).

We set up the latter (12’ x 10’ x 84 inches)-that has the patent pending four corner ventilation system –meaning the fresh air flows in at ground level out, perfect for hot weather-in a buddy’s backyard with the help of a very knowledgeable six year old. And even without this whiz kid’s help-it would have been an easy set/take down.





We liked how the two patented bay style windows gave us a clear view (the kind we go outdoors for)- the ability of the dome to resist the windiest of conditions (safely grounded)….and a spacious gear loft that securely holds all that stuff we camp with. The flaps even convert to canopies for some shade.


And naturally, kids will prefer sleeping in the tent-way more fun- than inside under a solid roof.

INFO: JEEP GEAR
RETAIL: WalMart’s worldwide.






ULTIMATE SURVIVAL TECHNOLOGIES:

When we got an evite by Ultimate Survival, we figured the company that produces life-saving gadgets for our military-would have some gear worth learning about.

We got an education on the one ounce Sparkie™, the new mini- fire starter from this company that features one- handed firing operation’s in a compact design in all kinds of weather.




We tried the Sparkie™ and think it’s practically idiot proof to use. Holding the rubberized grip wrap for maximum control, we were able to press down on the device with our thumb, and then with a quick turn upside down… lo and behold, it fired up.

“This is a product that everyone who goes outside should carry,” says Nancie Weston,
Director of Commercial Sales for UST. “The ability to make fire is essential, and we designed Sparkie™ so hikers and backpackers no longer have to sacrifice quality survival essentials to save on weight.”

We also made a mental note to stash the new Startflash® Ultra™ signal mirror in our backpacks. It’s virtually as reflective as glass, is unbreakable, floats and features a new scratch-resistant coating. It gives us a piece of mind-since cell-phone reception often doesn’t exist in the mountains.
ULTIMATE SURVIVAL
















SPOT

Another way to get public emergency responders’ attention and/or to just send an “A-okay” message to friends and family…is the SPOT Emergency Response device ($169). This orange unit that has a distress alert system is ‘hooked in’ to’ 48 LEO Orbit Satellites...and features a “911” button for help, as well as a separate button that’ll send out a message to a pre-programmed list of contacts.

Weighing just over 7 ounces this gizmo, the world’s first Satellite Messanger sends the users’ GPS location…and can eve let someone else track someone’s “progress” via Google Maps™ too.



We think helicopter parents will probably want these handheld personal safety devices for their kids as well as for their own- off the grid jaunts . Very cool.

INFO: FIND ME


ENERGIZER®

We strolled into the Energizer set-up at OR and were dazzled by the genius light/signal device that the ‘battery’ company-manufactures.

It figures that the military established specific criteria for the 21st century torch-the Hard Case ® Tactical®…there are so many special features to this great Christmas stocking stuffer.


We were chatting with Niky, the super smart rep for over twenty minutes and still could not absorb all the unique aspects- this must have gadget boasts…like….

Ruggedly constructed, with a shatterproof lens and virtually indestructible LEDs - survives a 20-foot drop.
Built-in clip allows light to be attached securely to MOLLE vests.
Five different lighting modes provide the right light for any
situation…
- Bright white, high-intensity beam for ultimate visibility
- Red LED for light-discipline and combat conditions
- Blue LED for medical purposes
- Infrared (IR) light amplifies visibility with night-vision devices
- Infrared strobe light provides Identify Friend or Foe (IFF)
functionality
The white, red and blue LEDs can all be easily used for signaling with minimal hand movement.
When IR mode is engaged, other LEDs are disabled, preventing accidental discharge of light (meaning the enemy sees you).
Large switches for easy use with gloves.
Switches are silent for use during stealth operations.
Rotating head allows for light in 125-degree range.
Made with impact-resistant ABS plastic, stainless-steel side guards, and a rubber overmold for shock absorption and non-
slip grip.
Packed with two AA Energizer,® e²® Lithium® batteries.

Whew- thank-you press release.

Even those of us just stuck in the work trenches could use the Hard Case® Tactical®...stealth being an interesting concept.

INFO: ENERGIZER


ESSENTIAL GEAR:

A smart two inch rechargeable LED vehicle light that’s a must have for anyone’s car-EGEAR®’s plug in (cigarette lighter) spotlight is handy for when we’re stuck changing a tire (or when we finally learn how to do that) or reading a map (when we’re lost-we know how to do that).


One charge lasts for nearly 120 minutes ($20.00)-hopefully long enough for us to find our dropped keys.

INFO: EGEAR