• SunBell Solar Lamp and Phone Charger
Nothing is worse than burrowing down in your tent with a good book at the end of a long day of hiking and having to fuss with the flashlight in one hand and the book in the other. This entry into Life’s Little Annoyances can be conquered by buying the SunBell Solar Lamp and Phone Charger. The solar panel attached to the lamp needs four hours of sunlight to get fully charged. And, because it has a cable attaching to the panel, you can put it outside and leave the lamp safely in the tent.
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• Trail Porn
It’s not what you think. It’s a safe-for-work site that shows gorgeous, high-resolution photos of verdant or high-altitude trails throughout the world. But when you first click on it, you may receive a notice like we did: “Content Blocked By Your Organization.” Ignore that and feast your eyes on pics from the Matterhorn and the Squamish Forest in British Columbia.
• Portable Craft Beer for the Backcountry
If the craft-beer craze hadn’t already jumped the shark, this might do it: You can now “make” your own beer in the wilderness. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has put together a “Portable Carbonator Kit,” consisting of a bottle with a special carbonator lid, carbonation packets and beer extract that comes in foil packages, a la energy gels. Just add cold water to the contents, shake vigorously and drink up.
• “America’s Seven Deadliest Landmarks”
1. Niagara Falls: 5,120 deaths
2. Ellis/Liberty islands: 3,503 deaths
3. Golden Gate Bridge: 1,700 deaths
4. Grand Canyon: 662 deaths
5. Empire State Building: 54 deaths
6. Space Needle (Seattle): 3 deaths
7. Gateway Arch (St. Louis): 1 death
“Given the limits on how much we are able to travel (and its costs and side-effects), we should endeavor to try, before taking off for distant hemispheres, to notice what we have already so often seen closer at hand. And when we despair at coming back, we should be goaded on by the thought that ‘boring home’ is always someone else’s deeply exciting ‘abroad.’”
–Author/philosopher Alain de Botton on how to conquer the melancholy of returning home after a vacation
Compiled by Sam McManis, firstname.lastname@example.org