Archive for the ‘Cool Camping Gear’ Category

Product Review: LighterBro

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

As every camper knows, space is very valuable whether you are staying in a camper or backpacking it in the backcountry. To help with this dilemma, I am always looking for new products that have many different uses and the LighterBro  is no exception. 

This new product is the answer to many outdoor enthusiasts’ prayers.  First, the LighterBro is a multi-tool that contains a space for a lighter, which means no more searching in the bottom of the backpack for that dang lighter.  Next, in the side of this product is a set of multi-tools.  This includes a Philips micro screwdriver, which is very hand especially if you wear glasses and need a quick eye glass repair.   It also contains a small knife and scissors.  Both of these are placed in the LighterBro so that they are easily accessible to the camper without much work.

Saving the best for last, the LighterBro also has a bottle opener in the bottom of the tool.  Having located in the bottom makes it easy to reach when you need to pop open that bottle of sparkling water to quench your thirst after a long hike.


Lastly, what sets this apart from other multi-tools is the fact that it is so compact and allows you to keep your fire starting equipment along with other tools that may be needed to start a fire.  At this point, you may be wondering how this tool keeps from getting lost in your backpack.  Well, LighterBro has thought of that and has included a key ring so that the multi tool can be attached to your keys, to your backpack, or to the belt loop of your pants. 

While this multi tool is exceptional, there are a few things that I would change.  First, I would offer a few different colors verses on the gold colored titanium.  The gold does stand out but after thinking about the different season and environments that this tool could be used in, I realized that maybe gold is not the best choice especially if you drop it in the woods.  The gold colored tool could easily be lost in a pile of leaves.  A better approach would be to either make the writing on the tool brighter and/or offering the tool in earth tones along with bright options.  This later could include bright blues, yellows, and a hunter’s red for emergencies. 

Lastly, I would suggest that a stronger key ring be attached to the multi tool.  The product did come with a key ring but it did not appear to be as good a quality of material as the LighterBro body.  In doing so, prior to taking this product out to the woods I plan on replacing the ring.

 Overall, I would recommend picking up a LighterBro before your next camp out.  It will prevent you from spending time looking through your pack for that lighter to start the fire or that pair of scissors that you need to cut open that package of vegetables.  In doing so, this simple tool will save you money and time, which equates out to more time that you can use to enjoy your trip.

Product Review: Tea Drops

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Well, I have story for you that every camper will appreciate.  You come back after a long but enjoyable day on the trail or your backpacking and the weather has been cold and nasty.  Regardless of which situation you relate to, the next chapter in this story is setting up camp.   Once the fire is going, you are ready to fix a hot drink.  Your choices are coffee, tea, hot chocolate or hot Jell-O.  The latter is an old caver’s trick.  Well, regardless of what drink you choose to warm your bones up, there is still a lot to do and carry.  If you like coffee, you have the pot, grounds, maybe a filter, and the add-ons, which include creamer and sugar.  On the other hand, if you like tea then you have the pot, tea bags or loose tea and additions.  This can include sugar, creamer (milk) and/or lemon.   Hot chocolate has fewer ingredients to carry but you still have the pot and who can drink hot chocolate without marshmallows, which again is something else to carry. 

While these extra ingredients may seem small they do add up and keep in mind what you carry in you must carry out.  This means bags, boxes, and leftover add-ons but what is one to do when you want a hot drink especially a nice cup of tea.


The founder of Teadrops has thought of everything.  Not only is sugar and aromatic herbs included in every tea variety, they also are not tied down by those pesky tea tags or labels.  Each tea variety is identified by a shape and color.  There are several different varieties and this is explained when you get your tea in the mail.   Once you get your tea, you will simply need to heat water and pick your tea, which is the hardest of this process.  After you have selected your tea, place your drop in your cup, and heat water.  Next, pour your hot water over your tea drop and enjoy.  It is that simple.    

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Well, the answer is simple and only requires a pot for water and cup.  What is this product you may ask?  The answer is   Tea Drops.  This product consists of aromatic herbs, tea leaves, and sugar.  The best part of this product beyond the wonderful taste is the fact that there is no need to steep the tea.  This means I can drink my tea sooner.  Also, I no longer have to carry my sugar around for my tea since this tea contains sugar.

The amount of packaging is also minimal but very attractive and personal.  First, you have a choice of a wooden or cardboard box.  The wooden box is very beautiful and has picture directions by which one can follow while making their tea.  Regardless of which box you choose, your tea box will be individually wrapped in organic paper, tied with natural ribbon and sealed with a wax stamp.   

So the next time you plan a camping or backpacking trip, stop and think about you really want to have to carry.  For me, I will no longer take the menagerie I had to carry before for a cup of tea.   Tea Drops have taken away the weight of preparing a cup of tea at camp and best of all they taste wonderful every drop.  No bun intended.

Product Review: Veg This Way

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

As a parent, I am always looking for ways to improve my children’s’ health.  We exercise as a family, garden, and eat as many homemade meals as possible.  No convenient foods in my pantry.  But when it comes to our camping trips, this is a different story.

Yes, I admit I go for the canned stuff and sometimes I even fix beanie weenies or just canned beef stew.  While this food does fill our stomachs, I know it is not as nutritious as good old home cooking.  But what is one to do when you have to carry in and out everything you are going to consume.  Well, I have the answer for you and no it is not something odd like kelp nor is it something that tastes terrible, the best way to know is the food intolerance test, which gives you accurate results about the food. Click here to get more advice on food intolerance test or to take the test.


Ok, what is a Rawr bar?  It is the most delicious fruit and vegetable leather you can imagine.  It is not the old fruit leathers you can buy in the local supermarket but instead is something that is nutritious and not full of sugar.  Each bar contains a half a serving of fruit and a half a serving of vegetable.  This leather has no preservatives and the color of each leather variety comes from Mother Nature and not a chemistry lab.   Also, if you read the ingredient list on the back of each leather, you will find that the only things listed are items that you would find in the produce section.  As an example, the Beet-A-Peel fruit leather contains pureed beets, pears, orange juice, and lemon juice. 

The best part of this product beyond the taste is the fact that I now can provide healthy snacks for my kids without the bulk.  These bars fit perfectly in a backpack.  The wrapping is also minimal and is easy to carry out of the park or off the trail.  I mean frankly how much does a simple, clear wrapper actually weigh.  But even if this product did have a lot of excess packaging, I would still carry it.  It is that good in taste and creates an opportunity for healthy eating.

The other aspect to the packaging that I find very important is the logo.  While my children have never been picky eaters, I do have friends whose children refuse to eat vegetables and/or fruits.  The little lion on the fruit/vegetable leather makes anyone one to take a bite.

My only complaint about this product is I wish they had been around sooner.  While I have done the store bought varieties for camping trips and yes I have even made my own, I love the convenience of just going to the pantry and loading up my pack with healthy foods.  After discovering the Rawr bar, I will no longer go for canned fruits instead my family and I will eat our way to a healthy lifestyle one trail at a time thanks to Rawr bar.