New Camping Products
Paper-Fueled Charcoal Grill
“Cook your monster” is the company’s slogan: We’re not too sure what exactly that means, but the GrillZilla is a compact off-ground grill that’s designed for cooking with a grill basket or skillet. The company claims it’s a greener camping grill because it uses 75 percent less charcoal than needed for a ground fire, and it lights using newspaper with no need for lighter fluid. Weighing in at 34 pounds, it packs away into a 20x17x24-inch box, making it easy to bring along on any car-camping adventure. $275. ASG Services: 877/460-9755 (phone orders only).
Making your campfire even more fun is the idea behind Funky Colored Flames. When placed in a campfire, this unopened packet of crystals will burn blue, green and purple for as long as 30 minutes. The company warns to not cook over the colored flames. $4.88. Winlow Products: 416/792-0385; winlowproducts.com.
Bug-Repellent Candle Lantern
Mosquitoes and other pesky insects don’t have to crash your camping fun. This new 40-hour citronella candle keeps the bugs away, while sporting the familiar look of a Coleman Northstar Lantern. It’s 7.5 inches tall, 6 inches in diameter, and can be hung easily using its large U-shaped handle. $8.99. Coleman Repellents: 800/558-6614; colemanrepellents.com.
High-Tech Portable Coolers
The ice melts, and travel snacks become soggy, messy and downright inedible. For a more dependable alternative, the folks at Dometic are offering two thermoelectric coolers that keep food and beverages chilled on the go. These stylish coolers plug into any vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet and work by using heat exchangers and air fans to transfer heat from the inside to the outside. The S28 soft-side cooler can hold up to 28 liters and can cool up to 27 degrees F below ambient temperature. The TF-14 car cooler holds up to 14 liters and cools to 45 degrees F below ambient temperature. $92 for the TF-14 and $79 for the S28. Dometic: 574/294-2511; dometic.com/coolers.
Comfortable, dry feet can mean the difference between a good camping trip and a bad one. Sampling a pair of Darn Tough socks on a warm-weather day hike, these made-in-Vermont socks kept our tester’s feet cool, dry and blister free. The bottom cushion is ideal for hiking in any season, and the Spandex support around the arch helps to retain a snug and comfortable fit. The terry-looped Merino interior is soft and itch free, while allowing the socks to breathe and stay dry. The four-ply nylon reinforced heel, toe and bottom make the socks “darn tough.” $20. Darn Tough Vermont: 877/327-6883; darntough.com.
Pure Camp Water
Here’s how you can have pure, clean camp water every time.
The Berkey Light System comes complete with two high-end Black Berkey purification elements in the 2.75-gallon storage system. And it’s easy to set up on your camp table. Simply screw in the purification elements and the spigot, snap the chambers and the base together, and you’re ready to purify your water. The system removes pathogens, parasites, foul tastes, odors, and all kinds of other nasty unwanted contaminants, including MTBE, from treated or raw water. $209. Berkey Water USA: 251/423-1763; berkeywaterusa.com.