Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Outdoors

The MONOWALKER Hikingtrailer allows hikers to tow their backpacks behind them

Once when I was a kid, I unwisely agreed to deliver newspapers for a friend of mine while he was away. The first time I tried to lift the gargantuan sack-o-papers, it was so heavy that I ended up pinned on the ground underneath it. Much to my humiliation, I ended up having to load the newspapers into our wheelbarrow, and deliver them that way. Well, it now turns out that I was simply ahead of my time – German outdoors company MONOWALKER recently unveiled its novel pack system, which includes one configuration that is not unlike a towed one-wheeled wheelbarrow.  Read More

The Skizee is a powered tread that pushes skiers across the snow (Photo: Skizee)

As winter continues its icy grip on the northern reaches of the planet, cabin fever may cause some of us to rethink our policy of staying indoors until spring. If you don’t live near the mountains, however, many of the winter outdoor activities available to you might seem kind of ... tame. Some people buy snowmobiles, although such vehicles require a truck or trailer for transportation, can be expensive, and are generally “more machine” than a lot of people want. Such individuals might instead be interested in the Skizee – a powered tread that pushes skiers across the snow at speeds of up to 35 kph (22 mph).  Read More

Wagan Tech's five-panel solar-powered generator

There’s a number of small portable solar chargers available which are designed to keep mobile gear such as MP3 players and mobile phones powered up when there’s no electrical outlet around. But with people cramming more and more devices on their person or in their cars when heading off the grid, we're seeing a growing number of larger and more powerful units designed for more power hungry devices. The latest is thid portable solar-powered generator from Wagan Tech which provides 1,500 watts of power for seven to eight hours.  Read More

Eton's new TurboDyne Series - left to right:  The Axis, Road Torq and Rover

Outdoor electronics specialist Etón Corporation has expanded its line of American Red Cross branded products with the new TurboDyne Series. We checked out the three new self-powered emergency preparedness devices – the Road Torq, Axis and Rover – at CES 2011.  Read More

Vanessa trialled the concertina-style tent at UK festival, T In The Park (Credit: Ross Cai...

We've all seen the photos – the absolute devastation at the end of a festival after the revelers have gone home. A number of organizations are turning this waste into green industry including Vanessa Harden and friends at Do The Green Thing who have designed a biodegradable tent that will decompose post-party and replenish the soil in the process.  Read More

Gorillatorch Switchback - LED lantern and headtorch combo

Joby is continuing its run of clever designs with the fourth installment in its hands-free torch line-up – the Gorillatorch Switchback. As anyone who's ever been on an overnight hike can attest, any practical two-in-one solution that cuts down on baggage is a bonus, and this one seems to tick the boxes. The Switchback uses one 130-lumen LED light array as both an LED lantern and a headlamp, plus the lamp stand doubles as a camera tripod... better make that three-in-one.  Read More

The Unbreakable Umbrella is a peculiar mix of genteel elegance and chilling weaponry

Looking like an unassuming weapon from Oddjob's arsenal, the Unbreakable Umbrella is the weapon of choice for well-heeled bowler-hatted gentlemen cum ninja assassins everywhere. It's also a good buy for anyone who has some cash to splash on a nifty umbrella that not only keeps the rain off but can carve up a watermelon with one well-placed chop.  Read More

The Music Strap backpack speakers

While headphones are a great way to enjoy music while out and about, they don’t let you impose your musical tastes on share your musical tastes with those around you. Sitting a boombox on your shoulder might solve the problem but we think the Music Strap is a much more convenient and shoulder-friendly option. It is a mini speaker system that attaches to the straps of any backpack to let you whistle along to your favorite tunes as you walk, bike, ski or basically do anything that can be done while wearing a backpack.  Read More

LED lenser H4 dual purpose head torch

Head torches – they're fantastic on your head, but when not in use they tend to end up a tangled mess somewhere in the nether regions of your backpack. Some might come with a sturdy case but, in my experience anyway, the case rarely get used (or gets lost in the first week). The LED Lenser H4 solves this by giving you a reason to put the head torch away – when stowed in the case it becomes a clip-on flashlight.  Read More

Arzum showcased the Termotwin - an ingenious vacuum flask - at IFA 2010

If you’re into camping but miss your creature comforts, you’re going to love Arzum’s Termotwin, which was on display at IFA 2010. It’s a vacuum flask that consists of two separate reservoirs that keep liquids at the same temperature for up to four hours – so milk and coffee or brewed tea and hot water (or I’m thinking maybe rum and cola!) are ready when you are. Now that’s good thinking.  Read More

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