AeroPress Coffee Maker
If you are particular about your cup of coffee, here is a machine designed to provide a smooth, rich tasting American or espresso-style coffee.
The AeroPress was created by Alan Adler, a lecturer in engineering at Stanford University and inventor of sports products. Unable to find a coffeemaker that produced a really good-tasting cup of coffee, Adler studied coffee brewing and invented his own machine.
Adler claims that two keys to successful coffee-brewing are using water of the right temperature and keeping the brewing time short. If the brewing time is too long and the water is too hot, coffee can become bitter and acidic. The AeroPress brews coffee in about 30 seconds and uses water that is 175 degrees—hot but not boiling. You can make from one to four cups at a time.
The AeroPress is priced at just under $30. Add a tote bag to carry the AeroPress and the price comes to $31.99. For information, visit aerobie.com.
E-Z S’mores Storage Container
You can assemble all the ingredients for s’mores and have them on hand when you need them at the campfire with the E-Z S’mores storage container.
The container has spaces for marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars, and comes with a specially designed silicon lid to keep the marshmallows soft and the graham crackers crisp.
The product is available through Easylife in Fountain Hills, Arizona, for $12.99, plus shipping and handling. For information, visit ezsmoresbox.com.
Super-Lite Race Rental
A $7,500 gift may be out of your price range, but if not, here’s an unusual opportunity from Speed Technologies. For that amount, you can give someone the chance to drive a SuperLite truck in the Lucas Off Road Race Series.
Speed Technologies provides the truck and pit crew under a program it calls Arrive and Drive. The SuperLite Championship series consists of off-road races in Arizona, California and Nevada.
For $7,500, you get a race truck delivered to the race venue ready for qualifying on Friday and racing on Saturday and Sunday, a set of race tires and race fuel, along with some marketing opportunities. For $52,500, you can rent the truck and crew for the entire seven-race series. Drivers must provide their own race suits and helmets and are responsible for damage beyond normal wear and tear. For information, visit superlitechampionship.com/arrive-and-drive.
The Gas Can
The Gas Can from Campfire in a Can is a portable propane fire pit that comes with natural looking ceramic logs and an adjustable flame to create a roaring but safe campfire just about anywhere outdoors, including on wood decks and patio carpet.
The unit produces up to 64,000 BTUs, making it literally the hottest campfire on the market, according to its manufacturer. Despite the intense heat, The Gas Can is certified for zero clearance to combustibles underneath. A propane regulator and adjustable shutoff valve allow the size of the fire to be controlled.
The Gas Can comes with a 10-foot propane hose and has an RV hookup coupler for easy attachment to an RV propane outlet. The hose and regulator store inside the canister. The aluminum canister top functions as a stand and protective carrying case. The Gas Can also comes with a removable cooking grate. Retail price is $239.99. For information, visit campfireinacan.com.
Zipfy Mini Luge
Zipfy is a plastic snow sled with a lever designed to make the sled stable and easy to turn on downhill runs.
The sled is ridden feet first. To control speed, the rider drops his heels to slow the momentum. For a faster stop, the rider lifts the handle, leans back and digs the rear of the sled into the ground. The lever’s turning ability gives the rider the capability of maneuvering around obstacles.
“With a low center of gravity and the rail design of the underbelly of the sled, riders can carve down the slopes, simply by leaning into the turn,” according to Mark Cahsens, owner of Zipfy Inc.
The sled can hold up to 250 pounds and is designed for both adults and children 5 and older. It comes in a variety of colors and weighs three and a half pounds. Suggested retail price is $39.99. It is available at general merchandise, toy and sporting goods retailers. For information, visit zipfy.com.
Bosch Power Box
The Bosch Power Box 360 is an AM/FM radio with digital media connections and a powerful five-speaker system that is configured at 360 degrees so it can send sound in every direction. The unit is built inside an aluminum and rubber cage to withstand weather, grit and abuse at job sites and on camping trips and other outdoor excursions.
Bosch introduced the Power Box in 2004, upgraded it in 2006, and now in 2010 is offering models that offer from two to five times more sound output than previous versions.
The Power Box 360 includes a weather-sealed digital media bay so you can plug in a digital media player. It also has built-in SD memory card and USB ports so you can play digital music files off an SD memory card or USB thumb drive device. There are also external ports to connect a portable CD player.
The unit comes with rechargeable batteries so it can be played without access to electrical power. And if electrical power is available, the unit can also be used as a power center to charge other devices, from power tools to cell phones and laptop computers. For information, visit Boschtools.com.
Pictorial Guide to RVing
John Brunkowski and Michael Closen, who collect postcards and travel in RVs, had the clever idea of telling the history of RVing through postcards. The result is a fascinating 126-page book that reproduces 350 vintage postcards showing RVs, campgrounds, and street scenes from the early 1900s through the 1970s.
The book begins with an introduction that portrays RVing as the logical extension of gypsy caravans, stagecoaches, covered wagons and private railroad cars. Then, it begins with a chapter on early automobile and bicycle camping and the development of trailers and motor coaches. Early RVs were often do-it-yourself affairs. One postcard from the 1920s shows a truck chassis carrying a giant tree trunk that had been hollowed to create a forerunner of a motorhome.
Two chapters are devoted to campgrounds from the 1930s to the 1970s. Other chapters cover advertising for trailers, mobile homes and motorhomes. Because of its iconic place in RV history, Airstream gets its own chapter. And there are chapters devoted to roadside scenes, the connection between amateur radio and RVing and to humorous cartoons with an RV theme.
Most of the postcards are from the U.S., but there are some from Canada, Mexico and Europe, too. Anyone intrigued by old motorhomes and trailers and the RV lifestyle of decades ago should appreciate this unique postcard treasury.
Pictorial Guide to RVing is published by Schiffer Publishing of Atglen, Pennsylvania, with a cover price of $24.99. For information, visit schifferbooks.com.
Magellan has introduced a new generation of its handheld GPS devices for the outdoor recreation market. The eXplorist 510, 610 and 710 allow users to navigate to outdoor destinations, capture geotagged photos along the way and share their experiences online when they return home.
The units are equipped with a 3-inch color touch screen, a 3.2 mega-pixel camera with auto-focus, and a microphone and speaker to record images and videos. The units also come loaded with road maps for the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Australia. The top-of-the-line eXplorist 710 has both Magellan’s City Series turn-by-turn maps to navigate through busy city streets and the Summit Seriestopographic map for off-road exploration.
Other eXplorist features include expandable memory, paperless geocaching, 16 hours of battery life, a digital almanac, track summary statistics and area calculation. Suggested retail prices range from $349.99 for the eXplorist 610 to $549.99 for the eXplorist 710. For information, visit magellangps.com.
The Pocket Disk is an all-cotton flying disc that can be used as a toy both indoors and outdoors.
The product was born when Savanna Croft, a third-grade student, crocheted a placemat as a homework assignment. One day a friend of her father’s playfully threw the placemat across the room, and suddenly the father, Patrick Croft, and the friend, Erik Larsen, saw commercial possibilities. They formed a company called Phd Productions, brought the Pocket Disc to market, and created a variety of games for it.
The toy is lightweight and can easily be folded so it takes up little space and is convenient to carry. The discs, which are made through fair trade in Guatemala, can fly hundreds of feet through the air.
Pocket Discs are available at retailers nationwide. The classic edition retails for $9.99 and the heavier sports edition sells for $14.99. For more information on the disc and the games that can be played with it, visit pocketdisc.com.
The CashStash from True Utility is a simple device that attaches to a keychain and is designed to store and hide cash for emergency use. It consists of a chrome-plated aluminum tube with a waterproof neoprene “O” ring.
You unscrew the tube from the key ring attachment, fold a bill around the interior cash clip and twist the capsule back together, and you have cash stored and ready to use. The cash can come in handy when you aren’t carrying other money or credit cards, or when you are at a cash-only venue and have nothing but credit cards.
CashStash sells for under $10 and can be found at many retailers and online stores. For information, visit trueutility.com.
Cobra Navigation System
The Cobra 7700 Pro GPS navigation system enables RVers to enter the size of their rig into the system and receive directions on streets and roads that can legally and safely accommodate their RV.
The 7700 Pro offers text-to-speech guidance with loud and clear verbal instructions and turn-by-turn directions. The unit comes with three months of unlimited downloads from the company’s camera and driving hazard database, which alerts drivers to the locations of fixed speed and red-light cameras, dangerous intersections and speed traps.
The 7700 Pro has touch screen controls and a wide screen. It has information on more than 12 million points of interest, including travel centers, restaurants, Wi-Fi hot spots and repair shops.
The system retails for $399.95. For information, visit cobra.com.
Sceptre has introduced new wide-screen high-definition TVs that are embedded with DVD players. To view a DVD, you slide the disc into a slot on the side of an ultra-slim TV, which is less than two inches thick.
Sceptre, which is headquartered in the City of Industry, California, makes the TV/DVD combinations in 19-inch and 24-inch models, both with LED displays. The 19-inch model weighs less than 9 pounds, and the 24-inch model less than 11 pounds.
The sets have dual HDMI ports for connecting peripherals and a USB port for photo and audio devices. Suggested retail prices are $269 for the 19-inch model and $399 for the 24-inch. The models are sold at Sears, Target, Costco and other retailers. For information, visit sceptre.com.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
Try the RV LIFE Pro Bundle FREE for 7 days