Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
Lawson Hammock Company in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the creator of this lightweight hammock that includes protection from the weather and flying insects.
The Blue Ridge Camping Hammock can be strung between two trees or used as a one-person tent. The design incorporates spreader bars that make the hammock roomy, and arch poles that keep the canopy up. The unit is equipped with mesh netting and a rainfly to keep it waterproof and insect free. The hammock, which is urethane coated, weighs four pounds.
The rainfly can be taken off or left on. The manufacturer says the hammock is easy to set up with two ropes or a pair of Tree Hugger straps attached to two trees or sturdy poles. The hammock is priced at $169.99. (lawsonhammock.com)
Ten Year Journal
RV travel builds up many fond memories, and one way to keep them fresh is to make entries in a journal. For some people, filling up a blank page can be a daunting task, but the format of the Ten Year Journal takes the pressure off. You only need to write a few sentences in this journal to record the day’s events.
As the years pass, the format allows you to look back and see what you were doing or thinking on a particular date one, two, three or more years ago, perhaps triggering memories of people, places and events that might otherwise be forgotten.
There are four lines to record each day’s events from 2015 to 2025, so you only need to jot down a few sentences each day, but there are pages for extended entries if you want to write more. There are also pages for long-range planning, monthly overviews and addresses and phone numbers.
The journal is leather bound and available in black, burgundy and green. It is priced at $39.95. (tenyearjournal.com)
It’s a rather extravagant gift, but you might want to give one to yourself if you are looking for an off-road vehicle that combines the comfort and security of a side-by-side with the smaller size and handling of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
The Polaris ACE has automotive features such as a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals and an automatic transmission. Its unique cab frame for rollover protection was previously found only on side-by-sides. Buyers can choose from fuel-injected engines with either 32 horsepower or 45 horsepower. The Polaris ACE is equipped with on-demand all-wheel drive that engages automatically when more forward traction is needed.
The high back, adjustable bucket seat is paired with an adjustable steering wheel for flexibility and comfort. Polaris offers 25 accessories to customize the vehicle. Prices start at $7,499. (polaris.com)
Making bread doesn’t get much easier than this: take some bread mix, stir in a bottle of beer and bake for 45 minutes.
Soberdough provides the bread mix in a variety of flavors, while beer makes the bread rise in the oven. Bread mixes are available in several varieties, including green chile cheddar, roasted garlic, rosemary, honey wheat and classic white. For the holidays, the list expands to include cranberry orange and pumpkin spice.
Alcohol evaporates during the baking process so the breads are non-alcoholic. The process also works with seltzer or sparkling water.
Soberdough was started in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2013 by Veronica Hawbaker and her son, Jordan, to combine her love of baking with his love of craft beer. The bread mix is available online and at several Whole Foods stores in the South. The website includes suggestions about which beer goes best with each bread variety. Bread mix packages start at $7.95. (soberdough.com)
Rand McNally GPS
If you want a GPS device tailored for travel in an RV, you have options from Garmin, Magellan and Rand McNally. As an example, we’re showcasing the latest model from Rand McNally, which claims to have been the first company to offer a navigation device specifically for RVs.
Its newest model, the RVND 7730 LM, is the third generation of the device, upgraded with a faster processor and improved maps. It has a seven-inch screen and new interface options that make it easier to recognize features at a glance. Drivers can customize routes to avoid congested areas either permanently or temporarily, and the lane guidance system has been improved to help drivers pick the best lane when approaching a turn or complicated intersection.
The device includes a directory of public and commercial campgrounds, Good Sam ratings, and a comprehensive listing to locate rest stops, travel centers and other RV-friendly places such as Walmart stores. The device is Wi-Fi connected for up-to-the-moment information on fuel prices, weather and traffic.
The Rand McNally GPS is available in stores and online for about $350. (randmcnally.com)
Creekside Farms Wreaths
Creekside Farms in Greenfield, California, produces wreaths year-round but increases its handcrafted offerings for the holidays to include assortments with pine cones, pomegranates, pepperberries, eucalyptus, fir and other adornments.
In more than 25 years, the company has created tens of thousands of wreaths for all sorts of occasions, using long-lasting, natural and pesticide-free ingredients. Its line of themed wreaths includes, for example, the Kitchen Herb Wreath, fashioned with fresh bay and rosemary, dried dill, oregano, sage and lavender. Another wreath that would make a good gift for a food aficionado is the California Herb Wreath featuring marjoram, sage, yarrow, bay and a sprinkling of dried red-hot chili peppers.
Many of the ingredients in the wreaths are grown on two family-owned farms. Dozens of themed wreaths can be found on the company’s website at prices starting as low as $29. (creeksidefarms.com).
Faribault Woolen Mill, which makes wool blankets, throws, scarves and accessories, has introduced a new series of throws featuring city maps, starting with New York City. The city series is intended to provide a connection to a favorite place or serve to commemorate a visit. The new throws are 50 inches by 65 inches and made of 85 percent wool and 15 percent cotton. The suggested retail price of the New York City edition is $220.
Established in Faribault, Minnesota in 1865, the mill produces American-made products for Nordstrom and other high-end retailers and boutiques. (faribaultmill.com)
Perchmount Phone Mount
If you want to put your smartphone where you can see the screen without holding the phone in your hand, you may want the Perchmount.
This device is a magnetized phone mount that mounts to anything metal. It is compatible with virtually all smartphones and most phone cases up to 3.25 inches in width.
There are many potential uses. You could mount it on a dashboard to follow GPS navigation. You could mount it under the hood of a vehicle to follow instructions while doing maintenance and repair. You could mount it on a golf cart to record your golf swing.
The Perchmount is available in black, neon green, pink or red for $25. (perchmount.com)
Zappy Electric Scooter
This three-wheel electric scooter is easy to maneuver around an RV park or neighborhood, and thanks to a collapsible handlebar, it is easy to transport in a van or RV.
The Zappy Pro Flex Electric Scooter comes with a removable seat so you can ride standing up or sitting down. It is powered by a 350-watt silent wheel motor that can propel it at speeds up to 13 miles per hour. The range is up to 17 miles.
With a 360-degree turning capability, the scooter can be navigated through tight spaces without difficulty. It comes with an electric horn, a front LED light, a throttle on the right handle bar and a brake on the left handle bar. The height of the seat and handlebar can be adjusted.
The scooter is available online from the Electric Bicycle Outdoor Store for $749. (electricbicycle-outdoor-store.com)
The Olympia RG850 LED flashlight features five light settings, including one at 850 lumens that is bright enough to light up an entire camp area. The beam has a range of up to 389 meters.
The flashlight is built for the outdoors. It is waterproof, impact resistant and comes with an anti-freeze non-slip grip that makes it easy to use with gloves or without. The five settings are high, middle, low, strobe and SOS for emergency situations. The flashlight memorizes the last setting mode after being turned off.
It is made with aircraft-grade aluminum with an anodized anti-abrasive finish. The length is 5.7 inches. The flashlight comes with a micro-USB charging port with a wall adaptor.
Suggested retail price is $89.99. It is available online from numerous retailers. (olympiaproducts.com)
Yantouch Diamond+ Speaker
The Yantouch Diamond+ is a Bluetooth speaker that you can pair with a smartphone, tablet or other device for music, a light show and a means to help you fall asleep and wake up naturally.
The speaker can create a party atmosphere at a campsite by synchronizing music with 16 million variations of pink, purple, blue, fuchsia, orange, gold, green, white and red. The speaker includes woofer tubes on the sides of the device for a stereo effect and a bass resonant tube that pumps up the bass with a 300 percent sound boost.
The unit can also function as a bedside reading light using energy-saving LEDs. It includes a natural sleep feature that gradually dims light and music to let you fall asleep. And it incorporates a sunrise effect designed to silently bring you from deep sleep to shallow sleep in 30 minutes and then wake you with canaries singing.
The speaker has a rechargeable battery that lasts for seven hours and comes with a USB/AC power cable for charging and an audio cable to connect with non-Bluetooth devices and computers. The unit is available from amazon.com for $149. (yantouch.com)
For those times when you don’t need all the things you carry in your regular wallet, you can slip your ID, a couple of debit or credit cards and a few dollars into a Wojo wallet.
The Wojo is a compact, lightweight wallet that can hold up to 10 credit cards. Keep the number of cards under six and if you happen to drop it in water, the wallet will float.
The wallet has a neoprene and silicone exterior, which helps it grip clothing so it is unlikely to slip out of a pocket. And it works well during exercise since it is water resistant and won’t be harmed by sweat, heat and humidity.
The Wojo is available in a variety of colors and is suitable for both men and women. It is priced at $12.95. (wojowallet.com)
iStabilizer Monopod and Remote
These two products from iStabilizer are designed to help the selfie photographer take better pictures whether of oneself or with a group. By using the monopod, which extends to three feet, the photographer can avoid the distortion of extreme close-ups and can fit everyone into a group shot.
The monopod works with smartphones, digital cameras, camcorders and point-of-view action cameras such as the GoPro. The monopod, which collapses to one feet for easy portability, can be extended to any length up to three feet to capture unique angles.
If you have an iPhone or other Apple product attached to the monopod, you can use the iStabilizer Bluetooth shutter remote to snap the photo. An Android version of the remote is promised soon. The remote can snap photos and start videos from up to 35 feet away, and can pause or play movies, change songs and adjust volume on devices that use the Apple operating system.
Purchased separately, the monopod is $34.95 and the remote is $39.95. Purchased together, they are $59.95. (istabilizer.com)
Xterra Stand Up Paddleboard
Virtually unheard of outside Hawaii a decade ago, stand up paddling has become an increasingly popular sport for recreation and fitness.
Xterra Boards in San Diego has created a paddleboard that is inflatable and comes with a high-pressure pump and gauge that can inflate the board in four minutes. The board is 10 feet long, five inches thick and 30 inches wide, and weighs 29 pounds. A surf-quality EVA foam deck pad, rigid dropstitch construction and a three-fin design make the board durable and ready for the open water. The center fin and two smaller rubber side fins that assist with tracking are all removable.
The unit comes with a sturdy three-piece aluminum paddle, and a heavy-duty mesh backpack for carrying all the gear. The package includes a repair kit with glue, patches and a valve wrench.
Xterra offers a 30-day money back guarantee so buyers can test the board in the water and return it for a refund if they are not satisfied. The suggested retail price is $1,100.