Unconventional products to spice up the season.
We all love new gear, especially the latest and greatest iterations of our must-have outdoor items. But what about the nonessential elements, those funky accoutrements that lend a little nonconformity to our outdoor experiences? What follows is a rundown of all the offbeat items that have come across the O/B editorial desk lately. From weird to wacky, interesting to innovative, this stuff has one thing in common: it's just plain different.
Surreptitiously slip these into a fall bonfire and watch your friends freak out. After you've had your fun, let the cat out of the bag and explain that the crazy colors erupting from the fire are made by a little bag of powder. Funky-Colored Flames are also a great way to spice up a camping trip, or screw with your neighbor – sprinkle them in his fireplace or BBQ and watch as he squints his eyes in disbelief, then checks the alcohol content of his IPA. Either way, these cool little crystals make every fire more fun. $8; funkycoloredcollection.com.
Sound 911 Personal Safety Alarm
When it comes to deterring aggresive animals, pepper spray may be all the rage, and for good reason – it's been proven more effective than firearms at stopping dangerous game. But it's always nice to have other, less intense options. Most wild critters are frightened by loud noises, especially sudden bursts eminating from the object of their nervous attention, and the Sound 911 safety horn makes a great alternative to blasting noxious fumes into some poor animal's face. The little can is surprisingly loud, and it comes with a velcro strap for hooking onto a pack or belt loop. I wouldn't recommend deploying this sucker on a charging grizzly, but if a moose or wolf is getting too close for comfort, give 'me an earful and watch them reconsider coming any closer. $13; falconsignal.com.
It's happened to us all – clambering out of the tent for a midnight pee, you kick a tent stake square on the toes. Your shriek of suprise and pain echoes through the forest, waking up your tentmate and sending every wild animal scurrying for safety. UCO aims to eliminate that longtime camper's lament with their new lighted tent stakes. One AAA battery offers ample illumination for 2-3 nights in the woods (provided you remove the battery during daylight hours), clearly marking your stake-out points and saving not only your toes, but the guy lines that you'll also invariably trip over in the middle of the night. It's a cool idea and a great little product, but be warned – you may get so pampered that you never go back to regular tent stakes. $6 each or $20 for a four-pack; industrialrev.com.
- O/B Store