Gear · Hiking Gear

Gear Finds For The Outdoors

Ever find an odd looking lantern you cannot pass up? The Tent Light by Coghlan’s was one I couldn’t pass up. For one it is bright. And well made. It is essentially an LED light disk, put in a silicone cover, which diffuses the light perfectly. No harsh light in your eyes – and it has 4 brightness levels settings. It runs for around 40 hours, meaning you will only need 1 set of batteries for even a long weekend. If you take kids camping, the strap unhooks, and can be hung in a tent, or tree branch. Again, a nice diffused light source.


I love having a dry spot to sit on, especially with kids. In shoulder seasons the ground is often saturated, and even with sit pads, the whole backside of your legs gets soaked/covered in mud/dirt. The blanket folds down into a pocket, and fits in the palm of your hand. It has (lightly) weighted corners (which in theory you could remove), and folds out to 63″ by 44″ and weighs under 3½ ounces. Machine washable as well. Oh yeah, and it is plenty big enough for mom and all her kids to sit on it!


Now then….I totally admit I had to watch their video on folding it back up. Sometimes having a manual helps 😉

I really like Goal Zero’s line of products. We have one of their lanterns (a Lighthouse 250), and this phone charger joined it recently. The Flip 20 is a brick charger, charge via USB. For a typical smartphone, you can get 2 full charges. My phone, being a Note, is larger, so I get 1.5 charges give or take. I always have a charged brick with me, on all trips, just in case I need to juice up. Very handy if you are editing photos at night, taking too many photos, or using your phone as your Kindle/GPS/maps…you get the idea! At 4.6 ounces, it isn’t heavy, and can be considered a useful luxury of ounces. It can be used in conjunction with their solar chargers as well. Or if you have a lot of arm strength, plug it into the Lighthouse 250 and crank away 😉


The Smart Phone Pockets was something you might not have thought about. I always have my phone in a pocket, as I run the Samsung Health App, that records my steps and can chart hikes (it seriously works great, better than my actual GPS – and doesn’t need cell service either). Anyhow, over the summer I had 3 pairs of pants with a side pocket that my ginormous phone but I destroyed all of them. So…being able to create a pocket on most things I own? Pretty cool actually. You can put the pocket inside or outside, meaning you can create a hidden pocket.


It’s only early September but that brings us to winter planning! Here is to a winter full of snow, and not a repeat drought like this past year. We will be reviewing Hillsound’s Trail Crampon Pro in the coming months:


And Hillsound’s Trail Crampon:


FTC Disclosure: Some of the items were provided for potential review.

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