Camping is a big part of what we do. Whether we're covering an event along the Rubicon Trail or exploring the mining regions of Colorado, more often than not we're many miles from a bed and a hot meal. After a few too many instances where we found ourselves without the proper gear to sustain ourselves, we decided to make up a short list of some of the items that can make camping life that much more livable. No, we aren't talking about buying an RV and hooking up a satellite dish, but we are talking about improving your camping gear collection to include some basic items that will help satisfy your safety needs, your sleep needs, and your appetite.
Brunton 8040G Compass
Long before hand-held GPS units were the norm outdoor adventurers have avoided getting lost using a trusty compass. The Brunton 8040G is a classic example of such a device. The pocket-sized 8040G is a mirrored compass with an easy-reading, optic green base plate, a tool-free declination adjustment, and a built-in thermometer. Weighing just 1.6 ounces the Brunton 8040G features a clinometer, a 0-to-35-degree-inclination scale, two-degree graduations, and inch and mm scales. The compass measures 3.8 inches by 2.5 inches closed and is 9 inches by 2.5 inches open. A lanyard is also included.
For more information, contact: Brunton, (307) 857-4700, www.brunton.com.
Delorme Earthmate PN-40
DeLorme recently introduced the latest in its popular Earthmate line of hand-held GPS devices, the Earthmate PN-40. The Earthmate PN-40 features a dual-core processor for rapid screen re-draws, offers 1 GB of onboard Flash memory with 500 MB of user-available space, and supports SDHC high-capacity SD cards. It can hold up to 10 tracks (10,000 points per track), 1,000 user-defined waypoints, and up to 50 routes. The 65K-color daylight-readable TFT screen provides clarity in any light conditions and the unit is WAAS-enabled for accuracy within 3 meters. The Earthmate PN-40 runs on two AA batteries (included) or available Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries, features a rugged, rubberized housing, and is waterproof to IPX-7 standard. The unit displays USGS 7.5-minute quads, aerial imagery, and NOAA nautical charts, which are available for download from DeLorme. Topo USA 7.0 software with complete U.S. topo and street maps is included at no extra cost. Other Earthmate PN-40 features include a three-axis electronic compass with included accelerometer that performs when held in any position, and a sensitive barometric altimeter for reliably accurate altitude readings.
For more information, contact: Delorme, (800) 561-5105, www.delorme.com.
Black Diamond ApolloLantern and Icon Headlamp
The Apollo Lantern from Black Diamond is a bright, non-glaring, soup-can-sized backcountry lantern with foldable legs and NRG rechargeable battery compatibility. The lantern's frosted globe combined with its inset 3-watt LED eliminates glare while the dual reflectors capture and maximize light output, which casts sufficient illumination to brightly fill a four-person tent. A dimming switch provides adjustable brightness and the fold-down legs increase the Apollo's height to 9.5 inches, which further boosts light dispersion. The lantern runs on four AA batteries or using Black Diamond's NRG Rechargeable Battery kit, which can provide simple, one-step wall-charging similar to a mobile phone. The Apollo also features a handy battery power indicator with green, yellow or red LEDs that display either the amount of battery power left or the charging status of the NRG.
Also available from Black Diamond is the Icon headlamp. The Icon headlamp offers a three-watt LED spotlight, four proximity LEDs, and seven different brightness settings. When used with the NRG rechargeable battery kit the Icon will stay illuminated at full strength all night long. For a longer duration of light the Icon can use AA batteries and be set to use just the four proximity LEDS to provide more than 160 hours of burn time. The Icon also features a dual-purpose battery-power meter that displays a green, yellow or red LED to indicate either the amount of battery power left or the charging status of the NRG rechargeable battery.
For more information, contact: Black Diamond Equipment, (801) 278-5552, www.bdel.com.