The latest gear for your outdoor fun

Jul 16, 2015, 4:45 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 10:40 am

By now, many of you are likely looking to escape the heat and head to any number of gloriously cool destinations in northern Arizona.

If you are still planning to fit in some outdoor fun and exploration this last half of summer, here are some ideas for improving your experience — including some cool new stuff we saw at this year’s National Hardware Show in Las Vegas:

Keep the cold stuff cold.
One of our Arizona favorites is Canyon Coolers, a company based in Flagstaff. The firm has just come out with a new high-performance cooler, the Outfitter 50 ($300), that has walls of insulation that range in thickness from 1.8 to 2.75 inches thick, large enough to hold 50 beverage containers, and fitted with neoprene foam gaskets. Ice will last inside for weeks not days – keeping you going on a long camping trip.

Safely power-up your bigger electronics.
Briggs & Stratton’s new PowerSmart Series P3000se model is a lightweight, smaller, gasoline-powered portable generator that comes with inverter technology. This technology allows you to run an RV’s air conditioner or to safely use laptops, TVs, and gaming systems when you’re out in the woods or desert somewhere. This model even has USB ports for cellphones.

NOTE: Why do you need inverter systems? With inverters instead of magnetic coils or transformers, power is distributed more consistently and accurately, just like at home. It’s crucial to providing safe power for electronic equipment. Inverter generators are also quieter and cost less to run.

Plug into the Sun.
Take the lightweight, hand-held charger ($70), BOLT, from Solio on your next trip so that you can charge a smart battery from the sun; then discharge that energy to your phone or a headlamp or a lantern.

Cook your meal and charge your device.
The BioLite CampStove with Portable Grill and KettlePot ($225) cooks meals using nothing but twigs you pick up off the ground. It claims to be quick to light and fast to boil water. By also converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, the stoves can recharge phones, lights and other gadgets while dinner is cooking. The camp stove by itself costs $130.

For other products we reviewed from this year’s 2015 National Hardware Show, listen to our May 23rd broadcast (Segment 3, 10 o’clock hour). We also reviewed a number of products from the 2014 National Hardware Show in our FAQ section — Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information.

Remember, when your home improvement project is bigger and not something you want to tackle yourself visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at — Arizona’s most trusted Referral Network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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The latest gear for your outdoor fun