So . . . I’m not going to lie, “I love me some new gear! (spoken like a hick talking about his latest buck kill . . . )” And this trip to Nicaragua has given me an excuse to indulge in a few new toys to add to my outdoor collection. So here are the 2 new pieces of gear I’m most excited about:
Sea To Summit’s “Kitchen Sink.”
Everyone knows the prissy girl who can’t go on a two day trip without taking her whole wardrobe . . . “Just in case!” . . . and the traveler’s equivalent to being legit is to take as little as possible. So what am I taking on my trip? 3 shirts, 2 shorts, 2 pants, 4 pieces of underwear, 4 pairs of socks . . . and a bunch of deodorant. Well . . . even that much deodorant wouldn’t do the trick for 11 days, so this kitchen sink will let me do my own laundry no matter where I am. It folds out to hold 5 liters of water and the wire rim keeps the water from running over the edge no matter how much you put into it. With 1 cap-full of their nature-friendly all purpose wash (which I’ll use for shampoo, soap, and laundry), I can clean my clothes whenever and wherever I want, twist my “sink” into its small pouch, and let my clothes hang-dry off my pack while I keep going.
Goal Zero’s “Nomad 7” and “Guide 10.”
This product is all over the place in climbing ads, so when I saw a good deal on it I had to give it a shot. Its basically a waterproof, lightweight, easy-packing set of solar panels that can charge any device you want: cameras, lap tops, phones, even devices requiring an AC adapter. Strap it onto the back of your pack and let it charge your device directly or just connect it to its battery pack so you can recharge whenever you want. I also got an LED snaking reading light to hook into the battery pack so I can write in my Travel Journal wherever I am. Do I need this? Probably not . . . Nicaragua has American sockets, but hey, I may decide to spend the night on a Volcano, and I wouldn’t want to miss capturing the sunrise on my iPhone just because of its ridiculously short battery life.
So there you go! I’ll let you know when I get back if they were actually useful or not, or if the Goal Zero brand is hype. And if I’m not totally happy with either of them I can take it back to REI no questions asked.