Weird and wacky gear spotted at Outdoor Retailer

I spotted an abundance of graphic prints at Outdoor Retailer, but nothing caught my eye as quickly as Field Candy tents (shown above). These funky, A-frame designs (starting at $455) stand out among the crowd. You can even create your own customized text on select designs to make your tent even more creative.


Easy-to-transport kayaks made a big splash at this year’s show. Point65’s modular kayak designs (styles and prices vary) feature snap-in-place parts that let you build the boat you need. Put it together and enjoy a day on the water; break it apart and easily stow the boat in your car’s trunk for the drive home. (Point65 makes a snap-and-go standup paddleboard, too.)OruKayak

Oru Kayak features several boat designs (starting at $1,275 for the Bay, shown above) that fold down to form a 26-pound box. Unfold, hop in and the waterproof boat is as agile in the water as its competitors. 


Solar chargers are becoming a must-have item for well-prepared outdoor adventurers. Now you can be prepared to charge your devices on the trail without worrying about adding lots of extra weight to your pack. YOLK Solar Paper is a lightweight, super thin solar charger that has gained the Kickstarter backing of more than 5,000 individuals and raised $830,000.


Are the Scouters in your troop or crew coffee lovers? Maybe it’s time to upgrade your campout French press routine with a COFFEEBOXX system. This machine ($249.99) brews K-Cups anywhere you can plug it in. (Yep, it comes with a three foot retractable cord.) Although it’s designed for construction worksites, this machine is generating quite a bit of buzz among “glamping” enthusiasts.


Have you ever curled up at an evening campfire with your sleeping bag wrapped around your shoulders? Recreate that snuggly feeling anywhere you wish with the Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho ($129.95; available starting January 2016). This blanket-slash-sweater comes with a hood, front pouch and a down-filled quilted design.

GrillBot2You’ve heard of robotic vacuums, right? Well this is a Roomba-inspired cleaner for your home grill. The Grill Bot ($129.95) is a battery-powered, programmable device that uses wire bristles to scrub the leftover gunk from your grill.


  1. I hope my reaction doesn’t offend you, but come on Gretchen. Wouldn’t you agree the gaudy tent runs counter to blending in with the environment? Isn’t this a little circusy for Scouting? And, if you don’t mind, a Scout’s sleeping bag isn’t an item to wrap around themselves at a campfire, exposed to the elements and getting all smokey smelling. Most would much prefer it remain safe, sound, and dry—ready for a warm sleep, protected in their tent (or whatever outdoor shelter).

  2. As a scouter there is nothing in this list in my price range. And $500 for a screen printed tent? ouch.

    Seriously though these are novel, but not practical, and fit more with a glamping hipster article than a scouting blog.

    • It is just for fun you know. Some people that camp obviously would buy these things. Personally, I like the sweater/sleeping bag type thing. If it keeps you warm, hey, go for it. (Not at $130.00 though.)

    • I envision melted plastic the evening a person lights the grill with the lid down after the last time someone leaves the bot in the grill with the lid down!

      • Having melted something in the oven under similar circumstances, I can see that happening. But, you are supposed to open the lid BEFORE lighting the grill. 🙂

  3. The folding Kayak should be nothing new; I remember seeing ads for Folbot kayaks in Boys :Live when I was a kid; starting at $139 in 1974 (thanks to Google!) and they are still around today… 🙂

  4. Like many fashion shows where the poor models have to be wrapped in the most humiliating outfits because they are designed for folks who attend them, we need to understand how this works. A small percentage of the things that catch a photographer’s eye today may find a way to become utilitarian tomorrow,

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