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Camping Products and Reviews

Camping is a wonderful way to spend time in nature for a vacation or way of life. There are many nifty things made for camping that are so practical they really should be part of our everyday stuff even when we're not camping. Here are some of the things I have found useful in camping/hiking situations or would like to try out at some point. The links are to buy the same or similar product as what I have gotten or want to get. When I have purchased it from that same seller I will mention so.

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Product

I own/want

My Reviews/Recommendations/Tips

Megabrite Self Powered LED Crank Light and Phone Charger (GREAT for Home and Car)
Did Own
Want Again

I got some of these quite some time ago, and was very pleased with them. Unfortunately I don't have them anymore, so can't compare them to contemporary lights, I do remember they did the trick well. I miss them. I'm updating my links here, and will probably get another and re-review. In the meantime, here's what I said before:

They're not kidding when they called these MegaBrite - they are mega bright indeedy! They have 3 LEDs and recharge by winding but are sooo much brighter than any other LED flashlights I've had, even ones with batteries or more LEDs.

They light up so well and are so much fun that I use mine on a daily basis instead of night lights. My hubby and I have also used a couple of them as candles for an eco-friendly romantic evening more than once as they have a similar ambiance when wound and set to shine upwards. The lighting in the room and ceiling is similar to candles, without the flicker and while they will dim after a bit, they will stay lit for quite some time. (We discovered that when camping one time and falling asleep with one hanging from the peak of our tent. It was still dimly lit in the morning). This might be rough on the batteries though, so you'd probably not want to leave them on nightly all night.

I also have some retractable key chain single LED lights from them that are simply amazingly bright. I've used it as a flashlight more than once, not simply to light a key hole. I haven't found a place to send you to buy them yet though.


Own

Actually it's my hubby that owns one like this. He has it from being in the Army before I met him and has used it loads of times. I've seen him pack an amazing amount of stuff into it and hoist it on his back. I can't say how comfortable it is from personal experience, but he seems to get on fine with it. The space in it seems to just keep on going. Bag 'o plenty, heh. When full much of the stuff's above your shoulders so it seems to distribute things fairly well. It makes a good laundry bag too.

Keep in mind these are used, so the condition will vary.


Own

This is a surprisingly lightweight and sturdy little thing. It even comes with a nylon drawstring bag with a shoulder strap that works well to carry it in. It's easy to get in and out of the back and set up is a mere unfolding that happens almost automatically.

I got it to use as concert seating at the last Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in 2015. Generally I don't find much need for chairs when camping, preferring to sit on rocks, logs, a storage bin, or something if not directly on the ground. After so many mentions of needing a folding chair at MichFest, I decided to get this one. In general I didn't need it, however when I did use it, it was invaluable. It was perfect for being able to keep warm and dry in the rain at a night concert I didn't want to miss.. when I only had a large garbage bag to keep me dry. Sure, I could have and probably would have stood instead that night, however I would have been rather miserable in the cold rain with only that one bag to keep only part of me dry. Yes, if I had been a bit more prepared for the weather I wouldn't have needed it, but it was nice to have. I also used it to set things on under the tarp of my camping hammock, and various other uses. It was actually quite handy for sitting at airline gates without needing to find an open spot. I could sit anywhere I wanted pretty much.

TIP: If you don't want to use the shoulder strap and don't want it hanging, tuck the top of the bag into it (so it loops once) before putting the chair inside. This will cause the strap to wrap around the bag and not leave any slack to hang.

I got this one because I remembered my dad had a tripod version of something like this that he used frequently for drumming circles. He learned to drum in a theraputic drumming class as Kaiser and got into going to drumming circles. It was a kick to find my conservative looking nerdy looking dad hanging out with hippies and rasta types at drumming circles. I tried out various tripod versions here and there over the years, but honestly I think this quad version is more comfortable.

I don't know if this will make it to my final, final minimal belongings in the end, however it's going to be sticking around in lieu of any other kind of camp or beach chair... just not sure if I'll feel I need one in the end.

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