In and around the latest in kayaks, outdoor apparel and other recreation gear at the recent Outdoor Retailers Summer Market, there was a camp stove that will charge a phone and a variety of skewer accessories to cook hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire, not to mention some other gadgets specifically for outdoor cooking.
Here are some of the ones that caught my eye from the recent Outdoor Retailers Summer Market in Salt Lake City. These are generally available on the company's websites or through the retailers, including local ones, listed on their websites.
Boil water and charge your phone.
There were a couple of different adapters that convert heat from a campfire or stove to electricity to charge from a USB port.
BioLite’s CampStove has a stainless steel fuel chamber, which uses small branches or twigs for a fire, and a power module. The simplified explanation from the saleswoman at the booth and from the BioLite website is that when a fire is set in the fuel chamber, the heat helps power a small generator to turn on a small fan to help the fire. Any excess power from the generator can be used to charge a phone or other small electronic device via a USB port. See biolitestove.com for pricing and information.
Also, FlameStower has an adapter that uses any type of fire — from a campfire to one from a contained fuel source — and converts the heat from the fire and a small reservoir for boiling water to electricity to charge small electronics via a USB cable. See flamestower.com for information.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Sterno, known for its canned fuel.
One of the newest items is the Inferno Stove, which is designed to boil water in less than six minutes, and the two parts fold together to be compact, said Keith Szewczyk at the Sterno display.
Camp Chef’s Stryker Stoves have an adapter so that they can run off of either propane or isobutane, depending on the fuel source that’s available, said Matt Anderson at the Camp Chef booth. They also use Heat Ring technology to increase fuel efficiency.
There’s more to these skewers than just an almost straight stick.
Frank’s Campfire Sticks are made from a 16-foot piece of wire twisted together to help dissipate the heat, said owner Tim Giandomencio. Earlier this year, the Canada-based company started distributing through the Kroger family of stores, including Smith’s grocery stores. See frankscampfiresticks.ca.
Pocket Roasters have a telescoping handle that creates a compact skewer and has the end forks pointed backward in an arrow shape.
The “reverse forks” are a safety feature, said Eddie Hill. The handles glow in the dark, making them visible at night. See nostalgicimages.com.
• Light My Fire, which got its start with fire-making kits for the Swedish military, has Grandpa’s Firefork with the prong ends of a skewer that can be attached to a stick — minimizing the need to bring longer skewers or whittle a pointed end.
The Grandpa’s FireGrill uses a similar concept in a grill basket that can be attached to a stick and can grill whatever food fits in it over a fire.
Making a s’more around a campfire means roasting the marshmallow to that personal level of perfection and then squeezing it with the chocolate between graham crackers.
The Camper S’Mores Grill from Coughlan is a little rack where the s’more is built and then put over the fire. It can heat up three of the sweet sandwiches. This prevents the worry of watching out for where sticky-ended skewers end up, and it could be easily used on a grill. However, it does lessen the satisfaction of those marshmallow roasting perfectionists.
For the grill, Smith’s has FireWire, a flexible cable-style steel wire.
After the meat, vegetables, potatoes or fruit have been placed on it, “it can go from the marinade to the grill to the plate,” said Russ Cowen, marketing manager.
Because it’s flexible, it can fit in a bag or dish for marinating and fit in available spaces on grilling surfaces, Cowen said, adding that’s it’s dishwasher safe. See firewiregrilling.com for more information.
A spork is more than just a combination of a spoon and a fork.
• Rome Cookware’s signature cooking item is a cas- iron sandwich maker.
“Every culture has some sort of stuffed sandwich,” said Michael O’Russa, director of sales and marketing, as he showed their new cookbook “Pudgie Revolution! Pie Iron Cookin’ for Food-Lovin’ Campers,” by Jared Pierce, Carrie Simon and Liv Svanoe.
The recipes use a variety of bread, pastry crusts, tortillas, crescent rolls, egg roll wrappers, hash browns and other foods for the crusts and many fillings for the 80 recipes in 12 categories. The book includes a difficulty rating for each recipe along with menu options.
And with categories like “There’s an App for That” and “Pleased to Meat You,” this 96-page cookbook lends a lighthearted attitude to the serious art of sandwich-making.
Lodge, the Tennessee-based maker of many things cast iron, like Dutch ovens, pans and skillets, has recently released the cookbook “Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast.” The nearly 300-page cookbook is part family and company history as it shares a chapter of recipes for family favorites before the dozens of recipes for breakfast, sides, breads, different meats and desserts. Each recipe indicates which part of the United States it’s from along with other tips or historical tidbits.
While not likely to blast off into space, the Spice Missile from GSI Outdoors has different stacked compartments to help keep spices separate and dry as the camp’s chef adds flavor to meals and is a skinnier version of the Spice Rocket.Comment on this story
Also at the show was the Salt and Pepper Booster with two compartments (it doesn't call them that on the GSI Outdoors website, but that's what Richard Haziza at the booth called them). See gsioutdoors.com.
The media badge doesn’t quite tell what kind of story the badge wearer is working on. When Eric Rustin at the Moso Air Purifying Bags booth heard from the neighboring booth that I was working on a food story, he thought for a moment and brought up a small, light blue woven bag.
The 75-gram bag is one of the smallest they make and is small enough to go into coolers.
“It helps with that cooler smell,” Rustin said.
It’s an odor absorber that uses Moso bamboo charcoal. While the bag lasts for two years, it needs to be in the sun for about an hour monthly, he added. See mosonatural.com.
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