Camping & Glamping

1 Week. 1 Pair of Underwear.

We write these words while wearing a pair of underwear that we’ve had on for the last week. That’s more information than I wanted you are likely saying to yourself. But these are the lengths Spot Cool Stuff goes through to test products for our readers.

The underwear we are wearing, they are part of the Give-N-Go line by cool travel gear manufacturer ExOfficio.

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An Espresso Maker To Go, Please

What do a diamond and a shot of espresso have in common?

That’s no meant to be a bad joke. It’s a serious question. And the answer is: Both can only be made under pressure.

In the case of the shot of espresso the pressure is required to push hot water through densely packed ground coffee beans. Typically this requirement for pressurizing water has meant that effective espresso makers were relatively loud and large electric devices.

The Handpresso Wild, however, is not a typical espresso maker.

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The Dunes of Lake Michigan

Picture outdoor travel in the upper midwest of the United States and an image probably comes to mind of flat forests and flat fields—if anything comes to mind at all.

In fact, the region is home to a variety of unexpected natural treasures,. Among those: the world’s largest freshwater dune system.

These dunes scattered along the shores of the five Great Lakes—Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario—were formed 3,000 to 6,000 years ago (recent in terms of geological terms) when the water level of the lakes was 40 feet (12 meters) higher than it is today. Every U.S. state and Canadian province that borders a Great Lake has at least one sand dune preserve area, including Indiana where there are some wonderfully scenic dunes not far from the powerfully unscenic blighted industrial town of Gary.

Arguably the coolest place to experience the Great Lakes dunes is at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area in western-central Michigan.

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Spend the Night in a Pipe

Spending the night in drainage pipe in a public park is a bad thing . . . usually

It’s almost like being homeless

All the charm and safety of a bomb shelter

Our rooms are no longer full of crap

We like to imagine that those were among the tag lines rejected by the Dasparkhotel, the accommodations in a suburb of Linz, Austria where guests spend the night in a recycled drainage pipe.

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The Best BPA-Free Water Bottles

Want to reduce the environmental impact of your next trip? Bring your own water bottle. Particularly if you are traveling to a tropical destination where you’d otherwise buy (and then later throw out) plastic water bottles.

Thailand alone is littered with up to a billion (with a B!) plastic water bottles according to some estimates. And water bottles are also an issue in the developed world. In the Washington DC area 1 in 5 single-use plastic water bottles sold end up in a public waterway. In London single-use water bottles became such a problem that their sales were banned.

In the face of that you wouldn’t think that you could make much difference. But let’s say you and a partner go on a two week tropical trip and each drink three bottles of water per day. If you each bring your own reusable water bottles that alone will prevent 84 disposable ones from clogging land fills or being strewn across the landscape. That’s enough water bottles that, were they placed end to end, would be higher than an eight story building!

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Yurt “Camping” on the California Coast

You like camping but your partner prefers more glamorous travel. The solution? Glamping. Glamorous camping. Like that on offer at the The Treebones Resort.

Treebones, located on California’s scenic Big Sur coast, is a resort that offers the perfect romantic getaway for you both. Accommodations here are in yurts, large circular tents originally the domain of Central Asian nomads and made of sheepskin.

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On the Spot GPS Tracker and Satellite Messenger

Spot Cool Stuff has spotted The Spot. The Spot Satellite Messenger, that is. This rugged cell-phone sized device allows your friends and family to pinpoint your exact location while you are out on an adventure and allows you to signal for help should need it.

Here’s how it works:

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With its sleek aerodynamic profile, the Bikamper Bikamper biking tent from Topeak looks cool when it is set up. But its two best qualities can not be captured in a photograph:

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