The weather is warming up and people are revelling in the warmer weather by spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.
(Especially in the beautiful Western North Carolina Mountains and Asheville!)
Whether taking off into the woods and mountains for some backwoods camping or setting up "camp" in a friend's backyard, many folks will be eating, sleeping, cooking, and playing outside for the next few months, and a fair bit of equipment, gear, and gadgets are needed for all of these activities. We've rounded up some of the best eco-friendly camping gear available to ensure the smallest possible environmental impact during our outdoor adventures.
The Concept Tent (also known as the kaleidoscope or solar powered tents) was thought up because of festivals and the fact that partygoers always need to keep in touch with mates while they’re camping and roaming around the festival site. The resulting concept makes for a seriously cool tent with some awesome camping gadgets, which could help inspire a carefree nomadic lifestyle in full-on glam camping style!
Kaleidoscope and Orange Communication designed it in partnership to celebrate Glastonbury Festival. For us the best bit about it is the revolutionary new way it collects direct sunlight, and what this design might mean for luxe glamping and eco camping in the future… particularly if you want to have a nomadic lifestyle. So if you’re wondering, “when’s this solar tent for sale?” well we’ve got news for you there too.
Solar Energy Collection
The idea is that specially coated solar threads are woven into conventional fabric so designers wouldn’t have to use fixed solar panels to harness the energy. It would also have three directional glides that can be moved throughout the day to maximise solar efficiency and energy collection. A pretty cool tent huh?
But the most amazing bit about this concept solar powered tent is its central wireless control hub which lets you see the amount of energy being generated and used, as well as sending out a wireless internet signal for anyone who needs to surf the internet. This is displayed on a gadget geeks dream… a touchscreen LCD display screen, an awesome camping gadget!
The control hub also has a wireless charging pouch which powers mobile phones and other portable devices without the need for messy wires and multiple chargers. The ‘magnetic induction’ technology passes an electric current through a coil embedded in the charging pouch and this in turn generates a magnetic field which creates a charge and powers the battery. For non-tecky people like us out there… this means it’s one extremely clever solar tent!
Also controlled by the central hub is the most amazing bonus for the ultimate posh camping experience… an internal heating system. This takes the form of a heating element that’s embedded within the tent’s groundsheet giving under floor heating that can be triggered automatically once the temperature falls below a set level.
Finally, to avoid festival-goers ever losing their tent (uh huh…we know all about that!), the Concept Tent is designed to have “glo-cation” technology. This works by enabling the lost camper to find their cool tent by sending out a text message that triggers a distinctive glow in the tent helping them see it from a distance.
But before you throw out your old tents, solar panels and thermal underwear you’d better note that this Concept Tent is just that… a concept. It was designed to celebrate Orange’s 11th year at Glastonbury Festival and – lets face it – a bit of a PR stunt. However we’d like to be optimistic and think it’s a glimpse of earth friendly cool camping for 2012 and beyond.
SylvanSport was shooting for versatility when they thought up the Go Pop Up Tent Camper Trailer. This amazing piece of compact engineering functions as a trailer to pack up bikes, kayaks, motorcycles, or other toys on its aluminum frame, and it can sleep up to four people comfortably when its transformed into a camper. The biggest advantage is that this 840-pound trailer can be towed by most any vehicle with a trailer hitch.
Unless you’re “glamping” in some 5-star yurt, chances are you won’t be nestling down between silk sheets. When you’re roughing it, a good sleeping bag can make all the difference between a great night’s rest, and a miserable night of chills and sleep deprivation.
Big Agnes’ Encampment 15 sleeping bag is made of nylon and has a synthetic fill made of 97% recycled material. It’s one of the most vegan-friendly bags out there, and the fact that it’s created with recycled nylon is a big plus.
- Integrated full pad sleeve. Never roll off your pad again
- Rectangular shape offers more room in foot box and shoulders
- Insotect Tubic™ is a revolutionary tubular insulation system engineered to provide the maximum cubic loft for supreme thermal efficiency and user comfort. Through its innovative design and construction, Insotect Tubic delivers performance benefits that make gear significantly loftier, warmer & more durable. Superior thermal efficiency - the significant air space created by the DualVault™ and Vertical Thermal Channel™ delivers the best thermal efficiency.
- Synthetic Insulation: INTEGRITY - Short Staple synthetic insulation with 97% recycled content
- Mesh storage sack & nylon stuff sack included
- Built in pillow pocket holds a fleece or Big Agnes Pillow
- Interior fabric loops for sleeping bag liners
- YKK #8 zipper. Mate together any of our left and right zip bags with the same size zipper. Small has a 60" zipper and the regular and long have a 70" zipper
- No-draft collar seals around neck to keep cold air from sneaking in
- No-draft wedge insulates the connection between the bag and pad
- No-draft zipper tube insulates along the length of the zipper
- Shell: Nylon rip-stop. WR surface treatment to repel water
- Lining: Soft and breathable, nylon taffeta with stain resistant finish
- Pad sleeve: Nylon rip-stop. WR surface treatment to repel water
As sleeping bags used by the military, you can be sure that the CLIMASHIELD products will be both functional and durable for outdoor camping. These camping sleeping bags are made with between 40% and 100% recycled polyester filaments and boast of excellent loft.