Beautiful portable camping kitchen


The Camp Champ is a stately and elegant mobile kitchen with equipment and utensils for six that collapses into a compact wooden box. Its construction reminds me of a magician's stage illusion! Read the rest

$8 microscope clips to smartphone


I have one of these tiny inexpensive microscopes, and it is surprisingly good. But it didn't come with a clip to attach it to a phone camera, like this. It has a white LED and an ultraviolet LED so you can illuminate your specimen.

KingMas 60X Clip-On Microscope Magnifier with LED/UV Lights for Universal SmartPhones ($8) on Amazon

Here's a video of a Russian guy unboxing it and trying it out: Read the rest

Cheap neoprene laptop and tablet sleeves from AmazonBasics


My younger daughter lost her laptop sleeve. She says I never bought one for her. Whatever. I am a fan of the AmazonBasics brand of gear, so I was happy to find this neoprene sleeve for $8 (fits an 11.6-inch Macbook Air). They offer a range of sizes, from 7-inch to 17.3-inch.

AmazonBasics Laptop Sleeve from Amazon Read the rest

Scuba gear review: Whites Fusion drysuit

Perhaps it is just local pride, but nowhere I've been diving, nowhere in the world, compares with California. The abundance and variety of sea life you can encounter underwater from Carmel to Catalina is without compare. The cold water, however, takes some getting used to.

My solution for the last five years or so: the Whites Fusion Drysuit.

Read the rest

How To: Get an amazing photo from the flanks of Mt. Everest

Image: Chhiring Sherpa provides the lighting for a photograph of Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck. Photo by Grayson Schaffer, used with permission of Outside.

Hint: It involves a lot of sherpas.

Grayson Schaffer, an editor for Outside magazine, is currently embedded at Base Camp on Mt. Everest, covering several teams attempting to climb the mountain's West Ridge—which Outside describes as "a route nearly as many climbers have died on as have summitted." He's sending back stories and photos from the tallest mountain in the world. But that presents a problem. The kind of photography that's used in a glossy magazine is not the kind of photography that is easy to produce with a team of one in a bare-bones climbing camp.

In a recent post, Schaffer explains the tools he's using to get his shots and shows us how he's wrangled random sherpas, climbers, and camp staff into assisting him. It's a neat bit of media behind-the-scenes.

The key piece of gear that makes it all possible is the new Pro-B3 1200w/s AirS battery pack. It's the lithium-powered update to the older 7B power pack, and it delivers consistent flashes even in subzero temperatures at 17,500 feet. We've got two of these with a set of spare battery inserts but have yet to run down in a day's shooting. To charge these beasts, we've been using a basic GoalZero solar setup, which, thanks to the Pro-B3's built-in trickle-charging capability, can top off a charge in a sunny afternoon.

Read Schaffer's post on taking photos on Mt. Read the rest