Your Leatherman tool or Swiss Army knife might help you open a can or whittle a marshmallow roaster, but when it comes to actually eating it’s virtually useless (though we’ll admit to carving rudimentary spoons in a pinch). And with this German Military Surplus Utensil Set, eating in the wilderness comes compromise-free. This four-piece set is made of strong, corrosion-resistant stainless steel and includes the classic triple-threat plus a can- and bottle-opener that sports a nesting base to secure the others. The fact that some aren’t new but used – by German soldiers, no less – only adds to their appeal.
Grab a set at Cool Material – $13.50
As college students, our diet consisted primarily of noodles/mac & cheese, cereal, and beer. Apparently, old habits die hard, because not much has changed since then – we just wish OneBowl had been invented sooner. This lazy man’s dream of a bowl lets you cook, strain, eat, and store, all in the same one vessel. OneBowl boasts a snap top and a built-in strainer that activates upon twisting its blue handle, letting you quickly drain to minimize the number of kitchen utensils used and sullied. It also comes apart for easy cleaning, is both microwave and dishwasher safe, and has a variety of clever uses, securing itself a spot as your soon-to-be most used bowl.
Hit up Kickstarter to pledge – $20
Best Made’s bestselling enamelware products don’t only look and feel fantastic in person, but are actually objects you’ll want to use day in and day out. Joining their lineup is the Seamless & Steadfast tall enamel tumbler, which finally holds up to a pint of the beverage of your choice. Each cup is crafted by their European enamelware maker on WWII-era machinery, and boasts a rim that’s reinforced with a double-dipping of enamel for resilience over time and against all manners of abuse. They’re also stackable for easy packing, particularly convenient since you’re going to want to bring them camping or to picnics.
Grab a pair at Best Made Co – $36
In our experience, soft-sided coolers can’t really be held up to heavy-duty rigid models – unsurprisingly, they just don’t seem to keep stuff cold as long. But Yeti’s Hopper is different. This gigantic shoulder bag holds a combined 6.5 gallons of ice, food, and beverages, all within rugged, one inch-thick insulated waterproof walls. It also boasts an airtight, waterproof zipper that won’t leak if the bag is turned upside down, reinforced handles and shoulder straps for lugging around even the heaviest of loads, and thicker insulation on the bottom for keeping cold in even if it’s placed on a hot surface, all in keeping its contents cold for days.
Coming this October. Sign up to be notified at Yeti – $300
We’ve grown to expect just one thing from a cooler: cold food and drinks. At most, it’ll also offer a spot to sit. But the Coolest Cooler is a hell of a lot more ambitious. Sure, it’ll keep your drinks cold for hours, but it also packs an ice-crushing blender for churning out margaritas, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, rechargeable batteries to power the two former, a divider that doubles as a cutting board, a bottle opener, integrated storage for plates and a knife, a tie-down for lugging around extra gear, and a USB port to top up your devices. Oh, and it’s also got LED lid lights to keep the party going past sundown, plus extra-wide tires won’t sink in the sand.
Pledge for one at Kickstarter – $185
Propane tank’s out of fuel? Party’s over. Don’t get caught off guard: gear up with Quirky’s Refuel instead. This system relies on a scale that fits underneath standard propane tanks and that’s wired to a plastic puck equipped with LEDs and Bluetooth to monitor your tank’s contents – just tap the sensor or launch Quirky’s Wink app to get a reading. It’s also Wi-Fi compatible, letting you check on fuel from anywhere, runs on four AA batteries, and sports magnets to stick to a handy spot on your grill.
Cooking with propane is akin to burning money, and while that’s OK some of the time, we’d rather not see our hard earned cash go up in flames if we could avoid it. Ecozoom’s Zoom Dura Rocket Stove runs on wood or solid biomass instead, meaning you can cook your meal using gathered twigs and sticks in lieu of costly fuel. The Zoom Dura’s insulated combustion chamber forces intermingling between air and flames, boosting burn efficiency, decreasing harmful emission, and channelling almost all the generated heat straight to your pan. It’s also got sturdy silicone-coated handles for displacing the thing, a durable three-pronged cast iron top on which to rest your pots or pans, and a simplicity that’s more than welcome in this age of excess.
Check it out on Amazon – $100
While we’re on the subject of barbecuing, ever wish your grilling thermometers were a little smarter? iDevices’ iGrill2 should fit the bill. This magnetically mountable gadget includes two heavy-duty meat probes track temperatures up to 572ºF, displaying temperatures on its built-in display as well as on your iOS device via Bluetooth in real-time. It also boasts preset (and customizable) temperature alarms, can monitor up to four probes at once, and works at tracking ambient temperature as well, perfect for use with a smoker.
Hit up Amazon for more information – $100
Cesarré’s Kara isn’t cheap, but then, that was probably pretty apparent. That’s out of the way, now let’s get into what this aerotrim-like device can actually do. This substantial ring-in-ring structure features a 20″ by 20″ height-adjustable, stainless steel grilling surface at its core for cooking grub over charcoal, a design that works great for lifting your food off the flames to keep them warm or for serving. Overbuilt and excessive, maybe, but Kara’s perfect if you’re purposely trying to run up a big bill decking out your home.
We’re lazy. Any cookbook that all too gently incites us to prep up something more exciting than scrambled eggs, milk & cereal, or buttered toast is doomed to fail. But not Thug Kitchen. Like their cooking blog, this cookbook is chock full of bold, interesting – hell, even healthy – recipes that stray from the modern adage of bacon-on-bacon (not that there isn’t room for that, too). Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck presents over 100 recipes in their typically humorous, no-nonsense and utterly unpretentious style, arming you with everything you need to take your kitchen game up a few levels.
Pick up a copy on Amazon - $18