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Last week, we were warmed when we read a few of the inscriptions found on the sides of a collection of 282 Zippo lighters that belonged to soldiers of the Vietnam War. They were recently sold at auction for about $35,000, making headlines and prompting some positive press for Zippo.
The company has been making lighters since 1933, but earlier this year it reached out with some good news: After 80 years of focusing on fire, Zippo was launching a line of outdoor products. In 2009, it introduced a range of outdoor lighters, but now they are going beyond the flame to a larger variety of outdoor lifestyle products, including axes, wood carriers, cookware and utensils.
Road Trip / Summer Travel / Americana / Camping / → All Tags
It’s warm out and the calendar says that it is time for summertime fun, so that means road trip season. In case you need a little more space than the backseat of your car there’s always the option to rent an RV, trailer, or other home on wheels. Thankfully this year it looks like you can travel with a little more style, as Airstream trailers are now available for your renting pleasure.
Airstream2Go.com launched earlier in the year, and it has those iconic silver trailers for you to enjoy while away from home. The company offers up 23-foot and 28-foot options from spots like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, so it sounds like you’ll need to start and begin your road trip somewhere out west. The room on wheels is paired up with a GMC Yukon Denali, so you won’t even have to hook it up to the family station wagon. Prices start at around $3,850 for a five-day rental, so they are clearly shooting for those who are looking for a little extra—and with a little extra in their pockets.
Travel Cat / Animals / Pet Travel / Road Trips / Camping / → All Tags
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted at: the Grand Canyon (and more!)
This week's Travel Cat is a special one. To celebrate "National Love Your Pet Day." Meet C.C. Tux, a cat who happily travels alongside his owner, Cora Sprinkle, and behaves on a leash. Of travels with Tux, Cora notes:
If you can't afford to shack up in one of the swanky Orange County hotels during your travels there, now you have another option: Crystal Cove State Park in the Laguna Beach/Newport Beach area just opened its year-round campground today.
The $15 million Moro Campground offers 60 new campsites. Unfortunately, you won't be on the beach, but you'll have a nice view of it from the hilly area. The park has three miles of Pacific coastline, plus wooded canyons, open bluffs, and offshore waters designated as an underwater park.
National Parks / California Travel / National Parks Travel / Camping / Active Travel / Outdoor Travel / Green Travel / Oprah Winfrey / → All Tags
America's National Parks have been having a pretty good month, publicity-wise. First there was the announcement that master documentarian Ken Burns would be lending his skills and voice to creating tours of some of America's backlands and badlands and now comes news that the world's single biggest marketing jackpotOprah Winfrey herselfs getting into the mix.
The talk show host/erstwhile cult leader took a camping trip to California travel destination Yosemite National Park earlier this month, and then featured the experience on her show. The hope from the park service is that the episode and all the associated attention will increase interest in National Parks across the board, but they're especially looking to remedy the disproportionate lack of African-American visitors.
Listed as one of Fall 2010's Travel Essentials by Magellan's, the Biffy Bag is the "world's only personal disposable toilet designed to be used comfortably without a bucket or comode to sit on."
If you found that confusing, no worries. It took us reading the Biffy Bag homepage, the how it works section, and the online FAQ to figure out the mechanics of what was going on here. And we don't mean that in like a giggly "haha people go to the bathroom" kind of way. We mean it in a very technical "what attaches to what and why is that something someone would want" kind of way. We eventually had to watch the instructional video, which we've helpfully embedded below.
If you've ever wondered what an up-with-the-sisterhood consciousness raising teach-in was like in the 1970's, the website for the Go Girl Female Urination Device is probably a good approximation. Everything is shaded pink, the site is sprinkled with uplifting reminders like "Go Girls are winners," and there are extensive diagrams on how to safely and properly channel your bodily fluids. You are told that "life's greatest adventure shouldn't be finding a bathroom." They're also there to remind you that if you pee standing up then "you can go anywhere," which you have to admit is a pretty clever pun.
We don't get out to camp as much as we'd like becauseah hemour sister site is HotelChatter after all, but we looked over the list of women who could benefit by being able to "simply unzip their fly and go to the bathroom" and we remain lukewarm on the GoGirl solution.
Who would use to "GoGirl" on a trip? Find out after the jump
Less is more when it comes to camping, with every additional pound of gear costing hikers potential miles of trekking. The JakPak, a new all-in-one waterproof jacket, sleeping bag and tent, hopes to appeal to particularly dedicated campers by trading a little bit of comfort for a whole lot of weight.
The basic idea involves wearing the travel gear that will become your sleeping bag and tent. You don the waterproof shirt and walk in it all day while it protects you from the elements. When it's time for sleep, the breathable hard shell fabric opens up to provide some literal breathing room over the head, neck, and shoulders. The rest of the JakPak becomes a sleeping bag that covers the lower half of the body. The tent part is detachable from the sleeping bag part so it's also usable as a pack cover, and the space between can be bridged by see-through insect netting. Done and done.
It was pretty cold across much of the country earlier this month, and areas in Florida were seeing temperatures that were truly unusual. Besides the risk to our beloved orange juice supply, wildlife also didn’t do too well in the abnormal temperatures. The recent cold snap actually caused a fish kill in some areas of the state, and the underwater population was especially hard hit in Everglades National Park.
You could consider this just part of the circle of life, but the dead fishing are washing up on shore and causing a smelly situation for campers looking to enjoy the great outdoors. The Flamingo Campground at the park with sites along the water’s edge has become particularly odoriferous. The Long Pine Key Campground might be a better option for the time being.
Hawaii Travel / Active Travel / Camping / Cars / → All Tags
Traveling over the holidays is definitely expensive, and the prices really start creeping up when you head somewhere warm and popular like Hawaii. However, there’s a way to cut down on your lodging and rental car costs while increasing your vacation adventure quotient—just rent a Volkswagen camper van. Happy Campers Hawaii and GB Adventures are more than willing to hook you up with a vintage—yet restored—VW Westfalia van for all of your explorations around the Big Island.
You’ll be able to wake up in a different location each day and totally take advantage of the island’s parks and campgrounds. Most of the vans come with everything you’ll need including a sink, stove, and running water. Just swing by Costco to stock up on snacks and you’ll be good to go. Just make sure you pick up a blender, because a couple blended beverages are a must for evenings back in the van.
There's a certain class of people who enjoy the idea of being in nature but are less than enthusiastic about the "dirt" and "sleeping on the ground" and "being outside" parts of the experience. Their idea of roughing it involves a covered caravan, a $750 credit card bill at REI, and a case of white wine. Not red wine, because that would be too luxurious. Within that group, there's a certain subclass of folks who also have something of an nouveau riche air about them. In addition to actually "camping" in decadent comfort, they need to look like they're camping in decadent comfort. The new Opera capsule caravan, styled after the Sydney Opera House, is designed with them in mind:
We can't believe we're saying this, but this "tent" has a wine cabinet and more. Find out what else after the jump.
All this week, Lost Girl Amanda Pressner will be bringing us reports from her recent trip to Costa Rica with her entire family. Any questions about traveling to Costa Rica or family-oriented activities to do while you're there? Let us know.
While the list of natural wonders in Costa Rica is practically endless, few are more revered by the locals (and industrious tourists) than the Osa Peninsula. Located in the far Southwestern portion of the country, the Osa is the home of Corcovado National Park, a dense swathe of jungle that National Geographic once dubbed “the most biologically intense place on earth.” The place is absolutely teaming with wildlife of all shapes and varieties, and contains a greater variety of birds, insects, trees and mammals per square kilometer than almost anywhere else in the world.
Thanks to Costa Rica’s commitment to protecting its most valuable natural resources, primary rainforests once slashed and burned in Osa to make way for pastureland and farming back in the 70s have almost completely returned as secondary forest—and so have a multitude of species that were headed for extinction.