Nature travel is mostly about being in nature, but there are some things that can make the time out there easier and more inspired. In recent months I’ve encountered a few things that are so clever, or inspiring, that I wanted to share them with you.

HANDHELD MINI ESPRESSO MACHINE 

Well, here’s a game changer for traveling coffee addicts! This lightweight, compact espresso machine doesn’t even need electricity to run. It might even be worth backpacking with. Yum.

ECO-FRIENDLY DISPOSABLE CUTLERY SET FOR CAMPING, TRAVELING OR PARTIES

This is an interesting idea when you don’t want to cart around metal forks, spoons and knives, but also don’t want to use plastic! (100pcs Forks, 50pcs Spoons, 50pcs Knifes) Biodegradable, Compostable

BEYOND WORDS: WHAT ANIMALS THINK AND FEEL, BY CARL SAFINA: This book will either blow away your ideas about animal behavior and animal thoughts, or it will validate everything you already suspected about them. Written by a PhD ecologist, in a writing style that reminds me more of a beautiful painting than a scientific journal article, his observations and descriptions of what animals think and feel (particularly those that live in their own societies like elephants, wolves, and killer whale) will give you goosebumps. I have been recommending it to every animal lover I know.

HEATED SHOE INSOLES: Remote-controlled, heated insoles (that you can charge in your car!) may seem like an excess if you don’t get cold easily, but if your feet feel like blocks of ice even in winter boots, then the idea of pressing a button so you can stay outside longer, will seem like genius. One less reason to dread winter!

TELEPHOTO CELL PHONE LENS: On a hike a few months ago, one of my friends brought this clip-on telephoto phone lens for his cell phone. As a person who has now set aside her camera for the convenience and higher quality of her cell phone camera, this solves the one issue I can’t get around…that is, not being able to zoom in close enough. The one caveat? You need a steady hand, or a stand, to avoid getting blurry shots.

CAMPING HAMMOCK WITH INSECT NET: This combines all the best features from a tent, a hammock and mosquito netting. Hanging between two trees, it looks like a cocoon. This hammock helps you get around some of the perennial camping issues like rocky, hard, or sloped camping terrain. Of course you can still lay it on the ground and use it as a tent. In fact, if you have a prankster in your group, you might just want to do that.

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