Kevin Callan
Credit: Kevin Callan

Midwest Mountaineering Spring Expo has always marked the end of the spring show season for me. Good times, but I’m glad to see the end is near.

Since mid-February I’ve been travelling and presenting all across North America. I love it. However, it’s so nice to stop and concentrate on heading out to actually do the things I’ve been presenting about.

Of course, a big bonus of being at all the shows is to see an endless supply of camp gadgets. There were two in particular that caught my eye; one new and one (old but still a top-seller). 

Eagle's Nest Outfitters

Nomad Hammock Stand

Eagles Nest Outfitters has a new Nomad hammock stand. It makes little sense if there are a lot of trees and you’re packing for the interior. But if you're travelling in a tree-less area and your gear isn’t all strapped to your back, then this thing is amazing. The weight is 15 pounds, not too bad for what it folds out into. It’s a simple design that allows you to set up a hammock anywhere you want.  

Cooke Custom Sewing

Deluxe Food Pack

The other product is something that’s been around for a long time—but I’ve never considered it: Cooke Custom Sewing's Deluxe Food Pack. This large and semi-box-shaped pack is lined with half-inch closed-cell foam to keep your food fresher longer and better protected. The foam gives the pack a semi-rigid shape even when it’s empty to make access easy for re-packing throughout your trip. Use with a block or two of ice (or dry ice) to keep fresh food cool even in summer heat. Extra grab-loops on the sides and back make it easier to lift the pack in and out of the canoe.