Want to throw a dance party next time you’re in the remote wilderness? The ETON Scorpion not only includes an AM/FM receiver, you can also play — and charge — your iPod through this clever device. It’s powered by either a hand crank or solar panel, which means you don’t have to worry about batteries. It also includes a built-in flashlight to guide your adventures, as well as something no traveler should be without: a bottle opener; $50; ETONCorp.com.
Lightweight tents just went to the next level with the Terra Nova Ultra 1, which clocks in at a ridiculously low 1 lb., 1 oz. — about the same weight as a cup of coffee. The tent sleeps one comfortably or two if you really like to snuggle. And yes, that weight includes double walls and a sturdy, rope-tension based design. A great choice for cyclists and adventure racers who want to make sure they’re minimizing weight; $699.96; TerraNova.co.uk.
The Slow Road
You’ve probably heard of the Slow Food Movement. But have you heard of Slow Travel? The movement takes the same principles that drive Slow Food and applies them to vacationing. The idea is simple: Instead of trying to cover an entire continent in a week (Paris today, Berlin tomorrow!), Slow Travelers stay in one place for a longer time, giving them a deeper travel experience. Vacation rentals usually take place on a weekly basis, and give you a comfortable base to enjoy day trips through the surrounding area. Staying in a rental instead of a hotel puts you in closer contact with locals. You’ll shop at their stores and markets and go to the same restaurant or café more than once. The irony is that travelling “Slow” actually gives you more time to enjoy your vacation. Instead of spending large portions of each day flying or driving from one place to another, you get to use those hours taking leisurely walks through the countryside, exploring quaint shops or sampling local delicacies. You’ll have an opportunity to actually get to know some of the locals and experience their culture in a way you never could on an overnight stay. The principles work for people of all family situations and budgets — from families looking to save a few bucks to luxury travelers who can include a private chef in their vacation plans. To find out more, visit SlowTrav.com.
› Marta Ferro began her life in the travel industry in high school as a bus girl in a hotel restaurant, and has never looked back. She’s now a professional travel consultant, and spends her time helping people find their dream vacations.
“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”
— Dave Barry
The Russian Airline introduced a new innovation in air travel in 1913: an on-board toilet. Before that, passengers used chamber pots or buckets, which surely made turbulence that much scarier.
Ever wonder which city holds the title for “Slurpee Capital of the World”? Turns out it’s Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose residents take down more of that artificially-flavored goodness than anywhere else.
Want to visit Niagara Falls? Don’t rely on your GPS. Thanks to the massive erosion of the shale cliffs that support the falls, this geological wonder has actually receded 7 miles over the last 10,000 years.