Roughing it with ease

To help reduce the hardiness of a camping trip, we pick innovative, compact gear that combines convenience with comfort.

Sushmita Choudhury | Print Edition: July 9, 2009

To help reduce the hardiness of a camping trip, we pick innovative, compact gear that combines convenience with comfort.

Portable microfilter
The biggest problem while camping is safe water. But the MSR HyperFlow Microfilter, available at amazon.com and cascadedesigns.com, takes care of this. The cucumber-sized gadget is the lightest filter available, offers a flow rate of 2.75 litres per minute and is effective against bacteria, protozoa and particulate matter. And it takes just 20 pumps to fill a one-litre bottle.
Price: Rs 4,800

Kelty transit carrier
A backpack and baby carrier rolled into one that does away with the need for cumbersome prams and extra bags. Its features include an adjustable five-point child harness, a zip-off diaper bag, and padded, ergonomic shoulder straps and waist belt. Available at kelty.com and Mumbai’s Heera Panna complex.
Price: Rs 5,700

Sub-0-G strolley
This luggage collection from Landor & Hawa is the world’s lightest. It is available in three length options—20.5”, 24.5” and 28.5”—all weighing under 3 kg. Compare this with a typical 20-22” carry-on that weighs around 6 kg. You can buy it at amazon.com.
Price: Rs 9,700-12,500

Pocket shower
It zips into a 3”x6” pouch and weighs just 121 gms, but it can pack 10 litres of water. Built into the base is a compact showerhead. Twist it open for an eight-minutelong power shower. Hang it at a convenient location using the provided rings and 20-ft cord. Available at campsaver.com.
Price: Rs 1,300

A three-season tent that utilises a 26” mountain bike or a 700c road front wheel in place of tent poles, making it more compact, light and easy to set up than most conventional tents. When packed, it can be strapped to your bike’s handlebars. Great deals can be had at ebay.com.
Price: Rs 6,500-8,000

WoodGas camp stove
Unlike any other portable stove in the market, this one uses a small battery-operated fan to draw air into the two-stage combustion chamber, allowing for a cleaner, hotter and more efficient stove. And no need to pack any fuel. It will burn any combustible material, including grass, and uses up to 90% less fuel. You can buy it at woodgas.com.
Price: Rs 2,400-4,250

Wonderwash laundry machine
A camping holiday is synonymous with packing light. This 2-kg machine allows you to pack a minimum number of clothes, yet prepare for any eventuality. The hand-operated 12”x12”x16” machine can wash a load of around 2 kg without using any electricity and with 90% less detergent and water than regular machines. Available at amazon.com.
Price: Rs 2,000

Lippi Selk Bag
A sleeping bag with arms and legs? It might sound like a joke but don’t laugh it off. Unlike the regular sleeping bags that are cramped, this one is padded and shaped according to the human form, and has layered inserts that act as a mattress on hard ground. It comes in three sizes—5.3 ft, 6.2 ft and 6.6 ft—and three categories, which are progressively lighter and better able to withstand the cold. These sleeping bags are available at lippiselkbag.co.uk.
Price: Rs 6,000-12,800

Interesting packages to look out for

Amarnath shrine

Amarnath yatra, Jammu and Kashmir
Cost: Rs 13,999 per person
Contact: 1800-117888

The two-night package offered by Dewan Holidays includes escorted airport transfer from Srinagar to Sonmarg/Baltal, overnight stay in tented accommodation, return helicopter darshan of the holy cave, one night’s stay in a deluxe houseboat in Srinagar, sightseeing in a non-AC vehicle and all applicable taxes. This offer is valid till 15 August.

Taj Vivanta

Taj Vivanta, Panaji, Goa
Cost: Rs 10,400 per couple
Contact: 1800-111825

This new hotel, located 28 km from Dabolim airport, is offering a third consecutive night free to those who stay for two nights. You will have to make a reservation for three nights and the rates will be adjusted while checking in to reflect the freebie. Taxes will be extra.

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