Summer Camp Accessories for Paddlers

Conor Mihell

You can never have too many accessories for camping…until you have too many accessories for camping! Here are six new products for 2019 that pass the C&K test.

The new Sierra Designs Clearwing 3 tent ($279, BUY NOW) packs an incredible amount of floor space into a lightweight, 3-season shelter, all for a bargain price. Spanning 46 square feet with dual doors and plenty of headroom, the Clearwing will accommodate three adult campers—setting it apart from the usual “three-person” tent. That means it’s palatial for two, with space to sit up and lounge on rain days. The three-pole, modified tunnel design goes up fast and the mesh body provides a light, airy interior space. We found it a little too breezy on an ice-out canoe trip; but combined with hood vents in the fly, the ventilation is perfect for summer camping. Out of the box, the Clearwing 3 stood up to moderate winds, but you may want to add longer, burlier guy lines on the fly—an easy upgrade to a great shelter.

Clearwing 3
Sierra Designs Clearwing 3 Conor Mihell

Also from Sierra Designs, the Nitro Quilt 800/35 degree ($249, BUY NOW) combines the best features of a mummy sleeping bag with the simple versatility of a down quilt. A neat “head slot” provides a cozy hood for back-sleepers. Meanwhile, the enclosed foot box keeps the quilt centered over your body. With the addition of warm, dry base layers and a four-season sleeping pad, 35-degree Nitro kept testers toasty to the freezing mark—you just have to be careful to avoid drafts coming in from the edges of the quilt. Weighing only 20 ounces, the Nitro packs to barely the size of a grapefruit in a compression bag and features water-repellent, 800-fill down. A 20-degree Nitro is also available.

Nitro 35
Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt 35 Sierra Designs


At 30 liters, the SealLine Bigfork dry day pack ($129 BUY NOW) is the perfect size for carrying the essentials for a day on the water—food and drink, spare clothes and emergency gear. Use it as a standalone waterproof backpack for day trips or as an easy to access supplement to the rest of your portage packs on multi-day adventures. The roll-top, buckle-down closure stays dry in the rain and a quick dunking; and the carrying straps are comfortable yet—unlike some day packs—remain unobtrusive in the canoe.

Sealline Bigfork pack Conor Mihell

You can never have too much redundancy when it comes to packing fire-starters on a multi-day trip. For me, that’s always meant extra lighters and matches, stashed throughout my packs. The UCO Titan fire striker ($14, BUY NOW) is the ultimate backup. It’s stout ferro rod is good for 20,000 strikes and the striker itself includes a bottle opener and several wrench-sized slots. All in all, it’s a great addition to your emergency ditch kit. 

Uco Titan fire striker UCO Gear

Check out the NUU R1 ($149, BUY NOW) if you’re in the market for a rugged, outdoors-ready smartphone. This Android-powered device is built to military specs, with a five-inch screen made from ultra-durable Corning Gorilla Glass. The unit is dust- and waterproof, submersible to nearly five feet for up to 30 minutes. It includes dual 4G LTE sim cards slots; an 8 MP camera and a 4,000 mAh battery that lasts through over 24 hours of moderate use. 

NUU R1 rugged Android smartphone The Manufacturer

We’ve been eager to test out the upstart Somewear Labs global satellite hotspot ($349 plus service plan, BUY NOW) since it dropped in a crowdfunding campaign last year. First impressions are good: The slim, waterproof, four-ounce unit relies on Bluetooth connectivity with a smartphone to send text messages using the reliable Iridium satellite network; receive weather updates; and track your route on a map. The app-based interface is smooth and relies on your existing contacts list for text messaging; communication is easiest when both sender and receiver are using the Somewear app. Full SOS functionality is supported without being connected to a smartphone. The unit itself charges by USB and the company claims over 1,000 messages per charge. Subscriptions start at $100 for a barebones annual plan. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review after we put the Somewear through the paces on an extended wilderness canoe trip this summer.

Somewear Labs Global Hotspot Somewear Labs


More new paddling gear for 2019

Gear for Gales: Foul Weather WareOpens a New Window.

Field Tested: A Tale of Two TarpsOpens a New Window.

Field Tested: Summer Camping Gear

The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak

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