11 cool inventions that make adventure travel better

From The Idea Factory, our special report on innovation

1. Rescue Me Balloon

Though the Kickstarter for this product — an LED-lit orange balloon that rises 150 feet above the ground to signal an SOS — failed, the creators received a great deal of backing and support. They are redesigning the product and bringing it back to market this year. If successful, the finished product will be a helium driven balloon sealed in a lightweight, watertight tube. Easy to bring for on hikes, watersports, and other adventures.

2. K-Tor® Pocket Socket 2 Hand Crank Charger

Hand-cranked flashlights and radios aren't new. But it's the sheer number of devices the K-Tor Pocket Socket can power that sets it apart other hand powered generators. It generates up to 10 watts of electricity at 120 volts, and can power smartphones, most Apple devices, GPS systems and digital cameras, as well as all the standard electric adventure gear.

3. The Undress (portable changing room)

What appears to be a stylish summer dress is actually one of the newest innovations in travel technology. When a woman seeks a day of adventure, it may take her from the beaches to the jungles to the finest restaurants. The Undress, through a combination of cleverly placed open pockets and easily manipulated hooks and cords, allows a woman to change clothes for any occasion, in any place. It is available in a variety of styles and accommodates women wearing sizes 00 to 28.

4. Gotta Tinkle (female urination device)

Women are very fond of clean bathrooms. The open road seldom accommodates that fondness. Whether it's a disgusting porta potty at a county fair or a pit outhouse in South America, women and girls are constantly struggling to keep their bodies out of contact with unsanitary facilities. The Gotta Tinkle is one of the simplest "pee anywhere standing up for ladies" devices on the market. It's essentially an anatomically formed clip that fits comfortably against a lady's delicate areas. The clip securely holds a regular household plastic baggie (or you can buy a biodegradable one). After use, the contents can be dumped anywhere appropriate, the bag thrown away, and no disgusting toilet need ever have been be involved.

5. Sea to Summit Pocket shower

No matter how far off the beaten path you wish to go, if you were raised in the Western world, you're not going to feel clean and healthy without occasional bathing. The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower weighs 4 ounces, provides an eight-minute shower, and can by suspended from nearly anything. The black fabric bag (which can also be used as a waterproof traveling bag) will heat the shower water naturally if left in the sun during the day.

6. Littlebug Junior Stove

For the adventurer who needs a reliable fire no matter what the environment, meet the 5-ounce Littlebug Junior Stove. The Littlebug allows a hiker to create a sheltered cook fire, burning either wood or commercial burning alcohol. Must unique is the Littlebug's design; it dismantles into a C-shape that can be wrapped around bed-rolls.

7. Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set

Once your small fire is burning, the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set is an excellent tool to use with it. The Stanley Adventure weighs 23 ounces, and comes with two insulated cups that fit into a small stainless steel pot. The pot's tucked handle can be extended for safe cooking.

8. Lifestraw

Drinking from a foreign or contaminated water source could be as deadly as not drinking at all. Lifestraw products filter out poisonous bacteria, viruses, and protozoa through layers of porous fiber, which are designed to trap everything but clean water. Lifestraw comes in personal straw form, water bottle form, and as a portable filtration system large enough to supply a whole family.

9. Sawyer Extractor Kit

The Sawyer pump creates a tight and powerful seal around a sting or bite, and if used quickly, can greatly reduce or even remove the amount of poison injected into the body. The kit requires no cutting or extra medications. A snakebite delivered to a muscular area like the calf or thigh will enter the bloodstream quicker than the pump can fully extract it, but it is possible for the pump to remove enough of the venom to make a significant difference in survival rates.

10. Road ID Band

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The Road ID wristband is one of six different types of wearable identification offered by Road ID. Sturdier than a traditional medical ID bracelet, the Road ID is designed to weather the wear and tear of athletes and adventurers. Laser engraving allows them to put more information on their tags than other ID bracelets. This allows the Road ID to identify you, your contact numbers, and any pertinent information if you are unable to speak for yourself.

11. Off-Road Commode

The Off-Road Commode is stunning in its simplicity — a padded (camouflaged…for privacy?) toilet seat which connects securely onto trailers hitches, with adapters available. It extends from the back of your truck like…well there is no analogy. Like a toilet seat sticking off the back of your truck. Holds up to 500 pounds, not for use while vehicle is in motion.


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