Instead of spending big bucks on battery packs for your phone that will be useless as soon as you upgrade your handset, why not spring for something that can power damn near anything. The Solar Joos Orange ($150), which charges about 3.5 times faster than other portable solar chargers, features high-efficiency solar cells that are set into a durable, injection-molded polycarbonate case that's waterproof, sandproof, and generally rugged. It sports a 5400mAh lithium-ion polymer battery and a USB port for charging or powering everything from an iPad to a low-wattage fan. In addition, you can hook it to your computer to see reports on your power consumption and generation. It's like your own portable power plant, minus the overweight, donut-eating workers. [via]
There are plenty of different ways to cook your food when you're out in the wild, but if all you want/need is hot water, the Backcountry Boiler ($100) is a perfect tool for the job. Based on the chimney kettles made popular by Irish fisherman and WWII soldiers, it's a lightweight tool that will run on virtually anything that's flammable, boiling up to 16 ounces of water in roughly 5 minutes and warming up to 20 even quicker than that, serving as a canteen when not in use. Perfect for campers, hikers, or incredibly lazy preppers.