ACK is a very fluid company (pun intended!) and we have new products coming in constantly. Part of my job as the company photographer is to keep the site updated with photos of our new products. I was born and raised in Texas and even though I love this place, I’ve suffered in the Texas heat enough and  I don’t even think about camping in the heat, but with cooler weather comes camping season. Now that lows are in the 60s, my mind often wanders to camping and we’ve recently added a few products that will make the trips easier for everyone.

The market is flooded with fire starters and its hard to cut through the crowds and know what to look for but InstaFire makes a solid fuel fire starter that works and it works well. I got the chance to try this stuff out because I had to photograph it in use. It was so simple. I photographed it on fire on concrete and as soon as I put a lighter to the fuel, it lit quickly and stayed lit. When I was finished taking photos, I stomped it out with my boot and it stayed out with no flare-ups. It lights and burns in the wind and is water resistant and it dries out wet wood quickly. It is made from a blend of recycled wood, paraffin wax, and inert materials, burning “green” which means it contains no harmful chemicals and can be used as a fire starter or as your solitary fuel source. We carry it in packs of three which would be good for a short trip and we also offer two and four gallon options so you can stock up.

Let’s face it: it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut the cords completely and escape from all electronic devices. While we’d like to just get away from it all and escape everyday life, that might not always be the most practical option, so where do electronics fit into the great outdoors? With Goal Zero’s line of  personal solar panel products you don’t have to leave the electronics at home when you venture out into the wilderness. The Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit is what you need if your tablet, smartphone, or e-reader is making the trip with you. Away from the world’s plugs, the 7 watt solar panel and four rechargeable batteries can handle those smaller devices you just can’t live without. I love to use the maps function on my smart phone when I’m out hiking and if I’m going on an extended trek, I’m definitely bringing the kit with me so I don’t have to constantly worry about conserving  battery life on my phone. You can charge the batteries off the solar panel and then use the battery charger to re-juice your devices OR use the 4 AA batteries in a battery powered device OR plug your device into the panel directly. The pack charges in 3-4 hours so you could charge the batteries before you go on a hike or a paddle and come back to plenty of juice. The whole thing comes with a couple of handy adapters and the panel itself folds up to about the size of a novel so it won’t take up much of that crucial pack space. We also offer several options that could accommodate more or less depending on your specific needs.

-Trent @ ACK