Wondering what to give the outdoors-loving child on your holiday gift list? Kids will love these colorful, camping gifts and you will love knowing that they are prepared for your next big trip. Fuel their love for nature and outdoor adventure with these gifts that will give them the tools to enjoy campfires, nature hikes, and camping. Remember to always teach children how to safely use camping equipment!
The Rolla Roaster
The original telescoping barbeque fork: perfect for roasting marshmallows on the campfire!
Other fun stocking stuffers are:
Multi-Tools for Kids
Animal & Bird Identification Charts
Small, portable light source
Collapsible Fishing Pole
Glow-in-the-dark Star Chart
Multitool and Binoculars By Terra Kids
Petzl Headlamp, Dorcy Lantern & FordEx Cree Mini Flashlight
Grilling foodon a Rolla Roaster is one of the easiest, most fun ways of cooking on a campfire. All you have to do is pierce your food on the end of the toasting fork and stick it over the fire. The Rolla Roaster is especially great for toasting food because the double-pronged fork keeps the food securely on the end. The rotisserie turning knob allows you to leisurely turn your food so that it ends up perfectly toasted. And unlike using an iron grill or wrapping the food in tin foil and putting it on the coals cooking with the Rolla Roaster allows you to easily control where in the fire your food is being cooked and adjust it throughout the cooking process for the perfectly finished campfire dinner. Having a safe and easy way for everyone to participate in the cooking process will allow for a relaxing experience and give the cook of the family a break. Clean-up is extremely easy which means that all the prep and cleaning time you saved can be used to share stories and laughs with family and friends. Cooking with a Rolla Roaster will make your cookouts a more enjoyable experience for everyone!
Here are some of the best things to toast with your Rolla Roaster on campfire:
Cooking bread on your Rolla Roaster is simple. Mix together some bread dough- any kind will work: naan, store-bought dough, or Bisquick- and twist the dough around the tongs. Chilled dough is ideal and make sure that the dough is thick enough to stay on the tongs. Toaster waffles are also easy to toast on the end of the Rolla Roaster for a super easy campfire breakfast.
There’s nothing quite like cooking your own meat over a fire. Pierce your steak, fish, hot dogs, wild game, or whatever else you’re cooking on the end of the Rolla Roaster, then sit back and relax while you’re toasting your dinner. The rotisserie knob set in the Rolla Roaster’s handle allows you to easily cook your meat to perfection.
This dinner staple of teenagers everywhere turns out to be pretty tasty campfire food. Suggestion: pierce the smaller, thicker end of the pizza pocket instead of the juicy center.
Spear those vegetables on a tasty Rolla Roaster kabob or cook them separately to round out your outdoor meal. The less dense veggies, such as peppers or corn, are better to toast as opposed to the more dense veggies (which typically do better when cooked directly on the coals). Mushrooms are also a quick-cooking, tasty campfire food.
You can toast any hard fleshed fruit (banana, pineapple, peaches, dates…) on the fire for an easy dessert. The heat brings out the sweet flavor of the fruit as the sugars caramelize, yummy.
Toast your marshmallow to perfection on a Rolla Roaster then sandwich it between two graham crackers and chocolate for a tasty s’more.
This rotating barbeque fork is the ultimate tool for cooking on a campfire, barbeque or woodstove. You can pierce anything that you want on the end of the end of the fork: some meat, veggies, fruit, or marshmallows, of course. Then sit back, extend the telescoping rod out to the perfect length, and simply rotate your food by using the rotisserie turning knob. (No more injured wrists or sore backs from hunching close to the fire to twist your food with your entire arm!) The Rolla Roaster telescopes out from 1 foot to 3 and half feet; so if you’re cooking something on a raging bonfire or over the embers of your dying campfire, you can adjust your distance easily. The heat-resistant wooden handle will protect your hand from overheating, like it might with another cooking fork, and is comfortable to use. The stainless steel fork is easy to clean and will prevent any unseemly slivers in your food or mouth from a wooden stick. Every Rolla Roaster comes with a vinyl case for convenient storage and can be purchased in any color of the rainbow. These are the perfect gift for any outdoorsy person- they are a safe and fun gift for children also!
You never know when you’re going to need something for a medical emergency so it’s always best to just pack the essentials with you. This ultralight medical kit is compact and light weight so that it is easy to slip into a day pack or to fit in the top pouch of your backpack for a longer trip. It comes stocked with the bandages and pills to treat a basic scrape or headache as well as the basic needs for stabilizing some major injury. There is a little extra room in the kit so that you can specialize it for anyone in your group that has special health needs or add more equipment for a longer trip. It’s always a good idea to know basic first aid as well as being aware of what gear you can use if an accident occurs. Here’s a link to Backpacker Magazine’s Ultimate First Aid Manual so that you can make sure your medical kit has everything you need for your trip as well as touching up on your first aid skills. Adventure Medical provides kits ranging from the Ultralight Solo kit to professional, mountain, sportsman, marine, and international kits.
Not only does this tableware set fold flat for easy packing, but it is fun and easy to put together and is super lightweight. The polypropylene has grooves for easy, fool-proof folding into cups, bowls and plates for your outdoor meal. The sturdy material even holds up under high heat! I poured an Orikaso cup full of steaming coffee and only felt the pleasant heat of the drink through the cup while I enjoyed my morning caffeine fix. Available in solo or family size sets these dishes are extremely easy to clean and dry and 100% recyclable! And did I mention that they pack flat so they’re easy to fit into your backpack, bicycle bag, or car? However you get out into nature, you can easily take them with you.
Super-compact and ultra-light, this hammock is a traveler’s dream. Whether you are going on a day hike or a long backpacking trip, this hammock is easy to carry along in your pack. It only takes two trees of an appropriate distance and a few minutes to set up and then voila! You’re all set up for a siesta. For a warm weather camping trip just leave your tent and sleeping pad behind and throw your sleeping bag in this hammock! The polyester hammock is machine-washable, weighs only 12 ounces, and packs into an attached stuff sack. This hammock would be perfect to throw in your suitcase for a beach vacation or in your picnic basket, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to be comfortable when taking a break to look up at the clouds.
Petzl is the ultimate headlamp provider for outdoor adventuring. The ZIPKA PLUS 2, their ultra-compact headlamp, has a retractable cord, five lighting modes, and weighs only 71 grams. The retractable cord system allows the ZIPKA PLUS 2 to be worn on the head or wrist or attached to any other support. Its high-output LED can light up to 40 meters in maximum mode or burn for 185 hours in economic mode. The red LED is useful for preserving night vision or providing strobe lighting for safety in an urban setting. This headlamp is super lightweight and comfortable, is easy to use and to change the batteries, and works reliably in low temperatures. It has a cool safety system that prevents it from being turned on in your pack and comes in gray or red.
And there you have it- the top five, lightweight and compact products that are perfect gifts for outdoorsy people: the Rolla Roaster, Adventure Medical Ultralight Kit, Orikaso’s Fold Flat Tableware, Grand Trunk Traveler’s Hammock, and Petzl’s ZIPKA PLUS 2 headlamp.
If you’re backpacking in the backcountry, out for a day hike, or camping with your family chances are that you’ll want to build a campfire. Not only do campfires provide warmth, light, and a place to cook your meals, but they provide the perfect opportunity to use your Rolla Roaster to toast something in the flames.
The Rolla Roaster is the ultimate rotating barbeque stick: it rolls at the touch of a finger and telescopes out to 42 inches so that you and your loved ones don’t have to be anywhere near the flames to perfectly cook your campfire treat. No more searching for appropriately long and pointy sticks on which to cook your dinner after a day in the woods. And your hand won’t even get warm while using this roasting stick due to its durable hardwood handle. After you use a Rolla Roaster you’ll never want to use anything else to toast your marshmallows or cook dinner on the campfire.
Here is an easy, four-step guide on how to build the perfect campfire which will save you more time to kick back, put up your feet, and toast a treat on the fire with just the twist of your finger.
Step 1: Select a site
If there is an established fire ring, your job just got easier: skip to Step 2.
If there’s no established fire ring and you’re in the backcountry or in an area where it is important to leave no trace: make platform of gravel or sand about 3 to 5 inches high. Use material from an area that has already been disturbed. If you’re in an area where you can build an established fire ring then you can dig a hole that is a few inches deep and a few feet wide. If you are digging-averse you may use large stones to create a fire ring that will keep the burning logs contained.
Don’t build a fire upwind from your tent, and make sure the tent is out of flying-ember range. If it’s raining or windy, rig a tarp, build a lean-to, or build the fire under the shelter of a cliff or dense tree canopy. Remember to build the fire far enough away from low-hanging branches or anything that could catch on fire.
Step 2: Gather fuel
Collect materials that are already on the ground around your camp. You’ll need dead wood (it should be dry enough to snap), tinder (dry needles, thin twigs, paper, or wood shavings), kindling (finger-sized sticks), and limbs no thicker than your wrist (so they’ll burn completely).
You’ll light the tinder first to get a flame going. Kindling should be slightly larger than the tinder but with a high surface to volume ratio so that it will catch fire quickly. You’ll use the kindling to light the main fire source. The main fuel source should be a few inches in diameter and ideally should be aged and dry so that the flames burn cleanly. If you must build a fire with wood that is still wet just know that it will burn more slowly and be harder to light.
Good tinder is a flammable substance that you can mae into a powder. Examples include:
Dry sticks and bark, dead dry plants and grasses, wax, lint, birch bark, charcloth, moss, wood shavings, paper, pine pitch, dry needles from coniferous trees, fire sticks, fire starters
Wood from evergreen trees burns quickly and at a high temperature therefore their wood is better for kindling. Wood from hardwood trees produces a sustained flame and burn at a high temperature.
Step 3: Build it to burn
Place tinder in a small pile and stack kindling around it. Leave gaps to allow air circulation and an opening to insert more tinder if needed.
In windy conditions consider building a wind break out of rocks and be very aware of anything down wind of your fire that could catch on fire.
Here are some easy methods for organizing your campfire:
Organize the kindling in a small cone shape with the tinder inside it; leave gaps in the kindling to allow airflow. This is the most effective method.
Log cabin method
Stack the kindling in alternating directions to build a four-walled miniature structure with the tinder in the center.
Throw your kindling in the middle in a loose pile and sprinkle your tinder on top.
Step 4: Ignite
Use waterproof matches or a lighter to start the bottom of the tinder pile, creating a chimney effect. Protect the flames from wind, but blow gently on them to build the heat and intensity of your fire. As the kindling bursts into flame, place larger pieces of wood on the fire to permit airflow. Add smaller pieces first and gradually add the larger pieces; patience in this period will make all your hard work up to this point worth it. Add additional kindling and logs in such a way that you can easily adjust them without burning yourself and so that they don’t smother the fire.
In an emergency, put a small amount of white gas on the wood just before lighting to ignite hard-to-burn or wet wood.
Step 5: Use your Rolla Roaster!
Now that you have your fabulous campfire going you can use your Rolla Roaster to cook dinner, make S’mores, or toast anything else that you can stick on the end! (Upcoming Blog Post: The Best Campfire Food to Toast on a Rolla Roaster)
When cooking on a teepee fire it should be noted that the heat is highest at the top tip of the teepee. A campfire built in the log cabin formation is the best for cooking food because the heat is spread equally throughout the fire.
If you’re cooking something that needs a lower temperature it is best to aim the tip of your Rolla Roaster a few inches about the burning coals at the base of the campfire, out of the flames.
If you would like to flambé whatever you have speared on the end of your barbeque fork then, by all means, hold it directly in the flames at the top of the fire.
Enjoy your outdoors adventure and whatever tasty item that you have toasted with your Rolla Roaster!
Remember to only build a campfire if you’re in an area that allows them- always check campfire rules before building your fire. Extinguish a fire thoroughly with water. When no embers are smoldering, scatter the ashes and return the mound soil to its original place.
Additional References for Building a Campfire:
How to Build an Emergency Fire – Backpacker Magazine
Don’t let winter dissuade you from having your outdoorsy fun. No one likes to be cooped up inside when the weather changes from the crisp chill of fall to the freezing temperatures of winter. You nature-lovers understand that slight dread that accompanies the first snowfall of the year because you know it means that the trails will be closed to your hiking boots and you need special camping gear to spend the night outdoors. But you don’t have to wait until the warm weather of spring to enjoy the outdoors and one of the purest forms of relaxation since our cavemen (and cavewomen) ancestors first lit a fire.
Here are some fool-proof tips for building a campfire snow…
Pick a site that is protected from the wind.
If the snow isn’t too deep, dig down to build your fire on the ground. If you’re on top of deep snow then stomp out a flat spot and construct a platform out of rocks or logs so that your fire won’t be resting directly on the snow.
Ideally, you’ll have a large, flat stone in the center. Place your tinder atop this, and arrange sticks tepee-style around it, then light the tinder.
Even wood that is buried under the snow can be used to build your fire. To check and see if a stick is dry enough to burn, snap it in half and listen for the audible crack of breaking wood (different from the icy sound of cracking ice). You’ll want to make sure that the wood that you have to burn is properly dried. Placing still-wet logs near the fire once you have it burning will allow them to dry out enough to use.
Make sure to bring a foolproof firestarter. As a backup for your butane lighter, one of the best flammables is drier lint (or cotton balls) slathered in petroleum jelly, packed in a pill bottle. Consider using a magnesium stick because this will light even in wet conditions. For additional ideas for tinder see http://www.rollaroaster.com/how-to-build-a-better-campfire/
Now you’re ready for the fun part- the campfire cookout! Don’t forget to take along your Rolla Roasters, the original marshmallow toasting forks that rotate, to help make your campfire cooking experience fun and easy.