Here on the Chesapeake, we have countless ways to enjoy the outdoors. Here are things to help you along, whether you’re cruising the Chester, paddling the Patuxent, or camping at Cape Charles.
Solar lantern, $69.95
This sun-powered lantern provides 600 lumens of directional, adjustable light; a USB port to power your phone; and a built-in hand crank (which doubles as handle) as backup if conditions don’t cooperate. It can also be recharged via USB in under 6 hours.
Inflatable SUP, $649
Paddleboarding is great; lugging said paddleboard from place to place, not so much. The Breeze Aero 10’8″ Classic Teak Inflatable Paddle Board is light (just under 20 lbs) and small enough to fit in a backpack, but expands into an all-skill-levels board that’s as stable as the traditional models, thanks to military-grade PVC and attachable fins. And the AeroPump auto electric pump makes it a breeze to inflate.
Travel Binoculars, $95
Don’t want to lug around those oversized binocs, or risk losing a fortune if they get wet or damaged? Neither do we. These lightweight, best-in-class specs come clad in textured waterproof housing designed for maximum grip and protection, whatever the conditions—and a lifetime warranty to boot. Choose from eight colors.
Packable Chair Zero, $119.95
The Chair Zero sits comfortably at 8.5 inches off the ground, but packs down to the size of a water bottle and weighs just 17 ounces. It has a cult following among serious hikers, but now the secret is out.
Motion-sickness Band, $269
The rechargeable Premier wrist band is a drug-free, non-drowsy alternative to seasick meds. It uses FDA-cleared technology to send pulses through your nervous system to fight nausea and motion sickness.
Folding Bicycle, $896
Cruising the Bay is wonderful but exploring once docked can be an issue if you don’t have a way to get around. Hence the joy of a folding bike, which stores easily underway. Both Cycling Weekly and The New York Times put the smooth-riding, easy-folding Mariner D8 at the head of the pack.
Portable coffee grinder, $150
Camp Just because you’re roughing it doesn’t mean you have to rough it with substandard coffee. Durable construction (it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum) and portability (it can clip onto your backpack) means you can grind your own beans and ensure top-notch coffee just about anywhere.
DIY Kayak Kit, $1,129
Chesapeake Light Craft (Annapolis, Md.)
Looking for a winter project? The Mill Creek 13′ kayak is wider, shorter, and more stable than typical sea kayaks, making it ideal for fishermen, photographers, and birders. You can purchase the stitch-and-glue kit, buy just the plans, or sign up for a week-long workshop to get some guidance; they’re offered around the country, including their home base of Annapolis. And if you don’t need a kayak, they have canoes, skiffs, even teardrop campers.
Smokeless Fire Pit, from $349
Breeo (Lancaster, Pa.)
Love the idea of a firepit but hate having to move your chairs every time the wind changes direction? The X Series 19 Smokeless Fire Pit gets raves for its design, which allows increased airflow that minimizes wood smoke output. It comes in three sizes and two finishes: sleek stainless steel or rustic Corten steel, designed to age with a patina.
Time and Tide Clock, $231.99
Weems and Plath
The well-loved Endurance II 135 is an easy-to-read traditional clock with an extra red hand that tracks the tide, all wrapped up in a nautical brass finish that looks great in a landlocked office or a floating galley.
Washable Fender Cover, $34.99
Bolger Marine (Bethesda, Md.)
Bolger means “waves” in Norwegian, and that’s what you’ll be making when you pull up at the dock with these colorful fenders. Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly the case, but these cheery machine-washable covers are made from 94% polyester and 6% elastane, come in various sizes, and the colors and patterns—from anchors to fishbones—just make us smile.
Smartphone Dry Bag, $74.95
This sleek, reliable SLIM pack is big enough for phone, key fob, and credit card, but small enough to tuck in a pocket. The clear outer shell lets you take photos and connect to Bluetooth while using, and if you do drop it overboard, it floats. Available in various sizes, including 13″ tablet.
Sailcloth Deck Chair, $199
727 Sailbags (Annapolis, Md.)
This French-American company is well known for their sturdy totes made from recycled sails, but did you know they also do seating, clothing, and more? We love these foldable kid-sized chairs for cuteness and practicality—and yes, there are adult versions too. Each item also notes the provenance of the cloth: what kind of sail, what kind of boat, and where it sailed. Order online, or visit their flagship store in downtown Annapolis.
Camp Kitchen Storage Box, $330
Latelyish (Baltimore, Md.)
Keep everything in its place, whether you’re on a boat, in a tent, or road-tripping. Handmade in Charm City, the Camp Chuck Box is a sturdy carryall made with formaldehyde-free plywood, nontoxic glue, and metal hardware. There are three drawers for utensils, durable spring handles for carrying, and the front cover folds down to make a prep station. etsy.com/shop/Latelyish