Well I figured with the weather over the weekend it was high time I got the picnic basket out and used the excuse to go find some appropriate gadgets for the job.
Thanks to the Outdoor Adventure Store for giving me some decent, lightweight picnic stools to sit on!
First off is music. This comes even higher than food in my picnic priority list. Not necessarily being able to rely wholeheartedly on the weather, I was needing something waterproof and loud. Something with decent battery life too. This came in the form of two offerings from Speaker giant Nyne. Their Rock model is a beast - at €299, and about the size and weight of an 80's boombox, its no pocket warrior, but it crams some serious oomph both in terms of volume, bass and even battery life. (about 10 hours of playtime). The chunk of tunes links wirelessly to your phone and even lets you take calls through it. Their AQUA unit is smaller and not quite the noisemaker its more expensive brother, but it provides effectively the same function for only €149 and is not only water resistant, the thing is designed to float in water, even safely submerge. Not sure why youd want tunes underwater but there you go.
Minipresso NS: €59
Coffee is mandatory. Personally, it bothers me when I can't get a decent one, purely because I'm miles from anywhere on a picnic blanket in a field. The Minipresso GS solves the issue, pour in hot water and some coffee, squeeze the plunger and there it is. All from a machine the size of a coke can.
Bushnell Solarwrap: €90 from 53 Degrees North in Carrickmines
I'm a big fan of solar, although it's still a long way from replacing batteries and traditional power, it's about the cleanest and cheapest source of energy. Not until now did I realise panels could be made to be entirely flexible. The solarwrap is a roll up solar panel designed to charge your devices when all other means are out of the question. (Because you're in a field!)
Black Diamond Moji Lantern from 53 Degrees North: €80
Another portable charging station, but this time with an incredibly bright lantern thrown in - it's a newer type of LED that is even MORE efficient than we've known before, so gives DOZENS of hours of bright light AND charge time for your devices.