51

BOLT Lightning-Thwarting Tent

By: on January 27, 2016

Before I continue, and before the angry emails start rolling in, let me be clear: the BOLT shelter is still in R&D stages. Product / industrial design student Kama Jania developed it for an academic project, and while she has built and tested at least one prototype, the tents aren't yet available for consumer purchase. I don't see why they won't be in the future, given their resilience to discharges from both high-voltage and current generators, but who knows? Some of the best ideas never leave their inventors' garages, while the rest of use deal with a market brimming with Fundies and Vibrating Ab Belts.

Jania developed BOLT tents to combat lightning strikes. Statistics show that a few thousand people a year get struck by storms' whips, and 96% of those are people stuck out in the open, particularly hikers and campers. BOLT HALF, BOLT ONE, and BOLT AIR are a family of shelters with aluminum mainframes extending through the middle of the tents, plus aluminum connectors and poles. Generator test results showed that when currents comparable to lightning (30 to 40 kA) struck the the top of the pole frames, electrodes imitating a tent occupant's head absorbed between 400 kV and 1MV--still enough to produce a shock, but a vast (90+%) decrease from the full blow of the incoming current, and most likely not strong enough to cause injury. During current generator tests, a series of electrical discharges with different peak current values were directed at the top of the frame of the tent poles to test BOLT durability. They caused some scorching at the pole joints due to high temperatures, but the tents endured.

All 3 tents in the BOLT series are lightweight and collapsible. BOLT HALF is intended for day-long trips that might bring a sudden change in weather. It can be set up in tight locations, such as a ledge or ridge, and provides full lightning protection (from both direct and ground / step voltage strikes, the latter being the most common way people are struck). BOLT ONE is a 1-person tent for longer trips, which also provides full protection. BOLT AIR is an even lighter version of the shelter, a pneumatic tent with a groundsheet for step voltage protection.

Check it out

The Camping Doughnut

Ooh, a tent that looks like one of those obstacle course tubes I used to crawl through in gym class and the fat kids used to get stuck in crawling through in gym class. The Camping Doughnut, an easily collapsible and...

Check it out

The Nugget Micro Home

This cute little Nugget might be bigger than your kid, but...not by much. Modern Tiny Living's first micro home checks in at a mere 102 square feet and 4,500 pounds and...OK, fine. That's a lot bigger than your kid....

Check it out

Shonin Streamcam Wearable Personal Security Camera

$169 - $259 from Shonin »

Who wants their very own cloud-connected bodycam? The Shonin Streamcam is a forthcoming wearable personal security camera that records goings-on in hi-res video and, via WiFi or cellular SIM, saves it directly to the...

Check it out

Tonke Fieldsleeper Camper

By: Tonke »

The Tonke Fieldsleeper isn't just a camper, it's a camper straight out of The Brady Bunch. Check out that wood paneling and groovy baby blue laminate interior. Sure, mint green or rusty orange would have been better...

Check it out

Tvan Off-Road Camper Trailer

This is Tvan, and if you're barreling through dirt and rocks with one of the off-road camper trailers bounding along behind you, then you're Tman. The Man. The one who's got the beauty and freedom of the path less traveled...

Buy Now

Air Fort - 30-Second Inflatable Tent

$54.99 from Amazon »

The Air Fort, in addition to creating a private place for me to hide sleep when my future in-laws visit and take over my bedroom next month, gives me an excuse to haul out my old college box fan. The one She-Ra: Princess...

Buy Now

Waterproof Socks

$35 from Amazon »

Showers Pass made these waterproof socks to keep athletes' and other F the rain weather warriors' feet dry when they run, hike, and bike in anything from light drizzles to torrential downpours....

Check it out

SALT Self-Defense Gun

$299.99 - $349.99 from Salt Supply »

Lorenzo Maggiore already figured out how to A-Salt bugs in an effort keep our extermination of insects simple, clean, and green. Now we have a means of SALTing humans, this time in an effort to keep our defense against...

Buy Now

Napier Backroadz Truck Tent

$174.99 - $200.85 from Amazon »

Outdoorsy dads, Napier stitched their Backroadz Truck Tent out of premium 800mm polyester taffeta. So once camping season is over you can gift it to your teenage daughter to wear to her winter formal. A win-win for Pops!...

Buy Now

Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs

$99.95 from Amazon »

Ruffwear sure knows how to capture a happy family. Mom. Dad. Baby Doggo in its very own baby doggo sleeping bag nestled in between. Awww, how adorable. Guess who woves their wittle baby doggo!...

Check it out

Family Bug Out Bag

$969 from OuttaGEAR »

If my family were to bug out, probably the first thing we'd do is tear apart this bag of supplies in search of the Xanax and Scotch it does not contain to help calm ourselves down. Luckily, in the event that one of us...

Check it out

The Camperbox - Backseat Bed in a Bag

$157 - $175 from The Camperbox »

It's like The Camperbox read my mind. I was just talking about sleeping in a van down by the river. But it was in reference to Raptor's Platform XL fishing boat, what I consider to be the water-faring version of a van...