Enjoy life at this boutique hotel
Visit the new boutique hotel on Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island and enter a place where modern bohemian meets coastal chic. The Pell — the state’s first JdV by Hyatt hotel — is located less than 10 minutes from Newport’s top swimming and surfing beaches (Sachuest Beach, Third Beach, and Easton’s Beach). It has 127 guestrooms and suites, a relaxing library, a fitness center, and an onsite restaurant called The Helmway that serves locally sourced American cuisine (try the lobster risotto starter and the maple scallops entrée). Wicker and wooden touches abound at The Pell, where sand-colored tones mingle with coral decorations and clean lines. Rooms offer premium amenities, free high-speed Internet, Espresso coffee makers, and mini fridges, while two suites feature kitchenettes. As the hotel brand suggests (JdV stands for “joie de vivre”), the property draws young-at-heart guests who believe in connection and celebrating life. https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/rhode-island/the-pell/pvdjd
The skinny on where to camp nationwide
Campers, did you know that you can sleep in a lookout tower in California that was built in 1931? Or a fire tower that sits above treeline in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest and offers 360-degree views of pristine mountains? The Dyrt camping app — founded by Portland, Ore.-based entrepreneur Sarah Smith — helps you locate some of the hardest-to-book fire towers in the country and about 2 million other public and private campsites on 50,000 properties nationwide. The app includes campground information for those locations (with maps, descriptions, amenities, and contact details) and more than 8 million honest and helpful reviews, photos, and tips submitted by other campers (for instance, “cute sites, but you will be interrupted 500 times a day with walkers who use the trail and want to go straight through your campsite”). Sign up for a free version of the app on your Android or Apple device to gain access to these listings or upgrade to The Dyrt PRO version ($6.99 per month; $36 annually), which includes a curated collection of 5,000 free camping areas on public lands, discounts at more than 1,000 private camping properties and, new this year, access to the 2023 Camping Reservation Opening Dates Guide. The Dyrt PRO also provides access to maps for offline use, cell-only connections, and route-planning. With either version, you can use The Dyrt Alerts help you snag a reservation at the most coveted, often sold-out campgrounds if there’s a cancellation. www.thedyrt.com
A mini stove for adventures big and small
Sometimes you don’t need a massive campfire for fun, warmth, or fueling the flames for a couple of s’mores. The new Solo Stove Mesa XL works great for building a little fire at the beach, in the ski area parking lot, or at your campsite. The mini firepit stands 8.6 inches tall and measures 7 inches in diameter. It comes with a small foldable stand that packs inside the firepit — under the removable pellet adapter and fire ring. Place the stove on the stand and the flame ring on top to help direct the fire to a central spot. Then get the flames going using a fire starter (clothes dryer lint or even a Pringles chip works great) and add dry twigs and small sticks on top — or place the pellet adapter inside the stove and fill with pellets and a fire starter. Pack everything into the stove and carrying case for travel. Solo Stove also makes a handy accessory pack that includes a stainless-steel pellet scoop, a lid for your stove (helps keep remaining ash from spilling out during transport), four stainless-steel twin-pronged forks that can toast multiple marshmallows at once and are easy to clean, and four little stick rests (unnecessary, but clever — and they work) that keep your goopy roasting forks from sticking to the grass, camp chair, or picnic table. The accessories pack into a foldable carrying case. Currently $109.99 for stove and $49.99 for accessory pack at https://solostove.com.
One of the best-ever camping chairs
Whether you’re sitting around your camp stove, lounging on the beach, watching your kiddo’s soccer game, or kicking back to view the Northern Lights, consider bringing the newly upgraded Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair. This spacious recliner, made by Dover, N.H.-based NEMO Equipment, is one of our favorite-ever fold up and take-anywhere travel chairs. It sets up quickly thanks to poles that spring into place to form a supportive frame and a well-designed chair unit that clips onto the frame using durable, stainless steel locking mechanisms. The Stargaze, which has a wide seat area and supports up to 300 pounds, has a strong mesh fabric on the bottom and back that’s sturdy yet allows for good air flow. It comes with great padding on the head, hamstring, and armrest areas for added comfort, and open-topped pockets up front for holding a drink and a phone, for instance. Since the chair is suspended (hammock-style) from two frame poles, you can rock away while you hang out. What really sets the Stargaze apart, however: An upgraded and smooth-operating pulley system that lets you sit upright for toasting marshmallows and then lean back into a reclining position to snooze or check out the night skies. The chair weighs 8 pounds 11 ounces and packs into a handy, supportive travel bag. $299.95. www.nemoequipment.com
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.