Kickstarter and other such online crowd-funding platforms have made it possible for entrepreneurs to fund all kinds of projects that may have otherwise remained nothing more than ideas.

In some cases this definitely would have been for the best… For example, the feature-film Osombie (think Osama Bin Laden, but with a clever zombie twist), and the life-sized statue of Robocop that’s being built in Detroit (Why? Because why the hell not?!).

But not every Kickstarter project is quite so mind-bogglingly stupid. Right now there are two hiking gear projects open for funding that might be of great interest to you, fellow hikers…


HALO Fuel Cell: A charger for your outdoor needs

The HALO is a compact, 340 gram butane hiking stove that generates electricity when lit. I’m no scientist, but the video says it does this by combining the hydrogen in the flame with oxygen in the air. How freaking cool is that?

It’s equipped with two USB outlets, which will charge your smartphone, tablet, or other gadgets (there are even USB-chargeable head torches these days) while you cook your gourmet hiking food, or boil your billy.



Point Source Power have got a long way to go before they reach their $250,000 goal for this project, and they’re excepting donations as small as a buck. To receive a HALO of your own, you’ll need to donate $79 or more to the campaign.


SolePower: Power by walking

If you don’t think the HALO will give you enough juice for all your gadgets, you might want to take a look at the SolePower.

What’s the most logical way to generate power for your gadgets on your next hike? From the action of walking itself, of course.

SolePower is an insole that will fit inside any hiking shoe or boot, and capture energy from the motion of your steps. A small battery for storage is strapped to your ankle or shoelaces, and can be unplugged and used to charge your USB gadgets when you stop for a rest, or to set up camp.

The project founder’s goal is to fully charge an iPhone in about 4km of walking. Sounds like a brilliant idea to me.



SolePower are well on the way to their funding target of $50,000, but you can still get your hands on the finished product (once released) for a $100 donation.


Know of any other crowd-funded projects that are of interest to hikers? Please let us know by commenting below.

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