Striking out into the wilderness in search of adventure is enough to work up a healthy appetite in most explorers, but I can’t be the only one who finds the idea of fiddling with a gas stove for a grainy, boil-in-the-bag pasta just a little un-appetising. Adventures are a chance to step away from the mundane, so why not treat yourself at meals times while you’re at it?
The Ooni Fyra is a portable, wood-fired pizza oven that promises to shake things up a bit when it comes to campsite cooking. The ultra-lightweight Fyra weighs just 10kg and is designed to cook 12″ pizzas to Neapolitan standards, leaving you with a crispy stone-baked slice of heaven that’ll have your neighbours in the next tent drooling. So, how does it work?
Well, first of all, the promise of wood-fired pizza is no marketing gimmick; you really are cooking with flames. The smaller of the two ‘chimneys’ poking out the top of the Fyra is a gravity-fed pellet hopper, which stores wooden pellets and allows them to gradually tumble into the burner located at the back of the oven. As air flows through this burner and out of the taller chimney, the fire quickly warms the cordierite pizza stone, which heats evenly across its width, to temperatures of around 500°C.
All you have to do is prepare your dough, sprinkle on a helping of your favourite toppings, and slide your dinner into the oven to cook. Once fired up to the right temperature, cooking can take as little as 60 seconds, making it perfect for groups of all sizes and appetites.
Once you’re done, simply let the fire burn out, give it a wipe down, and wrap the Fyra up in its carry case, then store it neatly away until the next time you’re called upon to deliver the perfect wild pizza. (Foraged toppings optional).
AFTERSHOKZ AEROPEX WIRELESS BONE CONDUCTION HEADPHONES
Slipping on Aftershok’s Aeropex for the first time is a totally unique feeling. Unlike traditional headphones, the Aeroxpex don’t use speakers, so there are no buds to put inside your ears or pads covering them up. Instead, two vibrating transducers loop over the top of your ears and rest against your cheekbones. These units use bone-conduction technology to transmit imperceptible vibrations through your head and into your inner ear, where they’re translated into music. Effectively, these headphones turn your entire skull into one giant surround-sound speaker system — and the resulting audio experience is pretty awesome.
Besides the unrivalled sound quality you get from having music transmitted directly into your hearing organs, there are other benefits to the futuristic approach. For lovers of the outdoors and active sports, it means you can listen to your favourite tunes or podcast while running, cycling, or hiking, without completely closing yourself off to important noises coming from the world around you. With your ear canals open, you’re still in tune with your surroundings, only with the accompaniment of your own soundtrack as well.
Bone-conduction is a way of listening to music that few will have come across before. It’s the reason I spent the first five minutes of my run while wearing the Aeropex double-checking that everyone else on the trail wasn’t being subjected to my playlist. (American hardcore punk isn’t everyone’s taste, especially first thing on a Sunday morning). The quality of the sound, combined with the fact that I could still hear the birds singing and the ‘ding, ding’ of approaching mountain bikes, convinced me that my Marmite taste in music was being piped out across the countryside, and I was honestly surprised to learn no one else could hear it but me.
As well as giving you superb sound quality, the Aeropex are also more hygienic than traditional headphones as there’s nothing going inside or covering your ears, which is nice to note if you’re planning on working up a sweat while using them on the trail. They’re also well suited to outdoor pursuits thanks to the waterproof frame, which comes in at a featherlight 26g, and the grippy silicone outer, which keeps the headphones securely in place on your head — and they work comfortably when used with a helmet, too. The Aeropex connect to your device through Bluetooth and provide around eight hours of uninterrupted listening before the battery runs flat, which is more than enough for a day of accompanied adventuring.
In short, if you’re looking for a safer, better way to enjoy listening to music or podcasts while immersing yourself in the great outdoors, these are well worth a look. (Other colours available.)