Whether you're roasting food on a fire or roasting yourself in the sun, there aren't too many ways to slice a summer day that don't involve heat and the outdoors. Shopping Web site The Grommet has a few gadget suggestions on how to stay cool and enjoy the season.
Created by mechanical engineer Jonathan Kirschner, the $59 WaterDog is an automatic outdoor pet fountain that activates when it senses a pooch approaching. When Rover is done drinking the fresh water and walks away, it automatically turns off. The WaterDog attaches to an outdoor hose spigot to keep your best friend cool.
Take polyvinyl alcohol and terylene, put them together, and you get an absorbing fabric that cools you when you’re out in the sun. Water in the fabric evaporates at a temperature that’s about 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature. When the towel begins to dry out, simply wet it again to stay cool. The Ice-cold Towel is available for $29.95.
Brewsees sunglasses have been around for a while, but their awesomeness has perennial appeal to the beer dudes of summer. These shades have bottle openers made of anodized aluminum built into the temple tips, so you can crack open a brew anytime. They have polarized lenses, a polycarbonate frame, and anodized aluminum tips. Bottoms up!
The $48.95 Drop speaker from Zumreed covers your iPod, iPhone, or MP3 player in a protective water-resistant case, while the 2-watt amplifier blasts sound in any environment, from the beach to your shower.
One Log Fire is a handy way to enjoy a campfire without the mess. For $23.95, you get two portable pine-wood logs that have been hollowed out and equipped with fire starters. Simply light the starter and you'll have about two hours of fire in a tidy package.
From Australia comes Sombrilla, an alternative to the traditional beach umbrella. This adjustable cotton canvas canopy offers 95 percent UV protection but doesn't close you off from the beach like a tent. It's available for $186.