If there are two words that spring to the forefront of most people's minds when Australia Day is mentioned, they would be "long" and "weekend". And like any long weekend in summer, that usually means BBQs, outdoor entertaining and maybe even a cheeky trip to the beach, if the weather and locale permit.
So here are just a couple of gadgets that may provide some high-tech help for your January 26 activities -- no matter what you end up doing.
Traditionally, the Great Aussie BBQ is about meat charcoaled to within in an inch of its existence, before smothering it with sauce just to provide some moisture and aid chewing. Why not break with tradition this year and cook meat people will enjoy eating? The Man Law tongs feature a built-in thermometer will give you a internal temperature on the digital readout in the handle. It's not only great for the rare meat eaters in your family and friends, but lets you BBQ meats like chicken and fish with just a little more confidence, all for AU$30.
Got tongs you already love? The Man Law Digital Instant Read Meat Gauge does the same stuff as a standalone device.
It's all fun and games until someone wears a blast of sauce from a blocked up bottle that gets slapped a little too hard. Or maybe you've fumbled a catch in a half-hearted game of backyard cricket and ended up with most of your drink down your front. If you're wearing The Cavalier from Threadsmiths, you won't care -- the shirt is specially treated with a "patented hydrophobic nanotechnology application", meaning it repels all water and dirt. It's the first white t-shirt that might actually stay that way.
American-style "slow and low" BBQ had gained popularity in Australia, but it can be hard to do on the barbies we're familiar with in Australia.
Enter the ProQ Elite. Looking somewhat like R2D2 after a goth makeover, the ProQ can smoke, grill, roast -- even stirfry if you want it to. The design and venting allows a lot of control over how much heat you get and also provides access for you to monitor the meat's temperature -- kinda important for slow cooking.
The range starts at AU$379.
A big back yard needs a big sound. The MegaBoom is the big sibling to last year's UE Boom -- a battery powered speaker purpose-built for outdoor use. The MegaBoom ups the size and the sound, as well as making the unit fully waterproof and even packing in 20 hours of battery life. Perfect your own tunes or even for tuning in and seeing who ends up on the top of this year's Hottest 100.
There's nothing new about the Tap King, but it remains a great option if you're looking for a cold draught beer rather than a bunch of brews swimming around the bottom of a slowly warming esky.
With a bunch of different beers to purchase, Tap King might even add a touch of class to your BBQ... or not depending on how many you end up having.
What if you're not in the backyard, but actually grabbing some beach time? When it comes to Australian beaches, the only thing worse than the English backpackers is the sand. You may think you've washed it all off, but as soon as you unroll your towel back at home -- boom. Your house looks like a remake of Lawrence of Arabia.
The Lagu beach blanket is treated to be sand repellent while the linen blend is both quick drying and allergen-free. It comes in five colours and has a button to keep it rolled up -- there's even a beach bag available that's made from the same material.
You won't be able to get it this Australia Day, but if you're looking ahead to 2016 keep an eye out for the Coolest Cooler. Basically a high-tech esky, this bad boy has a blender, an LED lid light, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker and functions as a USB charger. All that while keeping your food and drinks cold.
With all that, it's no wonder it raised a staggering $13 million on Kickstarter. Backers only had to pay $165 to get one of these, but we'll wait and see what it costs when it hits retail.