With summer travel upon us, and fall hunting and fishing camps already in the planning, here are a trio of items you should consider packing for the trip. I discovered them all at the International Home & Housewares Show in March and I’ve been testing them out ever since. They all passed with flying colors and you’d be well served adding them to your travel kitchen.

Chef’sChoice Waffle Maker

The Chef’sChoice Model 853 Sportsman Classic WafflePro is ideal for taking to hunting camp. With its small footprint, it can fit in the smallest of kitchens, even in a kitchen-in-a-box in the back of your pickup truck.  But don’t let the small size throw you – this is an amazing machine.

It takes only four minutes to pre-heat and then cranks out perfectly done waffles – two every three minutes.  The waffles come out with the distinctive deer head logo and taste delicious.  Even better, there is absolutely no stick to the waffle plates.  You’ll have to see it to truly believe it, but there is just nothing stuck to the cooking plates at all when you remove your waffles. This is actually the first non-stick surface that I’ve ever seen that truly lives up to its name.

When you’re done, let the unit cool, then wind the cord around the feet of the unit.  It stores upright to save space. If you love waffles, you’ve got to get one of these. Finally all the waffles you love with none of the mess.

Contigo West Loop Travel Mug

The Contigo Autoseal West Loop travel mug with Easy-Clean Lid is now my go-to mug. I’ve always been sold on the drip-proofness of Contigo’s mugs; but now they’ve even made them easier to clean.  With this newest innovation, the lid interior pivots open making it even easier to get the inside sparkling clean.  The top is dishwasher safe, so pivot it open and drop it in the top rack of your dishwasher.

Contigo West Loop

The new model comes in three colors:  stainless steel, purple and black. It’s also available in two sizes: 16 oz. and 20 oz.  They’ve also upped the amount of insulation so your drinks stay hotter or colder even longer, and the vacuum seal between the inside and outside shells prevents condensation and sweating.

And for you klutzy people (you know who you are), Contigo has got your back.  They’ve added a little push button to the top of the lid that actually locks the side pushbutton, preventing it from opening while being carried in your bag or backpack. Flip the button on top and then you can drink normally, but with the button locked on top, nothing can come out.


When you’re on the road, you still want your favorite K-cup, but if you’re like me, you like to fill your own from ground coffee.  Now you can have it both ways, a disposable K-cup alternative that you fill yourself.  The iFillCup from ChefConcepts is just the answer.


The hinged top opens to let you scoop in the right amount of your favorite ground coffee. It simply snaps shut and seals in your coffee so it’s ready whenever you are. It’s the same size as a standard K-cup so it fits your standard machine with no adapter needed. Check out the video to see how easy it is to use.

The cups are available in a variety of designs so you can load different coffees or teas and know which is which.  Check out their site for available patterns.