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Don't Buy This Stuff (2)

Once again, your faithful shipping service, Seven Seas Worldwide, has trawled through the web to find some of the more quirky travel items for sale. And when I say ‘quirky’, I mean ‘useless’. Yes, this is the blog for those of you who make rash purchasing decisions based on novelty value alone. Okay, there’s a recession on but have you seen this Swiss Army Lampshade? Only £174.99!

From comes the Biolite CampingStove. Now if you’re partial to the odd weekend away huddled underneath polycotton canvas in a remote field, this could actually be of some service. 

After you’ve pitched your tent, embark on a little biomass-gathering expedition, collecting a sufficient pile of wood, twigs, pinecones and whatever else you can find. Then drop it all into the Biolite Camping Stove and its internal fan will create an enduring, super-efficient combustion fire for keeping you warm and cooking your food. Not only that, the heat generated is converted into electricity, allowing you to charge your mobile devices via a USB port. Pretty nifty.

If you’re lucky enough to be shipping abroad for a beach holiday offering eye-catching marine life, why not fit an underwater camera to your face? Well, why not?

The 8MP Digital Camera Mask is a combined snorkeling mask and camera, allowing you to show what you saw beneath the waves to friends, family and other people who aren’t interested. If you’ve ever watched one of those expensive, sea-based, BBC documentaries and thought ‘I wish I was filming that seahorse’, this is the gadget for you.

It’s a little-known fact that posh adventurer Bear Grylls is actually a wuss. Everything that takes place in his survival programmes are staged and choreographed to make it seem like he’s some sort of expert. But he’s not. He shrieks like a little girl when he walks through a cobweb. However, his brand remains strong and some of the items being sold under his deceitful name are actually pretty good.

Take the Bear Grylls Compact Multi-Tool for instance; an excellent contraption containing screwdrivers, knives, a wire cutter and a bottle opener. This is an essential item for those who transform into Bear Grylls just because they took a wrong turning whilst travelling from the hotel to the local shop and only ever end up using the bottle opener anyway.

Speaking of tools... 

Have you ever seen a child at the airport riding their little wheeled suitcases or ‘Trunkies’ and thought ‘I wish I could ride my luggage’. Well now you can with the Micro Suitcase Scooter. It folds away neatly and is permitted as hand luggage. I tried finding an image where the person using the scooter doesn’t look utterly ridiculous but this proved impossible.

Something that’s taken the ‘Useless Gift’ world by storm in recent months is the Scratch Map. This is a regular world map without any detail – until you scratch away the surface as if it were a big Lottery Scratchcard. Hang it up somewhere and scratch away each area you’ve visited. It’s a fun and novel idea and if you hang it somewhere where people can see it, you can show them just how well-travelled or strangely unadventurous you are. 

I’d also like to remind you that if you're prone to buying useless accessories on a whim, this may well result in an excess baggage-related situation while abroad. I'm just saying.

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