Festival season has sprung, and with it the need to pack smart tools to help you enjoy the outdoors in New Orleans in the spring and summer. Here are a few of CUE's new favorite things.
Anna Garvey of Moonrise Market really gets the heat. A New Orleans native, she and her father co-own the online company that makes the Cool Capsule ($21.99), a portable, lightweight hard-side beer koozy. "Now, so many craft beers come in bottles and there are so many outdoor activities in New Orleans," Garvey says. "The Cool Capsule does three-in-one duty: It insulates, protects and hides your beer." The Cool Capsule is made of food-grade stainless steel and two layers of neoprene (including an external neoprene sleeve). The top is lined with silicone, which creates a seal even on already-opened bottles. It keeps drinks carbonated and fits tall bottles. A Cool Capsule for stubby-shaped bottles is in the works.
The Travelon Waterproof Smart Phone Pouch (available at MJ's for $10.99) is very useful in case of inclement weather. It's air- and water-tight and comes with a removable foam insert that allows the pouch to float if dropped in water (hopefully it doesn't rain that much this year). Your phone's touch screen works without removing the phone from the pouch.
Jessica B. Rhoades, owner and founder of Southern Rhoades Apothecary, offers some all-natural solutions to common fest woes with her Rhoadie Festival Favorites Essentials Kit ($45). All of Southern Rhoades' formulas are handmade and locally grown (often in Rhoades' backyard) or sourced. The kit contains a dram-sized bottle of Festival Foot Barrier + Tootsie Treatment (with a convenient dropper built into the cap), Sandman Slumber Oil and Brain Pain Relief, both with rollerball applicators. The two roll-ons calm excitement with lavender, and Brain Pain also relieves headaches with a peppermint oil kick. Festival Foot Barrier is a serum infused with vitamin E and lemon that softens feet. Lemon has antiseptic properties, so feet are protected from blisters. "It also makes a great treatment after the fact," Rhoades says. There's also Fit as a Fiddle Body Freshener spray made from local Crescent vodka and infused with lemon, cinnamon and cloves. "Best thing about it is that it gets rid of the smell of crawfish hands," Rhoades says. "It's also an all-natural hand sanitizer."
A paper fan ($7.50 at Miss Claudia's Vintage Clothing & Costumes) may be the most low-tech, underrated fest survival item, but when temperatures and the humidity soar, being able to create a little breeze is definitely essential.