Outside Inside with GSI Outdoor – Fun for the Whole Family

From practicaltravelgear.com

Outside Inside Family Fun? Yes, Please!

GSI has a more fun side in it’s Outside Inside lines. You can find anything from ornaments to present decoration and (our favorite) outdoor games. Outside Inside provided us with three great items for the any camping trip:

  • Backpack Mancala Game
  • Freestyle Lawn Darts
  • Freestlye Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Backpack Mancala Game

This incredibly lightweight Backpack Mancala Game game is so much fun to play. Even the littlest kids can play alone or alongside.

Folded, the Backpack Mancala from Outside Inside is just under 7 inches long and weighs in at just 5 oz.

GSI Outdoors – Backpack Mancala
  • Travel Mancala.
  • Two Player Game.
  • Includes: 48 Bead Marbles, Instructions And Travel Bag.
  • Dimensions Folded: 6.75″ x 4″ x 1.25″.
  • Dimensions Open: 14″ x 4″ x 1.25″.

Unfolded, the games exposes 12 small bowls and 2 large bowls on the end. Included are the tiny Mancala seeds traditionally used in Africa. The Outside Inside version has plastic seeds that are a brilliant orange.

Truthfully, we started with 48 beads from the set and within the first game we lost 5 of them.

They’re quite small and hard to handle. Nonetheless, small pebbles from the mountain filled in the missing pieces and we continued to play all weekend.

This set now has a place in my car at all times. It is light enough to travel with, or, if you have little ones like we do, it makes for the perfect restaurant game.

It cleans up easily and the travel bag makes it a cinch to keep together. We have used in on the sand, mountains, picnic tables, etc and it still looks new.

At about $20 the price point is perfect for the avid hiking family or couple. Makes for a great gift anytime of year.

Freestyle Lawn Darts

Now here is a game everyone in the family can participate in! A great gift for the College kid, active family our outdoor enthusiast.

We have played the Freestyle Lawn Darts out in the grass, on a mountain, sand, snow and indoors on the carpet when the weather is poor.

It takes just one minute to set up the game and the fun can begin.

Outside Inside has made well constructed rope rings and plastic tipped darts allow for easy play without damage to your surroundings.

Weighing in at about 7 ounces, Freestyle Lawn Darts can easily be strapped to your backpack and used at the summit for some R&R.

There are a couple ways to play but in our house, we like to set up the rings touching side by side and each time the dart makes it into the ring you must take one step back. Those little darts are pretty dang accurate from a distance.

Clean up in a snap and the purse-string, non-tear bag makes for easy transportation. Sitting at about $20, this game will last with you for a long time.

Freestyle Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Definitely the largest and most versatile of the games we have from Outside Inside. Easy to setup (just two small tent poles), portable and freestanding.

Two games can be played at the same time, Ladderball and Cornhole. Or! Most noteworthy, it also works as a makeshift fort especially while the tents are being raised and broken down.

Outside Inside Backpack Dome Ladderball/Cornhole

  • Shock Corded Fiberglass Poles.
  • 6 Bolos For Ladder Ball And Cornhole.
  • Game Dimensions: 39″ x 39″ x 39″.
  • Packaged Dimensions: 22″ x 6″ x 4″.

Still lightweight, the Freestyle Dome Ladderball/ Cornhole can easily be added to your backpack or car camping equipment and taken back country.

This would also be a perfect addition to any family reunion or wedding where you need to entertain the children.

We should also mention how child proof this is! Our two boys put the Freestyle Dome to the test with their rough play. Boys will be boys, right?

Outside Inside is a company we are always looking forward to working with. Their products are well made, and ensures your family will enjoy getting outside, or inside, no matter your destination.

Outside Inside can be found at your local GSI Outdoors dealer.


2017 Camping & Outdoor Gifts : GSI Outdoors & Outside/Inside Gifts

The following is by Nicky from Little Family Adventure.


This article contains affiliate links. Some products mentioned below have been provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

One of the greatest things we can bestow upon our children is a love of nature. Getting outdoors together as a family is quality family time and the memories you make are priceless. This year, we have put together the ultimate guide for family outdoor and camping gifts. This guide features products that may make getting outdoors easier, more enjoyable, or more fun. There is something for everyone on this list, especially the person who is hard to buy for.

Camp Cooking

Fairshare Mug from GSI Outdoors  

This 32oz cup is a great addition to the family camping box. Impact resistant plastic with a screw on lid, insulated sleeve, and carabiner make it perfect for families to carry every where.  Use it for mixing or eating and drinking out of. The measurement marking make it super helpful when cooking and eliminate the need for guesstimation which doesn’t always work.

Description from GSI Outdoors:

A strange phenomenon was first discovered at University of British Columbia ski club touring camps in the 1960s. While students carrying bowls or more standard eating vessels received regular potions, those clever few who were using a simple 2 cup measuring cup typically received much larger portions from the servers in the communal meal line. Soon, a few daring students were experimenting with 4 cup measuring cups and found the results to be the same: larger portions. Thus, the original fairshare cup was born.Now nearly 50 years and several innovations later, GSI Outdoors has developed the FairShare Mug II, with insulating sleeve, compacting handle and a new lid that allows mugs to stack when stored, assuring that a whole new generation would receive their fair share too.
Features & Specs
  • Secure, screw-on lid insulates and prevents spills.
  • Carabiner clip-in points for attaching to packs.
  • Large, 33.8 fl. oz. (1 L) capacity.
  • High-visibility measurement markings.
  • 32 fl. oz.
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • 5.5″ x 5″ x 5.4″
  • $15.95.

Outdoor/Travel Games


Outside Inside Gifts: Freestyle Lawn Darts from

Family Game Night goes outdoors with this compact game that provides hours of family fun. Game includes 4 rope rings and 4 weighted lawn darts. Set up game play any way you like and challenge each other to see who gets the closest! Game is stored in a 18.25” x 2.5” bag that is super compact. Perfect game for camping, road trips, or at home.

Description from Outside Inside:

A great compact game of target shooting to enjoy with your family and friends. Place rings at different distances or inside each other for a more challenging game. Toss the dart and see who gets closest! Everything you need for the ultimate game to play at the campground or your backyard.


  • 4 Lawn darts (in 2 colors)
  • 2 x 16″ diameter rings
  • 2 x 30″ diameter rings
  • Dimensions: 18.25″ x 2.5″
  • $20.95

Outside Inside Gifts: Backpack CornHole

Now you can take this family favorite game anywhere; tailgating, backpacking trips, car camping, or to the park. This wooden backpack version is compact and measures 12” x 6” x 1.25”. So it’s perfect for any adventure.

Description from Outside Inside:

Take this mini Cornhole game anywhere and challenge your friends. Perfect for any outdoor space, this set conveniently packs down to a small, lightweight pack-sleeve making it a great option for backcountry trips as well.


  • Compact and portable
  • Legs fold away
  • Can be played on the ground or on tabletop
  • Made of solid wood
  • Color: Blue/Red
  • Made in China
  • Includes 2 game boards, 8 bean bags, instructions and carry bag
  • Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 1.25 in.
  • $30.95

GSI Outdoors: The Best of 2017

The following is a highlight of the best of 2017 items from GSI Outdoors from GearInstitute.com by Craig Rowe. 

GSI Outdoors has been perfecting camp kitchen gear since its inception in 1985. Last year, the company introduced two backpacking stoves that we reviewed here and here, to compliment their line of lightweight, integrated cookware systems. For 2017, GSI Outdoors has revamped some classics and introduced new takes on common camp kitchen goods. Here’s an early look at some of those new products.

The 32-ounce Fair Share Mug II updates this fan favorite with a sturdy and practical sewn webbing handle, removable insulating sleeve and high-contrast internal volume indicator. This version comes equipped with a compacting handle and a new lid the allows multiple mugs to be neatly stacked on top of one another for easy storage. PRICE: $15.95

Weighing in at just 3.5 ounces, the Infinity Backpacker Mug will slip into the lid of your pack, where it will remain unnoticed until needed. It uses the same insulating sleeve design as its larger sibling and can securely hold 17 ounces of coffee, oatmeal, or whatever you need to keep knocking down the miles. PRICE: $9.95

The Glacier Stainless Microlight 500 is a slimmed-down, side-pocket-ready travel mug that’s 60% thinner than many of its competitors. Whereas my 16-ounce, double-walled Kleen Kanteen comes in at 10.3 ounces on the scale, the Microlight keeps even more liquid warm or cold for up to eight hours, while still managing to cut two full ounces from its weight. Need a lightweight water bottle for your outdoor adventures? This one should meet those needs nicely. PRICE: $25.95

GSI’s Glacier Stainless product line is designed to tackle the toughest backcountry cooking conditions. This year’s pans use an aluminum core to manage weight, and a laser-etched non-stick “net” on the pan surface to protect it from the wear and tear of spatulas and sponges. The folding handle makes it easy to carry in your pack, allowing you to take it with you anywhere you go. The Glacier Frypan is available in either an 8”or 10” model. PRICE: $29.95 (8”) or $34.95 (10”)

Camp Kitchen with GSI Outdoors

The following Camping Gear list was written by Atlantatrails.com

Camping kitchen: cookware, tables, and tasty food

An organized camp kitchen is a must for a relaxing (and delicious) car camping adventure…

For cooking, serving, and enjoying those campsite meals, the extensive line of functional, space saving cooksets, stoves, dishes, and utensils from GSI Outdoors top our list in the camp kitchen. The Halulite Microdualist Cookset is perfect for two people, and features a 1.4 liter cookpot, two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, and two fork/spoon combos. Everything nests neatly together with space for our GSI Pinnacle 4 Season Stove and a micro fuel canister. Paired with our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11 utensil set, we have everything we need for a weekend of camp cooking.

We think it’s undeniably true: everything tastes better when camping. From basic backpacking fare like oatmeal and instant rice, to gourmet camp dinners of strip steaks and pineapple upside down cake, we’ve loved the challenge of preparing our favorite meals in the forest…

We love waking up to a mountain sunrise and a steaming cup of french press coffee. The GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press and Infinity Backpacker Mug make that first cup quick and easy. And when our morning adventures take us away from camp, the GSI Microlite 500 and the GSI Glacier .5L Vacuum Bottle keep our coffee hot for hours.

A few shelf-stable condiments like olive oil, salt, pepper and dried spices add to our camp cooking recipes and have a permanent home in our camp duffel bag, stored in our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11…

Please remember to leave no trace

When enjoying the natural beauty of our parks and wilderness, please pack out everything you pack in, and leave your campsite clean. Follow these easy steps to Leave No Trace and please practice good trail and campsite etiquette to help ensure everyone has a great adventure.

For more on the products listed above click on the images below.

Timeless Outdoor Fun: Outside Inside Gifts

From MRV The Buzz


A Company That Provides Outdoor Games For Those Who Love To Get Out And Hike, Paddle, Climb, Camp, Ski, Bike, Hunt, And Fish

“We are outdoor people and when you start to have children, you want them to be able to experience that with you,” explains Dave Smrtka, co-owner and co-founder of Outside Inside Gifts.  Outside Inside is a company, as it says on the website, that provides gifts “for those among us who love to get out and hike, paddle, climb, camp, ski, bike, hunt, and fish”.

Beyond the products it offers, the company’s goal is to provide games for the whole family.  “When you start playing games, you are instant friends with others playing and it gives everyone something to connect with,” explains Smrtka.  It is with this idea that the company continues to grow and the seed was planted in Smrtka’s own family.  “My wife and I both worked in retail – we owned several outdoor stores,” he explains.  When his three daughters started to get older, they both decided to get out of retail and get involved with things they love – the outdoors and their family.  Originally making gifts, they transitioned more into mobile games – not for a smartphone, but games like checkers and backgammon to pick up and take outdoors.  “We take timeless games and modify them to be lighter and more compact,” Smrtka says.  Other examples of these games are mancala, table tennis, barrel toss, and more.

They realized they struck a nook and grew their products into three tiers of mobility. There are the Backpack games that are super mobile and fit in a bag. The Freestyle games are a little bigger, ideal for moderate to light camping/outdoor excursions. Last there are the Basecamp games, which are good for backyard family time or to keep in the RV. All products are made with “good materials and good quality as they have to withstand the constant abuse of the outdoors,” Smrtka says.

For product development, Smrtka and his wife use experiences, as well as their knowledge of the outdoors in personal and professional life. He gives the example of their backpack bocce ball product. “First we start with the idea. Anyone can play bocce ball and any number of people can play,” Smrtka explains, “which makes it an ideal product for us.” He says the problem is the weight for the balls, so they developed Backpack bocce at 1/16 of the original size. “The problem with this, though, is that the balls are so small that they bounce too much when they are thrown,” Smrtka states, “so we needed to find a material that would react similarly to full-size bocce.” They ended up using a special kind of rubber that works well and Backpack bocce has become one of their best selling products.

What makes their products special beyond their size is their adherence to the name of company – Outside Inside. “These games can be played outdoors in the middle of nowhere or in college dorms,” Smrtka explains. In fact, his daughters, who are all around college age are great supporters of their products and bring them to school with them and play with their friends. “Our 21 year old always uses the games at parties and events,” he says. With experiences like these, Smrtka and his wife are able to get real feedback from others and also adjust their marketing accordingly.

Though originally motivated by providing entertainment for children, the focus has never really been, “Just on children, but on the family.”  As the years progress, they realized the market can be for families as well as college students who like to play games with their classmates.  “Although we primarily appeal to the active market, we also have our products in college bookstores,” Smrtka says. Smrtka and his wife are based in Canada, but the focus of Outside Inside is the United States and their distribution center and warehouse is in Spokane, Washington.  They also have retail stores in Japan and a select few in Europe.  “In Japan there is more and more interest, as they like compact things there,” he explains.

The geographic region also plays a role in product popularity.  “Obviously the north is colder, so there is a greater interest in indoor games and the south is warmer so traditionally outdoor games are popular,” Smrtka says.  He also says the flatlands of the Midwest, for example, popularize the Basecamp games as the RV culture is really strong.

As the years go by, people are increasingly becoming dependent on digital technology.  Even camping, an activity devoted to the outdoors, one observes many adults and children glued to phones and tablets.  This is the present world.  The challenge for families is to balance these digital tendencies with activities that provide time to connect and develop relationships.  The outdoors provides opportunities for this to happen and Outside Inside Gifts provides compact, convenient means to achieve it.

By: Andrew Malo

A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan.  He  enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and computer programming.

More on Outside Inside:

Outside Inside Gifts, a gift collection designed by outdoor enthusiasts for the hikers, paddlers and sportsmen of the world. Available at specialty outdoor and gift retailers all over the world.


GSI Outdoors Unveils New Stove Systems for 2016

From: www.traversing.ca

GSI Outdoors unveiled six new stove systems for 2016 offering options for the ultra-light backpacker and camper.

Stay connected with GSI Outdoors by following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Pinnacle Canister Stove

Pinnacle Stoves are compact, lightweight and high-output, designed for efficiency in every regard. With clever folding pot supports that pack small to nest within our nForm Ultralight cookware and integrated windscreens which allow you to cook faster with less fuel, the Pinnacle Canister Stove and Pinnacle 4 Season Stove are the peak of GSI Outdoors’ unique approach to going fast + light without making sacrifices.

  • High-efficiency, 8,750 BTU/h burner optimized to balance quick boil times and reduced fuel usage.
  • Canister mount, micro control valve provides tunability and peak performance
  • Serrated 138mm/5.4″ diameter pot support arms provide a stable, secure cooking platform
  • Compact, folding design nests perfectly within nFORM Cookware systems
  • $49.95


Pinnacle 4-Season Stove

Pinnacle Stoves are compact, lightweight and high-output, designed for efficiency in every regard. With clever folding stove legs and pot supports that pack small to nest within our nForm Ultralight cookware and integrated windscreens which allow you to cook faster with less fuel, the Pinnacle Canister Stove and Pinnacle 4 Season Stove are the peak of GSI Outdoors’ unique approach to going fast + light without making sacrifices.

  • High-efficiency, 7,800 BTU/h burner optimized to balance quick boil times and reduced fuel usage.
  • Remote, canister mount, micro control valve provides exceptional all-season performance
  • Serrated 138mm/5.4″ diameter pot support arms provide a stable, secure cooking platform
  • Compact, folding design nests perfectly within nFORM Cookware systems
  • $79.95



Pinnacle Soloist Complete

High performance, light weight, compact one-person total cooking solution. Including our Pinnacle lightweight, high output stove and integrated windscreen along with insulated mug and Foon for one person providing superior efficiency and flexibility in an ingenious space efficient package.

  • Lightweight, high-efficiency, 8,768 BTU/h Pinnacle Canister Stove and Windscreen nest perfectly and provide ultimate efficiency regardless of conditions
  • Folding handle locks into place for cooking and secures entire set for transport, eliminating the need for a stuff sack
  • Unique mug/bowl solution with low center of gravity and Sip-It virtually eliminates spills while the integrated insulating sleeve keeps drinks hot
  • Welded stuff sack holds set while traveling and doubles as a sink or wash basin
  • Integrated nesting for fuel canisters (220/110 g) for a complete cooking system in one small package
  • Coated with Teflon® Radiance technology for exceptional non-stick performance
  • $89.95

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GSI Outdoors- One Pot Wonders

This entry was posted GSI Outdoors in Outdoor Cooking


It doesn’t matter if you’re the family man, the acurian camper, a backpacker, alpinist, or a road warrior keeping your pack light really makes a difference when you’re headed out into uncharted territory. Cooking equipment can become a real burden, which is why we’ve put together a plan of action for one pot meals. From breakfast all the way to dessert, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned.


Rise and Shine!

Time for breakfast! If you find yourself off the grid this is going to be a very important meal for you, it’ll provide you with the fuel you’re going to need to get from peak to peak. Or if you’re with the family, it will get you from breakfast to lunch! Either way, one pot is all you really need! Cinnamon rolls are a great way to carb load early in the day and are super easy to make in a dutch oven! You can bring all of the ingredients with you and have the homemade experience or, for our backpackers the lighter option may be to go with a store bought cans of rolls, we don’t judge.


You’ll want to start by creating that same cooking campfire we talked about in our post on “How to Cook Like a Caveman”, it will be under “The Hunt”.  Added tip, don’t lug charcoal with you, instead find rocks and place them in your fire, get them nice and hot and then VERY carefully, use tongs to move them into that second space with your embers this is where you’ll place your dutch oven. Place all of the rolls into the dutch oven with a little wiggle room for expanding and allow them to either rise overnight or for an hour or two in the morning. Now for the exciting part, place your dutch oven over the hot embers and rocks, carefully use tongs to add a few to the top of the dutch oven. Now sit back, enjoy a cup of joe and in about 30-35 minutes breakfast will be served! Check out Macheesmo for some pretty delicious, detailed instructions.


What’s For Dinner?

The sun is setting and as the heat of the day starts to burn off the campfire is just heating up! Heavy and hearty meals are hard to come by on the trail, especially for those backpackers who go out for a weeks at a time. But for those of us who are doing the overnight or weekend trip, we’ve got a couple of ideas for hearty one-pot dinners. First, if you are taking a weekend trek and a cooler isn’t included on your packing list we suggest leaving the meat at home. Without proper cooling, you risk spoilage. Never fear! There are vegetarian options out there that are still totally satisfying and filling. If you need meat, think about bringing pre-cooked bacon, jerky or other types of dehydrated meats.


If you’re down to give the veggie thing a try, may we suggest a lentil stew. Super hearty, warm and very filling. Check out this awesome Coconut Red Lentil Stew with Kale we discovered from Fresh Off The Grid. Best part with this one is the ingredients are fairly light and you can combine the spices in one plastic baggie as opposed to taking all of the jars with you.


Something for the Sweet Tooth

Typically when we’re searching for something sweet while camping we all start to reach for the sticks and marshmallows; however, this time around we’re doing something a little different. Again, we’re going to use that dutch oven! After cinnamon rolls, you can basically do anything, same principals apply.


If the iconic s’mores are just too much to let go may we suggest testing out a newer version? S’mores cake, it’s all the rage! Start by laying out an angel food cake base, tear the cake into small bite sized pieces. Then break apart your graham crackers and lay them on top, you can even mix a few into the angel food for a little added texture. Follow this up with the chocolate, again break into smaller pieces so that when it melts the cake and crackers are covered. Finally, add those marshmallows, completely cover the top with them. Cover with the lid and let it sit in your cooking campfire. Once the marshmallows have that golden color you’re ready to serve!


Remember, anything goes! Cakes, pies and even sweet breads just thrown a few chocolate chips in and you’ve crossed that threshold into dessert.


While our expert level campers my stick to their dehydrated food packs and protein bars, it’s always nice to have a few options. We love to cook here at GSI Outdoors and we’re always here to help. Check back for more on anything and everything outdoors!