Opinion: Tools and Toys

Gosili Reusable Silicone Straws and Insect Repellent by Sawyer

Insect Repellent by Sawyer

What's to love: Comes in two formulations, one for use on skin (and is even safe for dogs), and the other is safe to use on clothing and gear.

What does it do: Picaridin Insect Repellent for skin is available as a lotion which is effective for 14 hours or as a spray effective up to 12 hours. The family-friendly spray is an alternative to DEET and repels mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies. Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Gear and Tents is — just like it says v for use on clothing, gear and tents, but also on shoes, backpacks, hammocks and patio furniture. It's formulated not to stain or damage fabric, plastics or other finished surfaces and will repel insects for up to six weeks. Both formulations are available in a variety of sizes and packaging. Prices start at $5.99. Visit Sawyer.com for more information.

Gosili Reusable Silicone Straws

What's to love: Inexpensive reusable straws that can be folded into a small tin case, perfect for tucking in a purse, pocket or backpack.

What does it do: The company says the straws are made of a European grade silicone, also known as LFGB silicone. "Unlike other grades of silicone, LFGB silicone is held to the highest of standards, is platinum cured and is free of toxins." The straws are dishwasher safe and available in a variety of sizes and colors. The regular straw is 8 inches in length and the straw and case sell for $3 each. Extra-wide straws, useful for shakes and smoothies, and long straws for larger containers, sell for $4 each. The company also makes a variety of silicone travel cups, mugs and tumblers. Find out more at gosili.com.

— Cary Jenkins