Gadgets

Another year full of gear. Here’s my annual round-up of the top posts from the past year, both by traffic and by personal favorites. Most popular posts from 2015 6. The Blizzard is Here! Don’t Just Shovel It—Build a Quinzee! A quinzee is a giant pile of snow that you then hollow out to create…

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We all know good gear can make your life easier in the outdoors. It can also set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Crafting your own homemade, or “do it yourself” (DIY), outdoor gear with your kids can be a fun solution. Options range from simple projects using household or campsite items you…

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I detail the realities of survival situations in the current issue of AMC Outdoors—Are Your Survival Skills Ready for Real Life?—including the essential gear that I recommend carrying to deal with a potential life-or-death scenario in the backcountry. These include a large, heavy-duty garbage bag for making an emergency survival poncho; fire-making equipment, including a…

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If you’ve ever fantasized about upgrading your vision to Terminator-level processing power, the Recon Jet offers a first step toward your future cyborgian self. The Jet is a pair of sunglasses with a heads-up display unit in the lower portion of the right lens. Designed with active users in mind (runners, cyclists, etc.), the display…

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The full NanoGrid system in action. The most amazing thing about the NanoGrid is its weight. Or, more specifically, the lack thereof. This highly praised multi-purpose gadget tips the scales at a mere 7 ounces, a remarkably lightweight solution for your device-powering, camp-lighting needs. The NanoGrid is a combination LED lantern, flashlight, and power source…

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I have long held great respect for Leatherman. The company created the entire genre of multi-tools more than 30 years ago; continues to produce durable, high-quality tools today; and does it all right here in the USA at its factory in Portland, Oregon. On top of all that, Leatherman continues to innovate in new ways….

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As daylight fades into the long nights of fall and winter, any overnight adventure necessitates prolonged use of a headlamp. These days, however, it’s easier than ever to keep your headlamp running on rechargeable power, sparing you the need to purchase, use, and (properly) dispose of regular batteries. Here’s a quick look at the primary…

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With new Apple watches and whiz-bang wearable devices that monitor your daily activity, you could spend hundreds on devices and programs to stay fit. Or you could just reach for your smartphone—all at once it can be your personal trainer, calorie counter, and route log, as long as you download the right apps. These five…

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Last month, Big Agnes announced its new mtnGLO line of tents, which will feature LED lights built directly into the tent to provide ambient lighting at the flick of a switch. Available in early 2015, the tents’ details are scant at this point, though early product images (see below) show a line of LED lights…

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I recently wrote about the Ten Essentials, which includes quite a few extremely, ahem, essential items. But which is the least useful? From my perspective, it’s the one I’ve carried for more than 20 years and barely ever used: a compass. Why do you need a compass? A compass allows you to very quickly orient…

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